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What is disposal?

Disposal is the final action concerning the fate of records, for example, destruction or transfer to archives. Under the Public Records Act 2005 (the Act), no-one may dispose of a public record without authorisation from the Chief Archivist, Archives New Zealand. There are 5 disposal actions that the Chief Archivist can authorise:

1. transferring control of the public record to the Chief Archivist
2. transferring control of the public record to another public office
3. destroying or altering the public record
4. selling the public record, and
5. discharging the public record (which means cancelling the status of a public record under certain circumstances under section 25 of the Act).

When should disposal happen?

Archives New Zealand requires disposal to occur annually or more frequently to meet business requirements. The ability to do so will enable compliance with requirements as set out in the Records Management Standard for the New Zealand Public Sector issued by Archives New Zealand.

Benefits of disposal

Authorised regular disposal of records has a number of benefits, including:

• making search and retrieval easier
• controlling storage, maintenance, access management and other costs
• reducing privacy and security risks associated with retaining records
• helping to protect records with long-term value and promote their re-use.


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