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Amending an existing Disposal Authority

How can agencies make changes to existing disposal authority?

The following basic steps are required to change an existing disposal authority. More than one change can be requested.

A new disposal authority should be sought if a significant number of major changes are required. If your disposal authority is due to expire in the coming year a new disposal authority is recommended, rather than amendments to the current one. if you are unsure please contact at

Options available

The change options are listed below. Requests may or may not require the approval of the Chief Archivist.

A. Requests which require the approval of the Chief Archivist are:

• Alteration of the disposal action (i.e. between retention and destruction) for classes of records
• Alteration of the retention period for disposal classes of records

B. Additions of disposal classes or changes of scope of class – for example, adding or removing examples of records or major descriptive change of class due to scope change

C. Requests which do not require the approval of the Chief Archivist are:

• Minor additional descriptive information in a disposal schedule which doesn’t change the scope of class
• Changing the name of a class in a schedule which doesn’t change the scope of class
• Removal of redundant disposal classes

Contact Archives New Zealand after you have actioned a request which does not require the permission of the Chief Archivist as we will need to amend your schedule that appears in our finding aid Archway.

Requests which require the approval of the Chief Archivist

If your request requires the Chief Archivist’s approval, you must apply to have your disposal schedule changes considered. Less detail is required than for a standard disposal authority application, but the general process is the same. See our fact sheets on Disposal Process

Your submission needs to include

• An appraisal memorandum documenting and justifying the requested changes.
• A schedule identifying the specific requested changes

All documentation should be in an electronic format that can be edited, for example, Microsoft Word not Adobe PDF.

What happens after we receive the request?

Archives New Zealand staff will review your memorandum and accompanying documentation before it is submitted to the Chief Archivist.

Requests to change disposal actions or add disposal classes are subject to the same public comment process (Intention to dispose) as new disposal authorities. Any public comments feedback will be considered and the Chief Archivist will make a decision on the amendments.

Requests to change the retention periods of disposal classes are not subject to the public comment process. The existing disposal authority will be amended if the Chief Archivist is satisfied with the justifications for change.



Acknowledgment of change from Archives New Zealand staff

Intention to dispose

Chief Archivist approval

Disposal actions

Retention period

Addition of class

Class scope change/extension

Editorial change

Class name change

Removal of redundant class

Expected time frames

Amendment goes to ‘Intention to dispose’ – on public display for 30 days

Review period either side of ‘Intention to dispose’ – 2-3 weeks

Review period if amendment requires approval from Chief Archivist (but does not need to go to ‘Intention to dispose’) – 2-3 weeks

Review period if amendment requires only Archives New Zealand staff review – 2-3 weeks 

Please note that these time frames are only approximate and are dependent on the complexity of the amendments.

Amendment Templates

You can find example and blank templates of the Amendment to an Existing Disposal Authority Template on the 'Resources and Guides' section of the Toolkit:

Appraisal Report - Amendment to an existing Disposal Authority

More advice and information is available at

More record-keeping tools and advice are available at: