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Transfer of Physical Records process

Why do we need to transfer?

Public offices must transfer from their possession and control public records of archival value that have been in existence for 25 years to the control of the Chief Archivist. The exception is if they have a deferral of transfer agreement.

Who does this process apply to?

The transfer process set out here applies only to public offices and not to local authorities.

What is the transfer process?

Check you have a valid disposal authority as only records with a valid disposal authority can be accepted for transfer.

Contact Archives New Zealand at as soon as you know you have records to transfer and before you start any preparation work. Please note that the process for the transfer of physical records varies in each of the four Archives New Zealand offices; Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin due to differences in location and resourcing. We will assign a transfer archivist to guide you to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. 

The transfer of physical records to Archives New Zealand has been split into four stages: 

•  Stage 1: Transfer Planning - Archives New Zealand collaborates with a public office to determine and plan a physical transfer from a public office to Archives New Zealand
•  Stage 2: Transfer Preparation - Archives New Zealand collaborates with a public office to physically prepare for a transfer of physical records from a public office to Archives New Zealand
•  Stage 3: Transfer - The physical transfer of physical records from a public office to Archives New Zealand
•  Stage 4: Post Transfer - Completion of ‘Archway’ contextual description requirements and administrative tasks after the records are received by Archives New Zealand.

Transfer Guidance and Templates

Archives New Zealand has a number of additional tools and templates to use throughout the transfer process.

The Transfer Agreement form is the formal record of the agreement to transfer records. This form should be filled out after the details of the transfer have been determined in Stage 1, but before the transfer itself takes place.

The Access Authority form sets the rules on access to records transferred to Archives New Zealand. This form must be submitted even if the transfer includes no restricted records.

Archives New Zealand has also issued advice on the Transport of your transfer to Archives New Zealand

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