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Aotearoa New Zealand is at the Orange traffic light setting under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. We’re following Ministry of Health guidelines to keep our staff and visitors safe.

You can visit our reading rooms at Orange. You’ll need to wear a mask and follow other safety guidelines while you're here.

Safety measures in the reading rooms

Everyone who visits Archives plays an important part in keeping our staff, collections and other researchers safe. Follow Ministry of Health guidelines during your visit.

  • Stay home if you’re sick.

  • Wear a mask.

  • Use the hand sanitiser we provide.

You won’t be able to use the reading room if you refuse to wear a mask or show your vaccine pass.

How we’re stopping the virus from spreading

To stop the spread of Covid, we’re:

  • cleaning all reading rooms and public spaces regularly

  • using an HVAC air conditioning system to keep our buildings well ventilated

  • providing hand sanitiser in each reading room.

Services in the reading room

Some reading room services work differently at Red and Orange.

Ordering more items to view

In some reading rooms, you can order more items to view on the day of your visit. They may take up to an hour to arrive.

We may not be able to offer this service if our staff are isolating. If you think you’ll want to order extra items, it’s a good idea to contact the reading room before your visit and check it will be possible.

Research advice

Red setting

At Red, our archivists won’t offer research advice in the reading room. Use the Ask an archivist form to send us your questions.

Ask an archivist a question about your research

Orange setting

At Orange, we’ll have some archivists in the reading room to give research advice. They’ll stay a metre away from you to keep you safe.

Viewing restricted items

You won't be able to view preservation-restricted items at Red or Orange.


You can still order digital versions of our archives, but it may take us longer than usual to complete your order.


At Red and Orange, you can take photos of records with your phone or camera. You won’t be able to use the copiers in the reading room.


We can’t take cash payments at Red or Orange.


Red setting

You won’t be able to use the kiosks to look items up in Collections search – bring your own laptop or phone, and use our WiFi to search the catalogue.

Orange setting

We’ll have a limited number of kiosks you to access Collections search – but it’s best to bring your own laptop or phone just in case.

You’ll be prioritised if you’re:

  • familiar with our systems – our archivists won’t be able to help you in person   

  • using the kiosks to access the Māori Land Court Minute Books.


All our reading rooms have lockers you can use at any Covid-19 alert level.

We can’t look after items at Reception. It’s a good idea to leave any large coats or luggage at home or in your car.


You can use our toilets at any Covid-19 alert level.

Ask a question about our services

Contact us if you need to know more about using our reading rooms and other services during Covid-19.

Find our contact details