The guiding principles of both Policy and Procedures are that public archives are made accessible to public offices when required for administrative use, and are protected and available to meet the needs of current and future users.

Services available

  • Loan of archives

  • Digitisation and Online Access (by arrangement)

  • Viewing of archives at an Archives New Zealand office

1. Overview

The objectives of these procedures are to make clear:

  • The process by which the controlling public office (or a successor to the controlling public office) can request the temporary return of a public archive. For interpretation of ‘public office’ refer to section 4 of the Public Records Act 2005.

  • The process by which a third party (a public office which is not the controlling or successor public office) can request the temporary return of a public archive.

  • The conditions imposed by Archives New Zealand to ensure the safe custody and preservation of a public archive during the time that it is in the possession of the public office.

  • The circumstances in which sanctions are applied if a public office breaches the conditions imposed by Archives New Zealand.

  • Archives New Zealand’s responsibilities in facilitating the Government Loans Service process.

Controlling public office means, in relation to a public archive:

(a) the public office that has power to determine conditions of access to the public archive; and

(b) includes any successor to that public office

Public archive is defined in section 4 of the Public Records Act 2005 as a public record that is under the control of the Chief Archivist.

Administrative use

Administrative use is defined by Archives New Zealand as any use reasonably within the functions of the public office, or connected with the affairs of the public office.

Requests made for personal research purposes, either for staff at the public office or on behalf of public researchers for purposes outside the function or affairs of the public office is not a valid purpose for a Government Loan request.

2. Registration

Public Offices

2.1 All organisations that Archives New Zealand has identified as public offices, as defined by the Public Records Act 2005, can register staff as Government Loans Clients. These include:

  • Government department

  • Crown entities

  • Crown research institutes

  • State-owned enterprises

  • District health boards

  • Tertiary institutions

  • State schools

2.2 Public office staff must register as Government Loans Clients in order to request the temporary return of archives.

2.3 Application for registration must be made using the Government Loans Service Client Registration Form.

2.4 Registration of Government Loans Clients must be authorised by the administrative head of the public office, or the staff member to whom this role has been delegated.

2.5 The administrative head of the public office or the staff member to whom this role has been delegated must notify Archives New Zealand immediately of any changes to staff authorised as Government Loan Clients.

2.6 When Public records are transferred to Archives New Zealand by an office that is not a Public Office within the meaning of Section 4 of the Public Records Act 2005 an agreement between the office and the Chief Archivist must be entered into before any of the transferred records will be returned to the office. Unless otherwise stated in the agreement between the office and the Chief Archivist all other conditions of the Government Loans Policy and Procedures will apply.

3. Requesting

3.1 Only authorised public office staff registered as Government Loans clients can request the temporary return of public archives.

3.2 Requests for public archives can be made using the Archives New Zealand Government Loans Service Item Request Form or as agreed with Archives New Zealand staff by email.

3.3 A public office can request up to 10 public archives per week without charge.

3.4 Additional requests over the 10 public archives per week are charged (see current fees list).

3.5 A larger public office or an office undergoing a period of sustained and exceptional demand can negotiate with an office of Archives New Zealand for a temporary increase to the 10 public archives per week limit. Any such agreements would apply only to that office of Archives New Zealand unless otherwise agreed.

3.6 A larger public office can negotiate with Archives New Zealand to have its’ business units acknowledged as possessing separate client registrations and order limits.

3.7 Urgent Requests are supplied within 24 hours (working days only) and are charged (see current fees list).

3.8 Essential details required to facilitate a request:

  • Government Loans Client Number, e.g.G1234

  • Public office name

  • Client Agency Code, e.g. AAAC

  • Authorised contact name

  • Phone/fax

  • Email

  • Physical delivery address

  • Administrative use (purpose for loan)

  • A copy of the permission-to-access letter or email received from the controlling public office, if the requesting office is neither the controlling public office nor its successor.

  • Turnaround time required:

    • Standard – within 6 working days for the loan of original records, subject to demand

    • Urgent - 24 hours from time of request (working days only)

3.9  Public archives under the control of another public office:

  • Written permission is required to borrow public archives that are under the control of another public office. This includes open access public archives.

  • A Government Loans Client must not borrow public archives and then on-loan these to another public office.

3.10 Requesting public archives that are required by a secondary site within the public office:

  • A Government Loans Client must not on-loan public archives to another site within the public office (i.e. sending public archives to a branch office or worksite).

  • Where public archives are required by a secondary site within the public office, the archives must be returned to Archives NZ and requested by a registered Government Loans Client at the location where the archives are required.

  • A requesting Government Loans Client may provide loaned public archives to a Court or the authorised legal representatives of the public office if the loaned public archives are required as evidence in legal proceedings. The requesting Government Loans Client remains responsible for the loaned public archives until they are returned to the office of Archives New Zealand they are permanently held at.

3.11 As much of the following information must be supplied, either from Archives New Zealand’s online finding aid Archway or from transfer lists, when making a request for the temporary return of a public archive:

  • Item code (e.g. R1234567)

  • Agency

  • Series

  • Accession

  • Box/Item

  • Record/Part

  • Title/Years

Please contact your local Archives New Zealand office for further advice about using Archway.

3.12 Delays are likely if more information is needed from the public office making the request if details provided in the original request are insufficient or incomplete.

3.13 Requests may not be processed if incorrect or insufficient information is available.

3.14 Archives New Zealand reserves the right to charge where the public office requests the digitisation of public archives by Archives New Zealand.

3.15  Archives New Zealand staff may offer a digital copy of a public archive in lieu of the loan of the original where doing so will preserve the public archive and meet Client requirements. No charges will be applied in these cases. The ability to offer digital copies will be limited by the size/condition of the public archives and the demand on Archives New Zealand’s digitisation capacity at the time.

3.16 Archives NZ reserves the right to return public archives electronically.

4. Transfer Lists

4.1 On completion of a transfer of public archives from a public office to Archives New Zealand a list of the transferred records is supplied to the publicoffice.

4.2 If the original transfer list is no longer available, a Government Loans Client can request a copy of the list in order to facilitate requests.

4.3 Archives New Zealand reserves the right to charge for the supply of additional copies of transfer lists.

5. Research

5.1 Archives New Zealand staff will undertake up to one half hour of research to identify public archives that have been requested (such as searching registers and indexes). Requests for more extensive research are subject to Archives New Zealand’s standard fees and charges.

6. Physical Condition of the Public Archive

6.1 The Government Loan of a public archive is dependent on the physical condition, age, format and other factors of the archive. This is assessed by Archives New Zealand staff on a case-by-case basis.

6.2 If a public archive cannot be loaned it may be digitised or made available for viewing at the office of Archives New Zealand where the record is being held. Charges may apply for the digitisation of public archives.

7. Collection and Return

7.1 A Government Loans Client is responsible for the secure collection and return of loaned public archives.

7.2 When collecting public archives the public office staff member or courier must be able to identify the requesting party and destination address to Archives New Zealand reception before the archives will be handed over.

7.3 Loaned public archives must be signed for at pickup.

7.4 Loaned public archives must be returned to the office of Archives New Zealand that the archives were originally loaned from.

7.5  Loaned public archives are to be returned in the secure packaging provided. Where this is not possible (for example, where archives are returned at different times) the archives must be safely packaged and returned to the Government Loans Service at the appropriate office of Archives New Zealand.

7.6 When returning loaned public archives an email notification should be sent to the appropriate office of Archives New Zealand at the time of return. This notification must include the item code or order number for the returned archives (these are the ‘R’ or ‘D’ numbers featured on the coversheets affixed to every loaned archive).

7.7 Upon the return of loaned public archives the Archives New Zealand office will respond to the client with a confirmation of the archives that have been received.

8. Loan Periods

8.1 The standard loan period is three months, unless otherwise agreed between Archives New Zealand and the Government Loans Client.

8.2 Public archives on loan can have the loan period extended beyond the standard loan period by agreement between Archives New Zealand and the Government Loans Client.

8.3 In general an extension will not be granted for a period greater than one year.

8.4 Archives New Zealand has the right to request the return of loaned public archives before the due date, if the archives are required for public researchpurposes.

9. Inspections of Long-Term Loans

9.1 When public archives have been loaned and already extended at least once Archives New Zealand may require that the archives be inspected before further extensions are granted.

9.2 Public archives can be returned to any Archives New Zealand office for inspection. The Government Loans Client will meet all return and collection costs. The inspection and repackaging of the archives will be conducted within one working day of the return.

9.3 When public archives are returned for inspection to an office of Archives New Zealand that is not the same office that the records were originally loaned from, the inspecting Archives New Zealand office must be notified and provided the references of all the records to be inspected in advance.

9.4 Where Archives New Zealand requests an inspection the public archives must be made available to Archives New Zealand within 5 working days unless alternative arrangements have been made.

9.5 Where a Government Loans Client is located in a city with an Archives New Zealand office, Archives’ staff can visit to inspect public archives. On-site inspection is charged (see current fees list ).

9.6 The requirement for the sighting of loaned public archives may be waived by Archives New Zealand staff where sighting of the original archive cannot be practicably arranged (e.g. where the archive is being used as evidence in Court proceedings).

10. Census

10.1 A Government Loans Client must have systems and processes in place to ensure that a loaned public archive is returned to Archives New Zealand by the end of the initial agreed period or arrangements are made for the loan to be extended.

10.2 Archives New Zealand offices will conduct a regular census in order to establish the whereabouts and condition of all overdue public archives. Overdue reminder notices will not be issued.

10.3  Overdue loaned public archives will incur fines immediately after the due date and these will continue to accrue until the archive is returned or the loan extended. Invoices will be sent monthly and may include more than one fine.

11. Overdues

11.1 A Government Loan will be deemed to be overdue if:

  • The loaned public archive has not been returned at the end of the loan period and an extension has not been arranged.

  • A request to inspect the condition of a loaned public archive has not been responded to within five working days.

11.2 Overdue fees are charged per public archive.

11.3 A Government Loans Client (and the public office for which they work) in repeated or significant breach of loan conditions outlined in 11.1 may have loan privileges reduced or will be suspended from the Government Loans Service pending a meeting with the responsible staff at the public office.

12. Care and Handling

12.1 A Government Loans Client is responsible for “the safe custody and preservation of the public archive during the time that it is in the possession of the public office” (s24(b) Public Records Act 2005).

12.2 A Government Loans Client must follow any directions given by Archives New Zealand staff as to the care and handling of loaned public archives, including:

  • Having systems in place to record the whereabouts of a public archive at all times while it is on loan and having systems in place to ensure archives on loan are returned within the agreed loan period.

  • Adding nothing to, taking nothing from and writing nothing on an archive.

  • Using acid-free paper to mark references, not adhesive markers.

  • Copying from bound volumes using a camera (without flash), not a photocopier.

  • When copying from public archives that are files documents/pages must be imaged individually and not put through a document feeder.

  • Care must be taken to maintain copied public archives in the original order.

  • Keeping a public archive in the supplied protective folder when not in use.

  • Ensuring the Archives New Zealand loan cover sheet remains with the public archive at all times.

  • Returning a public archive to Archives New Zealand in the same condition as when it was loaned and in the container in which it was received or equivalent.

  • Securing the container in such a way that it cannot come apart during transit. Cable ties or security tags may be supplied by Archives New Zealand to secure courier bags. It is recommended that boxes should be securely taped for transit.

12.3 The Government Loans Client is liable for the full costs involved in repairing and restoring a public archive that has been damaged while on loan or in transit.

12.4 A Government Loans Client that does not comply with these conditions may have their access to the service reduced or suspended and may also be in breach of section 61 of the Public Records Act 2005.

13. Breaches of Loan Conditions

13.1  A Government Loans Client that breaches loan conditions and/or the Public Records Act 2005 will have access to the service reduced or suspended.

13.2  Breaches of loan conditions include:

  • Failure to return an archive by the agreed loan period.

  • Loss of an archive. This is a serious offence under the Public Records Act 2005.

  • Alteration of an archive. This is a serious offence under the Public Records Act 2005.

  • Damage to an archive. This will lead to cost recovery for repairs. Serious damage may constitute an offence under the Public Records Act 2005.

  • Non-compliance with requests for inspection. This is an offence under the Public Records Act 2005.

  • On-loaning archives to another public office.

  • Non-payment of charges.

13.3 Archives New Zealand will notify a Government Loans Client if its access has been reduced or suspended and for what reasons. They will consult with the public office staff affected on the conditions of the suspension and seek agreement to a plan of action concerning future service and monitoring of loans.

13.4 The Director of Holdings and Discovery, and/or Regional Archivists, will be informed of the situation.

13.5  If there is serious concern over the safety of loaned public archives, the Chief Archivist will be informed of the situation and any action will be based on his/her recommendations. The Government Loans Client will be informed of these recommendations at a meeting with the responsible staff at the public office.

13.6  When loan access is suspended, Reading Room access will remain available.

14. Contact details

National Office, Wellington

10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011

PO Box 12-050, Wellington

Phone: (64-4) 894 6063

Email: government.loans@dia.govt.nz

Auckland Regional Office

95 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere, Manukau 2022

PO Box 201103, Auckland Airport, Manukau 2150

Ph: (64- 9) 270 1100

Fax: (64- 9) 276 4472

Email: auckland.archives@dia.govt.nz

Christchurch Regional Office

15 Harvard Avenue, Christchurch 8042

PO Box 642, Christchurch 8140

Phone: (64-3) 377 0760

E-mail: christchurch.archives@dia.govt.nz

Dunedin Regional Office

556 George Street, Dunedin 9016

PO Box 6183, Dunedin North, Dunedin

Phone: (64-3) 477 0404

E-mail: dunedin.archives@dia.govt.nz