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Records created in makeshift systems and through altered workflows due to COVID-19 will still need to be properly managed in accordance with the Information and records management standard (16/S1) and current disposal authorities. It is imperative that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure that this information is identified, preserved and classified to support appropriate disposal in the future.

More information regarding the challenges faced by agencies during the pandemic can be found on our website at Information Management during COVID-19.

The Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) has also released a statement for local authorities.

Current disposal authorisation

Your organisation’s current disposal coverage will be provided for through the:

  • Disposal Authorities (DAs) issued for specific public offices

  • General Disposal Authorities (GDAs) which can be applied across government, or

  • disposal schedules that have been adopted by individual local authorities.

If an organisation has records that are not covered by one of these authorities or schedules, then those records must be retained.

The GDAs and their classes have an intentionally broad scope, which allows them to be applied to records created under a wide range of circumstances. The classes and disposal actions outlined in GDA 6 ‘Common Corporate Services Public Records’ (PDF 969KB) are particularly relevant to the information being gathered and the records being created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implementing disposal authorities

Records relating to COVID-19 may meet some or all of the conditions under your organisation’s current disposal authorisation. Information around the implementation of disposal authorities can be found on our website under the manage information category.

Contact us

Archives New Zealand is available to answer any questions you may have.

If you have any uncertainty regarding how your organisation should apply any disposal actions to the records being created within this new COVID-19 environment, our Disposal and Acquisition team are available to help you. Please do not hesitate to contact the team at