Change in reading room services
We have reading rooms in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. These rooms are a quiet space with dedicated staff to assist you in finding and ordering archives.
Due to an increase in demand for online records, and a decrease in demand for physical records from March 2020, our reading room hours are changing.
What changes are being made?
All our reading rooms in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin will be open from 9am – 1pm, Monday to Friday from Monday 2 March 2020.
This is a reduction in hours for Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. Christchurch will be open for an additional half hour.
In Wellington we are also halving our retrieval time from 1 hour to 30 minutes to make your time in the reading room more efficient. This brings Wellington inline with the Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin retrieval times.
Why are you changing reading room hours?
Over the last 10 years we have seen a steady decrease in the number of people visiting our reading rooms. This correlates with an increase in the number of customers we are serving online.
Our vision to be a vibrant, trusted, national archive is rooted in our ability to provide a modern service that meets our customer’s needs.
Reducing the hours allows us to put our energy into digitising records and making them available online. This provides better access and increases discoverability of our records for a greater number of users.
This has been a difficult decision to make but will have long-term benefits for all New Zealanders. To learn more about our direction for the future of Archives take a look at our 2057 strategy .
Why have you chosen to only open in the morning?
We looked at many options including only opening for a few full days each week. However, it was agreed that opening each day was the best option for all our users.
Will I be able to request more than 5 items to view in the reading room at the same time?
The order limit will remain at 5 items per reader, but all records requested will be delivered to the reading room within 30 minutes. This halves the wait time in our Wellington reading room.
The limit on the number of probates that can be viewed at one time will stay the same. This is to reduce the opportunity for these to become mixed up. Probates contain the same types of information and often it is difficult to tell the difference between one person’s probate and the next.
- Is there a charge to use the reading rooms?
Do I need to make an appointment to view archives?
No, you can visit us anytime during our opening hours. But if you plan to view many records or if you know that you will need a lot help from our staff please let us know before your visit so we can make sure we can give you the best help possible.
Can I take the archives away with me?
No. Removing archives from the reading rooms is a criminal offence.
Any records you order and view in the reading room must not leave the reading rooms. Records are returned to the issues desk after you have finished with them.
- Can I still request copies of archives over email?