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Access is restricted to many of the records listed in this Research Guide, because they deal with individuals and their personal lives. Some records are not listed on ARCHWAY for that reason, in these cases they are listed with an asterisk (*).

Permission to view registers and files may be gained from the appropriate institution.

To learn more about restricted records, go to the record ordering screen in Archway and click the ‘more detail’ link below each listing. This will tell you why a record is restricted, and who you need to contact to gain permission to access the record. Access can only be provided with the written permission from the agency responsible for the restriction.

A lot of these references link to the series, please then click on the ‘records’ tab and find the appropriate item from there.

The government was much less concerned with adult welfare than child welfare. Churches provided most 19th century charitable aid, but Hospital Boards, through Charitable Aid Boards, also assisted the destitute.

Governmental measures for adult welfare began in the late 19th century. There were fears that poverty would lead to criminal activity and a concern that children would not be brought up properly if their parent, often an abandoned wife, was destitute. Some older people also suffered from illness and destitution.

Charitable aid

Charitable Aid was administered by both Charitable Aid Boards and by Hospital Boards. Charitable Aid records are to be found in Hospital records through ARCHWAY searches. A few Benevolent Society records are listed.

Some 19th century cases are listed individually on ARCHWAY, mainly in the form of letters about the cases. The principal Charitable Aid records which might mention individuals are Minute Books, but many are not indexed. Further information on the charitable aid system is available in Charitable Aid and welfare records - Auckland. 

Destitute, aged and infirm

We have a few record books and files relating to Destitution and the Aged and Infirm.

A few cases are individually listed on Archway and can be found through surname searches – first names are not usually included.

Pensions and benefits

We hold very few pension and benefit records. Those we do have are far from complete and Access may be restricted.

Old Age Pension Registers & Minute/Letter Books 1898-c1920 may give some information about early beneficiaries. There are also some records of War and Widows Pensions and of various benefits, such as:  Invalids, Unemployment and Sickness, Orphans, War Veterans, Family Benefit/Allowance.

Published Lists:  Pensions − Civil Service

Nominal Rolls, giving details of Civil Service pensions paid, appeared in some 19th century AJHR (Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives). These can be found online. Details may include: name, date pension was granted, annual amount, position held and length of service.

  • 1866 D-3 (p74)  1882 B-23

  • 1873 I-11888 B-18

  • 1878 H-16 1896 H-26



Holdings about unemployment mostly relate to policy, administration and statistics.  Few are about people on relief or the unemployment benefit.