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Information and Records Management

The Public Records Act 2005 establishes a regulatory framework for information and records management across the public sector.

The Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs through Archives New Zealand and the Chief Archivist is responsible for the related Information and Records Management Standard. Archives New Zealand issues standards, and other guidance for organisations on how to meet their information and records management obligations. Access to this information is available from the Archives New Zealand records toolkit website.

The Public Records Act 2005 Section 3 sets out the purpose of the Act; relevant regulatory provisions from this section are included below.

Section 3 – Purposes of Act

(b) to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public records and certain local authority archives; and
(c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by –

(i) ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and
(ii) providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

(d) to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and
(e) to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be.

Public offices and local authorities are covered by the Act

Public offices and local authorities, as defined in Section 4 (Interpretation) of the Act, are covered. Public offices are the agencies and instruments of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of central government. They include government departments, Crown entities, Crown research institutes, state enterprises, district health boards, tertiary institutions, and state and integrated schools. The definition of public office is broad and organisations can check with Archives New Zealand to clarify their status. Local authorities include all regional councils and territorial authorities, council-controlled organisations, local government organisations, and council-controlled trading organisations.


Page last updated: 31/01/2018