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Archives New Zealand has a critical Public Records Act 2005 regulatory role to ensure that public sector organisations understand their PRA requirements to create and maintain full, accurate and accessible records.

The State of Government Recordkeeping 2020/21 report highlights that Archives New Zealand is working to support government agencies to improve record keeping, by assessing technology and tools that information management professionals need to manage their records efficiently and meet legislative obligations. Archives NZ has a growing set of monitoring tools, but government record-keeping processes, policies, platforms and practice have not kept pace with technological advances. An appraisal and disposal system designed for the digital age is needed.

A key finding from the 2020/21 annual survey, and the first cohort of audits from the new audit programme, show that change continues to be slow. There has been little improvement, or even regression in categories such as information management staff and disposal, over the past decade.

A simplified process combined with a cultural shift and behavioural change around which documents are kept is also important. The Abuse in Care Inquiry, and the survivors’ stories and personal accounts, has underlined the criticality of Archives’ purpose within a well-functioning democracy. It cares for the records that hold government to account, and to uphold transparency, and where necessary the means of seeking redress.

Supporting the Royal Commission inquiry has highlighted the importance of the regulatory framework and mandatory requirements of all public offices.

Read the Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping 2020/21.