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10 December 2020

A new specialised storage facility in Levin will help to meet the growing needs of the National Library of New Zealand, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

The Department of Internal Affairs has purchased land for the new repository, which will provide more space for the growing holdings and collections of these three institutions.

“The purpose-built facility will provide the level of protection and care our documentary heritage needs. The development will also provide employment opportunities for the local construction workforce,” says the Department’s Deputy Chief Executive and Tāhuhu Programme Executive, Peter Murray.

The construction of the new repository is subject to further funding decisions; however, design work will commence immediately, and the building is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The new facility will hold low-use documentary heritage, including collection items that have been digitised and are accessible online, it also covers audio-visual material, government records, books, microfilm, films and much more.

The repository will provide specialised lighting, temperature and humidity control storage space, and security and protection from risks such as water damage, fire, earthquakes and pests.

“This documentary heritage and taonga are treasured possessions of the nation and represent a unique and authoritative source of our history,” says Peter Murray.

This storage facility is part of Tāhuhu: Preserving the Nation’s Memory – a larger programme of work that also includes a new Wellington Archives building which will be connected by an airbridge to the National Library to enable co-location and greater collaboration between the National Library, Archives and Ngā Taonga.

Notes for editors

The Tāhuhu: Preserving the Nation’s Memory (Tāhuhu) Programme grew out of a property review conducted by the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department). The review identified over 60% of Archives and National Library buildings in the North Island are not fit-for-purpose. Archives Wellington has been full since 2017 and the National Library will be close to capacity by 2030.

As the official guardians of New Zealand’s documentary heritage and record of government, Archives and the National Library hold irreplaceable taonga for the nation, valued in excess of $1.5 billion and growing.

The Department has obligations and statutory responsibilities under the Public Records Act 2005 and the National Library of New Zealand Act 2003 to ensure the effective stewardship of New Zealand’s record of government, documentary heritage and taonga.

Across the entire portfolio, these physical records total over 271,000 linear metres (271km) and are continually growing through transfers of public records from public sector organisations, donations to the Alexander Turnbull Library and purchases of New Zealand taonga.

In 2018 Ngā Taonga was included within the scope of the Tāhuhu Programme, as New Zealand’s audio-visual archive. Ngā Taonga’s central Wellington facility was no longer fit-for-purpose and the collection had outgrown their storage capacity. Ngā Taonga cares for New Zealand’s most extensive public audio-visual collection with over 980,000 items.