Meeting with Archives New Zealand

PHANZA President Michael Kelly joined senior ‘Treaty’ historians (both in and outside government) and Ministry for Culture and Heritage staff in a meeting with Archives New Zealand on 5 May, to discuss Archives’ much-criticised new search facility and its general accessibility for researchers. Archives NZ was represented by acting Chief Archivist Honiana Love, along with two of her staff.

Much of the meeting was taken up with historians explaining their particular – and understandable – frustrations with Archives’ new system (and comparing it unfavourably with Archway). Their complaints were listened to politely and responded to with promises that improvements would be coming, in the form, primarily, of regular upgrades to the search facility. Continued dialogue was also promised and we will report back on progress.

We are grateful to Barry Rigby, PHANZA member, long-standing Waitangi Tribunal senior historian and a member of the Treaty Research Officials’ Committee for his work in facilitating this meeting.

It is pleasing to note that since 11 May, researchers have been able to visit Archives’ reading rooms without having to make an appointment.