Attention all keepers of records, archivists and information managers:  the National Archival and Library Institutions Ministerial Group (the NALI Ministerial Group) has been formed… will it be gnarly or gneat?!


You may have seen Andy Fenton start a discussion on the NZ Records Listserv on 13 June identifying:

“a new programme of work underway to strengthen the contribution our national archives and libraries can make to New Zealand’s culture and democracy”

…as stated by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin and the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson.


Here’s that Press Release for your record:


Here’s some highlights that caught our eye in that announcement and heard on the news:

Our guiding objectives are to ensure:

  • these institutions support an accountable, open and transparent democracy
  • records documenting New Zealand’s history and culture are collected and preserved as taonga for current and future generations, and are as accessible as possible for all New Zealanders, and
  • the memory of the New Zealand government is managed and preserved for future generations.

“While these three national archival and library institutions have distinct roles they have much in common, …” (an interesting read)



Maintaining the independence of the Chief Archivist in New Zealand’s constitutional framework would be a key consideration of this work.

Tracey Martin said:

“We will specifically consider options to ensure the Chief Archivist has sufficient independence to be an effective regulator of the public sector. This is important work and we will be talking with stakeholders with an interest in our national archival and library institutions to inform this process.”

Other Ministers involved plus:

The terms of reference (ToR) for the work programme will be available soon on the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage website and the Department of Internal Affairs website.


There was a follow-up post on the same Listserv on the 25th of June:

“… the full terms of reference are now available and as such it appears particularly relevant to us as Information Management professionals so I would encourage our awareness, as well as discussion and debate on what it might mean…“


We couldn’t agree more; here’s the the URL to the ToR:


Other NZR Listserv contributors mused over the review of the Chief Archivist role and inferring it might bring them in-line with other compliance areas.  For example they found particular interest (for our sector) in the point made above; whether the Chief Archivist has sufficient independence to be an effective regulator of the public sector… also the implications and impacts including costs of separating the Chief Archivist’s regulatory role from the management of the collections held by Archives NZ….. including the transfer of investigations from the Ombudsman, Privacy Commissioner, and perhaps others, and authorising “own motion” investigations into PRA compliance – an “own motion” investigation is one initiated by the officer of Parliament rather than in response to a complaint.


Heady stuff!  Of interest to us is the engagement proposed in the ToR (Point 28):

“Information management, archival, library, Māori heritage, education and associated research sectors will ensure decisions are well-informed and that these sectors feel their voices have been heard


In Point 25 they identify the Government Depts that will contribute support to the ‘NALI’work plan, which includes:

  1. Department of Internal Affairs,
  2. Ministry for Culture and Heritage,
  3. State Services Commission, and
  4. Te Puni Kōkiri

With that compilation it’s no wonder the gossip on the Wellington streets is whether the outcome of this review might also be that ANZ/NLNZ/NTSV form a new Ministry … or move to another?   How’s that for a gnarly question!?


Tell us are your thoughts by emailing us or getting in touch with us by social media below!

Attention all keepers of records, archivists and information managers

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