How do I order a record?

To order a record you must first be registered with us, to do this you will need to visit one of the Archives New Zealand offices and speak to a member of staff. Once you are registered and have been given your new reader card; you may order items to view in one of our Reading Rooms. The reference information provided about the record on Archway will enable you to place your order when you arrive at one of our offices.

We are currently piloting ordering from Archway for the Christchurch region, and will work through rolling this out to our other offices in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland by the end of September 2010. This means that you may now order Christchurch based records in Archway, so when you arrive at the Christchurch office, the records should be ready and waiting for you.

To place the order for a Christchurch record in Archway, simply enter your reader card number (if you do not have one of these you will need to speak to a member of staff), and then click the ‘order’ button. . Please note this is only for records that reside in the Christchurch office and they will need to be viewed in the Reading Room located in the Christchurch office.

We will keep you informed of progress and let you know when you will be able to start ordering records to view in other offices through Archway.

Can everything be ordered?

In general, the records at Archives New Zealand are open to everyone. However, some records have been restricted by the government agency that transferred them, for reasons of personal privacy or commercial sensitivity. You can apply for permission to view these records — see below for more information.

In some cases, records have been restricted by Archives New Zealand because they are too fragile to be handled. It may be possible to view these records in some circumstances — contact the office that holds the records to discuss this.

Where can I view the records?

While Archway will allow you to search across all of our holdings, the records themselves are distributed amongst the four offices of Archives New Zealand, at the bottom of the page with the ordering information for each record the location of the record is noted. Each office holds records from government agencies located within their region. You will need to go to the office that holds the records to view them. Records must be viewed in our reading rooms and cannot be transferred between offices for preservation and security reasons.

Can I order records in advance?

We offer a pre-order service for out-of-town researchers so the material will be ready for you when you arrive. You need to be registered with us (or supply us with the information necessary to register you), and we need to receive your order at least two full working days before your visit. If you are wishing to pre-order New Zealand Defence Force Personnel files, we require five working days notice due to the nature of this material. You can request items by sending us the full archives references for the material you want to view. There are limits on how many requests each office can handle in advance. If you have more than five items to pre-order, check with the office concerned.

How do I register?

To place an order, you need to register with us. Registration is a necessary security measure as much of the material in our care is irreplaceable. On your first visit we will ask you for your contact details and research interests, this will form the basis of your registration and we will provide you with a ‘Reader Card’. Identification will be required to confirm your registration, photo identification is preferrable. Once you have a ‘reader card’ you are able to place orders to view records.

What information do I need to order records?

If you will be ordering records from our Dunedin, Wellington or Auckland offices, we need the full ‘archives reference’ (our identification code for a record) to locate the records you order. You will find this information on the ‘ordering information’ tab when you view an item in Archway. You may like to print this page out and bring it with you when you visit.

If you will be ordering records from our Christchurch office, you will need to come into the office and register with us. When you register you will be given a new reader card and you will then be able to order records directly from Archway to view in the Reading Room. This new functionality is currently being piloted in the Christchurch office and will be implemented in our other offices later this year.

How do I order restricted records?

Restrictions are administered by the government agency that set them, or its successor. You will need to apply to that agency for access. In some instances, permission must be sought from the Chief Archivist. Contact details are provided on the ‘ordering information’ tab when you view an item in Archway.

The type of information you need to include with your request is:

  • Your name
  • A full description and archives reference of the records, and the office of Archives NZ where they are held (you can do this by printing the ‘ordering tab’ from Archway and attaching it to your letter)
  • The purpose for which you need the information and whether you want to copy it
  • Any intention to publish the information (and details of the publication)

Once you have been granted access, bring the original letter with you when you place your order for the records.

Need help with your research?

Archives New Zealand offers a remote reference service to assist researchers who are unable to visit (see our web site for more information about this service).

Contact details for each of our offices are provided on our web site - click here to view.