Under the Public Records Act 2005, the Chief Archivist must keep certain public registers. These registers are kept to ensure the public know which decisions are made about public records.

The following public registers are maintained by Archives New Zealand and are available on Archway:

The following registers are maintained by Archives New Zealand but are not yet available on Archway:


Access Register

This register contains information on restrictions on public access to public records.

This gives information on any restrictions on access to public archives and to public records over 25 years old. It identifies restricted records and gives any specific conditions on access.

The Access Register contains information on restrictions placed on public access to public archives, local authority protected records in the control of the Chief Archivist and public records that are 25 years or older. The register outlines the reasons for and conditions of those restrictions.

An access authority (AA) is a legal instrument that authorises the classification of access to public records when they are transferred to the control of the Chief Archivist or when they are 25 years or older but remain in the control of the public office. Records must be classified as open or restricted. Open records can be viewed by the public as a matter of right, requests to view restricted records must first be vetted by the controlling public office. The access classification decisions are made by the administrative head of the public office in consultation with Archives New Zealand.

Discharge Register

This register contains information on all discharged public records and the conditions of discharge.

The Chief Archivist may allow for the cancellation of the public record status of public records. These then become the property of the person or organisation who applied for this. This Register lists all the classes of records that can be discharged and any conditions that must be met for this.

The Discharge Register contains information on public records that the Chief Archivist has considered suitable to be given to individuals or private organisations. Discharged records no longer have the status of public records and are no longer subject to the PRA.

Register of Prescribed Records

This register contains information identifying records that the Minister has declared to be prescribed by notice in the Gazette.

On advice from the Chief Archivist the Minister for Archives New Zealand may prescribe certain records. This applies to records that aren’t public records, public archives, or protected records but where their continued preservation and access by the public is warranted. This register lists all the records that have been prescribed by the Minister.

Prescribed records could be public records, archives or protected records currently in private hands that the Chief Archivist has indicated an interest in. The Chief Archivist may identify these records to recommend their preservation or to obtain public access to the record by the public.

For more information on this register please contact Archives New Zealand at:

Deferred Transfer Register

This register contains information on those public archives that are 25 years or older that the Chief Archivist has agreed can remain in the care of the controlling public office.

When an agency wants to keep public archives over 25 years old the Chief Archivist may agree to allow their transfer to Archives New Zealand to be deferred. The Register lists all classes of records that are deferred and any conditions placed on this.

Enquiries about this register should be directed to the Disposal and Acquisition Team. Email contact is