This month sees the annual release of Archives New Zealand held Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) files which is a joint initiative between the two Departments.
Making the files available to the public is part of MFAT’s ongoing programme of reviewing and releasing classified material. This process is subject to international document release agreements, as MFAT files often contain foreign source information.
This year more than 1300 files have been made available including files created in overseas posts such as Singapore, Tokyo, New York, London, Brussels, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, Canberra, and Paris. The files are from 1920-1996 with a large number from the 1970s. Subjects include Law of the Sea, whaling, and women's rights; New Zealand's aid programmes in Asia and the Pacific; briefing papers pacific region meetings, including the 1984 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port Moresby; United Nations General Assembly and Security Council affairs; economic relations with Australia and Japan; refugees; and disarmament.
For more information check out the MFAT press release. The records can be seen at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office.