- Hope Gibbons Building fire in central Wellington. Loss and severe damage to early records of public works, lands and survey, labour and employment, agriculture and marine departments.
- Archives Act: Creation of National Archives.
- National Archives was positioned by the legislation within the Department of Internal Affairs.
- Secretary of Internal Affairs exercised the powers of the Chief Archivist until 1962.
- Records centre opened in Lower Hutt and Auckland.
- National Archives moved to Borthwick House, 85 The Terrace, Wellington.
- First archivist position created at the Hocken Library; Stuart R. Strachan appointed.
- New Zealand Library Association (NZLA) Archives Committee was revived and began publication of Archifacts, the first NZ publication wholly devoted to the subject of archives and manuscripts.
- First archives training seminar; sponsored by National Archives, Alexander Turnbull Library and NZLA Archives Committee.
- Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) founded. Its aim was to improve the level of resources and members were devoted to the care and accessibility of archives.
- Local Government Act amended to include Chief Archivist authority over Protected Records.
- National Archives moved to Air NZ Building, Vivian St, Wellington – 18 staff.
- First publication of the National Register of Archives and Manuscripts in NZ (NRAM); a joint undertaking by Alexander Turnbull Library and National Archives.
- Treaty of Waitangi removed from display in the Alexander Turnbull Library and returned to custody of National Archives. After conservation work, Treaty sheets were stored in the vaults of the Reserve Bank for a number of years.
- Official Information Act passed, bringing ‘freedom of information’ to New Zealand. The Act established the principle that government information should be made available unless there were good reasons not to do so.
- National Archives, Auckland Regional Office opened. Mark Stevens, regional archivist.
- Public Records and Archives Bill, intended to supersede the Archives Act, introduced into the House of Representatives, and ‘killed’ the same evening by the dissolution of the House for a snap General Election.
- National Archives, Christchurch Regional Office opened, Chris Adam, regional archivist.
- Archives Amendment Act permitted National Archives to charge for records management services.
- Purchase of Government Printing Office building in Mulgrave Street to be the new home of National Archives of Wellington.
- Foundation of the New Zealand Society of Archivists. Mark Stevens, first president.
- Publication of New Zealand Archivist began.
- Display of Treaty of Waitangi opened to the public in the Constitution Room, at National Archives’ future home.
- National Archives officially opened at current location in Mulgrave St, Wellington.
- Repoman – first online records system.
- Cabinet minuted the preservation of free public access to National Archives.
- National Archives, Dunedin Regional Office opened in new purpose-built premises in George St, Peter Miller, regional archivist.
- Privacy Act passed.
- Women’s Suffrage Year – celebrating 100 years since suffrage petition. Director and Chief Archivist, Kathryn Patterson was awarded a Suffrage Medal. Women’s Suffrage petitions displayed at National Archives.
- National Archives, Auckland Regional Office moved to new purpose-built premises on Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Richmond.
- Proposed policy-provider split of Archives New Zealand. ARANZ led public outcry against the split and threatened court actions. A modified business model adopted by DIA resulted in the creation of the Statutory Regulatory Group of Standard Setting, Compliance.
- Restructuring of National Archives came into effect.
- National Archives established as a separate department. Name changed to Archives New Zealand.
- Public Records Act (2005) became legislation in New Zealand.
- Blessing of the new site for Archives New Zealand Auckland Regional Office, 95 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere.
- Online Community Archive established.
- Budget funding of $12.6 million earmarked for Government Digital Archive.
- On 1 February Archives New Zealand, the National Library of New Zealand and Internal Affairs integrate into one department.
1957-62: Secretary of Internal Affairs exercised Chief Archivist powers
1962: Michael Standish
1963-72: John Pascoe
1972-82: Judith S. Hornabrook
1982-91: Ray Grover
1991-98: Kathryn Patterson
1998-2000: Chris Hurley (Acting Chief Archivist)
2000-01: Lyn Provost (Acting Chief Archivist)
2001-09: Dianne Macaskill
2009-11: Greg Goulding (Acting Chief Archivist)
2011-14: Greg Goulding (Chief Archivist and General Manager Archives New Zealand)
2014-17: Marilyn Little (Chief Archivist and General Manager Archives New Zealand)
2017 – Present: Richard Foy (Acting Chief Archivist and General Manager Archives New Zealand)