1. Introduction

1.1 Mandate

This instruction is issued under section 40(2) of the Public Records Act 2005 (PRA).

Protected records are local authority records declared under section 40(2) of the PRA to be protected records.

Local authority archives are local authority records that are no longer in current use by the controlling local authority or have been in existence for 25 years or more. They include protected records and other local authority records the controlling local authority has determined are worth permanent preservation.

Under section 40(2)of the PRA a local authority must provide for the adequate protection and preservation of a protected record it holds, in accordance with any applicable standards or instructions issued by the Chief Archivist.

1.2 Background

On 1 July 2Ol4 the Storage Standard and other mandatory standards issued under the PRA were revoked and replaced with the Records Management Standard for the New Zealand Public Sector. The Records Management Standard did not apply to archives managed in approved repositories. It was a records management standard rather than an archival management standard. The instruction issued in July 2014 therefore provides for the continuation of the control regime set out in the Storage Standard beyond the life of that standard.

On 1 July 2016, the Records Management Standard for the New Zealand Public Sector 2014 was revoked and replaced with the Information and records management standard . This standard applies to public offices and local authorities. This instruction still applies.

1.3 Scope

This instruction applies to all local authorities defined in section 4 of the PRA.

This instruction applies to all local authority archives. Specifically it applies to non digital records noted in the List of Protected Records for local Authorities.

This instruction does not apply to physical protected records which are still in active use. Local authorities must manage those records in accordance with the requirements set out in the information and records management standard.

2. Requirements

We instruct local authorities to maintain physical protected records that are also local authority archives (referred to below as ‘archives’) in accordance with the following requirements:

2.1 Identification and Control

  • Archives must be identified and registered in a system which controls them and allows efficient retrieval

  • Archives must be arranged in an orderly manner, and be well managed so that order is maintained.

  • Procedures must be in place for retrieving, handling and reshelving archives.

  • Inactive records of archival value must be identified so that they can be stored appropriately.

2.2 Facilities

  • Archives must be stored in a dedicated storage area.

  • Storage areas must allow ongoing access to archives by authorised users.

  • Archives must be stored in locations which reflect the characteristics of their format and their retention period.

  • The building in which archives are stored must comply with the New Zealand Building Code that applied at the time of construction and associated codes and standards, and be appropriate for use in storing archives.

  • The building in which archives are stored must have adequate drainage systems to prevent flooding.

  • Dedicated storage areas for archives must be insulated from the climate outside.

  • Dedicated storage areas for archives must be protected against internal hazards e.g. vermin or fire caused by an electrical fault.

  • A building maintenance programme must be in place.

2.3 Protection against Disaster

  • Archives are located as far as possible from natural and man-made hazards.

  • A disaster management plan and procedures must be in place, kept current, and known to staff.

  • Staff responsible for archives must be trained in emergency procedures to protect and salvage the records.

  • There must be a comprehensive fire protection system and equipment for the building, in compliance with the New Zealand Building Code that applied at the time of construction.

2.4 Security

  • Archives which contain sensitive or classified information must be identified and protected.

  • Access to archives storage areas must be controlled and restricted to authorised staff.

  • Dedicated storage areas for archives must be intruder resistant and have an intruder alarm system.

2.5 Shelving and Packaging

  • Archives must be stored using shelving or equipment appropriate to the format and size of the items.

  • The minimum height for the lowest shelf must be 150mm off the floor.

  • Archives must be packaged in containers which are clean, in good condition and appropriate to the format of the archives.

2.6 Environmental Control

  • Archives must be stored away from sunlight and artificial light.

  • Magnetic media must be stored away from magnetic fields.

  • Dedicated storage areas for archives must be kept clean and free of insects, with no food or drink permitted.

  • Archives must be stored in conditions where the relative humidity is never above 60% RH or below 30% RH.

  • Archives must be stored in conditions where the temperature is never above 25 degrees Celsius.

  • Archives must be stored in conditions where relative humidity does not fluctuate by more than +5% RH in a 24 hr period, and seasonal variations are not more than +10% RH over a year.

  • Archives must be stored in conditions where temperature does not fluctuate by more than +2 degrees Celsius in a 24 hr period, and seasonal variations are not more than +5 degrees Celsius over a year.

  • Environmental conditions for archives must be regularly monitored, and records of monitoring must be kept.