Records Toolkit

Archives New Zealand’s guidance on information and records management

Regulatory framework

Legislative overview

The key legislation for information and records management for the New Zealand public sector is the Public Records Act 2005 (the Act). The Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. The main purposes of the Act are to:

- enable government accountability through reliable recordkeeping

- enhance public confidence in the integrity of public and local authority records

- enhance the accessibility of records relevant to New Zealand’s historical and cultural heritage.

Key obligations - Public Records Act 2005 (16/F6). Word  (834 KB) PDF (121 KB)

When managing public sector information and records, it is important to be aware of the many other legislative and regulatory frameworks affecting information and records management in New Zealand. Examples of other relevant Acts are the: Electronic Transactions Act 2002; Evidence Act 2006; Local Government Act 2002, Official Information Act 1982; Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; and the Privacy Act 1993. These Acts and other relevant legislation are accessible on the New Zealand legislation website.

All-of-Government frameworks and strategies can also establish requirements for the management of information and records e.g. For particular organisations, sectors, or areas of activity there will be other influences. These could be legislative instruments or industry standards, codes and guidelines, which may also establish specific information and records management requirements for an organisation (or parts of it).

For some organisations it can be unclear whether the Act applies to their information and records. Archives New Zealand has developed a Policy for deciding public office and local authority status. This policy is used internally to guide the process for deciding whether an organisation is covered. If you would like to know more about the policy and criteria used, please email Below is a link to the current List of Public Offices.

List of Public Offices - March 2019  PDF (323 KB)

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