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Archives New Zealand

17 August 2000 Media Statement


Legislation establishing National Archives as an independent department was a powerful symbol of the Government's commitment to a new deal for a sector central to the nation's identity and memory, The Minister Responsible for National Artchives, Marian Hobbs, said today.

Introducing the Archives, Culture and Heritage Reform Bill in Parliament she announced the new department would be known as Archives New Zealand.

"Independent status for the national archives is vital to its constitutional roles," Marian Hobbs said. "It is one of the cornerstones of accountable democratic government, since a true and accurate record of Government activity underpins public accountability.

"Reliable and authentic evidence will be the foundation of e-commerce, just as it has been of commerce in a paper world. Business can only be conducted electronically if there is trust and certainty. As New Zealand moves into the era of e-government, it needs to be based on a sound footing of good recordkeeping practice."

She said the government intends overhauling the governing legislation for Archives New Zealand.

"We want to ensure it has the role, functions and powers and the ability to exercise those in support of government accountability, as appropriate for an information-based organisation in the twenty-first century," Marian Hobbs said.

The Archives Culture and Heritage Bill provides for the transfer of staff from the Department of Internal Affairs to Archives New Zealand, transfer of history and heritage functions from the DIA to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and responsibility for the Patriotic and Canteen Funds Act 1947 from the Minister of Internal Affairs to the Minister of Veterans' Affairs.

The Bill has been referred to the Government Administration committee.


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