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Botched Treaty move more evidence of Govt failure

Grant ROBERTSON

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson

20 December 2013           MEDIA STATEMENT

Botched Treaty move more evidence of Govt failure

The shelving of a project to move the original Treaty of Waitangi to the National Library is further evidence National's merger of Archives New Zealand into the Department of Internal Affairs has been a complete failure, Labour’s Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Following on from last week's revelations the Government Digital Archive Programme was facing a massive cost blowout, DIA has now had to put the ill-fated project to move the Treaty on hold.

“The move was due to be completed in 2013 and had already been delayed until April 2014; now whether it even happen is in doubt.

“The so-called ‘Active Archives’ project was ill-conceived from the start. Ministers were advised in 2012 that upgrading the existing purpose built Treaty room at Archives NZ would cost $1.9 million, but instead opted for a $6.7 million move to the National Library a few hundred metres down the road.

“Eighteen months later they have had to admit the project is a mess, and have put it on hold pending a review. I have been told the project has been dysfunctional for some time, riddled with internal conflicts and consultation with Maori has been inadequate.

“DIA have also now confirmed the Government Digital Archive Programme has been canned after $7 million has been spent, but the promised government-wide digital archive system is nowhere to be seen.

“These two botched projects represent a massive waste of resources. Chris Tremain needs to front up to the public and say how much money has already been spent for no return. Officials told a Parliamentary Select Committee last week the Minister had been briefed throughout the failed digital archive programme.

“No doubt it is the same with the Treaty move. This is hopeless oversight from Chris Tremain and he needs to be held to account for it,” Grant Robertson says.

ENDS

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