Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Underpinning democracy: the future of Archives NZ


PRESS RELEASE
8 March 2010


Underpinning democracy: the future of Archives New Zealand


News has now broken that the Government is planning to merge Archives New Zealand and the National Library into the Department of Internal Affairs. For a change with such significant potential impact, it is a huge concern that details are still not available, even though an announcement is apparently imminent.

Apart from a concern about the lack of consultation with stakeholders – all New Zealand citizens - The Archives and Records Association of New Zealand is concerned about this proposal for two reasons. One of the key roles of our national archives is to ensure the accountability of government by ensuring that it creates, maintains and makes accessible reliable records of its activities and decision-making. If the statutory independence of the Chief Archivist is removed, or if he/she reports to a chief executive of another department, this ability is compromised, as has occurred overseas. Even if statutory independence is retained in legislation, what happens in the hypothetical scenario where the Chief Archivist has concerns about the Department of Internal Affairs’ own record keeping (or destruction)? As a ‘manager’ reporting to the chief executive, the ability to take action in such a situation is likely to be severely compromised.

If such a key plank in assuring government accountability to the people of New Zealand were to be removed for small cost savings, this would constitute a significant action against our democracy. And let’s not think that our right to access records of government activity are inviolate because we live in New Zealand. In democracies we like to think similar to ours, citizens have been denied access to records, as the Heiner Affair in Australia showed not too many years ago (destruction of evidence) and Bush Adminstration actions have shown more recently .

en
ds

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news