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

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news