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New Archive For Auckland Opens Tomorrow

14 September 2007

New Archive For Auckland Opens Tomorrow

A purpose-built repository for Archives New Zealand in Auckland will be officially opened by the Prime Minister the Rt Hon Helen Clark at 10.00am tomorrow, 15 September 2007.

Coming in close to the $15.6 million budget the new Archives New Zealand Auckland regional office, Te Rua Mahara o Poutūkeka, is located at 95 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere.

With a total storage area of 4500 square metres the new archive has been designed to accommodate government records for the next 50 years. The building itself has a design life of 50 years and provision has also been made for further expansion on the site.

Funding for the new Auckland repository was announced in the 2003 Budget and the land in Mangere was purchased in 2005. A contract for the building’s construction was signed with Mainzeal on 4 July 2006.

To kick start the project an environmental management plan was developed to ensure the sustainability of the building for the whole of its life.

An archival repository has specific temperature and humidity requirements for the protection of the materials held there. Special consideration was given to meeting these requirements while minimising energy and other resource use.

This has resulted in an efficient building with a low environmental impact and a pleasant environment for staff and clients. These features include ensuring all staff have an outside view from their desks and they work in a fully air-conditioned environment.

Staff have an outside courtyard and the visitors’ reading room has a floor to ceiling glass wall which provides an inside/outside environment.
Sustainable practice has also see the building orientated to maximise exposure to the sun for the public areas, sun shading has been incorporated on the north and west facing sides and the use of natural day light is also a feature.

The overall design of the building also recognises Māori elements of tapu and noa, areas and spaces are clearly defined and where appropriate separated. In addition, the mauri stone Poutūkeka, a gift to the archive from the Wellington national office, and the plant beneath it symbolises Archives’ enduring connection to both the land and the people of the area.

The concept of manaakitanga is also reflected in the lounge area which is provided for reading room users so they can take a break from their research.

Archives New Zealand Auckland office was previously located at 525 Mt Wellington Highway and while additional land was available at the rear of the building, the poor storage conditions and rising rentals made a new archive a necessity.

The new archive will be open to the public on Monday.

ENDS

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