Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Archives, Library merger turning back the clock

Grant Robertson
Associate Arts, Culture and heritage spokesperson

9 March 2010 Media Statement
Archives, Library merger turning back the clock

Plans to merge Archives New Zealand and the National Library into the Department of Internal Affairs is a backward step putting at risk vital elements of our historical and democratic infrastructure, Grant Robertson, Labour Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson said today.

“The Government is trying to wind back the clock by putting Archives and the National Library under the control of Internal Affairs, after extensive work was done to separate them only a decade ago,” Grant Robertson said.

“The reasons for the separations were clear. For Archives the important role of ensuring transparency in the activities of government requires statutory independence.

“The Chief Archivist needs to be in the position to enforce the law that requires other government agencies to keep and deposit their records. That will be compromised with a re-merger into Internal Affairs.

“When the National Library was administered by Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Education it struggled to have a voice. The separation allowed protection for the iconic Alexander Turnbull Library, and a place for library users to have a role in its management. None of this can be guaranteed with a re-merger.

“We all want to ensure the public service operates as efficiently as possible and to share services where that makes sense. Also in some cases structural change will be appropriate. However this is not the case for Archives and the National Library because of the special place they have in protecting our history and culture.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Further, both are very efficient in how they go about their business, getting excellent audit reports over recent years.

“If the Government had bothered to consult the public who use Archives and the National Library they would find a high degree of satisfaction at the services that are being offered. They would also find little or no desire to turn back the clock to a time when both agencies were lost in a bigger bureaucracy.

“A merger into Internal Affairs is not appropriate for organisations that have very specific roles that are important to the transparency of our government and the protection of our history,” Grant Robertson said.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.