The Public Records Act 2005 (Act) came into force on 21 April 2005. It was enacted to support the effective management of records in the public sector; the recordkeeping practices of public offices and local authorities; as well as the long-term preservation of public archives.
The Act sets the framework for creating and managing information in government. It applies to physical and digital records including records held in business systems and email accounts. The purpose of the Act is to promote government accountability through reliable recordkeeping, enhance public confidence in the integrity of government records and protect New Zealand’s documentary heritage.
The Act covers the wider State sector and applies to all public offices and local authorities. Public Offices include all government departments, Crown entities, Crown research institutes, State enterprises, district health boards, tertiary institutions and State schools. Local Authorities include all regional councils and territorial authorities, council controlled organisations and trading organisations, and local government organisations, as defined by section 5(1) of the Local Government Act 2002.
Responsibilities of organisations covered by the Act are:
1. To create and maintain records
2. To dispose of public records only as authorised by the Chief Archivist or otherwise by law
3. To transfer archival records to Archives New Zealand