Public Records Act 2005

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Department of Internal Affairs

Version as at 1 September 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Public Records Act 2005

Public Act
2005 No 40
Date of assent
20 April 2005
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


3Purposes of Act
5Variations to application of Act
6Exclusions from application of Act
7Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi)
8Act binds the Crown
9Continuation of Archives New Zealand
10Chief Archivist
11Functions and duties of Chief Archivist
12Chief Archivist to act independently
13Delegations by Chief Archivist
14Archives Council established
15Function of Archives Council
16Administrative matters
17Requirement to create and maintain records
18Authority required to dispose of public records and protected records
20Authority to dispose of public records
21Mandatory transfer of public records
22Deferred transfer of public records
23Transfer of public records
24Temporary return of public archives to controlling public office
25Discharge of public records
26Approval of repositories
28Application and content of standards
29Inspection powers
31Direction to report to Chief Archivist
32Annual report on recordkeeping
33Independent audits of public offices
34Audit of recordkeeping practices of Chief Archivist
35Audit reports
36Inspection of estray records
37Other requirements for estray records
38Prescribed records
39Acquisition of prescribed records
40Protected records of local authorities
41Transitional provision
42Chief Archivist may accept parliamentary records, Ministers’ papers, and private and other records
43Requirement to classify access status
44Basis for determining access status
45Requirement to classify access status of local authority records
46Basis for determining access status of local authority records
47Public inspection of open access records
48Publication or copying of public archives
49Prohibition on public access or copying
50Period for which restricted access may apply
51Appeal to Minister by public office or by local authority
52Commencement of appeal
53Effect of appeal
54Process of appeal
55Recommendation of Archives Council
56Decision of Minister
57Application of Copyright Act 1994
58Application of Official Information Act 1982
59Charges for services
60Protection of names
65Transitional provisions
67Amendments to enactments