Home The Methodist Church of New Zealand

Archives Policy

The Methodist Church of New Zealand / Te Hahi Weteriana o Aotearoa operates a Church Archive. Governance responsibility for the Archive rests with the General Secretary in consultation with the Board of Administration. Operational management is the responsibility of the Archivist, who reports to the General Secretary.

The Archive will be operated (a) at one or more sites and (b) in cooperation with such other archives as may be determined by the Archivist and approved by the General Secretary from time to time.

All Archive policies will be consistent with the Church's Mission Statement and laws.

1. Archive objective

The purpose of the Church Archive is to acquire, preserve, and make available for consultation and research, records relating to the activities of the Methodist Church in New Zealand.

Records pertaining to Te Taha Maori have an essence and use which will be recognised by the Archive in its policies and practices.

2. The Archivist

The Archivist will have relevant qualifications and/or professional work experience.

The Archivist reports to the General Secretary and is responsible for maintaining, coordinating, and developing the Church Archive.

The Archivist will develop and administer policies and procedures in respect of Church materials deposited with external archives.

The Archivist will advise the Connexion on systems and processes to ensure that records of lasting value are obtained for the Archive.

Management of the Church Archive will comply with the International Council on Archives (ICA) Code of Ethics adopted by the ICA General Assembly, September 1996 and any amendments.

3. Acquisition

3.1 Archives

Records generated by those working for the Church in an official capacity are the property of the Church and must be deposited in an approved repository. In general the Archivist will seek to ensure that the Church owns material deposited in the Archive, and will in other cases make a record of ownership.

The Church Archive will acquire records created and used by the Church and its affiliates through internal transfer processes at the end of the records' active life.

The Archive will not normally acquire records relating to organisations or individuals that are not part of the Church or connected with it through significant relationships.

Records and materials are received from organisations and individuals on the understanding that if they fall outside the scope of the Archive, they may be returned to the donor or otherwise disposed of.

3.2 Artefacts

In exceptional circumstances the Church Archive may acquire artefacts of significant interest created or used by the Church. The Archive will not acquire artefacts unconnected with the Church.

4. Appraisal

Staff will appraise records according to accepted archival principles of provenance, evidential and informational value and in accordance with the Church's retention schedules and collection policy.

5. Arrangement and description

The Church Archive will be arranged and described in a way that conforms to the practices of professional archive centres.

The Archivist will maintain uniform systems for the arrangement and description of items, including the compilation and maintenance of finding aids and other resources to facilitate their use.

6. Preservation

The Church will provide and maintain the space, facilities, and resources needed to ensure the preservation of the Church Archive.

7. Access

7.1 Access to archives maintained by the Church

Access to the Church Archive will be administered in accordance with archival principles and legal requirements. As a matter of principle the Church and the public will have equal access to the Archive.

The Church Archive may charge an appropriate fee for access. Fees will be a fair and reasonable contribution to operational costs, and will be set at the discretion of the Archivist and with the approval of the General Secretary.

Access to the Church Archive will be made available for research under conditions which ensure the preservation of the Archive and are consistent with any restrictions placed on access to particular materials.

Where necessary, a written agreement between the Archivist and a depositor may restrict access to specific material. Archive staff will observe any such restrictions.

In special circumstances the Archivist may authorise the loan of materials for a defined period of time.

Access to materials in the Church Archive will be granted only after the user has signed an access agreement and agreed to abide by its terms.

The General Secretary will always have full access to the Church Archive.

7.2 Access to Methodist materials deposited with other archives

The Archivist will seek to build partnerships with other archives as appropriate, and will develop information systems and resources to enable users to have appropriate access to "the whole Church Archive".

As required, the Archivist will seek to negotiate suitable access arrangements with other archives that hold New Zealand Methodist material.

8. Obligations of Church Staff

Policy and procedures in respect of the Church Archive are to be observed by all Church staff and volunteers, and by all custodians of archives maintained by the Church.

9. Policy review

This policy will be reviewed by the Archivist in September each year.

Prepared by Judith Bright, Greg Morgan, Helen Laurenson, and Susan Thompson on behalf of the Archives Consultation Group (2004)

Authorised by Methodist Church of New Zealand Conference

Date 2004


List of approved repositories:

Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives Christchurch

Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives Auckland

Hocken Collections, University of Otago, Dunedin

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library, Wellington