The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Good progress on getting World War I records digitised and on-line

14 January 2014

The acting Chief Archivist, John Roberts says people should be confident in the progress being made in making World War I records available on-line:

"The on-line plan was announced by the Minister in August 2013. No date for completion was stated, but we have been working towards having the information available by the anniversary of the start of the war.

"So far, 73,674 are on-line for public viewing. This is almost half (46%) of the total 160,740 records. A further 65,438 have been digitised, and are ready to go on-line. We are confident this will happen before the August anniversary of the beginning of World War I. 21,628 or 13% of the records are still to be digitised. These records are to be digitised and go on-line before the anniversary.

Per cent
Total records
On-line now
Digitised not yet on line
To be digitised

"This is a major undertaking which is already substantially successful. New Zealand World War I records are now much more easily available that they have ever been. We are keen to meet the symbolic target of having every New Zealand service record available to anyone, anywhere, any time by the anniversary. We continue to make good progress and are working hard to reach this informal target.

"As Chief Archivist, my principal concern is that this vast number of records are preserved safely in their original state as far as possible, digitised in a way which will make them permanently accessible, and made available to the public. The digitisation of the records will preserve them for future generations. The records are available to the public now, but not all are available free of charge online. When all are on line, access will be free for all records.

"It is good to see the importance of the records and the work to preserve them recognised. It is disappointing that there should be emphasis on speculation about a possible failure to meet an informal target date rather than on the very substantial success already achieved by hard work and innovation by the skilled and dedicated staff of Archives New Zealand".


Media contact:
Sandra Bennett | Information and Knowledge Services Account Manager | Communications | Department of Internal Affairs
Direct dial: 04 495 6024 | Mobile: 027 839 1606