5 Feb 2017

NZ's most important documents make a move

From Standing Room Only, 12:12 pm on 5 February 2017

Archives New Zealand is preparing to farewell its most precious exhibits.

But the historic and fragile documents aren't going far, just a few metres down the road, and they will remain in Archives care.

The Declaration of Independence by the United Tribes of New Zealand, The Treaty of Waitangi, and the Women's Suffrage Petition move to their new home in May.

Lynn Freeman visits the Constitution Room – their home for the last 25 years – to find out more from Marilyn Little, Chief Archivist and General Manager or Archives New Zealand.

"It's a very, very attractive room, but it was built with security in mind. It's a very static exhibition, nothing changes. This is virtually identical to the way it looked when it opened in December 1991. One of the big differences with the permanent exhibition that will open across the road a the National Library is that it's interactive. There's an interactive space where people can engage with the history of the documents, they can engage with what fellow New Zealanders think about the documents, but then they can step into the document room itself, which is in the heart of the new space. Like this room here, it will be quiet, it will be dark and respectful" - Marilyn Little.