Records Management Policy


All staff members of the University.


To ensure the University has a defined and consistent approach to making and maintaining full and accurate records of its transactions and official activities.


University records are a vital asset of the University and need to be managed efficiently for it to be able to conduct business, account for what has happened in the past and to make decisions about the future.Specifically records are required:

  • to provide evidence of actions and decisions
  • to support accountability and transparency to support decision making
  • to protect the interests of staff members, students and other stakeholders
  • to preserve the institutional memory of the University, and to comply with legal and regulatory obligations.

In addition, the University is required to meet its obligations under the Public Records Act 2005 and any associated mandatory standards issued under that Act.


1.  The University will create, maintain and dispose of its records consistent with its commitment to excellence in supporting its activities and in conformity with its legal requirements.

2.  All University records created by the University and as defined in this policy are the property of the University and not of the individual members of staff who created or received them.

3.  The University will ensure that a records management framework is in place.

4.  All staff members must comply with the University’s approved recordkeeping framework.

5.  The University will provide training and support to enable compliance.

6.  University records must be maintained so that they are accessible, complete, secure and authentic for as long as they are required to be kept.

7.  High value or high risk records of the University are to be stored in formats and repositories approved by the University and appropriate to the use, nature and purpose of the records.

8.  No university records may be disposed of except in accordance with the University’s approved Disposal Authority.

9.  This policy and the Disposal Authority apply to the master copy of the relevant record.

10.  Copies and duplicates of an original record do not need to be retained (and are to be disposed of in accordance with this policy).

11.  Appropriate secure storage must be sourced and maintained for the relevant retention period.
Note: The University does not have a central storage facility for paper or digital records held outside the University system of record.

12.  Records containing personal data are to be kept only for as long as specified in the retention schedule unless there is an authorised business reason for longer retention.

13.  Records in the care of University units that cease to exist will become the responsibility of the faculty/service division that takes over the activities previously undertaken by that unit.

14.  Where the activity is no longer delivered by the University, the records will be transferred into the care of the Records Manager and University Archivist.


15.  The Vice-Chancellor has the overall responsibility to ensure that the University makes and keeps full and accurate records of its activities, having regard for any relevant policy, standards and guidelines made by the Chief Archivist for making and keeping of public records.

16.  Through this policy the Vice-Chancellor delegates the following roles particular responsibilities to ensure each staff member maintains the appropriate records of their day-to-day activities and that the University’s records are managed in a manner not inconsistent with the Public Records Act 2005.

17.  Line managers are responsible for ensuring that staff who report to them create and keep records as an integral part of their work. In particular, they must ensure that:

  • Staff are advised of the record keeping protocols to be followed,
  • records are stored securely on the most appropriate medium for future accessibility,
  • records are only created where necessary,
  • records are periodically reviewed and appropriately destroyed when no longer required

18.  Business owners are responsible for:

  • ensuring the high value or high risk records created as part of the business processes they are responsible for are managed appropriately
  • advising the Records Manager of authorised extensions to the retention periods of records containing personal data and the lawful reasons for that extension.

19.  Deans and directors have responsibility to ensure that each faculty, large scale research institute, service division and all subsidiaries wholly or more than 50% owned by the University is to:

  • manage its records in accordance with University requirements
  • designate a records co-ordinator to be the primary liaison with the Records Management Service. In the case of faculties, this will be the Director of Faculty Operations or their delegate.
  • ensure, in accordance with the records management framework, that:
  • records in their areas are stored appropriately
  • filing schemes are maintained
  • records inventories are maintained
  • disposal of non-archival value records is authorised in accordance with the DA, and carried out in an appropriate, timely manner
  • records of a confidential nature are protected from unauthorised disclosure
  • records of permanent value are identified and appropriately managed in a manner which protects their integrity, completeness and accessibility
  • the University Archivist is advised of any University records held by the Faculty/Large Scale Research Institute/Service Division /Subsidiary which are more than 25 years old.

20.  The Records Manager and University Archivist is to:

  • provide policy advice and strategic guidance with regard to recordkeeping practices and systems
  • develop, publish and maintain record keeping procedures
  • maintain a record keeping intranet site and communicate with the University community on recordkeeping matters.
  • provide training and ongoing assistance
  • ensure awareness of legislative requirements
  • assist with development of record keeping systems
  • maintain a register of authorised extension to minimum retention periods for records containing personal information, and the lawful business reasons for those extensions.
  • undertake audits of recordkeeping processes and systems in operation at the University as required
  • have the authority to approve the disposal of University records which have met their legal retention requirements and for which the University no longer has any business or heritage use.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Appropriate storage refers to secure storage that protects the record against damage, for example, by pests, fire or water, or in the case of electronic records, technology obsolescence or degradation.

Chief Archivist is the General Manager of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga, and responsible for an integrated regulatory framework for the systematic creation, management, disposal and preservation of public sector information and records, including data, through the Public Records Act 2005.

Disposal refers to the transfer of control of a record or the sale, alteration, destruction or discharge of a record

Disposal Authority refers to the Disposal Authority for New Zealand University Records as approved by the Chief Archivist, including such extensions to the mandatory minimum periods as may be approved by the University of Auckland.

High value or high risk records are those which have enduring permanent value to the University or are critical to its ability to carry out its core functions.

Public record refers to a record created by a public office when carrying out its activities. The University is defined under the Public Records Act 2005 as a public office. A public record does not include a special collection or records created by the academic staff or students of a tertiary institution, unless the records have become part of that institution. For records created by staff members or students which become part of the public record, see University records, below.

Record refers to information created, received and maintained as evidence and information in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. (ISO15489). Records may be in any format – electronic, email, databases, paper-based, spreadsheets, letters, agreements, photographs, plans etc. The content and context is important, not the medium.

Records management framework refers to the policy, processes, disposal authority, resources and training put in place to ensure consistent and compliant records management for the benefit of the University.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis. This includes permanent, fixed-term or casual staff members, including contractors and includes staff members of any entities wholly or more than 50% owned by the University.

University records refers to public records created by the University when carrying out its activities. Academic research materials, personal teaching materials and materials created by students are not public records, unless specifically designated as such. Research materials, personal teaching materials and materials created by students should, where appropriate, be managed in accordance with the University’s Research Code of Conduct Policy, and Intellectual Property Created by Staff and Students Policy.

University means Waipapa Taumata Rau | the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries owned by more than 50% by the University of Auckland.

University system of record is the system that defines, maintains and stores the authoritative version of a specific subset of University data, which may be relied on by other University systems. When questions arise over the accuracy, meaning or interpretation of data elements or their values, the system of record is used to resolve discrepancies.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Registrar and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations) 
Content manager: Records Manager and University Archivist
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 27 September 2022
Review date: 27 September 2027