Message from ARANZ President about cancellation of the 2021 ARANZ Conference

Kia ora tātou,

I hope this message finds you well as we move through the first half of 2021. The continued focus on COVID and associated oscillation between levels in Aotearoa continues to affect all aspects of our lives, including the activities within our association. ARANZ Council deem it necessary to update members on the decision to cancel our 2021 ARANZ Conference. Members of the council have been both online and in-person to conduct regular discussions about the future of our association and arrangement for various activities. 

ARANZ 2021 conference 

After the postponement of the 2020 Conference in Dunedin, the primary question for ARANZ Council early this year was whether to go ahead or to cancel the event. There are a significant number of risks associated with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, closure of New Zealand’s borders and alternating levels within certain areas of New Zealand. Weighing up these risks, Council has come to the difficult decision to cancel the event for 2021. 

The Conference Committee in Dunedin has worked very hard with the Council and all stakeholders, including international speakers from the UK and Australia and the Governor-General of New Zealand, over the past few years. Council thanks the Committee for all of their hard work and is optimistic that another Conference can be arranged in coming years. 

Our Plan for 2021

Following this decision, ARANZ Council has decided that the following areas of our organisation should be focussed upon:

  • Support for the Archifacts team and the publication of issues in 2021. We encourage ARANZ members to contribute articles on current projects to the journal. 
  • The digitisation and uploading of back issues of ALERT and Archifacts to our webpage for members to access. This project is now well-progressed and we will provide an update when it is completed.
  • Continuing the conversation with Archives New Zealand and the Chief Archivist around the potential for a successor to the online Community Archives.
  • Undertake a membership drive to encourage individuals within, and related to, the archives and records sector to join. This was successful over a 3-month period and resulted in 21 new members joining the Association.
  • Continue to support our branches across New Zealand through online and in-person presentations and talks relevant to the archives and records sector.
  • ARANZ Council recognises the need to provide financial support to members in areas where there are no active branches. A one-off financial stimulus of $2000 is available to members who are not in an active branch area, to assist with activities and events which are in line with the aims of ARANZ. 

I am encouraged by the progress Council has made and look forward to continuing the positive momentum well into the new year.

Nāku noa, nā 

Eric Boamah

President - ARANZ