ARANZ recognises exceptional achievement and service to the association and contributions to the profession, via the awarding of an annual prize for an outstanding essay, and an outstanding piece of published writing that utilises archives and records.

The Michael Standish Prize

The Michael Standish Prize honours the first permanent Chief Archivist of the National Archives, and architect of the 1957 Archives Act. He can be considered the father figure of the modern Archives New Zealand. It is awarded biennially.

This prize recognises an outstanding essay, by an ARANZ member who is a New Zealand archivist or records manager, dealing with some facet of archives or records administration, history, theory and, or methodology and published in Archifacts or another recognised archives, records management, or other appropriate journal or form within New Zealand or internationally.

ARANZ Council is delighted to advise that the prize has been increased to $500. Essays published from December 2019 to December 2021 are eligible for entry. Please send your nominations for the Michael Standish Prize to:


Year Awarded Recipient Essay Title
2001 Janine Delaney "Redefining the Role for Collecting Archives in an Electronic Paradigm"
2003 Chris Hurley "Recordkeeping, Document Destruction,and the Law" (published in Archives & Manuscripts, Nov, 2002).
2005 Adam Stapleton Continuum in Context: Post-Eighteenth Century Archival Theory and the Records Continuum Model(published in Archifacts April 2005)
2006 David Colquhoun "The pioneers are steadily passing to the great beyond" : early collecting and the National Historical Collection"(published in Archifacts October 2005.)
2009 Virginia Gow "One prison cell per government department"? An overview of the post-modern approach to archival theory. (published in Archifacts, 2008)
2011 Kay Sanderson "Personal archives and chaotic conceptions" (published in Archifacts, October 2010)
2013 Dr Susan Skudder "Appraising Land Information New Zealand's legacy paper records", Archifacts, April 2011
2015 Ken Scadden "The Marists and Māori - Records of a 175 Year Relationship", Archifacts, October 2013
2016 Jared Davidson "The Colonial Continnuum: Archives, Access, and Power", Archifacts, April 2015 [special ARANZ40 award]
2018 Belinda Battley "Rights in records for children in out-of-home care”, Archifacts, April -October 2017
2020 Elizabeth Charlton "Reappraisal and deaccessioning: Applying a ‘Dangerous Practices’ in New Zealand", Reappraisal and Deaccessioning in Archives and Special Collections, 2019

The Ian Wards Prize

The Ian Wards Prize honours the contribution to New Zealand scholarship of Ian McLean Wards, Chief Government Historian between 1968 and 1983, and, through his actions and unceasing advocacy over a period of more than 50 years, one of the principal architects of New Zealand’s modern archives system.

This annual prize recognises a published work which makes substantial, imaginative and exemplary use of New Zealand archives and records. The publication must appropriately and fully reference the archives and records used.

Works published in New Zealand in 2021, which meet the above criteria, are eligible for entry. ARANZ Council is delighted to advise that the prize has been increased to $500. Please send your nominations for the Ian Wards Prize to:


Year Awarded Recipient Publication Title
2001 Bary Gustafson His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon
2002 Jim McAloon No Idle Rich: the wealthy in Canterbury
& Otago, 1840-1914
2003 Philip Temple A Sort of Conscience
2004 Malcolm McKinnon Treasury: The New Zealand Treasury, 1840-2000
2005 Greg Ryan The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914
2006 Melanie Nolan Kin : a collective biography of a working-class New Zealand
2009 Jock Phillips & T.J. Hearn Settlers: New Zealand immigrants from England, Oreland and Scotland, 1800-1945
2010 Adrian Humphris & Geoff Mew Ring around the city: Wellington’s new suburbs, 1900-1930
2011 A.R.H. Jones Doing well and doing good: Ross & Glendining, Scottish enterprise in New Zealand
2012 - Joint Award Robert Peden Making Sheep Country: Mt Peel Station and the Making of the Tussock Lands (AUP)
  Charlotte Macdonald Strong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada (BWB)
2013 Alison Clarke Born to a Changing World: Childbirth in Nineteenth Century New Zealand (BWB)
2014 Peter Holland Home in the Howling Wilderness: Settlers and the Environment in Southern New Zealand (Otago UP)
2015 Tom Brooking Richard Seddon: King of God's Own: the Life and times of New Zealand's Longest Serving Prime Minister (Penguin)
2016 Donald Kerr Hocken: Prince of Collectors (OtagoUP)
2017 Jessie Munro

Voices of belonging : a history of Clevedon-TeWairoa (Steele Roberts Aotearoa)

2018 - Joint Award Shaunnagh Dorset

Juridical Encounters: Maori and the Colonial Courts 1840-1852 (AUP)

  Jane McCabe Race, Tea and Colonial Settlement: Imperial Families, Interrupted (Bloomsbury)
2019 Roger Blackley

Galleries of Maoriland: Artists, Collectors and the Māori (World Auckland University Press)

2020 Sarah Gaitanos

Shirley Smith: an Examined Life (Victoria University Press, Wellington)

2021 Vivien Edwards

A Path Through The Trees: Mary Sutherland - Forester, Botanist and Women's Advocate (Writes Hill Press, Wellington)