No Disposals


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Arguments for Retaining
the National Library Collections

Sept 15 2021: Tony Beyer sums up the dangers to New Zealand if it cuts itself off from the rest of the world in this way. "Nationalist insularity, ignorance and introversion" are among them. Communion Arts Journal.

Sept 8 2021: Michael Pringle and Christine Dann on the National Library misleading both the Minister of Internal Affairs and the public.

Note: As of 2021, another digitising company is no longer making digitised works available on the internet if there is doubt about their copyright status. If Internet Archive follows suit, as they should, the justifications of the National Library for giving away our international research collections will be invalidated. Containers containing our books should not be allowed to leave the country.

Crucial articles

Publishers Association of New Zealand shock at the National Library's "deal" with internet pirates Internet Archive.

New Zealand Society of Authors on royalties and writers’ rights.

A first-hand view of a researcher into current and future access to our own book; if disposals go ahead, future access is going to be expensive, complicated and contrary to the spirit of research).

Prof. Dolores Janiewski. "New Zealand [is not] an inward-looking nation that needs protection from external knowledge." "Knowledge is not a virus but a life-enhancing source of information and imagination". A national library should hold "people's thoughts on war or peace, atom bombs .. or about government from the perspectives of 51 nations." Lest We Forget the Power of Knowledge Newroom 10 June 2020-ORC

Steve Braunias. A sensible, second hand book lover’s view.

Chris Bourke:

Christine Dann: and another well-informed rave (this time on Official Information Act):

Graham Reid (helping spread the word):

Brian Easton’s latest essay, on cracks in the public service:

Michael Pringle's Letter to the Editor of 12 August, 2021. (<< Some of the books that have [already] gone are by New Zealand authors, but all these books are relevant, because civil rights, the history of epidemics, science and geology, to name just a few, are areas of great importance to New Zealanders. Many hundreds of librarians are opposed to the disposals, but have been silenced. Most of the disposed books are not widely available; in fact, the collection was set up as a ‘‘last available copy’’ collection. >>)

Historical Documentation

Hansard 1999, the disposal of 32,000 books (Marian Hobbs and Nick Smith).

Hansard 2003, relief that the destruction of the National LIbrary book collections appeared to have come to an end (Sue Bradford).

How to Decimate Your Own Library by Jim Traue (2004)

National Library Ten Year DIGITAL Plan (2014)

Overboard 2: appraisal of disposals that have occurred since 1862 in New Zealand -- routine and wartime disposals, the saving of books from fire (1907) or their inadvertent loss to catastophe (1862). It ends with the inexplicable yet intentional disposals being carried out even as you read this.

A prepared form should appear if you click on the link below. Replies from the minister's office have so far failed to address the many questions people have asked, and the minister herself failed to respond to our invitation to explain why she is allowing these disposals. She, of the Labour Party of New Zealand, has the power to immediately stop these disposals now. If she does not stop them, this issue will not only return to haunt the Labour Party, it will cost the country upwards of $50 million to reconstruct a national library worthy of the name. And that is not to count the loss, of giving the 600,000 books away.

Your concern will be registered for posterity:


W. Direen