Archives

Contents

What is the Whanganui District Council Archives?​

The Whanganui District Council Archives comprises the historical records of the District Council and the local authorities which preceded it in the Whanganui District. Dating from the beginnings of local government in 1862 up to the present day, the archival records document the growth of the town and surrounding area.

They give evidence of the development of Whanganui’s infrastructure, its transport systems, water supply, sewerage systems, parks and buildings. Rating and valuation records provide lists of early residents and their properties. Harbour Board records show the ships that used the port in its heyday; survey plans show the roads that opened up the rural areas to settlers. Minute books record the decisions and actions of the various authorities and their interactions with the communities they served.

The archival records are generally no longer used for day-to-day business of the District Council, but are retained for their ongoing value. That value may be to the Council itself, or to the community. While most items are still paper-based (i.e. volumes, files, maps and plans, photographs), in future many archival records will be in other formats, especially in electronic media.

With a few minor exceptions, the Council Archives does not contain records from individuals, businesses or non Council organisations. The local repository for these is the Whanganui Regional Museum.

Published works about Whanganui (newspapers, books, magazines, brochures) are generally held by the Whanganui District Library.

Another useful site for archival records is The Community Archives, hosted by Archives New Zealand.

Most items in the Council Archives are unique; that is, there is no other copy in existence.​​

Who can use the Archives?

District Council staff and members of the public use the Council Archives. The records are public documents and so are available to any member of the public for research purposes.

Genealogists, historians, students, business people and anyone with an interest in the history of the region and its people may find useful information in the Council Archives.

There may be some access restrictions on items which contain personal or confidential information, or which are in a fragile condition.

What is in the Archives?

The collection contains records from the following organisations:

Brunswick Cemetery Trustees 1895-1938
Brunswick Hall Committee 1923-1979
Brunswick Weed Control Group 1975-1976
Castlecliff Domain Board 1918-1953
Castlecliff Linking Group 1999-2002
Castlecliff Town Board 1909-1924
Cooks Gardens Board of Control 1897-1903
Cooks Gardens Trust Board 1993-1998
David Peat Park Trustees 1911-1937
Gonville and Castlecliff Tramway Board 1911-1924
Gonville Domain Board 1913-1953
Gonville Town Board 1907-1924
Hospitality Wanganui 1968-1989
Hydatid Control Committee 1959-1965
Kai Iwi Town Hall Committee 1910-1937
Kaitoke Road Board 1892-1913
Kaukatea Road Board 1893-1914
Landguard Domain Board 1933-1953
Makirikiri Licensing Committee 1882-1892
Mangamahu Domain Board 1950-1968
Mangamahu Road Board 1909-1913
Mangawhero Road Board 1884-1917
Mataongaonga Road Board 1901-1909
Maxwell Hall Committee 1938-1964
Mowhanau Domain Board 1907-1920
Naturally Wanganui 1987-1989
New Zealand Counties Association (Ward 4) 1946-1989
New Zealand Institute of County Clerks 1967-1988
Nukumaru Domain Board 1895-1989
Otamatea Community Town Council 1959-1989
Purua Road Board 1893-1912
Putiki Community Council 1955-1989
Queens Park Domain Board 1883-1953
Rapanui Hall Committee 1939-1953
River City Contractors Ltd 1994-1998
Road Stone Quarries Ltd 1996-1998
Sinking Fund Commissioners (City Council) 1901-1963
Trustees of the Wanganui General Cemetery 1863-1915
Upper Wangaehu Road Board 1883-1918
Waitotara County Council 1884-1988
Waitotara, Patea, Waverley Hydatids Authority 1959-1988
Wangaehu Highway Board/District 1872-1886
Wanganui and Rangitikei General Road Board 1870-1871
Wanganui and Waitotara Highway District Board 1872-1884
Wanganui Beach Society 1963-2003
Wanganui Borough/City Council 1872-1989
Wanganui County Council 1876-1988
Wanganui County Council 1988-1989
Wanganui District Council 1989-2005
Wanganui District Council Holdings Ltd 2001-2002
Wanganui East/Eastbrook Borough Council 1907-1912
Wanganui Harbour Board 1876-1988
Wanganui Health Task Force 1995-1996
Wanganui Industrial Promotion Council 1961-1972
Wanganui Regional Planning Council 1946-1970
Wanganui Sister City Association 1988-1999
Wanganui Town Board 1862-1872
Westmere Public Hall Committee 1903-1958
Williams Domain Board 1923-1953

The kinds of records found in the WDC Archives include:
  • Minute books and other meeting papers
  • Correspondence files
  • Rate books and valuation rolls
  • Survey plans
  • Engineering plans
  • Town planning records
  • Permit and licence records
  • Electoral rolls
  • Photographs (including aerials)
  • Accounts records
  • Port statistics
  • Harbour soundings records
  • Employee records
  • Bylaws

Archives Services

  • Access – Contact us to arrange a time to come and do your research
  • Research – If you are unable to visit the Archives, staff can do your research for you
  • Reproduction of items – Generally this involves photocopying, which will depend on the fragility of the original and copyright rules
  • Outreach – The Archivist is available to give talks to community groups
  • Referrals – We may be able to direct you to other sources of information​

Archives Charges

  • Access to the records – free
  • Photocopying
    A4/Foolscap 50c per page
    A3 $1.00 per page
    Larger than A3 approx $5.00 per page
  • Photographic prints – Charges will vary according to size and type of print
  • Research by Archives staff:
    first half-hour free - subsequent time $60.00 per hour

Archives Central Project

What is the project?

The Archives Central Project combines the region’s city, district and regional councils’ archives into one central database and will relocate the archives of the Horizons Regional Council and Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu, Tararua, Horowhenua District Councils into a purpose built facility in Feilding - the Archives Central Repository.

When will this be available to search?

The Whanganui District Council and Palmerston North City Council archives are now available for searching in the online database and over the next 16 months the majority of the other five councils’ pre 1989 archives will be added. Once the building work is completed, currently estimated for mid 2012, the archives of the other five councils will be physically moved into the new Feilding office, where they will be available for viewing.

Links

Archives Central website
Archives Central website - Wanganui District Council page

Archive Enquir​ies​

​Archives Services

  • Access – Contact us to arrange a time to come and do your research
  • Research – If you are unable to visit the Archives, staff can do your research for you
  •  Reproduction of items – Generally this involves photocopying, which will depend on the fragility of the original and copyright rules
  •  Outreach – The Archivist is available to give talks to community groups
  • Referrals – We may be able to direct you to other sources of information

Contact the Archivist

The Archivist
Wanganui District Council
101 Guyton Street
PO Box 637
Wanganui

Phone: 06 349 0001
Fax: 06 349 0000
Email: Archives

Page reviewed: 03 Dec 2015 4:45pm