The failure of the Government’s digital archive programme is putting at risk a cornerstone project that is part of centenary commemorations of New Zealand’s involvement in World War One, Labour’s Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“In December it was revealed the Government’s flagship $12 million digital archive programme had failed and was to be canned.
“One of the results of this is that a project to make the diaries, personnel and other records of New Zealand World War One veterans searchable online by the time the commemorations start is in jeopardy.
The acting Chief Archivist, John Roberts says people should be confident in the progress being made in making World War l records available on-line:
“The on-line plan was announced by the Minister in August 2013. No date for completion was stated, but we have been working towards having the information available by the anniversary of the start of the war.
“So far, 73,674 are on-line for public viewing. This is almost half (46%) of the total 160,740 records. A further 65,438 have been digitised, and are ready to go on-line. We are confident this will happen before the August anniversary of the beginning of World War l. 21,628 or 13% of the records are still to be digitised. These records are to be digitised and go on-line before the anniversary.
I’d take a bet that they’ll get them all done by August.