The principal function of the Diocesan Archives is, on behalf of the Bishop, to centralise, organise, preserve, arrange, and make available to the Bishop and his advisors all the records in its care and to assist and make available to individuals, researchers and authorised persons the records that have been designated as available for their use.

Access to the Diocesan Archives is controlled by the Archives Manager, under approval of the Bishop.  It should be noted that while access to the Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch is welcome, it is at the discretion of the Bishop.

Some access restrictions may be placed on material where conservation concerns are prevalent, or due to the personal nature of the information contained, in line with the Privacy Act 1993, or at the discretion of the Bishop.

Depending on the nature of enquiries, it may be necessary to obtain further information from the researcher before archives can be consulted.



Requests for access to records held at the Diocesan Archives may be made via email, post or telephone.  Where information is easily retrievable from computer lists, there will be no charge to answer the requests. If a more in-depth search is required, wherein archives need to be consulted, a research fee will be applicable. Money raised through reference requests will help off-set the cost of maintaining the Archives


The Diocesan Archives will charge an appropriate fee for remote access, which requires archives to be consulted. The fee will be reviewed annually. The search fee for the 2017-18 financial year is NZ$25 per half hour of research, irrespective of outcome. Additional reprographic charges may apply for remote requests depending on the volume and nature of material to be copied.

Access to the Diocesan Archives will be made available on site, by prior appointment. There are no reference charges applicable if records are viewed on-site.

Visiting our Archives On Site

Researchers are invited to consult unrestricted material held at the Diocesan Archives, by appointment. The office is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am until 1pm. In the first instance the Archivist should be consulted to ensure relevant records are extant. 

All researchers who visit the Archives Office, will be required to fill out a ‘Registration and Access Form‘, which outlines the guidelines to be observed while researching in the Archives Reading Room. These guidelines relate to correct handling of material, use of cameras, reprographic restrictions, information about publishing, and other Health & Safety considerations while visiting the Reading Room.