Three of New Zealand’s most precious documents have been moved to a new home overnight, under tight security.
The Treaty of Waitangi, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Women’s Suffrage Petition were trucked 200 metres from Archives New Zealand to the National Library.
About 500 people attended the early morning ceremony, including iwi Maori, women with links to the Women’s Suffrage Petition, and staff at Archives New Zealand and the National Library.
Chief archivist Marilyn Little helped organise the move, which took three months to coordinate and says it’s one of the most complex jobs she’s done.
"It's like the layers of an onion so imagine the iconic Waitangi Treaty, that will be sitting in a specially constructed archival box measured to within millimetres of the accurate size," Ms Little says.
She says it will be surrounded in foam it will then sit within a specially constructed crate surrounded by foam.
Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the documents will now form part of a new permanent exhibition, 'He Tohu'.
"This ceremony is a unique event in the history of this country, as it marks a new stage in the life of these three precious documents."
Mr Dunne says 'He Tohu' will mean "these taonga are accessible to more New Zealanders and visitors and enable greater engagement with these important documents, and the important events in our history they reflect."