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New Zealand University Technicians' Union, Auckland Branch records.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-95/2

Scope and Contents

The New Zealand University Technicians Union (NZUTU) merged with the Association of University Teachers (AUT) in July 1991 to form the Association of University Staff of New Zealand (AUS). The papers of both former organisations were donated to the Library by Gabriel Brettkelly, Auckland Branch Organiser, AUS. The papers of the Association of University Teachers have been arranged separately at MSS & Archives 95/1.

In 1993 a history of the New Zealand University Technicians Union by Peter Franks* was published by the AUS. In his foreword, Alan Grout, NZUTU President 1989-1991, AUSNZ Technical Vice-President 1991-1993, says:

One of our last decisions on National Executive was to put aside a budget to enable this history to be written. In retrospect, it may have been one of our better decisions as it has enabled the recording of the history of an organisation that was unique in character as well as being something of a trail blazer on the industrial scene.

A copy of The reluctant unionists is File 9/14 of this collection and any study of the records will be illuminated if it is read first.

Peter Franks deposited with the AUS a series of papers which he used in writing the book and which form a distillation of NZUTU records. These are arranged as Series 9. They include notes and tapes of his interviews with Union officials who were prominent in the historical progress of its formation.

It is essential to note in examining the main body of the papers in this collection that records were not maintained in a central office by administrative staff, but by Union officers, themselves working technicians. Filing methods are idiosyncratic. The emphasis discernible in this collection, as with that of the AUT, is on the urgency of coping with issues and developments as they occur.

There appeared, therefore, as boxes of papers were unpacked, to be formal sets of minutes and of correspondence, including file boxes and folders marked as Special Topics. These have been retained as found. But there was also a large quantity of material appearing to be the personal collections of papers of sundry named officers of the Union. These latter are arranged as Series 5. There is no doubt considerable duplication among these various collections of papers, but this is unavoidable.

Records relating to other branches of the Union were found among the papers. They are arranged as separate collections within the several series.

It was the intention to impose some kind of coherence on a rather chaotic deposit of papers. As noted above, the papers provided for the use of Peter Franks represent a useful summary of the Union's progress and its chief preoccupations.

* Franks, Peter. The reluctant unionists : from ivory tower to the real world : a history of the New Zealand University Technicians Union 1971-1991. Wellington : Association of University Staff of New Zealand, 1993.


  • 1971 - 1991


Conditions Governing Access

RESTRICTED: Access to the records in general is by written permission of the President, Auckland Branch, AUS; explicit written permission is required from that officer to consult the personal file in Series 10.

Biographical / Historical

In July 1991 the New Zealand University Technicians' Union merged with the Association of University Teachers of New Zealand to form the Association of University Staff of New Zealand.


2.5 metres (21 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Gabriel Brettkelly, Branch Organiser in October 1994.

Related Materials

New Zealand University Technicians Union records at MSS & Archives D-26 which include notes on the formation of the Union.

Inventory of the records of the New Zealand Technicians' Union (Auckland Branch), 1971-1991.
Kay Stead
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand