The mandate for the Access Policy is established by the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003.
The Access Policy is underpinned by the following principles:
- Resources in the collections of the National Library, including the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library will be made available unless there is a valid reason to restrict access.
- Access to the National Library Collections, including the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library will be consistent with their status as taonga.
- The Library's collections and access to them will be made available without charge.
- The National Library will provide or facilitate online access to a selected range of information resources and digital collections.
- The Alexander Turnbull Library will provide a research service, supporting access by researchers to resources in its collections.
- The National Library will provide a reference service, supporting access for individuals and for libraries.
- The National Library will provide a curriculum information service, supporting access for New Zealand primary and secondary school teachers and home-schoolers.
- The Library will seek collaborations with the aim of improving access.
- Access provided by the Library will be in compliance with New Zealand law, and in particular the Copyright Act 1994.