Nau mai, haere mai - welcome to DescribeNZ

DescribeNZ aims to be a useful, credible and up-to-date source of information about cataloguing for both the New Zealand cataloguing community and anyone in the wider library community who would like to discover more about cataloguing.

Here you will find guidance on cataloguing standards, links to resources for professional development, information about New Zealand cataloguing practice and policy, and future trends in cataloguing and metadata such as Linked Data and BIBFRAME.

The official newsletter of the LIANZA Cataloguing Special Interest Group (LIANZA CAT SIG), Catapult, is also archived here.

DescribeNZ is paid for and maintained by the LIANZA Cataloguing Special Interest Group (LIANZA CAT SIG) and is managed by a moderator group with representatives from a number of different New Zealand libraries and a representative from the LIANZA CAT SIG committee.

Current moderator team:

  • Joanne Rowan (LIANZA CAT SIG Rep)
  • Janess Stewart (National Library of New Zealand)
  • Daniel Malpass (National Library of New Zealand)
  • Vanessa McDonald (Te Puna Services)

New additions to the moderator group would be most welcome!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please contact us at

Last updated: November 15, 2018 (JHS)


This page contains links to and information on cataloguing policy decisions made by New Zealand libraries

Auckland Libraries Cataloguing Policies

National Library of New Zealand Cataloguing Policies

RDA Policy

  • RDA policies for the NLNZ now sit in the global workflow section of the RDA toolkit as
    • NLNZ RDA Attributes Policy
    • NLNZ RDA Relationships Policy
    • NLNZ Agent and Series Policy
  • RDA maps for the following formats are available in the global maps section of the RDA toolkit as
    • NLNZ Art Catalogues workflow
    • NLNZ Cartographic Resources map
    • NLNZ Compilations flowchart
    • NLNZ Monograph map
    • NLNZ Moving Images map
    • NLNZ Music Scores
    • NLNZ Music Sound Recordings
    • NLNZ Non-Music Sound Recordings
    • NLNZ Resources issued together (including tete-beche and parallel language expressions)
    • NLNZ Revised editions
    • NLNZ Standards documents map
    • NLNZ Web sites map
    • NLNZ Whole part relationships workflow (including tete-beche and resources issued together)

If you do not have access to the toolkit and would like clarification on an RDA-related cataloguing decision from the NLNZ, please contact us at

Last updated: March 2, 2020 (JHS)


To view professional development and training material click here.

Cataloguing 101


Subject access

Bibliographic files

The National Library of New Zealand provides access to the following files of bibliographic records, on the National Library website:

  • Publications New Zealand – a monthly file of records added to the New Zealand national bibliography during that month
  • NDHA items – a monthly file of freely available items added to the National Library catalogue from the National Digital Heritage Archive during that month


  • Publications New Zealand Record of New Zealand publications listed in the National Bibliography, from books to films to maps
  • Tiaki Provides access to descriptions of the unpublished manuscripts and pictures collections of New Zealand and Pacific material in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Authority control

Last updated: January 16, 2019 (JHS)