The Western Pacific Archives comprises the records of the Western Pacific High Commission, from 1875 until 1978, and the territorial records of the British Agent and Consul, Tonga, and the New Hebrides British Service. The Commission’s jurisdiction covered the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), the Gilbert and Ellis Islands Colony (now Kiribati and Tuvalu), Pitcairn, and Tonga.
The collection is one of the most complete and unique sets of original documents of the International Military Tribunal Far East (IMTFE) 1946-1948. It has enormous significance for the Asia Pacific region as it documents the history of Japanese ambitions in the Pacific prior to World War II. It rivals in significance the Nuremburg collection held by Harvard Law School. It was presented to the University of Canterbury in 1949 by Justice Erima Harvey Northcroft, the New Zealand Member of the IMTFE.