My time at Archives New Zealand has been my first, truly hands-on experience with born-digital collections. Material transferred in 2008 containing files created over the period of an entire decade has been the focus of my first born-digital ingests with the organisation. The work in the Systems Standards and Strategies team (SSS) at Archives New Zealand has been split into two initial sets of ingests, one set of two followed by another; the idea: to create processes and develop them incrementally. My surprise after the first two ingests back in late November and December 2014, is that five months into the next two, we're still finding challenges - daily! With only the slightest nod to digital preservation and my title as digital preservation analyst, this paper discusses more the difficulties of wrestling core information received from agencies, organizational issues, and the tools available to us in this agency. Organizations and records managers have an opportunity to make recommendations to their users that can ensure issues are minimized when we place records into long-
term preservation, and over the next few years we'll collect plenty of evidence to see the number of surprises reduced, but it is this author's assertion that despite best efforts, we're always going to receive badly behaved digital material for reasons not always foreseen, and that, despite concerted efforts at control, any agency receiving born-digital material must be prepared to understand it, and must also be prepared to manage it through different mitigation strategies - depending on appetite. This paper will introduce the challenges faced while processing the organization’s first born-digital material looking at where the issues arose and why, before concluding that we must learn by doing, and that the collection of evidence and understanding 'real world' scenarios is our best opportunity to reduce surprises even if we can’t reduce them to zero.