News from NZ Film Archive
Today marks the public launch of New Zealand’s new, integrated audiovisual archive. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is the operating name for the New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua Me Ngā Taonga Kōrero.
The archive was formed by the amalgamation of the collections and staff of the New Zealand Film Archive Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua; the Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero; and the Television New Zealand Archive, following a Government decision to consolidate the three collections.
“We are excited to bring New Zealand’s film, television and radio collections together within Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, where they will be cared for by specialist staff drawn from all three archives,” says Board Chair, Jane Kominik. “Together they will tell richer, more multifaceted stories about our country, its histories and its people.”
The name Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision represents continuity with the past, drawing on the names of the organisations that came together to form the new, integrated archive. It also reflects commitment to New Zealand’s cultural heritage, the people and places recorded in the collections, the histories and stories told, and the collection objects themselves – all of them taonga.
Consolidating the sound and moving image collections will ensure that they are made available for current and future generations to use and enjoy. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is an independent, bicultural, non-profit organisation, dedicated to collecting, protecting and connecting New Zealand’s audiovisual heritage with the widest possible audience. The archive provides access to its collections across New Zealand via theatres, museums, marae, libraries, community groups, classrooms and content presented online. This access work will be significantly stepped up with the backing of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
Speaking at the ceremony to launch the new archive, Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss said, “Combining the Film Archive’s collection of independent television with the Television New Zealand Archive will make our important contemporary productions more accessible online. This gives local production a longer life and, where there’s been public funding, means New Zealanders get more for their money.”
Work to digitise materials from the collections for greater access is already well underway, including: the Saving Frames programme to secure New Zealand’s films for the digital era, focusing on home movies, government films, and pre-1999 feature films; a radio digitisation project that has transferred over 10,000 hours to date; and contributions to Play it Again, a partnership project to preserve 1980s computer games and make them playable using today’s technology. Given the huge size of the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection (which totals more than 800,000 items) and, in particular, the Television New Zealand Collection (600,000 hours), the digitisation process will take many years.
“Our challenge is to balance preservation demands with accessibility,” says Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Chief Executive, Frank Stark. “Digital tools give us the opportunity to keep a collection spanning 120 years and countless different technologies alive and thriving.”
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is an independent Charitable Trust, based on the existing Film Archive structure, with a Board of Trustees reflecting archival expertise, screen and audio industry experience, knowledge of tikanga, and governance experience. All existing relationships, including deposit and kaitiaki agreements, will remain in place under the new organisational structure and links with public broadcasters will be strengthened. There will be no change of physical or rights ownership for collection material. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s guardianship ensures ownership of the original item remains with the depositor and copyrights are retained by the appropriate parties.
The archive will have an annual operating budget of $7,500,000 and a combined staff of 70 working across five sites in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.