Thursday, September 06, 2012

RNZ loses archive

"The country's largest collection of sound recordings is moving from Radio New Zealand and will now be managed by the Film Archive."

According to this report below, Radio NZ's 70,000 recordings, dating back to the 1930s, will now be managed by the FIlm Archive, although RNZ will still own the recordings and house them, despite losing the $670,000 annual funding for the sound archive.

That funding, plus an extra $300,000 and a one off $1 million payment, for digitsing the collection,will go to the Film Archive . The aim is to make the collection easily accessible to the public.

Based on this, I assume the funding to cover the storage of the archive will come out of RNZ's existing already tight budget.

Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss says audio from other organisations could also be managed thru a central body, which sounds like part of the Government's ongoing push to consolidate our various archives into one.

The news item doesn't mention if there's any music held within this collection, only highlighting speeches by Keith Holyoake, The Queen, and rugby sports commentary. It also doesn't make clear why this is happening and who pushed for it, or RNZ's reaction.


ADDED: "The National Sound Archive is to be split from Radio New Zealand and amalgamated with the New Zealand Film Archive.

The plan was confirmed on Wednesday Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson. The handover will take place on 1 October.

Mr Finlayson said Radio New Zealand had done an excellent job of caring for the archive and the transfer gives an opportunity to build on the legacy." Source: RNZ website

The offical government statement says responsibility for the sound archive is being transferred, which tallys with RNZ's report that the material will stay housed at RNZ.

Official press release from Radio NZ on the change... (hat tip to Nat Torkington for link)

Changes to Audio Visual Archiving
"Radio New Zealand has welcomed today’s announcement of a significant increase in funding for sound archiving in New Zealand.

Radio New Zealand has agreed to transfer the day-to-day management of its sound archiving operations, Sound Archives/Ngaā Taonga Koōrero, to the New Zealand Film Archive effective from 1 October of this year.

In a joint statement, Radio New Zealand Chairman, Richard Griffin, and New Zealand Film Archive Chair, Jane Kominik, paid tribute to the staff of Sound Archives for their dedication to the task of preserving sound archival material and emphasised the value of a cooperative future that will enhance public access to the archive.

“We regard this merger as a positive step in a process that will give substance to the Government’s intention to set up a national archives incorporating a diverse range of material that reflects our country’s history.

“The sound archives operation will continue to be based in Christchurch and all current Sound Archives staff have been offered employment with the Film Archive...."

ADDED Friday Sept 7 930am: I have emailed RNZ to ask some questions,have heard their Comms Manager is replying.

ADDED: Friday Sept 7 415pm: Radio NZ CEO Peter Cavanagh has responded to my queries...

He says the costs to RNZ of housing the archive will be covered by subleasing the space: "Sound Archives staff and the collection itself will continue to be co-located with Radio New Zealand in Christchurch and Auckland. The existing accommodation occupied by Sound Archives in the two centres will be sub-leased to the Film Archive which means that the transaction will be cost-neutral for Radio New Zealand. Radio New Zealand will retain copyright in the collection after day-to-day management is transferred to the Film Archive from 1 October.

The idea to shift the sound archive "is in line with Government policy to streamline the delivery of audio visual archiving services in New Zealand."

He says "Public accessibility to the Sound Archives collection will not be affected by the transfer. Additional one-off funding of $1 million over the next two years for a digitisation backlog project should significantly improve public access to parts of the Sound Archives collection which are still in analogue form and yet to be preserved."


Grant said...

Its not RNZ's music collection. They retain control and access to that.

Its just another sneaky little way to weaken the public broadcaster by a government who hates public broadcasting and especially RNZ becasue it gives them such a hard time.

RNZ didn't push for it, the Film Archive didn't push for it . It just got dreamt up around the Cabinet table as some kind of bizarre "efficiency".

Why couldn't the archive have its $1.3mill when it was part of RNZ ?

Anonymous said...

The material stays in Christchurch; the extra funding goes where?
No where in the press releases is there any explanation as to why this is happening, and what the benefits are. It may very well be a good idea, but we are left wondering about the reasons.

Robyn Gallagher said...

So, the question is when will the Television Archive (currently part of TVNZ and funded by NZ On Air) be lumped in with the Film/Radio Archive? And when will this mega archive get some rebranding? The NZ Media Archive? (The equivalent archive in Australia is the National Film and Sound Archive.) And will the Film Archive eventually cease to be independent and instead become a government entity?