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Seems the NZ Government think things need fixing at the TVNZ archive, with plans to transfer guardianship of the archive from TVNZ to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on 1 August, with the archive managed on a day-to-day basis by the New Zealand Film Archive.

The Press Release:

The TVNZ archive, including over 500,000 hours of original New Zealand television, is set to become much more accessible, Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne say.

The Government is in negotiations to transfer guardianship of the archive from TVNZ to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on 1 August. It will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the New Zealand Film Archive.

Mr Foss says the Government has set aside $11.3 million capital from the Future Investment Fund and $5.1 million operating funding over four years to purchase and make necessary improvements to the purpose-built archive facility.

In addition, the Government has allocated $8 million operating funding over four years for ongoing management of the archive.

“In keeping with the Government's commitment to provide better public services, this archive contains a unique record of life in New Zealand.  It includes news bulletins, current affairs shows, documentaries and classic programmes such as It’s In The Bag, Country Calendar, Play School and Hudson & Halls.   The Government is committed to preserving these programmes and making them accessible to all New Zealanders,” Mr Foss says.

"The facility will allow New Zealanders to access greater levels of audio-visual content online. This is great news for teachers, researchers and anyone interested in New Zealand's television heritage and ensures the legacy of New Zealand’s finest, locally-produced television programmes,” Mr Dunne says.

Ownership of the land and archive buildings will pass to the Department of Internal Affairs.

Anyone know the driver behind this - is the Kiwi population up in arms about lack of access, or has TVNZ gotten bored with having to look after the archive, ownership of which was gifted to the SOE without much thought to the idea of it having been a public resource, not a commercial cash cow? There's been no great avalanche of archival material becoming available in the wake to the changes to clearance arrangements several years ago, so will this move make any real difference? ... Fast forward three years later and the answer seems to have been no.