Old rusty film canisters and damaged film.

Rust + Restoration – He Waikura He Whakauka

An exhibition about the journey to restore and preserve Thomas Henry Whetton’s work.

Rust + Restoration | He Waikura He Whakauka, is an exhibition that ran at Te Puna Foundation Gallery at the National Library.

The exhibition explored how Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s expert archivists preserved this and other taonga. It ran from 10 October 2019 to 20 March 2020.

Hero image: Old rusty film canisters and damaged film.

'Rust + Restoration | He Waikura He Whakauka' - Exhibition Wrap Up

When a stack of rusty, dust-covered film cans arrived at Ngā Taonga, it was a surprise to find much of the film inside was in great condition. The films were from the collection of Thomas H Whetton, freelance cameraman and inventor. Quality footage showing the immediate aftermath of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake was a major highlight of his work. 

Old metal film canisters in a display case.

Old metal film canisters in the 'Rust + Restoration | He Waikura He Whakauka'

This is just one example of the critical work done by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the audiovisual archive for Aotearoa.

We collect and catalogue film reels, video tapes, sound records, props and documents and store them in climate controlled vaults. Our experts work against time to preserve original nitrate film, television broadcast tapes and sound recordings, before they degrade. We digitally preserve audiovisual material to ensure that it stands the test of time for future generations.

Our recent audiovisual history could be lost forever. Let's ensure that hundreds of thousands of hours of New Zealand broadcasting remain accessible for future generations.

Ngā Taonga thanks Te Puna Foundation for their support of this exhibition.

Wording for the poster for the Rust & Restoration exhibition - Stories of Rescue: From the archives of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.