Further to last week’s Budget announcement, on Tuesday 19 May the Minister for Internal Affairs, the Hon Tracey Martin, released further Budget 20 details confirming increased investment in the archival sector. The Budget includes an increase in operating expenditure of around $1.3m per year for four years to fund the digital preservation of the Crown’s collections on magnetic media dating from the 1960s into the 2000s, which is physically deteriorating. The majority of this at-risk material is in the TVNZ archive collection which Ngā Taonga manages.
Additionally, a portion of the capital expenditure of $26.5 million over four years has been allocated to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. This is to be spent on building systems and infrastructure for the digital preservation and storage that will be needed to support preserving these at-risk taonga.
The next stage of the Preserving the Nation’s Memory project has also been funded which will enable the development of a new Archives Building linked to the National Library Building in Wellington. As per the Minister’s announcement, this is expected to create upward of 340 jobs, with construction of the Wellington facility to begin in mid-2021. This new facility will enable closer collaboration across the three heritage organisations; Archives New Zealand, the National Library and Ngā Taonga, who are currently co-located with the National Library.
Ngā Taonga Chief Executive, Honiana Love said, “With so many competing priorities right now, it would have been easy for the Government to overlook the needs of Aotearoa New Zealand’s archives. Instead, they have opted to create jobs through an ambitious building project and also help ensure that endangered audiovisual material is preserved for future New Zealanders. We’re very grateful, and look forward to collaborating with our peers at Archives and the National Library on planning a secure future for our nation’s documentary heritage.”
Hero image: Concept image of the new Archives building - Archives New Zealand