Opening New Zealand Film Archive

  • Marie Hasler
Cultural Affairs

It gives me great pleasure to be here at this special opening for the Auckland Video Access Site of the New Zealand Film
Archive. As most of you will realise the New Zealand Film Archive is one of a small number of national organisations
directly supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Working as an independent, non-governmental organisation, the archive performs a vital function by locating, safeguarding
and making accessible New Zealand's film and video heritage.

In some respects the archive is a cooperative acting on behalf of thousands of individual collectors and film makers. And
rather than remaining in Wellington, the archive has built up an enviable record of taking its collections to the whole country.

This has been achieved through a range of activities, including:

- community screenings, as part of the Last Film Search
- touring exhibitions at regional museums and galleries
- the marae screening project, Te Hokinga Mai
- An extensive schools outreach screening programme, and
- Exhibition joint ventures with other institutions.

I understand nearly 100,000 New Zealanders used the Film Archive collections during 1998 - a staggering increase of more
than 900 percent in less than five years - and nearly half of those, who used the collection did so through outreach
programmes.

These activities are of great value, but they do not give direct access to the archive's collection of more than 40,000 items.

To achieve this, the archive has created a video access service with sites in Dunedin, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and
Hamilton. These VACCESS remote sites are already attracting thousands of users each year.

Now, as part of its mission to make New Zealand's moving image heritage accessible to all New Zealanders, the archive has
extended this service to Auckland.

I am delighted this evening to officially open the largest New Zealand Film Archive facility outside Wellington.

This site already holds about 1000 titles on video. These are drawn from the archive's collections of:

- historical film
- newsreels
- features and short films
- home movies
- television programmes and commercials
- music video, and
- video art.

As well there is also a substantial collection of text books, periodicals, research materials and industry publications.

And importantly access to all this material is free of charge to non-commercial users.

I applaud the New Zealand Film Archive's decision to reach out in a substantial way to the people of Auckland.

At a time when there is considerable debate over the responsibilities of the holders of national collections to make them
readily accessible across the country, the Film Archive is surely leading the way.

This is in keeping with the archive's long history of vigorous action to hunt for endangered films and take a pro-active role
within the film industry and the corporate sector.

I am sure the services provided on this site and the base it will provide for development will further advance the success of
the New Zealand Film Archive.

Congratulations to everyone involved in getting this new video site up and running.

This will be a tremendous asset for Aucklanders and is a tribute to the active work of the archive.