Maori language radio archive under threat

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TangataWhenua.com heard this morning that an Archives Researcher will be completing 14 years work on the Nga Taonga Korero Collection which involved the researching and describing the array of material held in these archives.

Nga Taonga Korero collection has been archived and is now accessible online through the Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero database. “The material is held in high regard and will continue to be treasured and looked after as part of the collections held at Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero” said Sound Archives Manager, Karen Neill.

The next stage for Nga Taonga Korero is to see the corresponding audio items migrated to a stable digital format, to ensure they are protected and able to be accessed in the future.

We then received word from one of our readers that “Radio New Zealands Nga Taonga Korero staff have been in redundancy discussions and it appears that so far, one position has been dis-established. Nga Taonga Korero is part of Radio New Zealand’s Sound Archive. The Auckland based Maori language unit is responsible for archiving Te Reo Maori radio broadcasts in Aotearoa. This announcement comes in the same week that a Waitangi Tribunal report has warned the language is approaching crisis point and urgent change is needed to save it from extinction.

So it is interesting to think that this may be going on behind the scenes. If you have any additional information or would like to respond to these allegations, please contact us.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Tena Koutou, I know I am very late in finding this discussion, but I too was devastated at the news that Ope's position was being made redundant. I contacted RNZ directly to ask questions and was given the same answers as above. Now some 30 weeks later RNZ is looking to cut Waatea news too. I am a huge fan of RNZ it is my main radio station in the car – but this Maori cutting is a real shame – build up and broaden your listenership – don't narrow and limit yourselves or us!

  2. Aroha mai, but we have heard differently Karen, from people within the organisation – the information we have, we are told is via a verified RNZ internal memo. The memo discussed issues regarding redundancy and this information was leaked to us.

    What is needed is a Chief Maori Archivist who reports directly to the RNZ CEO and not simply to the English Language Archive manager, which we are told will be the case.

  3. I was concerned to read the headline on your article “Maori language radio archive under threat”. I’m not sure where that suggestion has come from, but I’m pleased to be able to assure you and your readers that this is certainly not the case.

    The Nga Taonga Korero Collection is an historic collection dating back to the early 1960s. Historic material has not been added to the collection for some time, though there are some early Maori radio broadcasts held at local Iwi radio stations around the country.

    We are nearing completion on a research project to provide written detail about the historic broadcasts held in the Nga Taonga Korero Collection, and this information is able to be viewed online.

    Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero continues to collect contemporary Maori radio broadcasts as part of its funding contract with NZ On Air.

    Work on the Nga Taonga Korero Collection continues. An audio preservationist has spent years transferring the historic material from analogue format to CD, and this work is ongoing to ensure that the collection is migrated to a sustainable digital format. The main archive is held securely out a dedicated archive at Henderson, Auckland, and the CD collection is held at Radio New Zealand House in Auckland. It is intended that in future a third digital copy will be held offsite in Christchurch for safety.

    I can assure you that the much-loved Nga Taonga Korero Collection is being properly cared for by staff at Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero and will continue to be accessible for users.

    Karen Neill, Manager Sound Archives Nga Taonga Karero

  4. Msg received:

    This is to advise that Archives Researcher, Ope Maxwell, will be leaving Nga Taonga Korero at the end of this year, having completed her work on the Nga Taonga Korero Collection. Ope has been involved in researching and describing the rich resource of material held in the Nga Taonga Korero Maori archive.

    The work Ope had done over the last 14 years has seen the Nga Taonga Korero collection accessible online through the Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero database. The material is held in high regard and will continue to be treasured and looked after as part of the collections held at Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero.

    The next stage for Nga Taonga Korero is to see the corresponding audio items migrated to a stable digital format, to ensure they are protected and able to be accessed in the future.

    Naku noa, na

    Karen Neill

    SANTK Manager

  5. Id be very interested in an update when you get one Potaua – my tupuna recordings are held in that archive and I was met with a bit of resistance when I tried to access it so I put that task on hold for when I had a bit of time (not knowing the collection is at risk now) – the archive is somewhere secret in West Auckland I believe. In the least they should look at sending them somewhere they'll be cared for – as much as I hate to say it, in the national archives or collections perhaps.

  6. This was raised in Wai 262 as a possiblity by Whai Ngata and Hare Williams when they gave evidence to the Tribunal. Really problematic the way they ghettoise our people.

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