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Protect your work by depositing with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is Aotearoa New Zealand’s audiovisual archive. We currently care for over 840,000 items and about 3,800 of those are short films.

Our collection is a rich record of the audiovisual history of Aotearoa and is of immense value to a wide range of people including current and future researchers, students, film buffs and those wanting to connect with our film, television and sound history, as well as our stories and identity.

We value our relationships with filmmakers and film producers and a critical part of our work is keeping up-to-date with new productions and developments in the New Zealand film industry. We encourage those filmmakers that are telling New Zealand stories to consider depositing their material with us so that we can make it accessible to inform, educate and inspire current and future generations of New Zealanders.

When to deposit a film with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ngā Taonga is able to receive deposits at any time, but experience has shown us that the ideal time is when the film premieres, either in a festival or on theatrical release. At that time it is still fresh in the creator’s mind and they haven’t already got caught up in the planning of their next project.

Of course, we are happy to embargo the film for a specified period, while the film runs on the cinema circuit. Once material is deposited with us it is receipted and held in special, appropriate storage conditions while it awaits accessioning and preservation.  

The type of film files and other material that can be deposited

As a general rule-of-thumb, the most desirable source material for depositing to the Archive is the highest-resolution final, edited master available. In the analogue film days, this was the master Neg A& B rolls and ¼” Mag final mix master. Today, this will be whatever the master file format is with the highest bitrate in final, edited form. For commercially released films, this is likely to be the DPX Sequence from which the DCP is made.

However, we archive a wide range of formats – including analogue film from as far back as the 1890s.

In addition, we encourage filmmakers to consider depositing supporting documentation such as scripts, posters and storyboards. Any documentation we have complements the metadata we’re able to collect on film releases and it enriches the research potential and the historical value. Our documentation collection includes stills, scripts, production notes, memorabilia, costumes and artefacts. For example, we have costumes from Once Were Warriors, original posters from Sons for the Return Home and Utu, the front of one of the cars used in the original Goodbye Pork Pie and much more.  

You may be interested in reading our Selection and Acquisition Policy which guides our selections for deposit. The Policy can be viewed on our website.

How to request to make a deposit

A good place to start is to email our team at with your questions or for information about your proposed deposits.

You can also complete the ‘Offer of Deposit’ form available on our website at –

This form means you’re providing the required detail about your material and supplying useful context around the origin and provenance of the items. This background information will be added to our database record once Ngā Taonga agrees to accept the deposit.  

The benefits of depositing your film at Ngā Taonga

We provide secure, temperature and humidity-controlled storage vaults, tailored to the long-term storage requirements of the specific physical and digital carriers. Items are added to our schedule for digitisation and regular back-up to our servers – all at no cost.

Preservation work is carried out by our specialist staff, ensuring that the lifespan of the material is extended, and by caring for and duplicating original items, if you want people to see your stories, titles can be publicly accessed (subject to your permission and appropriate clearances). If the depositor and/or filmmaker have specific requirements around public access to their material, that can be tailored into the deposit agreement.

Accessing material after deposit

Deposited material remains the property of the depositor (and next of kin after death) so, upon receipt of a request from the depositor and with a few days’ notice, we can retrieve and return material.

It is not uncommon for producers of films, particularly documentaries, to want to access their film material again for re-editing or re-use and then return it to Ngā Taonga. Provided that they are the original depositor or that they have written permission from the depositor to uplift the films, then we can do this.

We do request in our Deposit Agreement that, should the depositor want to uplift their material permanently and we haven’t yet made a duplicate copy, that they allow us enough time to do that as a priority.

Ownership of deposited material

Ngā Taonga does not hold rights or ownership over material that it receives via a deposit – the physical ownership remains with the depositor and the intellectual property (IP) will always remain with the original rights holder(s).

Where there are requests to use or screen material from third parties, we seek permission from the depositor, as well as ensuring that clearances have been received in writing from all rights holders including copyright holders.

You can find more information on what we do and the material we collect, care for and share at