Cook Islands reps attend training to preserve audiovisual taonga


New Zealand’s audiovisual archive Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision supported by Manatū Taonga (New Zealand Ministry for Cultural Heritage) are providing two digitisation kits to the Cook Islands.

The two local organisations receiving the kits are the Ministry of Cultural Development (MOCD) and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society.

As part of the handover, three members from both organisations are attending Rokirokitia training workshops in Wellington this week. The trainees are Tui Tupa, archivist at MOCD, along with Byron Brown and Tiana Haxton of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society. The trip will include visits to Ngā Taonga’s Motutawa Vault in Avalon, Te Papa, Heritage NZ and Alexander Turnbull Library

In a statement, Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision said: “Rokirokitia is about the preservation of at-risk audio-visual taonga to ensure ongoing access to heritage knowledge. Magnetic media such as VHS and audio cassette have finite lifespans and many are at risk of degrading and losing the content they hold. Additionally, much of the hardware required to play these media are no longer being manufactured, and replacement parts and technicians are scarce.”

“Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision recognise the cultural importance of these taonga and the content they hold. Kōrero and images captured on them hold knowledge for future generations. Rokirokitia kits ensure these magnetic media can be digitally preserved in the Cook Islands.

“Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision are supplying field kits and training to MOCD and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society do this digitising preservation work. The purpose of this collaboration is to support Cook Islands to continue preserving their magnetic media taonga.”

Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision’s partnership with the Ministry of Cultural Development began in 2013 with the deposit of the audiovisual collections of the National Archives of the Cook Islands (NACI).  Periodic accessioning, preservation and digitisation of the NACI has taken place since 2013 and culminated in the signing of a deposit agreement between the two organisations in 2022. 

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