Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero holds archives at two sites, one in Christchurch and one in Auckland.
Sound Archives in Christchurch holds thousands of hours of audio, relating to all aspects of NZ's history. From recollections of the land wars to the current state of MMP politics, Sound Archives aims to select and preserve broadcasts and recorded programmes which capture the state of the nation on a day-to-day basis, record decisive moments in NZ history and capture the diversity of radio in NZ. Sound Archives also has a small but unique collection of Maori programmes and recordings on acetate disc dating from the late 1930s to the late 1950s.
The Ngā Taonga Kōrero archive in Auckland holds Radio New Zealand’s collection of recorded taonga, over half in te reo Māori. This includes the majority of Māori radio programmes broadcast since the early 1960s, recordings of many important hui dating back to the 1930s, oral traditions related by tribal experts in te reo Māori, recordings of traditional mōteatea and many recordings of cultural competitions.
This collection is recorded on many formats, such as acetate discs and open reel tapes. We are currently in the middle of a long-term preservation project to transfer all these recordings to digital files. Digitisation will preserve these taonga for future generations and also make them more easily accessible for whānau and researchers. While the project is underway, the NTK collection is still accessible, but turnaround time for requests may be up to 6 to 8 weeks. Urgent requests will be considered but may incur added charges. We thank you for your understanding and patience.
All of the collections are idiosyncratic and do not represent everything ever broadcast on radio in New Zealand. Comprehensive collecting will never be a possibility. In the past the individual interests of archives staff have influenced the shape of some collections, for instance we have excellent coverage of cricket in certain periods. As the size of the collections has grown, there has been increased intellectual rigour in collection control. We now have a closely defined Selection and Acquisition Policy which is applied in a uniform manner.
The following describes the various collections held. Please note some of the collections are searchable online (please refer to the search page, but this site does not provide access to any online audio. For information regarding the ordering of audio recordings and research enquiries please email us.
Collections are held in Christchurch unless otherwise stated.
The D Series
A collection of about 10,000 discs dating from about 1935 through to the late 1950's.
Mobile Unit - Wartime Recordings
three collections of recordings made during the course of the Second World War. (Held in Christchurch)
Mobile Unit - NZ Oral History
Recordings of amateur musical groups and performers, and older citizens recollecting details of everyday life in earlier times.
Maori Acetate Collections
Approximately 1000 discs on Maori subject matter and in te reo Maori recorded c1937-1960, which don’t fit into other series.
General Tape Collection
Includes audio on 7" and 10" reel-to-reel tapes, audio cassettes and digital audio tapes. These include both cuts edited from longer programmes, often taken out of context, as well as entire programmes and in some cases actual series in their entirety.
Maori Tape Collections
Nga Taonga Korero in Auckland holds over 12,000 audio treasures, featuring recordings from many of the significant hui and of many prominent Maori figures since the Second World War. (held in Auckland)
NZQA-Funded Archival Collection
SANTK has been given the responsibility of constructing a picture of the New Zealand broadcast radio market as it exists today. (held in Auckland and Christchurch)
Photographs and Ephemera
Sound Archives in Christchurch holds many photographs, memorabilia, and documents relating to the history of radio in New Zealand.
Apart from the publicly available online catalogues there are many other finding aids, catalogues, inventories and indexes available to the staff at Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero to facilitate client enquiries. We welcome enquiries regarding specific recordings that we may hold. Such enquiries should be as specific as possible, including all relevant names, dates, places and other particulars. You are welcome to email us for more detail on any of our recordings.
If you are aware of any inaccuracies or omissions, or have information relating to the database, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.