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Cook Islands’ old audiovisuals from the 1960s to be digitised

Saturday 19 November 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in

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Cook Islands’ old audiovisuals from the 1960s to be digitised
Minister of Culture George Angene and Ministry of Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua with Cook Islander Susan Love de Miguel who works for Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision NZ. SUPPLIED/22111845

Many of the Cook Islands old audiovisuals from the 1960s to 2000s will be digitised in Wellington along with treasured New Zealand collections.

The content being digitised ranges from Constitution Celebrations, Gospel Day, Ariki ceremonies and audio tapes of local legends and musicians like the late Apiti Nicholas.

The project named Utaina was launched at the National Library in Wellington on Thursday.

Utaina is a New Zealand government-funded project to safeguard Aotearoa’s unique sound and video recordings to digitise more the 460,000 items, expected to be completed in 2025.

It’s a collaboration between the National Library, Archives New Zealand, and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision to digitise Cook Islands audiovisual collections with its digitisation partner Memnon.

Cook Islands Minister of Culture George Angene and Ministry of Cultural Development secretary, Anthony Turua, attended the launch to support the inclusion of Cook Islands national archives.

According to a statement from Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, Angene and Turua also visited the Utaina project facilities based in Lower Hutt where digitisation partner, Memnon, established a preservation digitisation facility. 

The media release said Memnon has almost 20 years of experience in large-scale digitisation of audio and video assets for libraries, universities, broadcasters, museums and government organisations around the world.

The event was attended by New Zealand Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti, and NZ Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiritapu Allan, and Memnon CEO Heidi Shakespear.

The release said the inclusion of the Cook Islands content would have cost around $1 million which was paid for by the New Zealand government.