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Ngā Taonga cinema and café to close ahead of office move

The café and cinema at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision will close at the end of the year, ahead of the office moving next year from Taranaki Street to the National Library building on Molesworth Street.

The move of the Wellington office was made necessary with the reclassification of the premises as earthquake prone in 2014.

“The move from Taranaki Street is the culmination of a great deal of research, planning and negotiation,” said Chief Executive Rebecca Elvy.

“The need to provide a safe and secure working environment for our staff was an absolute priority and the National Library building provides us with an excellent solution.”

Ahead of the move, expected to be in May 2019, the ground floor space at Taranaki Street will retain its building reception function.

However the café and cinema, which is used for regular screenings of archive material, and as a venue for the annual New Zealand Film Festival, will close.

Ngā Taonga is actively exploring alternative screening options in the capital and its audiovisual collection will remain accessible in other ways.

The building in Taranaki Street was sold by Ngā Taonga in April 2018 with the archive remaining as leaseholders while a longer-term home could be found.

The possibility of moving into the National Library building arose in June 2018. After detailed discussion, the conditions upon which a move to the National Library depended – adequate space, affordability and installation of the archive’s own ICT infrastructure – were recently agreed and Ngā Taonga and the National Library are now finalising a memorandum of understanding and lease for the office space.

The lease on Taranaki Street will be retained by Ngā Taonga in the medium term for the storage of collection items. Public access to the ground floor media library and the Jonathan Dennis Library will continue until further notice.

The archive’s other premises at Avalon Studios in Lower Hutt, and in Christchurch will not be affected by the relocation of the Wellington offices.

“We are confident that the move to Molesworth Street is a solution that will provide safe and comfortable accommodation for our Wellington based staff for the immediate future,” said Rebecca Elvy.

“We are satisfied that the move will have no impact on the services we provide to our stakeholders, and that despite the closure of the cinema and café at Taranaki Street, we will remain accessible to the public through a variety of new outreach activities.”