Online access to TVNZ's archives coming

Some of New Zealand's historic television moments will be available online soon.

Film archive.

The Crown officially took over guardianship of Television New Zealand's archives today, which hold over 500,000 hours of original New Zealand television.

Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss says the "highest heritage value" items will be digitised and made available online free of charge.

"The first clips are expected to be online before the end of the year, with about 20,000 titles made available over the next three years," says Mr Foss.

The Government has invested $24 million in the purchase, improvement and ongoing operation of the archive.

It will be managed by Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision - the rebranded New Zealand Film Archives.

Last year the Sound Archives were also transferred to Crown guardianship.