About the Aotearoa/New Zealand Film Heritage Trust

Te Puna Ataata


New Zealand has a rich and wonderful history in filmmaking, but the rights situation with some of our older films is not always robust. This is the case for various reasons; some pioneers of our film industry are no longer with us, rights have become diluted through inheritance, rights holders have moved overseas, paper trails have been lost, and production companies have closed. Industry members and the New Zealand Film Commission have also noted the increasing difficulty in locating the right people to make decisions on behalf of a number of New Zealand films.

The Aotearoa/New Zealand Film Heritage Trust was officially launched in November 2017 (following the repurposing of the New Zealand Film Production Fund Trust), filling the need for an industry-focussed entity that filmmakers can appoint to be the guardian for their films, to preserve their legacy and ensure their films are available to be seen and studied into the future.

Te Puna Ataata


Te Puna is a pool or wellspring of water. For the Aotearoa/New Zealand Film Heritage Trust, te puna symbolises the depth of knowledge within the content of the films that the Trust holds. It also symbolises the collective of people – past, present and future – who made the images, and who will also act as Trustees.

Ataata is a reflection. In a contemporary context, it refers to images, and in this case, to film.

Combined, the title Te Puna Ataata has a myriad of meanings. In Māori it is at once a collective with an in-depth knowledge of image, and a repository of images.

Our Māori name was gifted to the Trust by Teremoana Harrison (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui). Tere is a Director, Producer, Journalist, Activist, and Te Reo Advisor.

Trust Board

Poari Kaitiaki


Managed by a board of five Trustees, the Trust is an incorporated charitable trust under the Charities Act 2005 (No. CC30241). The Trust Chair is Whetu Fala who serves as one of three film industry representative Trustees, alongside Robin Laing and John Reid.

There is also one independent representative Trustee; Kate Mooney, and one New Zealand Film Commission representative Trustee, Mladen Ivancic. 

Further information on the Trust can be found in the Trust Deed, and our latest audited Performance Report.

© Copyright New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata