A non-profit website dedicated to letting people watch New Zealand-made movies and television programmes wants access to Television New Zealand's (TVNZ) archive -- for free.
The New Zealand On Screen Trust was established in 2007 to run the website which allows people to watch videos and offers information and history about the people and stories involved.
Project director Brenda Leeuwenberg said the non-commercial public good focus of the website, and the addition of background information, were the main differences between NZ On Screen and TVNZ's On Demand -- which allows people to catch up on old episodes online.
"On Demand does do an excellent job of catch up TV, people go there to see what was on last night, last week or last month, but they come to NZ On Screen for what was on last decade or even last century," she told the commerce select committee which is considering the TVNZ Amendment Bill.
She said NZ On Screen wanted access to TVNZ's archive without having to pay the archive fund.
It would, however, continue to ask the copyright holders for permission before putting works on the site, Ms Leeuwenberg said.
Other copyright holders have been happy to allow their works to be shown on the website where they are available to view but not download.
The benefit of NZ On Screen over any service TVNZ could offer was the history and background offered on each work shown.
That was particularly helpful for education providers, Ms Leeuwenberg said.
"We are strongly of the view that New Zealand screen heritage should be fully available to the New Zealand public on multiple platforms, after all, these works were created with public money."
The commerce committee was considering the TVNZ Amendment Bill.