The National Sound Archive is to be split from Radio New Zealand and amalgamated with the New Zealand Film Archive.
The plan was confirmed on Wednesday Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson.
The handover will take place on 1 October.
The Government is giving an extra $300,000 per year for sound archiving as well as a one-off payment of $1 million to digitise the audio recordings.
Mr Finlayson said Radio New Zealand had done an excellent job of caring for the archive and the transfer gives an opportunity to build on the legacy.