Film Industry Working Group announced

The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway today announced the establishment of a Film Industry Working Group, facilitated by Linda Clark, to find a fit-for purpose way to restore workers’ rights in the screen industry.

“This Government is determined that all New Zealand workers get a fair go, including film workers,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“The 2010 ‘Hobbit law’ meant film production workers were treated as independent contractors, unless they are party to a written employment agreement that states they are employees. This effectively denied them rights enjoyed by other workers in New Zealand. Contractors do not have the right to bargain collectively under the Employment Relations Act.

“New Zealand must have a highly skilled and innovative economy that provides well-paid, decent jobs, and delivers on economic growth and productivity,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.  “To achieve these outcomes, working people need a voice in their workplace through collective bargaining.

“The industry has agreed to work collaboratively to find a durable solution to restore collective bargaining rights for film production workers, without necessarily changing the status of those who wish to continue working as independent contractors.”

The Minister says the Working Group is made up of key industry players, as well as BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions.

“I’ve been very impressed so far with the collegiality and progressive thinking across the sector as we seek a solution that is fit for the needs of the screen industry. The Working Group will examine how we can reach the right balance for workers and producers.

“I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Clark as facilitator for the Working Group. I am confident Ms Clark will effectively support the Working Group to achieve its task.”

The group’s recommendations will help ensure the continued growth of New Zealand’s vibrant, strong and world-leading film industry.

The group will meet over the next six months, with its recommendations to the Minister expected by mid-2018.

Members of the Film Industry Working Group

  • Linda Clark, Facilitator. Ms Clark is a special counsel at law firm Kensington Swan. Prior to her legal career, Ms Clark was a leading political journalist.
  • Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Equity New Zealand
  • Michael Brook, Regional Film Offices New Zealand
  • Craig Dunn, Stunt Guild
  • Richard Fletcher, Screen Production and Development Association
  • Brendan Keys, Weta Digital
  • Alex Lee, Film Auckland
  • Sioux Macdonald, Screen Industry Guild
  • Paul Mackay, BusinessNZ
  • Barrie Osborne, Producer
  • Tui Ruwhiu, Directors and Editors Guild
  • Alice Shearman, New Zealand Writers Guild
  • Erina Tamepo, Ngā Aho Whakaari
  • Richard Wagstaff, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

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