Actors Equity, Auckland, 31 July 2014: Tena Koutou Katoa. Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective bargaining. The Labour Party made its announcement as a part of it’s “A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” industrial policy platform launch on Thursday.
The announcement comes almost four years after the National Government (under pressure from Hollywood Studio Warner Bros) explicitly removed NZ performer and crew rights and protections from the Employment Relations Act 2000 – rights and protections that are afforded all other workers in the country.
“It is well and truly time that these grossly unfair and discriminatory laws be removed from the books, and real certainty be restored to the film and television industry,” said Equity New Zealand President Jennifer Ward-Lealand. “Film and television workers have been treated like second class citizens under the law for far too long, leading to instability and greater uncertainty within the industry.”
“In spite of these laws, Equity New Zealand has worked constructively with SPADA and other stakeholders in the industry to develop a more harmonious film and television environment.”
Earlier this year Equity New Zealand and SPADA announced, after three and half years of negotiations, that an agreement had been reached on a standard Individual Performance Agreement and Backend Agreement for use on NZ based and funded film and TV drama programs.
Ms Ward-Lealand stated: “It has only been through this hard work and commitment from all industry stakeholders that we have managed to heal as an industry and provide some semblance of certainty to film and television performers and crew. It is high time that this harmony be returned to the law as well.”
Equity New Zealand is an autonomous part of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and is the industrial and professional organisation representing performers who work in New Zealand’s entertainment industries.