Congratulations to the four DEGANZ members nominated as finalists for The New Zealand Television Awards.

The Awards recognise excellence in television, and honours the special skills and unique talents of the companies and individuals who create, produce, and perform in television programmes in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Vea Mafile’o is nominated for Screen Auckland Best Director: Drama / Drama Comedy alongside Tom Hern for directing Episode 3 of The Panthers (Tavake Limited / TVNZ 1 & TVNZ+) , a drama series based on the Polynesian Panthers.

Whatanui Flavell is nominated for Best Director: Documentary / Factual for his three-part documentary Ake, Ake, Ake (Scottie Douglas Productions Ltd / Whakaata Māori), which recounts events surrounding the historic Ihumātao occupation.

DEGANZ board member Margot Francis is nominated for Best Editing: Drama / Comedy Drama for The Panthers (Tavake Limited / TVNZ 1 & TVNZ+).

Annie Goldson is nominated for Best Editing: Documentary / Factual alongside Prisca Bouchet and Julie Alp for A Mild Touch of Cancer (Occasional Productions / Prime), a documentary that follows writer and comedian David Downs as he sets out to help fellow Kiwis dealing with cancer (and for which Annie was also the Director, Writer, and Producer). The documentary is also nominated for New Zealand On Air Best Documentary.

The full list can be found on the NZ TV Awards website.

Last updated on 3 November 2022

The Governor General recently gave the Royal Assent to the Screen Industry Workers Bill, making it an Act that will come into force on 30 December 2022.

I know I’ve said it before, but I am going to say it again:

“This is the single biggest thing to happen to the New Zealand screen industry.”

It will affect a large part of professional screen production from marketing content, commercials, web series and short films to television and film production.

Every new contract presented to screen workers by producers/production companies from 30 December 2022 on must have the mandatory requirements of the Act. You can learn what they are in the blog I wrote here. For a simple 101 explainer on the Screen Industry Workers Bill, click here.

The Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) is doing its best to educate producers before the Act comes into force—they will be required by the Act to conform.

For you as a screen production worker likely to be engaged by a producer/production company, here is what you should expect.

  • To receive a written contract with sufficient time before the contract starts for you to consider, take advice on and negotiate the terms and conditions presented to you.

In other words, no more getting contracts the day before you start, the day you start, after you start, or not at all.

This includes on low-budget short films, low-budget web series or other qualifying low-budget screen productions.

Any new contract from 30 December 2022 on will need to include:

  • A term saying parties will comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act, and Human Rights Act
  • Bullying, discrimination, and harassment processes
  • Dispute resolution processes
  • Termination notice periods and payments

We will issue a notice about the mandatory clauses that you can expect to see in your contract—all the guilds DEGANZ (directors, editors, assistant editors), NZWG (writers), Equity NZ (actors), SMSG (Screen Music and Sound), SIGANZ (Techos), VEPGNZ (Visual Effects) and MDGA (Motion Designers and Animators) are working with  SPADA (producers/production companies) to agree on these mandatory clauses.

One of the key rules for all parties (the contractor [worker] and the contracting entity [Engager]) with the new Act is:

  • Duty of Good Faith

This sounds like a benign term but it has an important meaning that everyone will need to understand and apply, on both sides (worker and engager):

Duties of good faith for parties in workplace relationship

(1)  Parties in a workplace relationship must not, whether directly or indirectly, do anything—

(a)  to mislead or deceive each other; or

(b)  that is likely to mislead or deceive each other.

The idea that you had to get the express permission of the producer or production company before you showed your contract to an advisor (guild, lawyer, professional advisor) has always been an unacceptable clause put forward under the guise of confidentiality.

If you are a Full member of DEGANZ, you will be able to come to the Guild to have your new contracts checked to ensure that they conform.

For those with existing contracts under which they are working, the producer/production company has 12 months from 30 December 2022 before they will be required to incorporate the mandatory terms of the Act.

DEGANZ collective bargaining will take some time to start and conclude. We expect to enter bargaining around the middle of next year.

It’s vitally important that we start preparing for this now, so that when we move to collective bargaining we are truly representative of all directors, editors and assistant editors. Everyone should have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process required for collective bargaining over the minimum payments, and terms and conditions of their work.

To this end we want all directors, editors and assistant editors to be covered by the Act as a Full member of DEGANZ.

For those of you reading this, please actively encourage everyone you know who is not a member of a guild to become a Full member.

The power of numbers will be very important as we all move forward from here. And it’s our Full members that DEGANZ will represent in any discussions with engagers over contracts, once collective agreements are in place.

A note here: Ngā Aho Whakaari (NAW), Pacific Island Screen Artists (PISA), Pan-Asian Screen Collective (PASC)  and Women In Film and Television NZ (WIFT) are not guilds representing workers under the recognised occupational groups of the Act. Members of these associations should also join the guild that best represents their occupation as a worker.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 21 October 2022

Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand is thrilled to present our board for 2022/2023. Members elected to the board at the 2022 Annual General Meeting are:

Director Robyn Paterson, President
Director/Editor Steven Chow, Vice-President
Accountant Phil Gore, Treasurer

National Executive:

Director Caroline Bell-Booth
Editor Annie Collins
Editor Margot Francis
Editor Rāhera Herewini-Mulligan
Director/Editor Celia Jaspers
Director Sam Kelly
Director Rupert Mackenzie
Editor Te Rurehe Paki
Editor Ben Powdrell
Director Gaysorn Thavat

We welcome Caroline Bell-Booth, Celia Jaspers, Rupert Mackenzie, Te Rurehe Paki and Ben Powdrell who join the National Executive for the first time. Furthermore, we want to say thank you to our returning board members.

We say goodbye and a big thank you to Howard Taylor who has served on the board since the Guild began in 1995 and was President between 2016 and 2021. Thank you to Dr Gabriel Reid who has been a board member for over 10 years, including as Vice President. DEGANZ also farewells directors Renae Maihi and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa this year. We thank everyone immensely for serving the Guild over their terms and wish them all the best.

Finally, thank you to all members who voted in the board election at the AGM last week.

Learn more about our board members

Last updated on 20 October 2022

Written and directed by DEGANZ member Andrew Blackman, Terminal Lake is a film about survival in these uncertain times. To help bring it to life, the team have launched a Boosted campaign.

Starring Jordan Mooney (The Panthers, Westside), Terminal Lake is a metaphor for the chaos in the world right now. It follows a nameless man desperately searching a desert for water to ask a burning question: is there hope on our horizon? Andrew feels very strongly about the themes in the movie, “It is a self-reflexive exploration of our collective anxieties, hopes and dreams, with sparks of loose freeform psychedelia and a sense of black comedy”.

The film will shoot in beautiful, yet hostile, Te Onetapu and the funds raised will cover the cost of production, including paying the crew fairly, travel, food and accommodation, and keeping everyone safe on location in the desert.

Head here to donate.

Good luck to Andrew and the team!

Teaser for Terminal Lake

Last updated on 20 October 2022

Four DEGANZ members and their projects have been accepted into Story Camp Aotearoa 2022, run by Script to Screen. Nine projects all together were selected from 60 applications.

Story Camp is crafted to meet the development needs of each writer and project. Over a week in November, participating writers and their collaborators workshop their feature film projects with exceptional local and international advisors.

Kyan Krumdieck’s project, Comrade Andrei, has been selected alongside Katie Wolfe’s The Blue Whale, which is based on the novel The Virgin and the Whale by Carl Nixon.

Kim Webby will attend Story Camp with Manifesto For Murder, as well as Cian Elyse White (Incubator 2021) with Te Puhi (The Princess).

Congratulations to our members!

Last updated on 20 October 2022