The Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand works to ensure the creative, cultural and financial well-being of New Zealand directors and editors.
We represent directors, editors and assistant editors of drama and documentary features; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; commercials and promotions; animation; video art and online content.
We are an incorporated society and registered union with office headquarters in Auckland. We have regional representatives in Wellington, and host initiatives and events in most major centres around the country.
We are governed by a democratically-elected board chosen through annual elections from our membership.
Right to protect your vision.
Right to the enjoyment of culture and its components in conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination.
Right to be remunerated.
The Directors and Editors Guild of NZ formed in 1995 when 18 directors gathered at a conference in Wellington to discuss directors’ conditions of work and the need for an organisation to represent their independent interests. Until that time, directors had been part of the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA), representing both producers and directors.
DEGANZ (known then as the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand) came into being as an incorporated society, and welcomed editors into the Guild in 2009. The Guild became officially known in 2013 as the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand.
In 2021, the Guild changed its name to the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ) to include the Māori name for New Zealand.
The Guild discussed whether or not to become a craft union in 2000 when the Labour Government passed the Employment Relations Act making collective bargaining possible. However, because the majority of Guild members continued to see themselves as freelance operators, there was never unified support for unionisation.
With the election of the Labour-led Government in 2017, and the likely removal of the ‘Hobbit Law’ and introduction of Fair Pay Agreements, unionisation again came to the fore. At the 2018 DEGANZ Annual General Meeting, members voted almost unanimously to unionise. A new constitution to allow DEGANZ to operate as a union was adopted at the 2019 AGM in October.
DEGANZ is a registered union and an affiliate of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.
DEGANZ created the New Zealand Screen Awards to honour the New Zealand film industry following the end of the New Zealand Film and Television Awards in 2003. The NZSAs ran from 2005 – 2007, before merging with the Qantas Television Awards in 2008 and renamed the Qantas Film and Television Awards. These were subsequently renamed the Aotearoa Film and Television Awards (AFTAs) in 2011.
In 2012, DEGANZ announced that, due to funding and resource restraints, it would not be involved with the AFTAs, nor would it run a separate film awards.
Since 2009, the Guild has proudly sponsored both the Best Editor and Best Director awards at Show Me Shorts Short Film Festival, an Academy Awards-accredited festival.