Gonna Be A Big Year

View from the Top banner

Welcome to 2023. It’s going to be a big one.


Because on 30 December 2022, the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA) came into force.

Under the Act, all new contracts from 31 December 2022 forward in the screen industry

  • Be in writing
  • Have a term requiring compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and
    the Human Rights Act 1993.
  • Have plain language explanations of:
    • The process for making a complaint about bullying, discrimination, or harassment, and how the engager (production company/producer) will respond to the complaint. Individual contracts must also state that this complaint process will not prevent the worker from making a complaint about bullying, discrimination or harassment under any Act
    • the processes to resolve any dispute
  • in relation to termination of the individual contract, have:
    • a term stating whether parties need to give each other notice to terminate the contract, and if so, how much notice must be given
    • a term stating whether compensation is payable to a worker if the engager terminates the contract, and if so, what that compensation is.

Engagers (production company/producer) have 12 months before any existing contract is required to include the above.

AS A MEMBER, you can now bring to DEGANZ any new contract you receive for work to ensure that it complies with the new requirements, before you sign.

We will also offer ALL MEMBERS advice about the rates, and terms and conditions of their contracts prior to concluding any collective agreement.

And, we will represent ALL MEMBERS in any dispute over either an existing or new contract.

This year, DEGANZ will be seeking to negotiate collective agreements with the Screen Production and Development Association for directors, editors and assistant editors in feature film (documentary and narrative), TV drama, Factual and Entertainment, and Advertising and Marketing content (under five minutes)—all work covered under the Act.

In other words, we will be looking to set minimum rates of pay and terms and conditions for those roles across those genres of screen content.

And how will we know what to negotiate and whether or not you will be happy with the outcome?

That’s where you all come in.

And when I say all, I mean ALL OF YOU—every single, screen director, editor and assistant editor working in New Zealand as a contractor.

We need to know what you want and what you don’t want in regards to minimum rates and terms and conditions in your contract. And you need to help us to decide what to accept.

In other words, ALL OF YOU need to actively participate in the decision making that will be required to set the collective agreements because they are going to be locked in place for a minimum of three and a maximum of six years.

And the best way to do that is for every director, editor, and assistant editor in New Zealand to be a member of DEGANZ.

In this way, we can easily communicate with you, and you can easily communicate with us – throughout the whole process of preparing for negotiation, during negotiation, and after collective agreements are in place.

If you and your colleagues are not in our loop at DEGANZ, then you will be out of our loop, although we will do our best to promote widely everything we are doing. This is important to understand, especially when it comes to policing negotiated collective agreements.

You will not be alone anymore if you are a member of DEGANZ.

We will step in for you, and stand up for you—We are a membership organisation and union that will represent our members to the best of our ability.

Start to get a good understanding about the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA) by reading the info here from Employment New Zealand.

And stay tuned. There will be much more to come both online and with hui to inform you about SIWA and how you can get to have your say in the collective agreement process.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 19 January 2023