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There has been a flurry of activity around the Screen Industry Workers Bill in the last month.

On the 23rd of August the Bill had its second reading in the House.

Then it went to the Committee of the Whole House on the 31st of August.

We expect that the Bill will have its third and final reading in the house next week. We hope. It’s No. 5 on the Order Paper, so it may not be gotten to on the day if things drag out.

But if it doesn’t, what happens from there?

If the Bill gets its third reading, it is then destined to become law but not until it receives Royal Assent from the King’s (?!) representative, the Governor General. The Bill will come into force three months after it’s signed by the Governor General.

While we all prepare for collective bargaining, which the Act will allow for contractors in the screen industry, six new rules will come into effect immediately when the Bill comes into force:

  1. Duty of good faith applies between workers and their engagers
  2. Individual contracts must be in writing
  3. Engagers must follow process rules for making and varying individual contracts
  4. Individual contracts must contain mandatory terms. Existing contracts will have extra time – 12 months – to comply with this
  5. Terms must not be worse than any applicable collective contract (once it has been negotiated)
  6. Engagers can’t cancel contracts in retaliation for workers exercising their rights

If you are working as a contractor in the screen industry and are covered by the Bill, four of the above six rules will apply straight away, being 1., 2., 3., & 6.

Rule 4. will also apply if you enter into a new contract.

Rule 5. will apply when a collective agreement is negotiated.

These six rules change the dynamic of the relationship between you as the contractor and the person or company contracting you. They will be law. They must be abided by. And they are enforceable.

In other words, you will have protection as a contractor in your working relationship with the entity contracting you that you didn’t have previously.

This change in dynamic is going to take some time for everyone to get used to. It’s important however that everyone understands what it all means and how it will affect them.

We have published a simplified guide to what the Screen Industry Workers Bill means, with links to additional information.

Please take the time to read and learn about the Screen Industry Workers Bill because it’s going to become an important part of your working life.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director







15 December 2021

The Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ) welcomes the review of the New Zealand Government’s Investment in The Screen Sector.

“The screen industry is rapidly changing,” said DEGANZ President Robyn Paterson, “so it is timely that the Government is looking to better leverage its investment in the New Zealand screen industry to improve outcomes for Aotearoa’s screen workers, businesses, and our own stories.”

In 2018 the Sapere Report, ‘Evaluating the New Zealand Screen Production Grant’, highlighted a gross additional economic benefit of $542 million directly attributable to NZSPG. This was later confirmed in a review of the Sapere Report by Infometrics.

The Infometrics evaluation also supported Sapere’s findings that the NZSPG has contributed greatly to the development of the film and television industry and all of the associated activities.

“The economic benefit of the NZSPG to New Zealand is undoubted”, added Paterson. “As is the positive impact it is having on the development of parts of the New Zealand screen industry.”

“The real opportunity with this review, however, is to determine how to make it more effective for the development of local IP including with our Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations, the creation of New Zealand stories for the international market place, and the sustainability of Aotearoa’s creative workers. This includes prioritising New Zealand-led productions for the international market, and looking at ways in which international productions that choose to film here may be encouraged to employ and develop our local directors, editors and other creatives.”

Infometrics questioned the long-term sustainability of the New Zealand screen sector without the NZSPG, and pointed to the need for indirect benefits to accrue, such as skills development, technology transfer, tourism and cultural benefits.

“A revised NZSPG with an emphasis on developing and growing our domestic capability while protecting its attractiveness to international productions, can deliver increased economic, cultural, technical and employment benefits for New Zealand well into the future,” Paterson went on to say; “It’s important that we build a stronger, less vulnerable, and more sustainable local sector.”


For further information contact:

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director, Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand
021 659 950

Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand is a not-for-profit Incorporated Society and Union that represents Directors, Editors and Assistant Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors, Editors and Assistant Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGANZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • are a voice for Directors, Editors and Assistants in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of various pan‐industry bodies, and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • internationally work co-operatively with other directors’ guilds.
  • belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations, Writer’s & Directors Worldwide, Alliance of Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Writers and Directors, and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers.

DEGANZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:
Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa NZ
Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent
Grey Lynn
PO Box 47294, Ponsonby
+64 9 360 2102
+64 21 659 950