Tag Archive for: President

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

DEGNZ President Howard Taylor signs off.

I am retiring from my role as president of the DEGNZ. Going, but not quite gone. As required by the constitution, I will be continuing as a board member for another year to ensure a smooth transition.

I regard being on the Board of the Guild an honour and a privilege. It is also a lot of work – as my fellow board members will attest. However, I believe that giving back in this way to the industry that has given me such a wonderful career is the least we can do.

I have been on the Board since we set the Guild up 25 years ago and I have been president for five years. I turned the role down twice because I felt, rightly or wrongly, that while I had spent a lifetime in the world of television, I was not familiar enough with the film world. That changed when, having written a feature film screenplay, I took part in a year-long course in international co-production of features. The new-found knowledge gave me the confidence to finally say yes to the role of president.

I am a great believer in Guilds and the role they play in the industry. The lobbying we do on our members behalf is very often unseen. There is a tendency for government and industry bodies like the NZFC to listen to producers and either forget the creatives or assume that producers speak for everyone. The voice of the director (and editor) in the debates that arise is vital.

While it would be wonderful for us all to have the freedom implied by the fact that film is an artform, we are constrained by the pressures of the commercial world. Those pressures impact us directly as an erosion of conditions and fees. The Guild has a key role in protecting what we currently have and promoting improvements. This will be tested when we put on our Union hat and go into negotiation with SPADA to negotiate minimum rates and conditions as set out in the new Screen Industry Worker legislation.

The Guild’s role in providing education and skills training to members is important in an industry where most training is for beginners.

Directors live in silos. It’s many years since I was on another director’s set. Watching other directors work is a valuable learning experience and it’s great the DEGNZ can give directors (and editors) that opportunity.

What I value most is the sense of fraternity that Guild membership brings. We look after each other. Yes, we are competitors for jobs, but in my experience the willingness of directors and editors to lend a hand to their fellows trumps any sense of competition. Guild membership gives me a sense of connectedness to the screen industry that I have never found anywhere else.

The Guild has evolved hugely over the years, becoming a sophisticated organisation dealing with a plethora of active issues. I am proud of what the Guild has achieved and look forward to its robust and noisy future. Kia kaha.

Howard Taylor
(Ex.) President