8th November 2017

A core group of organisations representing those involved in the screen industry met on Friday (3 November 2017) following recent media regarding the Government’s proposed repeal of the Employment Relations (Film Production Workers) Amendment Act 2010 (colloquially known as the ‘Hobbit Law’).

The discussion was positive and the organisations agreed to work constructively with each other and the Government to ensure that all the diverse interests associated with the sector are fairly represented. We look forward to engaging with the Government on what we all agree is a critical piece of legislation for the screen production sector.

Statement released by: Equity New Zealand, the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand, the Screen Industry Guild Aotearoa New Zealand, the Screen Producers Association, the Stunt Guild of New Zealand and the New Zealand Writers Guild.


Join us for a special Rialto Newmarket screening of Human Traces, the debut feature from DEGNZ member Nic Gorman, which was selected for the New Zealand, Melbourne and Toronto film festivals.

When a mysterious young man arrives on a remote Sub-Antarctic research station, secrets threaten the relationship of a married couple working on the island.

Afterwards, lead actor Mark Mitchinson will join us for a 20-minute Q&A, moderated by Tui Ruwhiu.

In their Toronto Film Review, Variety wrote, “Nic Gorman has delivered a suspenseful, engrossing and very well performed mood piece that marks him as a talent worth watching.”

Watch the trailer here.

When: Thu 16 Nov, 6pm
Where: Rialto Cinemas Newmarket, Auckland
Tickets: Via Rialto online or at the cinema; $12 discounted tickets for DEGNZ and film industry members

Last newsletter I postulated about what might and might not occur in regard to the screen industry once the portfolios were assigned. Little did I know it would be referenced in the Hollywood Reporter here.

I was wrong about Grant Robertson getting the Arts portfolio but happily so as Jacinda kept it.

My suggestion that the Hobbit Law was ‘goneburger’ was closer to the mark—the government’s announcement that it would remove the ‘Hobbit Law’ within the first 100 days has prompted a flurry of activity both in front of and behind the camera. We are in dialogue with all of the guilds at this point, and have been communicating with the minister involved. There’s a lot more to be done in and around this and it will take some time. We’ll update you when we have something to say.

Duncan Grieve gave his opinion yesterday on what the new government means for TV here.

And Clare Curran, the new Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media in Radio NZ’s Mediawatch programme gave answer to my thoughts on Radio NZ+, TVNZ and other matters here.

A more interesting development with our digital platforms is the current appeal by Stuff and NZME against the Commerce Commission’s decision to reject their merger. The Crown has brought out the big guns with Jim Farmer QC representing its case. It will be interesting to see if the outcome is StuffMe or “Stuff you!” The latest on this here.

Media watcher John Drinnan on his blog tips interim CEO of Māori Television and Māori businessman Keith Ikin as the next MTS CEO in a short article seriously in need of a spelling and grammar check here.

And finally, a tip of the hat to Taika Waititi… again. Thor: Ragnarok has topped the box office charts in NZ in 2017 with $2.23 million in its first weekend. Global box office is expected to hit US$400 million by Sunday, when the film will see its first weekend in the highly lucrative US market. Those are amazing numbers considering Thor still has a lot of legs left in international markets, and the global total for the last film in the Thor franchise six years ago was US$449 million all up. Taika will be laughing all the way to the pēke.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

DEGNZ welcomes directors and actors to register their interest for a chance to take part in Rehearsal & Performance, DEGNZ’s revamped Rehearsal Room workshop series.

Michael DuignanIn this hands-on half-day workshop, director Michael Duignan (Go Girls, Filthy Rich, The Blue Rose) will look at the director/actor relationship and share ways in which directors and actors can work better collaboratively to achieve great on screen performances.

Rehearsal & Performance brings together participants in groups of three (one director, two actors) to explore and rehearse a scene in a safe and non-pressured environment. Michael will give each group guidance and advice throughout the workshop.

Participants are expected to do some preparation beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene in advance.

Directors and actors register via Eventbrite by Friday 10 November, 12 noon. Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation.


What: Rehearsal & Performance with Director Michael Duignan

When: Saturday 25 November, 9am – 2pm; lunch provided

Where: Kingsland, Auckland

Cost: Free; workshop is only open to members of DEGNZ and Equity NZ.

Register at: Eventbrite