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We’ve got the elections this year and that means everything is up in the air.

Simon Bridges says he’ll likely reverse the TVNZ-RNZ merger if National gets back into power.

The Film Industry Working Group’s recommendations around collective bargaining for the screen industry could go out the window.

NZ On Air could get an increase in funding… Or not.

There is some certainty in the media space, though. My predictions:

TVNZ will continue to lose money as long as it stays the way it is, no matter how good a job Kevin Kendrick does (and by all accounts he’s doing a good one).

TV3 will face the same uncertain future it has since it started in 1989, even with a new owner.

The NZ Screen Sector Strategy 2030 will… do something good, bad or indifferent (industry bets seem to be on either of the latter two at the moment).

NZ On Air will have a new CEO shortly—whether it’s a great opportunity for someone new to make a mark or a hospital pass will come clear by the end of 2020.

And the rest of the world, including Australia, will keep capitalising on the demand for internationally-focused TV drama produced locally.

At DEGNZ, it’s very much steady as she goes.

We have a strong board in place who are highly proactive around key issues for us and the industry.

Our focuses strategically will be copyright, collective bargaining legislation, post-production workflow and training, and keeping an eye on the vocational education work being done by various entities, which will get a lot of attention in 2020. There are, of course, always unexpected developments that need a response and we’ll stay alert to these as the need arises.

As a union now affiliated to the Council of Trade Unions, we will have an opportunity to sharpen our skills and knowledge with them in preparation for negotiations should the collective bargaining legislation go through.

We’ll continue to provide membership services including our professional development programme, thanks to the financial support of NZFC, the Vista Foundation, the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society, accounting firm VCFO, and with the support of Resene, Event Cinemas, Rialto Cinemas, Dominion Law and Handy Training Online.

We’ll maintain our partnerships on various activities with the NZ Writers Guild, Equity NZ, SCGNZ, NZAPG, SPADA, WIFT, Ngā Aho Whakaari, NZCS and look to forge a relationship with the newly-formed PASC.

DEGNZ is committed as we always say to ‘the creative, cultural and financial well-being of New Zealand directors and editors’.

With the shake-ups in our domestic screen industry scene including more SVODs coming online, and on the international stage with Brexit, the U.S. elections, and the novel coronavirus, we hope that you will join with us as we head into what is undoubtedly going to be a tumultuous 2020.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director







DEGNZ is excited to present a Directing Masterclass with Australian director/producer Sophie Hyde on Saturday 27 July in Auckland.

In this interactive Masterclass, Sophie will share on how she came to be making film and television and how her projects are able to develop and thrive within the film collective she works within. Participants will look at case studies on the making of feature films 52 Tuesdays and Animals, and series F*!#ing Adelaide and The Hunting

Sophie will discuss what the big challenges have been, about tackling doubts and keeping self-motivated and rigorous during development and through production. The Masterclass will get directors to think about what’s important to them and how this will help them navigate their own projects.

We invite directors to apply now.

About Sophie Hyde

Sophie’s debut fiction film 52 Tuesdays (director/producer/co-writer) won the directing award in World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale. Her second film Animals, based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s acclaimed novel, premiered at Sundance 2019. Her first episodic series F*!#ing Adelaide, created for ABC iView screened at Berlin Film Festival and Series Mania in 2018. She produced and co-directed acclaimed documentary Life in Movement, winner of the Australian Documentary Prize in 2011 and the Cinedans Jury and Audience prizes.

She also works as a Producer and believes strongly in nurturing new voices. She was recently mentor and executive producer on A Field Guide to Being A 12-year-old-girl, which won the short film Crystal Bear at Berlin last year. She produced Matt Bate’s feature documentaries Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, and Maya Newell’s In My Blood It Runs. She has just finished production as creator/director/producer of The Hunting, a 4×1 hour series for SBS.

Animals screens at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2019. Sophie will be attending Q+A screenings in Auckland.

Masterclass Details

Price: DEGNZ members/NAW Full members – Free, Non-members $95. Lunch and refreshments provided.

When: Sat 27 July, 9am – 5pm

Where: Saint Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

After the masterclass, DEGNZ Full members attending from outside the Auckland region can apply for a travel allowance of up to $250.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 9AM, Friday 19 July 2019

STEP 1: Complete the application form below.

STEP 2: Send your filmography OR CV with filmography in PDF to

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.




This workshop is brought to you with the generous support of the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society and the New Zealand Film Commission.

ASDACS logo       NZFC

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In my last blog editorial I wrote of Fair Remuneration and the meetings DEGNZ President Howard Taylor and I attended in Tokyo at the General Assembly of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and Executive Council meeting of Writers & Directors Worldwide.

Rather than pen more words about this, here is a link to a 10 minute video produced by W & DW and other associated bodies on the discussions at the meetings of W & DW and the Directors Guild of Japan.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive DIrector

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Last week, Guild President Howard Taylor and I attended the General Assembly of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), and the Executive Committee meeting of Writers & Directors Worldwide (W & DW) in Tokyo.

The primary purpose for attending was to gain international support from the two bodies for DEGNZ’s efforts to win economic rights for directors in New Zealand.

Working with W & DW, we tabled a resolution to CISAC calling on the NZ Government to support the assigning of economic copyright to directors in New Zealand. The resolution was passed at the General Assembly.

Writers and Directors Worldwide Executive Committee meeting.

Another reason for our attendance was to participate in the formulation of an alliance of Guilds and Collective Management Organisations (CMOs—an example being ASDACS, the collection society for directors in Australasia) in the Asia-Pacific to strengthen our international presence in the region, and to work collaboratively with those bodies on areas of mutual interest.

DEGNZ President Howard Taylor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) together with the Directors Guild of Japan, the Directors Guild of Korea, the Australian Directors’ Guild, The Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society (ASDACS) and the Australian Writers’ Guild. We expect the number of bodies participating in the alliance to expand to other countries in the Asia-Pacific over time.

The MOU supports the formation of the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Writers and Directors (AAPA) for the purpose of:

  1. Serving as an independent and impartial advocate on behalf of the audiovisual creators’ community in the Asia-Pacific region;
  2. Seeking to strengthen copyright protection and to further the interests of audiovisual creators in the Asia-Pacific region.

In order to fulfil these goals:

  1. AAPA shall work with the support of Writers & Directors Worldwide to participate in the campaigns and activities of W & DW;
  2. AAPA shall establish further strategic alliances with similar audiovisual organisations in other territories globally.

DEGNZ President Howard Taylor signs MOU for Alliance of Asia Pacific Audio-visual Writers and Directors.

What became abundantly clear in our discussions with the Japanese and Korean directors guilds was that we are all in the same boat—directors in the Asia-Pacific and in many other countries do not have economic rights in their works, and consequently many struggle to have sustainable careers.

Our involvement with CISAC, W & DW and now AAPA are all geared towards achieving fair remuneration for directors in New Zealand, and elsewhere. This has long been a focus of CISAC and particularly W & DW internationally, and they have had a number of wins, most notably in South America.

Directors guilds and Writers and Directors Worldwide at the offices of the Directors Guild of Japan.

DEGNZ until now has essentially been standing alone in its efforts to win economic rights for directors, although we have received considerable support and assistance from the Australian Directors Guild and maintain relationships with the Directors Guild of America and Directors UK.

Participating collaboratively at an international level in order to win fair remuneration for directors only strengthens our efforts to do so here for New Zealand directors.

We look forward to collaborating with our international counterparts, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, as we continue to push for fair remuneration.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

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29 May 2015

As Dotcom seemingly inches closer to extradition, copyright has raised its head here at the guild enough times recently for me to decide to write about it.

And before your eyes glaze over at the thought of reading boring copy about copyright, I can assure you that there are a number of things in it for you as a guild member, one of which could well be money.

We have a staunch advocate for copyright on the guild board in Costa Botes. Costa is a documentary maker who often exerts copyright over his films and then has to defend himself against online trolls who attack him for seeking to monetize his creative output so that he can earn a living as a filmmaker. Costa is wont to remind me and the board on a semi-regular basis about the importance of copyright and the need to protect it.

What got me typing on the subject, however, were three different prompts. The first was a discussion I had with the Executive Director of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Kingston Anderson.

Kingston brought up the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collection Society (ASDACS), which is a non-profit company that represents directors, both Australian and New Zealand – film, television and all audiovisual media directors of works in public release – in collecting the rights that arise from the success of their work around the world.

ASDACS, which is now administered by ADG, has relationships with collection societies and guilds in a number of countries that research and monitor the display of audio visual works.

If you are a member of ASDACS and you have works that are registered with it, ASDACS through its sister organisations collects the royalties and will disburse them to you. This income comes primarily from countries in Europe where the authorship of audio-visual works is vested in the director—not the case in Australia or New Zealand at this point. More shortly on this. As a member of DEGNZ, you are entitled to receive all the income due without incurring the across the board 10% fee on any income ASDACS charges non-members.

A number of New Zealand directors are already members of ASDACS. We encourage you to join and register your works. For more information, go to the ASDACS website here.

As you will have noted, authorship vested in the director is the trigger for the revenue generation. This brings me to the second prompt.

While filing papers at the office I came across an internal discussion document written in 2005 by former board member Grant Campbell advocating for a focused guild effort to effect two changes in New Zealand copyright legislation: The first in regard to Moral Rights, the second Authorship. DEGNZ has sought for years without success to have the legislation changed to better represent the rights of directors in regard to these two key issues—the legislation is potentially a can of worms that the government is very reluctant to open up.

It needs to be pointed out that our efforts are not intended to allow directors to keep copyright, as copyright and moral rights often need to be assigned to allow projects to be funded and distributed.

We continue to strive for these changes at the guild, and this brings me to my third prompt.

In recent times the Copyright Council has rebranded and become We Create.

DEGNZ is a member of We Create and I had the opportunity to attend the AGM for the first time and have a follow up meeting with two key members of the working group there.

The former Copyright Council fought from a defensive position around the protection of copyright for its members, which includes bodies that represent musicians, photographers, publishers, writers and those in film and TV including the NZ Writers Guild (NZWG) and the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA).

We Create is operating under a new paradigm of promoting New Zealand’s creative sector and the economic impact that the sector delivers, and by so doing highlighting the importance of Intellectual Property.

As a conglomeration of entities that have a vested interest in copyright, We Create provides a more powerful channel for DEGNZ to work with to lobby central government on your behalf.

You can learn more about We Create here, about copyright, moral rights, and here an information sheet that highlights the current situation where authorship in audiovisual works in New Zealand is vested in producers, not directors. And if you are particularly interested you can review the NZ Copyright Act here, paying particular attention to Clause 5 on Authorship and Part 4 on Moral Rights.

I leave you with the words of one of New Zealand’s leading producers to ponder: At an industry gathering he said [paraphrasing] that as a producer you are creating a library of product to support you in retirement. At DEGNZ we look forward to the time when New Zealand directors have similar rights to grow old with.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director