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DEGNZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 October 2021

The Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) supports the call by Ngā Aho Whakaari, who represents Māori in the screen industry, for direct COVID relief support for the Māori screen production sector.

In July 2020, NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) received $23.4 million for a Screen Production Recovery Fund. In September of this year, the Government announced further COVID relief support accessible through NZ On Air and NZFC. Again, Te Māngai Paho (TMP) received no direct COVID funding. Māori creatives and production companies who are not utilising NZ On Air or NZFC funds therefore cannot access COVID relief funds from those bodies.

“Industry relief has been appreciated but Treaty obligations need to be honoured,” says DEGNZ President Robyn Paterson. “Te Māngai Paho is significantly underfunded compared to NZ On Air, and this results in smaller budgets for Māori productions, many of which are made for Māori Television.”

“The financial hardship this inflicts on Māori creatives and production companies is exacerbated when there is no COVID relief funding to enable them to recover.”

“Māori directors, editors, writers, producers and crew are already working on lower production budgets. This puts a strain on financial sustainability and wellbeing. They need access to COVID funded support” Paterson added.

DEGNZ calls for the Government to support Te Māngāi Paho directly with COVID funding to aid those Māori creatives and production companies under duress due to COVID.

ENDS

 

Contact:

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
tui@degnz.co.nz
+64 21 659 950

Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand

The Directors and Editors Guild of 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.

DEGNZ’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 Assistant 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.

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

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent
Grey Lynn
PO Box 47294, Ponsonby
AUCKLAND

admin@degnz.co.nz
+64 9 360 2102
+64 21 659 950

The first two episodes in the three part documentary Ake, Ake, Ake are now available on Māori Television OnDemand and on the RNZ website. Co-directed by DEGNZ member Kim Webby and Whatanui Flavell, the series tells the story of the land occupation at Ihumātao through the voices of those who were intimately involved in the actions that took place there.

Screened to coincide with the 2nd anniversary of the occupation during July 2019, Ake, Ake, Ake is an important documentary that explores a significant event in Aotearoa’s recent history.

The last episode will be released on August 2.

The series was produced by Scottie Productions for Māori Television and made with the support of Te Māngai Pāho & NZ On Air.

View from the Top banner

New Zealand On Air’s Where Are the Audiences? 2018 Report makes for interesting reading.

If you haven’t already seen it, the key findings for the screen industry are:

  • Weekly audiences for traditional broadcast media are stable, and continue to deliver the biggest audiences.
    – But the gap to online video and SVOD is closing.
  • The weekly reach of SVOD has nearly doubled since 2016 – now reaching more than 6 in 10 people.
  • On a daily basis, linear TV has declined – driven by a fall in Sky TV penetration (Free-to-air actually grew 9%.)
  • Daily more people view videos on sites like YouTube and Facebook than read a newspaper.
  • On Demand viewing is stable but there’s a growing use of this as a content source, as opposed to catch up viewing.
  • New Zealanders still spend the most time each day on traditional broadcast media – 2.5 hrs watching linear TV, 1.5 hrs listening to radio, compared to 62 minutes on SVOD.
  • There’s significant behaviour difference between under 40s and over 45s, but the generation gap is closing as older New Zealanders adopt new tech.

So what does this mean for public broadcasting, particularly as it relates to TVNZ and Radio New Zealand?

As Sky subscriptions fall there has been a positive effect on free-to-air TV, particularly the daily reach of TV One. Conversely, the daily reach of TV2 and TV3 is declining dramatically, while Prime remains steady and Maori TV shows slight growth.

TV One is definitely the strongest TV brand and will, therefore, be the biggest revenue earner in the free-to-air space. Their On Demand offering is working, as attested to by the growth it’s achieving. Two though is languishing and looks to be going the way of Four, which is over and out, as does TV3.

TV One is the dominant free-to-air player as a commercial entity, much to the chagrin of Mediaworks CEO Michael Anderson who is doing his best to convince anyone who will listen that TV One should be turned into a public broadcaster. He knows the writing’s on the wall if he doesn’t get the changes he wants. But should One become the public broadcaster? Or would it be better to be flicked while its star is at least glimmering. There again is the elephant-in-the-room question of what to do about a public screen broadcaster.

Radio NZ is holding its own as a radio station. While Radio NZ’s daily reach is dropping, its audience share remains strong and it’s the single most popular radio station. RNZ is also increasing its online video content offering, which has been strengthened by the extra funding for commissioned programming recently announced.

Does TVNZ’s On Demand success hold the answer? As would be expected, SVOD’s weekly reach is up dramatically according to the report, and TVNZ On Demand is showing growth, not just for Catch Up but also as a content source.

If Radio NZ had a digital On Demand platform that offered a significant content source for ‘free-to-air’ programming and built its eyeball numbers to rival or surpass TVNZ’s On Demand, then we’d be in a place where quality programming could access NZ On Air funding without the commercial imperative that controls what does and doesn’t get made currently.

I’m clearly better on the questions than the answers, but I’m certainly not the only one trying to figure out how to take advantage of the global changes sweeping the TV industry that still haven’t really arrived here.

If you’ve got some bright ideas, let me know.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director