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As the first glimmer of dawn lights the sky and the promise of Level Two becomes more real, its time I stopped leaving all the communication to our ED Tui. He is doing an amazing job. Thank you, Tui. Tui and Tema, our events manager, are working as hard as ever but they have volunteered to take a pay cut till things improve and I thank them for that.

When I started in television (the 1970s), a New Zealand documentary tradition was being established by the NZBC – at that time the only player in town. The documentaries we were making reflected New Zealand’s preoccupations of the time. A major theme was ‘who are we?’ What defines a New Zealander? Culturally the country was in its adolescence and we spent a lot of time gazing in the mirror. A decade later we had matured. We were more self-confident and turned our attention outward. But from that time a number of qualities became attached to the idea of being a New Zealander – self-reliance, inventiveness (the number 8 wire cliché), love of the outdoors and sport. For me the value we Kiwis put above all others was ‘fairness’. We see ourselves as a just society that tries to treat people fairly. The phrase ‘a fair go’ is part of our lexicon. Now, thanks to our Prime Minister, we can add another value – kindness. The word resonated and we have embraced it.

Those two values are at the very heart of what our Guild is about. We are here to look after the well-being of our members. They are the values that drive everything we do. They are the reason we became a union. Perhaps as well as promoting ‘buy local’ to support the NZ economy, we should be pushing ‘watch local’ to support our industry!

So be fair, be kind and I reckon we should have a great party when we come out of lockdown.

Howard Taylor
President