Ministers’ release: 31 July 2014
Labour has shown its true colours by promising to undermine the progress of New Zealand’s screen sector and reintroduce uncertainty into screen contracts for the benefit of Australian-run unions, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said today.
“This government saved the production of the three Hobbit films in Wellington after Australian unions, backed up by Labour Party MPs, tried to derail filming at the last minute,” Mr Finlayson said. “Labour wants to turn back the clock on the progress of the last six years which has seen the government put in place a stable regulatory environment for international productions, and provide appropriate incentives to develop a sustainable domestic screen sector.”
“This government introduced legislation that clarified the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film production industry. It formalised widespread industry practice, and removed uncertainty for producers, cast and crew, that the unions had threatened to exploit in order to hold up productions and stop people from working.”
“The New Zealand branch of the MEAA and the Labour Party were used as pawns by the Australian unions, who have no interest in a flourishing screen sector in New Zealand and who had already driven significant productions and jobs out of Australia with their wrecking tactics.”
“Arts and culture has always been regarded merely as a photo op portfolio for Labour MPs,” Mr Finlayson said. “Their latest policy announcement shows that for all their hand wringing, Labour MPs don’t care about the livelihoods of the actors, technicians and crew who pursue a living in the screen sector. They are looking back, not forward.”
Updated on 7th October 2019