Special counsel to facilitate ‘Hobbit law’ working group

by Sol Dolor31 Jan 2018
Linda Clark, former TVNZ political editor who’s now a Kensington Swan special counsel, has been appointed by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway as facilitator of the government’s Film Industry Working Group.

Lees-Galloway said that the government is determined to ensure all New Zealand workers “get a fair go, including film workers.”

“The 2010 ‘Hobbit law’ meant film production workers were treated as independent contractors, unless they are party to a written employment agreement that states they are employees. This effectively denied them rights enjoyed by other workers in New Zealand. Contractors do not have the right to bargain collectively under the Employment Relations Act,” he said.

He said that the country must have a highly skilled and innovative economy that provides well-paid, decent jobs, and delivers on economic growth and productivity. Working people need a voice in their workplace through collective bargaining to achieve this goal, he said.

“The industry has agreed to work collaboratively to find a durable solution to restore collective bargaining rights for film production workers, without necessarily changing the status of those who wish to continue working as independent contractors,” Lees-Galloway said.

The other members of the working group are:
  • Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Equity New Zealand
  • Michael Brook, Regional Film Offices New Zealand
  • Craig Dunn, Stunt Guild
  • Richard Fletcher, Screen Production and Development Association
  • Brendan Keys, Weta Digital
  • Alex Lee, Film Auckland
  • Sioux Macdonald, Screen Industry Guild
  • Paul Mackay, BusinessNZ
  • Barrie Osborne, producer
  • Tui Ruwhiu, Directors and Editors Guild
  • Alice Shearman, New Zealand Writers Guild
  • Erina Tamepo, Ngā Aho Whakaari
  • Richard Wagstaff, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

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