October 12, 2010

At a meeting of Wellington actors, held at the Tararua Tramping Club, 4 Moncrieff Street, 6.30pm, Monday 11 October 2010, an actor brought a draft statement that was circulated, discussed and revised as follows. It is addressed to the executive of New Zealand Actors Equity and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).
The undersigned actors are aware of:
1.    NZ Equity-MEAA’s attempts to negotiate a collective agreement for NZ actors on local and international film projects
2.    the difficulties that arise from NZ’s current labour laws (The Commerce Act, The Employment Contracts Act, The Employment Relations Act, etc), especially where advocating for independent contractors is involved, and
3.    the ongoing issue between NZAE and the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA).
We ask NZ Actors Equity-MEAA:
1.      to advise its affiliate international actors’ unions that a boycott of THE HOBBIT is an inappropriate strategy for achieving the desired outcomes
2.      not to target the producers of THE HOBBIT in its efforts to resolve its issues with SPADA, and
3.      to focus instead (with the Council of Trade Unions and other relevant organisations) on working through the underlying issues regarding New Zealand’s current labour laws and the financial incentives offered to international productions.
We also wish to affirm the great value Sir Peter Jackson’s companies bring to the NZ economy at large and the NZ film industry in particular, noting that:
§      their dealings with actors have been fair with regard to rates and working conditions
§      their generosity with facilities like Weta Workshop, Weta Digital, Park Road Post and Stone Street Studios has helped many small local film projects to achieve a high level of excellence
§      their achievements in, and commitment to, building and maintaining Wellington and New Zealand’s great reputation for creative excellence in film-making has value for all New Zealanders, and
§      in a highly competitive global environment, and given the effects of the world-wide financial crisis on the film industry, their ability to work in a way that is most advantageous to NZ actors cannot be taken for granted.
We further thank NZ Actors Equity-MEAA for bringing the wider employment issues to the fore, and reiterate that we do not believe it is in the interests of NZ actors for actors’ union action to in any way jeopardise the production of THE HOBBIT films in New Zealand.
[Any other acotrs wanting to sign, please go to StarNow, 14-16 Allen St, Level 3, Dermalogica Building between 9am – 7pm or email zeldapants@gmail.com by 7pm today (Wed) or tomorrow (Thur 14/10), including you phone number and name of your agent for verificaltion that you are an actor).] 
Share on social