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ELECTION 2023 SPECIAL - Political Party Responses for NZ Screen Industry

9 Oct 2023 14:04 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

For the past two months, the New Zealand Writers Guild (NZWG) has been busy reaching out to ALL registered political parties* with the following set of questions. All party responses are listed below, alphabetically and un-edited. We hope these questions and responses help you to make informed voting decisions at this years general election.

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Voting is open between 2 October 2023 - 14 October 2023

The General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023

Huge thanks to Alice & Claire from the NZWG for allowing Film Auckland to share the replies with our Auckland screen community - ka pai!

*The following parties did not respond: Animal Justice Party, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, DemocracyNZ, Freedoms NZ, Leighton Baker Party, New Conservative, NewZeal, NZ First, New Zealand Loyal, Te Pāti Māori, The Opportunities Party, Women's Rights Party.

Q1. What are your party’s Arts, Culture and Heritage and Broadcasting policies?


Government arts funding, especially from Creative NZ, has become ideological. It has scrapped funding for community Shakespeare because it wasn’t “relevant for a decolonising Aotearoa in the 2020s and beyond.” But Creative NZ funded a show that extolled the murder of James Cook and hunting “white men” with pig hunting knives. An ACT coalition will direct Creative NZ that no funding shall go to activities that are racist and/or promote violence. Creative NZ will be directed that it is investing in the arts for all New Zealanders, including Asian culture, and especially New Zealanders in disadvantaged communities (such as the Otara Sistema programme, which brings music to disadvantaged kids) and rural areas.

ACT will consider selling off up to 50% of TVNZ under the Mixed Ownership Model (MOM). This will lessen the perception that state media is controlled by Government, and bring in investment and commercial accountability, so improving their long-term sustainability.


The Green Party will ensure better working conditions, more certainty, and greater opportunities for Aotearoa’s artists and creatives. Arts, culture, and creativity is vital for healthy, vibrant people and communities. Like other community infrastructure, the arts, culture, and heritage need proper support. The Green party will: 

Ensure all publicly funded projects pay at least the living wage to artists and expand paid artist residencies including Whiria te Tangata. 

Support and invest in repatriating taonga currently overseas, back to iwi, hapū, and whānau Māori. 

Provide stable funding for cultural and creative organisations and events both nationally and regionally, including long-term funding commitments for significant creative initiatives such as Te Matatini the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

Ensure that there are a range of creative education and training opportunities to support and expand the local creative sector. 

Fund alcohol-free venues, and replace arts funding from gambling revenue with stable, increased investment indexed to inflation. 

Support increased funding for quality, non-commercial public media that nurtures and promotes our talent and creativity as a nation, reflecting the unique social and cultural diversity of Aotearoa. 

Increase resourcing for student, community Māori, and Pasifika media and radio. 


Our stories and history are unique. Labour understands the contribution that our artists make to New Zealand. That is why while in Government we made the biggest single investment in the arts, culture and heritage sector in New Zealand’s history through introducing things like the Creative Careers pilot to help people in the creative sector develop non-creative skills and the knowledge required to build financial sustainability. 

We introduced an artists resale royalty scheme to ensure that visual artists receive a five per cent royalty payment on the resale of their original works. Labour proudly delivered on our commitment to establish a public holiday, now firmly part of our national identity, to celebrate Matariki. Labour in government will continue to fund events and celebrations which help all New Zealanders enjoy Matariki, fostering connection, exploration of te ao Māori and respect for Matariki mātauranga. 

A re-elected Labour government will: 

Build on the success of the Creative Careers pilot and New Zealand Music Commission internships funded through the Cultural Sector Capability Fund by investing in a permanent programme to support New Zealand artists to have sustainable and rewarding careers. 

Deliver the Erebus memorial, Te Paerangi Ataata- Sky Song. We will leverage the existing detailed design work underpinning this kaupapa and find a new enduring location to commemorate Erebus despite recent weather-related setbacks. 

We will also deliver the St James refurbishment by making good on our $15 million commitment to help repair the historically significant St James Theatre. 

Continue to fund Te Matatini, recognising it for the taonga it is. 

Explore ways to continue the Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme, which supports iwi, hāpū, whānau and Māori communities to maintain and share their precious and vulnerable mātauranga and taonga.

Bring together the significant work under way in the arts and culture sector including toi Māori and Pacific arts through the Aotearoa Arts Strategy. 

We will legislate to ensure that large multinational digital platforms pay a fair price to New Zealand media companies for the local news content they host and share on their platforms, and continue to support our existing public media entities to ensure there is high- quality local content – about New Zealanders, made by New Zealanders. This includes ensuring Māori broadcasting content in Te Reo Māori and also Māori broadcasting content in English. We are committed to public media broadcasting that does not just reflect the indigenous voice but also other minorities and our disabled communities.


National believes in an independent and strong media landscape. A country where our arts, media and digital successes are celebrated and retained.


Support for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Broadcasting has traditionally been well catered for in each year’s budget regardless of which political party is in power. We will continue to support the Arts and Culture and Heritage promotion and development. Broadcasting will have to be more self-sufficient, but this does not mean we would cease support in that area. The ability of broadcasting to be free of government leaning promotion is paramount and independence is to be encouraged

Q2. What are your party plans to increase funding to the main screen industry funding bodies – NZ on Air, Te Māngai Pāho and New Zealand Film Commission?


An ACT coalition will direct NZ-on-Air that its funding (currently about $184 million a year) must be for specific New Zealand content in radio and TV programmes (rather than a generic slush fund for journalism), and that content reflects and develops a shared New Zealand identity and culture for all New Zealanders. Politicised guidance will be withdrawn (in particular, the extremist Te Tiriti Framework for News Media).

The Public Interest Journalism Fund has contributed to undermining trust the public had in the media, and it will not be continued.


The Green Party wants to ensure there is stable and long-term funding for arts, local content, film, and culture. We want to see an Aotearoa where artists and creatives are valued, respected, and recognised for their work. To achieve this, we will:

Provide sustainable funding for the arts, cultural and creative organisations, including long-term funding for significant creative initiatives such as Te Matatini. 

Replace arts funding from gambling revenue with stable, increased investment indexed to inflation so that the future of our arts is not dependant on people gambling more.

Work with arts and creative communities to develop a national strategy for the future of arts and culture in Aotearoa, with a plan for long-term investment and development of our arts sector. Such a strategy could also inform arts education and sustainable career pathways, and facilitate local, philanthropic, and corporate investment to where it will have the most impact.


Yes, Labour will continue to invest directly in our cultural entities like Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Te Matatini, Te Papa, the New Zealand Film Commission, Nga Taonga / New Zealand Film Archive, and in other organisations across the arts. All domestic screen productions will be able to access the rebate alongside other government funding such as NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and the New Zealand Film Commission, encouraging more local content that showcases New Zealand here and across the world.


New Zealand’s economy is struggling, the cost-of-living continues to rise faster than wages, and mortgages are unaffordable. National intends to undertake a detailed review of all spending across Government and Crown Entities in order to get the books in order. It is too early to determine what funding decisions we will make until we get into Government and see the damage Labour has done.


We will continue to fund these agencies and provide incentives to once again turn our film industry into one of the most sort after in the world. We had a thriving and successful industry that has suffered retrenchment that must be recovered.

Q3. Will your party continue to support / and aim to increase the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate for international and domestic productions?


No. The New Zealand Screen Production Grant require bureaucrats to “pick winners” and takes money that could be used for direct public benefit such as education or health or through lower taxes. The fact that ongoing grants are needed to attract production show the subsidies do not create a sustainable industry. In contrast, removing barriers to employment regulation in 2010 was key in ensuring film production remained in New Zealand. ACT will scrap the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, saving the taxpayer almost $200 million annually. The best way of attracting investment in the film industry and productions in New Zealand is to remove barriers to investment and production in New Zealand.


We will keep the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate in place and have no current plans to remove it or increase it. We recognise the importance of large-scale, international, and domestic productions to provide continued employment in Aotearoa. However, we’re really focused on ensuring government funding supports smaller local projects and content.


Yes, Labour will continue to support the rebate. Labour believes in making it easier for the sector to access government support. We have consistently supported the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate while in Government by simplifying the additional five percent uplift rebate for international productions so it’s more accessible; and making changes to the post-production, digital and visual effects grant to improve its competitiveness and enable more smaller businesses to benefit from it.

All domestic screen productions will be able to access the rebate alongside other government funding such as NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and the New Zealand Film Commission, encouraging more local content that showcases New Zealand here and across the world.


National will maintain the Screen Production Rebate, alongside the Games Development Rebate, to ensure New Zealand’s media landscape and workforce can compete internationally supporting our domestic productions.


Yes, we will.

Q4. What is your party’s view on ensuring trade policies and any future changes to the copyright legislation, increase protections and promote Intellectual Property for the screen industry?


ACT has no policies regarding copyright legislation or promoting intellectual property for the screen industry.


The Green Party was the only party in Parliament that voted against the CPTPPA (Transpacific Partnership Agreement). The Green Party believes artists’ intellectual property and copyright must be protected, and that this should not be used as cover for large corporations to lock down their technology for profit.


The last significant review of the Copyright Act was completed more than a decade ago, and much has changed in that time. The digital environment has created new opportunities to disseminate and access works. For example, we have seen developments in artificial intelligence, data collection, virtual reality and 3-D printing.

Kiwis are increasingly using digital content over the internet, sharing platforms and streaming services. So our copyright regime must be robust enough and flexible enough to deal with the challenges of technological advances.

The Government has on-going work looking at how it should coordinate the Copyright Act review with the protection of mātauranga Māori and taonga works in response to the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal's report Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity (the Wai 262 report).


The protection of intellectual property is vital for the creative arts sector. Our creative industries are particularly susceptible to copyright theft and piracy. National will continue to support protection of intellectual property while ensuring the purpose is to protect the IP whilst making it available in a controlled manner.


Our screen industry must maintain the highest IP and copyright protection possible. We will ensure they do achieve this and will consult with the industry professionals in order to compile the best legislation to achieve this aim.

Q5. Does your party support the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA)?


ACT does not intend to repeal or amend the Screen Industry Workers Act.


We supported this Bill which brought together the Film Industry Working Group (FIWG) together unions and the film and television sector to create a bargaining framework for screen industry workers. However, if elected, The Green Party will promote job security and workplace protections for screen industry workers by removing the ‘Hobbit Law’ which mandates that screen industry workers must be contractors.


Yes we do, that’s why we introduced it. In government, Labour got to work undoing the harm caused by the Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Act. That law change deemed all screen production workers to be independent contractors, and denied them access to employment rights like collective bargaining.  

We formed the Film Industry Working Group in 2018 and tasked it with reviewing the regulatory framework for film industry workers, and to restore some of their rights to collectively bargain but retain their independent contractor status. 

Our Labour Government endorsed the Group’s recommendations, which were unanimously agreed by the guilds, industry bodies and business. The end result is the Screen Industry Workers Act – which allows for workers to establish minimum standards, like wages, overtime, and holidays, and allow those in the industry to address problems like bullying and workplace discrimination. 

We’re proud of this Kaupapa, and that we were able to land a flexible model that is well supported by key industry players. We will continue to monitor the ongoing functioning of the Act to ensure it is working as we intend. 


No, in National’s minority view ,when the legislation was before the House last year, we noted our support to improve protections for workers against bullying and harassment, freedom of association protections, and setting clear standards for employment contracts in the industry.

We believe this legislation will create a less flexible labour market and strengthen union power beyond what is appropriate. National’s concern comes from a fundamental belief that individual workers and businesses should be able to agree their own terms—the right to which would be removed by the occupation-level collective contracts provided for in the legislation. Overall, we believe that the Act will lead to less investment, slow the economy, and lead to fewer jobs within the film industry. In the last National-led Government we saw how amazing our local screen industry, our writers, and musicians, were thriving on a global platform, sharing our message of a vibrant and creative nation with a strong value focus on high quality content and skills backing those tremendous efforts


Yes, we absolutely do. Workers protection and rights are a given right and must be retained.

Q6. Does your party support vocational education pathways for the screen sector?


Yes. ACT intends to establish industry training organisations that are genuinely industry led and controlled, that determine the career pathways and quals and standards for their particular industry.


Yes, the Green Party would like to see more vocational education pathways, and this is something we would work to incorporate in a national arts and culture strategy in consultation with creatives and industry experts. 


Yes – in Government, Labour established the Toi Mai Workforce development council, which supports the broadcasting, screen, and arts sectors. They work to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs, give a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development, and open more career pathways for our underserved communities, including Māori, Pacific peoples, tāngata whaikaha, LGBTQIA+ and wāhine. 

Labour is committed to continuing to support the implementation of our far-reaching reform of vocational education that has setup our skills system for the 21st century. This includes completing the full integration of training with a nationwide provider, Te Pūkenga, that serves all regions, managing both pre-employment study and apprenticeships, and continuing to place industry firmly back in the driver’s seat at setting skills standards through Workforce Development Councils - something which the National Party have committed to scrapping.


We are open to discussing this with the sector.


Yes, as a growing industry and vital to New Zealand there isa need for ongoing “new blood” withing the industry. This starts at school level and would continue with the development of tertiary education dedicated courses and qualifications geared towards employment within the industry in the future.

Q7. Does your party have a message for our membership or any comments on the wider New Zealand screen industry?


ACT supports all innovative and creative businesses –including the New Zealand screen industry. ACT believes the best way to support innovative and creative business is for Government to provide infrastructure(such as roads, telecoms infrastructure, etc) and sound basic and principled regulation for the public good (such as clear health and safety laws, etc), but otherwise stay out of the operations of business. ACT does not believe that special subsidies or privileges for a preferred industry is in the interests of either the wider NZ economy or the long-term interests of the industry itself.


The Green Party always been focused on community voice and localised decision making. Our art, artists and creatives tell the stories of our communities and help make sense of the world around us. 


Labour’s focus has been on investing in a thriving, adaptive and enduring arts, culture and heritage sector, including initiatives that recognise the leading role that Māori, hapū and iwi play in bringing Māori culture to New Zealanders. We also put in significant investment into our sector to help withstand the immediate and sustained impacts of the pandemic. 

Labour believes a successful, flourishing arts and cultural sector contributes to our national identity. We also believe in a well-supported public media environment to ensure that New Zealand’s stories are told.


National acknowledges the work of the Media Sector as an integral part of the cultural landscape of New Zealand. We want to see and hear New Zealand voices and productions and celebrate the contributions they give to our economy and to audiences internationally. The National message this election is clear. Get New Zealand Back on Track. You are the backbone of our flourishing creative economy, and we believe in you.


Our screen industry has been growing since the beginning of film Hercules and Zena in West Auckland. The ability of our incredibly talented industry workers has been acknowledged countless time through awards and the desire of major studios to film here. We have to give as many incentives as we can for this to continue at an accelerated rate to return us to leaders in the industry. With the precarious and changing nature of the big USA based studios and Hollywood itself we have the major, and smaller, film producers looking once again to film offshore and we not only have the talent industry wide but we have a magnificent country in which to film. We must return that as an improved working model where everyone benefits.

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