Equity comments on government's new incentives for offshore productions
During the week beginning 24 February 2014, Equity will be attending meetings with government in Auckland and Wellington to discuss the government's new incentives for offshore screen productions.
Equity will raise these points in the meetings:
Firstly, NZ performers and an onscreen presence should be a critical part of any test of "New Zealand-ness" - performers are a part of the current test for the SPIF Significant New Zealand Content Criteria, but they are not an important part of the test. Under this regime it is possible for a New Zealand film or television series to meet the Significant New Zealand Content test with Lead Actors and a majority of the cast not being New Zealanders. This is because they count for only two points out of a possible 31. Lead Actors should be included as a part of the test for “Significant NZ content”.
Secondly, local industrial agreements between guilds should be respected and productions should only follow good faith guidelines – Equity wants productions to be honest and open in all dealings with the NZ Government and its agencies; not mislead or deceive the NZ Government and its agencies by act or omission; act fairly and reasonably in relation to third parties involved in the funded project including paying at least legislated minimum rates or, where applicable, any minimum agreed between the relevant guilds, for all work performed by third parties on their project, including key creatives, cast and crew; respect the rights of all relevant persons, whether those rights be copyright or other intellectual property rights, moral rights or Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights.
Thirdly, significant engagement and development of New Zealand performers should be included in any assessment for the additional rebate for overseas productions – the new incentives say that around 90 per cent of live action crew are expected to be New Zealanders. Alongside this, an internship programme will be supported. There is no similar commitment to engaging and developing performers. The engagement and development of local performers must be part of any test for an increased rebate.
A full report on the meetings will be sent out in the E-Bulletin by 10 March.