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Major decision ahead for New Zealand actors

NZ Actors Equity

Media Release

16 September, 2005

Major decision ahead for New Zealand actors

The New Zealand acting community is facing a major decision over its future, following a proposal from the Australian Media Entertainment Arts Alliance to join their union as a chapter.

The proposal has ignited a significant debate within the acting community and the screen industry at large, over whether to join the Australian union or re-invigorate the NZ Actors Equity into a stronger and more active union to promote the interests of actors.

An industry panel has been convened to discuss the issues.

The issue at stake is the offer of financial and organisational support to help provide a unifying voice to encourage better pay and conditions, as well as enhanced networking and training opportunities.

There are significant differences of opinion within the acting community over whether this can be achieved through joining the Australian union or building a stronger New Zealand union.

There is also fear-driven agendas being promoted by some in the screen industry, that offshore studios would be reluctant to film in New Zealand and use our actors because of the increased pay and better conditions that a stronger union would help promote.

The panel includes:

Teresa Brown, Actors Equity Union Representative

Barbara Woods, Actor, Wellington Equity Executive Committee

Geoff Dolan, Actor

A Wellington Actors Agent

Major industry professionals and actors will be attending the event to question the panellists over the ramifications for the New Zealand entertainment community.

ENDS

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