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Performers Celebrate A Promising Future

MEDIA RELEASE 29/06/06


Performers' Celebrate A Promising Future


New Zealand performers can look forward to having a stronger voice together with greater opportunities to determine and achieve their professional priorities when the NZ branch of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and the Actors' Benevolent Fund are officially launched next week.

More than 200 actors, comedians, voice artists, thespians, presenters, producers, directors and other luminaries of New Zealand's entertainment industry will gather at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki on Monday July 3 to raise a glass to the future of the union.

In December 2005 New Zealand performers voted overwhelmingly to join forces with the Australian performers' union to fight for better conditions in their industry.

A stellar line up of New Zealand's performers are set to mark this historic turning point for their colleagues by celebrating the thrills and spills of the profession as well as talking about the work ahead and the possibilities of what can be achieved.

Hot off the comedy scene, Michele A'Court will MC the evening and will be joined by distinguished performers Elizabeth McRae, Jay Laga'Aia and Rachel House to pay tribute to a great industry and a bright future.

Also stepping up to the dais will be Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions Carol Beaumont and Director of Equity Simon Whipp.

"The evening promises to be a great get together for all in the industry. It is certainly an event worth celebrating. After two years of detailed discussion the decision for Australian and NZ performers to build a larger stronger professional collective can only mean good things for the working rights of all," said Simon Whipp, Director of Equity.

The New Zealand Alliance branch comes after an exhaustive two-year process of discussing the proposal with New Zealand performers. Through the Alliance, NZ performers will be able to seek a better deal for work in feature films, television, commercials, or voiceovers. Members can campaign for more NZ performers to be employed in roles for productions made in New Zealand, and to share in the financial success of productions made in New Zealand.

As Alliance members, New Zealand performers will have access to the Alliance resources that Australian performers currently enjoy. Alliance members receive the quarterly Equity magazine, a weekly e-bulletin, and access to industrial advice via the Alliance website and the Alliance Inquiry Desk.

Alliance members also have access to the Equity professional program which covers areas such as casting, actor/agent seminars, how to stage independent productions, taxation and financial advice and graduate seminars.

ENDS

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