NZWG Election Special

Who will get your vote?

It’s eight weeks tomorrow until the 2017 New Zealand General Election, which is being held on Saturday 23 September 2017.
NZWG put a series of questions to all political parties about a range of issues that impact on the screen industry.

Have a read, be informed, have a think and make up your own mind!  Make your vote count.
Have you enrolled to vote? Check your details HERE

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

National Party:

We’re committed to supporting our film and broadcasting sectors to deal with a converging media market, tell New Zealand stories to New Zealanders and take our culture and heritage to the world. We will future-proof broadcasting sector legislation through the Digital Convergence Bill, continue to support the thriving film sector through the NZ Screen Production Grants and distribute funding through the independent Creative New Zealand process.
Budget 2017 committed an extra $21 million to the arts including $11.4 million for Radio New Zealand. In 2016, we increased funding for the NZSO, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Te Matatini in a $11.6 million commitment. We continue to support the arts through Lotteries grants and Creative New Zealand funding of around $40 million a year.
We will also continue to support culture and heritage institutions around New Zealand through the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund, which has distributed more than $14 million in the last two years. We will also promote and protect heritage places and culture through the $12 million Heritage EQUIP fund, our Landmarks Whenua Tohunga programme, Heritage New Zealand ($12.9m per year),  Te Papa, and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision ($5m per year).

Labour Party:

Labour has not yet released Art, Culture and Heritage or Broadcasting Policies (and will provide them directly to you and your members when we do) but we are committed to the following:

·       That all New Zealanders have access to and can actively participate in artistic and cultural opportunities which enrich their lives
·       Delivering stable sustainable funding to the arts and culture sector
·       Creating a ten year strategy to grow the New Zealand screen industry
·       An informed democracy through a strong, independent, free public media service backed with sustainable funding which is essential to ensuring all New Zealanders are engaged and heard
·       Ensuring that the increased diversity of New Zealand’s population (Maori, Pasifika, Asian, ethnic, people with disabilities) is fully reflected in public media content

Green Party:

The Green Party is committed to supporting the arts because art in all its forms inspires, innovates, challenges, and contributes to our collective social, economic, and cultural wellbeing. Some of our underlying principles when it comes to arts policy are
– Participation, accessibility, and affordability.
– Public funding should be transparent and sustainable.
– Artists and producers should be involved in how funding decisions are made.
– There’s no one size fits all approach.
– Toi Māori is a unique taonga and the Crown has a responsibility to protect and support it.
Most recently, we have announced plans to increase funding for Radio NZ and establish a contestable fund for public interest journalism. The fund would be administered by Creative NZ and initially issue grants totalling up to $3 million every year for public interest journalism on any platform.
More information on our policies is available at https://www.greens.org.nz/page/arts-culture-and-heritage-policy and https://www.greens.org.nz/page/broadcasting-policy

United Future:

We would Acknowledge the contribution of artistic and cultural activities to the economy through funding assistance, encourage all television and radio channels to raise the profile of local content in programming and productions through NZ on Air and Ensure the Broadcasting Act recognises the importance of Community Access Radio and ensures their continued access to FM and AM frequencies.

The Opportunities Party:

We want all New Zealanders to have the opportunity to reach their potential, no matter what that is. For that reason we want to roll out an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) of $200 per person per week. Our first target is people aged 18-23 so that they are supported to pursue their dreams after school, including a career in the arts.

Māori Party:

We want broadcasters to increase Māori content in peak times; increase programming that aims to educate our nation and all broadcasters on national broadcasting to be Māori language proficient. We also want increases in funding for kapa haka and the National Māori Performing Arts Te Matatini Festival.

The Māori Party has been responsible for funding nearly $59 million since 2014 to support revitalisation of Te Reo. Because only 21% of the Māori population can speak te reo, we want to increase the uptake of te reo to ensure its survival.

2. Will your party consider introducing or reinstating a New Zealand content quota in broadcasting?

National Party:

We have discussed this with the sector but have no plans to introduce content quotas in broadcasting.  We think the contestable funding model delivered through NZ on Air and the Film Commission is working well for New Zealand.

Labour Party:

Labour is focussed on increasing investment in public interest media but not on imposing content quotas. The exception to this may be children’s content if a consensus across all audio-visual media cannot be reached on increasing education and entertainment content for children of different ages.

Green Party:

Yes. The Green Party in government would investigate local content quotas for radio and TV, and other options to promote local content through online platforms. This is one reason we have been critical of free trade agreements, as some of them may limit governments’ abilities to put in place rules that privilege local content over imported content. We would also consider other incentives to promote local artists and producers and ensure adequate income is available to them.

United Future:

We fully support making sure New Zealand content gets produced and seen, but don’t believe that a quota is the most helpful or useful way to achieve that goal.

The Opportunities Party:

We have not considered this issue as yet. We are a new party but we undertake to look at each issue on its merits, consulting with our members and examining the evidence before making a call.

Māori Party:

The Māori Party acknowledges that over the past 20 years the face of New Zealand broadcasting has changed through the hard work, commitment and creative skills of programme makers and broadcasters.  Yes, we would consider looking in to a New Zealand content quota in broadcasting to better reflect our values as New Zealanders

3. What are your party’s plans to increase funding to the main screen industry funding bodies: NZ on Air and New Zealand Film Commission?

National Party:

At this point we consider both agencies are appropriately funded, however both are able to make Budget bids and get the opportunity to make a case for more funding. I have been impressed with how both agencies are adapting to the demands of a converging media market, such as NZ on Air’s platform-neutral NZ Media Fund, and how they are collaborating with other players such as TVNZ’s new joint venture with NZ on Air to provide free content to primary-age children online.

Labour Party:

Labour supports increasing NZ on Air and NZFC funding in line with normal increases in inflation – in contrast to the frozen funding that they have experienced for the last 8 years, effectively decreasing these bodies’ funds.

Green Party:

At a minimum, funding should keep up with inflation (it has not always done so under National). Over the period from this financial year to 2020-21, the current government’s budget is projecting funding for Arts and Culture to fall by over 25% in real terms. The government has tried to justify this on the basis that some programmes are ending but the Green Party regards this as unacceptable. Where possible, the Green Party will seek to increase arts and screen production funding overall. We would also seek to rebalance funding so a wider range of artists and producers have access to more funding.

United Future:

We don’t have any plans with regards to specific funding boosts for those two bodies, but we fully support the provision of funding where there is a need, and would be happy to investigate.

The Opportunities Party:

We want to boost NZ on Air funding for public interest journalism.

Māori Party:

We recognise the value of NZ on Air and New Zealand Film Commission in broadcasting and we are open to reviewing an increase in funding.

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

National Party:

Yes. We announced a $300 million commitment to the NZSPG as part of Budget 2017, including $63 million for domestic productions. It has supported more than 50 films including Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Pork Pie and Mahana, and has helped ensure we both continue to attract major international productions and support a thriving domestic industry, and we will continue to support the film sector through it.

Labour Party:

We fought hard to ensure New Zealand’s grant regime kept pace with international competitors, and we continue to support the use of incentives in the sector.  We know that for the screen industry to thrive, we have to be agile and willing to continually assess how well our grant regime is performing. We are committed to doing that, and also ensuring that we are maximising the domestic opportunities in the way that the grants regime is constructed and applied.

Green Party:

Yes. The reality of our screen industry is that government support is vital. That support creates jobs in New Zealand and attracts revenue from overseas. It must continue. In terms of the balance, we’d like to see more support for local productions, and less for  international ones.
We would also like to see screen production grant-style policies extended to the video game sector, where many of the skills are similar to film production and international demand and revenue potential is high. We see gaming and film/TV as complementary employment opportunities for some people.
However, we have been critical of the so-called “Hobbit laws” and we would seek to restore and strengthen the working conditions for people working in film and TV production.

United Future:

Yes, we will continue to support it and are open to the discussion of a potential funding increase where there is a need.

The Opportunities Party:

We have not considered this issue as yet. We are a new party but we undertake to look at each issue on its merits, consulting with our members and examining the evidence before making a call.

Māori Party:

We will continue to support the NZ Screen Production Grant.

5. What is your party’s view on ensuring trade policies and any future changes to the copyright legislation will continue to reinforce and protect IP within the screen industry?

National Party:

National continues to advocate for the protection of intellectual property both internationally and at home. This is reflected in our drive for greater IP protection in free trade and other international agreements.
We will continue to ensure that Free Trade Agreements (FTA) include minimum legal standards for IP protection, based on international benchmarks and will push for countries to implement these standards through sound domestic legal system.
A National Government will continue to provide international protection for New Zealand rights holders through respect of the TRIPS and other WTO Agreements.
Examples of this include the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and TPP where we have ensured that authors of copyright-protected works have the exclusive rights to reproduction, distribution and communication to the public.

Labour Party:

Copyright is an important issue and challenge for creative industries. A comprehensive copyright review was due to occur in  2013 but hasn’t occurred. Labour will  undertake a full review of the Act so that an updated Copyright Act balances the right of artists to be remunerated and of consumers to participate in modern society.
The first phase of the review would be to commission an independent analysis of the problems with existing legislation from an eminent expert. The review will include the principle that the copyright framework must continue to incentivise creators of content and support them in protecting their rights from unlawful use.

Green Party:

Protecting IP is important. The Green Party has been critical of trade deals like the TPPA, and the proposal to extend copyright from 50 years to 70 years beyond the life of the creator. We are in favour of Copyright Law being changed to include reasonable “fair use” provisions.

United Future:

We are committed to maintaining the integrity of IP within the screen industry and will ensure that it is protected.

The Opportunities Party:

We support the protection of property rights including intellectual property.

Māori Party:

The Māori Party supports indigenous people having the right to self-determination and protection over their intellectual property rights. We would like to see more protections for indigenous peoples. Free trade needs to also be fair trade and as the Crown’s Treaty partner Māori interests are always entitled to active protection.

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

National Party:

Did not respond to this question.

Labour Party:

We are excited about the prospect of a 10 year strategy for the screen industry, and creating that strategy with the industry.  We want to ensure that the local guilds, unions and screen industry bodies have a greater say in policy concerning their industry.

Green Party:

The Green Party has got what it takes to create a great big future for our great little country. That includes strong creative sectors and communities. The work you do is important and valuable – it has an economic value but it is also inherently valuable to our communities and society. To us, valuing the arts means supporting artists by working to find ways to ensure decent incomes, and it means building arts and culture into our broader society, particularly including through the education system .
We don’t have all the answers and we know there’s no one size fits all approach. In Government, the Green Party will be committed to listening and working with creative sectors to support and strengthen artists and creative people.

United Future:

The New Zealand film industry is something we can all be proud of, right from high budget blockbusters produced by our most acclaimed directors or skillfully edited at our world leading studios such as Weta workshop, right to the local content that enriches our media profile all over the world. UnitedFuture will make sure that we can keep fostering that and ensure that we continue to produce content, we will recognise the contribution of artistic and cultural activities, like film and other broadcasting media to the economy through funding assistance, and continue to support its place in New Zealand’s culture and economy.

The Opportunities Party:

Aotearoa New Zealand is a fantastically creative place. We want to make sure that Kiwis have the opportunity to continue expressing that.

Māori Party:

We have been excited by the growth in the wider NZ screen industry and would support efforts to continue its important place in our society.

Parties who declined to respond:

ACT: on behalf of David Seymour thank you for the below email. The ACT Party would like to decline the below request.

Conservative Party: As a minor party not in Parliament we have not formulated a policy around these matters.

Parties who hadn’t responded at time of publication:

New Zealand First Party

Mana Party

NZ Democratic Party of Social Credit

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

Internet Party

Ban 1080

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