20 Nov 2012

NZ actors' union still seeking minimum standards

12:28 pm on 20 November 2012

An actors' union is still negotiating with producers for minimum standards for New Zealand actors two years on from the Hobbit dispute over employment terms and conditions.

Actors Equity says it is working on a very specific legal agreement with the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA), which will regulate how actors are treated on set.

The union's vice-president says the sorts of complaints he hears about include actors having to share contact lenses and costumes cutting off their circulation.

Phil Darkins says at the moment actors just grin and bear it because they know they could be out of a job if they don't.

"Not only is it disrespectful, it's unprofessional.

"What we want is a mutually respectful organisation, a mutually respectful industry that takes into account all these things and says, 'We're going to up the ante, we're going to lift our game and we're going to be thoroughly professional in what we do'".

Mr Darkins says he is positive about reaching an agreement with SPADA, but does not know when that might be.

The agreement would be enforced by SPADA and Actors Equity.