Massey studio hosts ‘hobbit’ announcement

Minister Lees-Galloway (right) with student Ethan Thompson.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway used the Massey University School of Music and Creative Media Production’s main recording studio as the venue for this week’s announcement of changes to the so-called “Hobbit law”.

The school, part of the College of Creative Arts, produces world-leading screen industry workers and the law change will give those workers the right to bargain collectively, a right removed by the previous Govenrment in 2010.

The facility also houses motion performance capture, music technology and mixed reality labs, a dubbing theatre and screening room, edit suites, animation and digital video production suites and games labs.

Mr Lees-Galloway said the changes following consultation with the industry and would make jobs in the screen sector more attractive for workers. “The next generation of storytellers coming out of institutions like Massey University will have more rights at work and more fulfilling career prospects.”

First year Creative Media Production student Ethan Thompson was interviewed by RNZ, and says they believe the proposed changes would help to provide some protection for graduates going into the screen industry.

“Having an option to bargain collectively should bring more support to younger, more vulnerable, people in the industry. As a non-binary filmmaker I have had experiences consciously withholding my gender-identity from potential clients, fearing the very things these changes will hopefully help combat. I am excited, with a dash of scepticism,” they say.

The Government will now draft legislation, introduce it to Parliament this year and expect to enact it next year.

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