Posted Tuesday 04 Oct 2011
The goevernment released their changes last week to visa processes for screen, entertainment and music industry workers. The changes mean workers here for 14 days or less, or workers on an international co-production, face a greatly simplified process. For longer periods of employment, such as during the making of feature films, the policy places more trust in employers who have proven their bona fides and have a track record of bringing in workers for legitimate purposes.
However, NZ Equity has expressed its disappointment at the Government's decision to change the immigration process. "The immigration process that has been in place for decades, was there to ensure that New Zealand performers were provided with reasonable opportunities to work on all film and television productions," said NZ Equity President Jennifer Ward-Lealand. "The new minimal process will now provide carte blanche for New Zealand taxpayer supported productions to engage non-New Zealand performers for any and every role. This is contrary to the Government's stated election policy of 'Kiwi's First'." Check out the rest of the NZ Equity argument here.
Immigration Minister Jonathan coleman doesn't feel that way. They will support the sector's growth, he says, because the changes provide a simpler, more streamlined system for the entry of temporary entertainment industry workers into New Zealand. ''The existing policy is out-dated. It's been in place for 20 years and the entertainment industry has grown hugely over that time,'' says Dr Coleman. You can read the full press release from the Beehive here.