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NZ industry forms coronavirus action group

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on the TV industry

The New Zealand screen industry has formed an action group and a screen-specific online information hub in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Screen Sector Covid-19 Action Group will address the immediate effects of the pandemic on the industry following the hiatus of a number of large international line productions, although many “essential” productions in New Zealand remain operational.

“The local screen industry ecosystem right now is very fragile and the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group recognises the importance of keeping domestic productions operational where possible, or ready to gear back up as quickly as possible should an increase in New Zealand’s Covid-19 alert level necessitate work stoppages,” the group said in a statement.

The organisation will also work closely with key stakeholders, including funding bodies and financiers, to explore the various ways in which the domestic screen production industry can be supported in order to continue working safely.

In addition, it will look at funding mechanisms and networks to facilitate training and development opportunities for affected businesses as well as individual crew members, performers, writers and directors.

The website, meanwhile, will act as a one-stop hub to help screen producers and industry workers find screen-specific health and safety resources, wage and earning subsidy assistance and information, key updates on Covid-19 and relevant news and updates from screen guilds and industry organisations.

Production on Amazon’s mega-budget series remake of Lord of the Rings, which is being filmed in New Zealand, was shut down last week.

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