AUCKLAND, Today: The New Zealand Advertising Producers Group is calling on the government to allow TV commercial production industry to resume operation when Auckland shifts to Level 3.2 next week.
NZAPG co-chairperson Nik Beachman said: “Tāmaki Makaurau is the national hub of New Zealand’s TV commercial production sector, an industry which generates more than $100 million each year.
“Under the region’s stringent Level 3 conditions, commercial production in Auckland remains shut down for the majority of crew and talent, with the exception of small or very limited shoots.
“Production can take place in regions at Level 2, but the sector’s regional capacity is limited without travel exemptions being granted for key crew, the majority of whom are Auckland-based.
“Our industry is in crisis and this ongoing paralysis continues to have a detrimental effect not only on advertising producers, workers and suppliers but also on many Kiwi businesses who rely on commercial advertising to sell their products and services and who’ve been hurting badly over lockdown.
“This is becoming particularly critical as we enter the lead-up to Christmas and what should be a much-needed boost for New Zealand’s retailers.
“Our industry is in crisis and this ongoing paralysis continues to have a detrimental effect not only on advertising but also on many Kiwi businesses who rely on commercial advertising to sell their products and services and who’ve been hurting badly over lockdown.”
“What’s frustrating is not only the lack of clarity from government agencies, but also the lack of consistency, communication and understanding around some of the decisions being made, particularly around travel exemptions for crew.”
“These key crew exemptions make it viable for producers to shift productions to other centres in Aotearoa, such as Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, where level guidelines permit much more filming activity.
“During the first lockdown in 2020, the NZ screen industry health & safety body ScreenSafe worked alongside WorkSafe to create the world’s first government-sanctioned, built-for-purpose health and safety guidelines.
“The ScreenSafe Covid-19 Health & Safety Toolkit and Protocols were based on New Zealand’s Alert Level system and reflected the framework that WorkSafe had also developed in conjunction with New Zealand’s construction sector.
“While the majority of work on a film, TV or commercial set aligns with the nature of work on a construction site, the key difference between screen and construction is around the ‘close contact’ work required to be undertaken by hair and make-up technicians.
“This distinction has resulted in the majority of New Zealand’s screen production sector remaining at a standstill, while the construction industry is able to operate throughout Level 3.
“What’s frustrating is not only the lack of clarity from government agencies, but also the lack of consistency, communication and understanding around some of the decisions being made, around travel exemptions for crew.”
“Monday’s Cabinet announcement that Auckland will shift to Level 3.2 next Tuesday at 11.59pm means retail outlets can open with social distancing and mask-wearing. The NZAPG believes now is the time to allow TV commercial production to resume.”
NZAPG co-chairperson Claire Kelly said: “We acknowledge that some close contact hair and make-up work may be required on a commercial shoot.
“However, our industry prides itself on high levels of compliance and stringent self-imposed Covid-19 protocols that include contact tracing, health declarations, vaccination declarations, pre-shoot saliva testing, on-set health and safety officers, compulsory mask-wearing and more.
“We differ markedly from other close contact businesses like retail and hairdressing because our screen workers are limited to on-set interactions with work colleagues and all our cast and crew members are subject to regular testing and compliance measures, as opposed to dealing with the general public.
“There are some entertainment studios that have opted to proceed with filming their NZ-based productions within Level 3 – including close contact hair and make-up work – but advertising producers are engaged by agencies and brands and, understandably, our clients want assurances that production on their campaigns has been officially sanctioned.
The NZ Advertising Producers Group has engaged in discussions with ScreenSafe, WorkSafe and MBIE. To date they have not received any clarity on how and when their work can resume.”
About The New Zealand Advertising Producers Group
The NZAPG’s mission is to promote and encourage best practice in the NZ advertising screen industry. NZAPG supports its member base of producers, production companies and content makers, by providing access to resources such as best practice guidelines, sample documentation and health and safety compliance advice. Active NZAPG members volunteer their time, knowledge and expertise to support the industry.
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