A short lesson for Sir Peter on employment relations

I have no doubt that Sir Peter Jackson is a well-meaning person, with the interests of his workers at heart. But he does need a short lesson in how to relate to unions. So, Sir Peter, I would advise that:

1. You don’t attack the legitimacy of a union, as you have with Actors Equity. This particular union is alive and well, as shown by 200 members turning up to its Auckland meeting, and 80 in Wellington.

2. You don’t portray people you want to work for you as tools of Aussie unionists. Kiwis like Jennifer Ward-Leyland are clearly in charge of Actors Equity here.

3. You respect union meetings. Trying to crash an internal Actors Equity meeting in Wellington last night didn’t look good. You’d be upset if union officials demanded seats at one of your management meetings.

4. While the law surrounding ‘actors as independent contractors’ is complicated, don’t try to hide behind it as an excuse not to talk to the unions on pay and conditions. With good will you can find a way through.

Do you really think that giving Kiwi actors a few extra dollars will endanger the viability of the


Most New Zealanders think it will be a raging success at the box office. And more so if all your workers are happy campers.