The New Zealand Screen industry’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Standard and Protocols were endorsed on 7 May by New Zealand Government agency WorkSafe, laying the way clear for local production to re-start in New Zealand.
Funded by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), the Standard and Protocols were developed by ScreenSafe, with a team of industry experts. Together the documents outline the principles of safe production and provide information about systems and resources to ensure working safely in New Zealand. The Standard and Protocols will include templates and production guidance and can be found at www.ScreenSafe.co.nz. The full ScreenSafe COVID-19 Health and Safety Production Toolkit which will include more detailed scenarios, useful templates and contacts, will be finalised soon.
Making the announcement, NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said, “The NZFC’s focus and commitment since the industry hiatus, has been the health and safety of all those who work in the New Zealand film industry and the ongoing sustainability of the wider screen sector. We are heartened and grateful for the commitment and partnership of the Guilds who have worked to get this document completed so quickly.”
Screen Industry Guild (ScreenSafe) Executive Officer, Kelly Lucas said the contributions from Health and Safety Consultants Robert (Gibbo) Gibson, Paul Andreassend and producer Rebekah Kelly were invaluable in the creation of this documentation.
“Working with WorkSafe and wider sector consultation and feedback enabled us to work swiftly together to get this document out and our local industry back working again.”
Every production is required to complete a simple registration with ScreenSafe in order to assist the Ministry of Health with contact tracing if needed and WorkSafe with monitoring. Some local productions are already safely underway. The protocols pave the way for co-productions and international productions once the New Zealand government has reviewed border restrictions.