'Put our film industry in threat' - Hobbit Law to be scrapped within 100 days, seven years after controversial passing of legislation

Source: 1News

The controversial Hobbit Law, which sees film industry workers classed as contractors, will be scrapped within the first 100 days of Labour taking office.

1 NEWS has been told contractors working in the film industry will soon be able to collectively bargain again after National passed a law to stop it seven years ago.

For two months in 2010, movie giant Warner Brothers fought with the unions over whether those working on The Hobbit should be given binding terms and conditions.

Then Prime Minister John Key eventually stepped in and changed the law, making all film workers contractors.

"What we want to do is restore the right that all workers should have in New Zealand to be able to bargain collectively if they choose to," Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said.

Employment lawyer Megan Richards advises the industry and says there are real reservations about repealing the law.

"It would change how the industry's been operating for the last seven odd years and I think there's acknowledgment that it would put our film industry in threat," she told 1 NEWS.

1 NEWS approached Sir Peter Jackson and his five companies, as well as Warner Brothers, but no one responded or wanted to talk until they had more information.

International film productions are worth billions to New Zealand's economy. The industry now expects to take a hit financially.