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New Zealand Performance and Entertainment Workers' Union records.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-93/3

Scope and Contents

These records were received in the Library without preliminary sorting. The provenance of some is therefore unknown. Actors Equity New Zealand appears from minutes to date from 1944 and persists until mid-1989, divided after 1970 into regional branches, with a national body. Amalgamation made necessary by industrial legislation led to the formation in 1989 of the New Zealand Performance and Entertainment Workers’ Union. Presumably records of amalgamating unions were brought together at that time; from then the affairs of various unions appear to have been administered from the office at 5 Newton Road. The records have been treated as those of one union, the New Zealand Performance and Entertainment Workers Union, and have been arranged as one sequence, though the component parts have been labelled where appropriate. An exception has been made of the records of the short-lived Northern Industrial District Independent Television Broadcasting Industrial Union of Workers, 1983-88, listed at the end.

Further legislation led to the demise of the New Zealand Performance and Entertainment Workers Union in 1991. Employees formerly covered by the NZPEWU are now part of the Northern Distribution Workers Union.

A study of the minutes found in the collection reveals gaps that are not explained. For instance, although the central office of Actors Equity has always been Auckland, there are copies only of National Board minutes 1970-mid 1975, mid 1979-1987. Auckland Branch minutes are not all 'fair' minutes either. Does this mean that there is a set of fair minutes in existence elsewhere for certain periods, or was the procedural practice of signing minutes after acceptance by members at a subsequent meeting ignored, copies of minutes being simply produced for distribution?

In addition to minutes the collection also includes, correspondence, financial records, membership records, files relating to disputes, copies of awards and agreements and files relating to overseas performers wishing to work in New Zealand..


  • 1944 - 1991


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

Began as Actors Variety & Performing Artists Equity of New Zealand (Actors Equity) became part of the NZ Performance and Entertainment Union in 1989 and then amalgamated with National Distribution Workers Union in 1991.


7.5 metres (15 cartons.)

Language of Materials



In off-site storage. Expect delay of 12-24 hours from time of order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Simon Des Beaux, Secretary, National Distribution Workers' Union, Auckland Trade Union Centre in December 1992.

Inventory of the records of the New Zealand Performance and Entertainment Workers' Union, 1944-1991.
Kay Stead
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand