Why is Sir Peter Jackson retiring from Weta Workshop directorship?
Why did the Oscar winner resign ahead of new health and safety legislation?
What has happened?
Sir Peter Jackson has resigned as a director of Weta Workshop, the Wellington design company with which he owns a major stake and has worked with on many of his best known films, most notably The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Will this end Jackson's movie involvement with the company?
No. He is still a 33 per cent shareholder and owner of the business and is likely to still collaborate on future films. He also remains a director of Weta Digital.
Why did Jackson resign?
Jackson is a busy filmmaker but one of the main reasons was new health and safety legislation, which puts more responsibility and personal liability on directors. Unlike Sir Richard Taylor, who works on a daily basis with Weta Workshop, Jackson felt he was not involved enough to continue.
A spokesman Jackson said he did not have day-to-day involvement in the running of the company. However Jackson could be held liable if something went wrong.
Will leaving health and safety matters to other people become a thing of the past for directors?
It should. New health and safety legislation which comes into force in April 4, will mean directors can be held personally responsible for any breaches and face a maximum fine of $3 million and a jail term. The new legislation is much tougher than the existing law, and while directors can be charged under the current act, prosecutions have been rare.
What implications will it have on directors of other companies?
According to Institute of Directors chief executive Simon Arcus, Jackson's resignation demonstrates that the concept of a sleeping director, who leaves responsibilities to others, is dead.
All directors will now need to become more active and get a handle on all parts of the business.
Chapman Tripp senior associate, Marie Wisker said there was a general nervousness among directors about personal liability, however it all came down to good governance, which many already practised.