Amid allegations of workplace misconduct, Weta Digital have announced that Miriam Dean, QC, will conduct an independent review of the company’s workplace culture and examine complaints of inappropriate behaviour.
The investigation was ordered by the company’s owners including filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh, along with CEO Prem Akkaraju, in response to media reports of current and former crew members’ complaints of harassment, bullying and discrimination.
To date more than 40 current and former Weta Digital workers have come forward to 1 NEWS with serious concerns about the company's culture.
“The owners and I are determined to ensure our workplace is a safe place where people can do their best work and that means it must be free of all forms of harassment, bullying, discrimination and any other inappropriate conduct,” Akkaraju said in a statement today.
“Miriam has vast experience, having conducted a number of notable independent reviews. I fully trust her and the integrity of her process. I strongly urge any journalists who have reported complaints to talk to their sources and ask them to contact Miriam so their voices can be heard. Identities of anyone interviewed will not be disclosed to Weta Digital unless the interviewee so chooses," Akkaraju said.
He said Dean will provide a report to the company owners and himself but will not disclose the identity of those making complaints or those interviewed.
Dean has previously undertaken reviews of the Auckland City Council’s council-controlled organisations, electricity prices, the Department of Corrections handling of prisoners' mail, the Accident Compensation Corporation's dispute resolution processes and the Fonterra botulism scare among others.
Dean also has a "broad understanding of the screen sector from her time as Chair of New Zealand on Air and more recently as chair of the Screen Sector Strategy Facilitation Group, which was responsible for developing a 10-year strategy for the screen sector at the request of the Prime Minister," the statement said.