The NZFC and the New Zealand entertainment industry were saddened to hear that Arthur Baysting passed away on Tuesday 3 December.
A stalwart of the New Zealand arts scene, Baysting was a journalist, screenwriter, critic, songwriter, stand-up comedian, advocate and activist across a range of issues.
Among his many achievements, Baysting co-wrote the screenplay for Sleeping Dogs with Ian Mune, following earlier collaboration with Mune and director Roger Donaldson on 1976’s adaptation of classic New Zealand short stories Winners and Losers.
After a period in Australia where he wrote music, newspaper columns and short stories, Baysting returned to New Zealand in the mid-1980s to work on a variety of screen projects including co-writing The Returning with the film’s director, John Day.
Baysting helped found the Green Ribbon Trust campaign which advocated for quotas of New Zealand content on both radio and television. In 2001 radio stations adopted a 20% New Zealand content policy and Baysting was awarded the SPADA/On Film Industry Champion Award for his work in this area.
Later in his career his focus moved more toward music and he was a founding member of the New Zealand Music Commission which promotes and champions New Zealand music. With Suzy Cato he established the Kiwi Kids Music Association to promote New Zealand music to kids and their families.
On 21 November 2019, APRA NZ announced the Baysting Prize, a new annual award for those who have championed children through the creative arts, education, or advocacy