Chelsea Winstanley, wife of Taika Waititi, reveals sexual harassment complaint

Chelsea Winstanley with her husband.
Chelsea Winstanley with her husband. Photo credit: Getty

Chelsea Winstanley, the wife of director Taika Waititi, has claimed she was sexually harassed by crew members while directing in New Zealand.

The award-winning filmmaker said she felt paralysed by the comments made to her, NZME reports.

Ms Winstanley said the harassment took place while she was working as a director on the 2009 series One Land.

A camera operator and sound operator both made lewd comments about her looks, she said.

Ms Winstanley said the camera operator told her to "bend over more", while the sound operator said she would look good in a maid's outfit.

She said the events shocked and intimidated her as they were in a remote location and she felt trapped.

Ms Winstanley says she spoke to the director and producer about the crew members' behaviour, and says the director offered to fire the camera operator - but only if she wanted it.

"If he left the production, then we would be short a camera operator and the producer in me said I would let the production down," she told NZME.

"As if I was the issue, as if I was the one who would be making this situation worse."

She opted to let the man keep his job, but moved into producing from then on, partially because it made her feel safer after the incident.

One Land director Greg Heathcote confirmed to NZME a crew member had been spoken to about comments to Ms Winstanley.

He said as he remembered it, the offending crew member was reprimanded and required to leave the set.

Ms Winstanley returned to directing for the 2017 feature film Waru. She is now producing a documentary on the late Māori filmmaker Merata Mita.