The cast of The Real Housewives of Auckland signed away their privacy, the perpetual right to use their name, likeness, nickname and voice "throughout the universe", and gave producers the right to tell them untruths for "dramatic effect", a leaked contract reveals.

The cast were each paid $15,000 to appear in the show, the contract shows.

The finale to the most explosive reality TV show in New Zealand history aired last Tuesday night; with viewers lapping up more explosive outburts from six-strong cast.

It capped off a crazy 10 weeks of broadcasting, including the infamous N-bomb from Julia Sloane.


As uncertainty surrounds a possible second season for the show, the Herald on Sunday has obtained a copy of the contract which cast members Anne Batley-Burton, Michelle Blanchard, Gilda Kirkpatrick, Angela Stone, Louise Wallace and Sloane signed.

The all-encompassing contract saw cast wave away a host of rights, as well as allowing for the use of embarrassing and unfavourable depictions - factual or fictional.

Licence was given for "dramatic effect" with the producer given permission to make statements related to any topic - true, partially true or untrue.

The housewives also gave the producer of the show the right to use their name, likeness, voice and biographical material - not just throughout the world but also "the universe in perpetuity".

By signing the 25-page contract, cast members also accepted that "appearance, depiction and portrayal in connection with the series" and their "actions and the actions of others in connection with the series" may be "disparaging, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavourable nature and may portray me in a bad light."

Other clauses in the contract wavered the right to privacy - even with regard to the disclosure of medical and psychiatric information.

Along with agreeing not to change their appearance, hair colour, weight, facial characteristics the cast also agreed not to leave New Zealand without written permission.

And even before the cast were selected they had to agree to full background checks - including police, medical and psychological reports.


The producer and network reserved the right to "remove or replace" cast members "for any reason whatsoever."

For all the demands placed on the cast they were awarded some rights:

If they felt racially or sexually harrassed or threatened with the conduct of anyone connected with the series the cast member had the right to contact the producer without being penalised.

Batley Burton - known as the Champagne Lady - told the Herald on Sunday said she had her lawyer friend look over the contract and he highlighted a few things but she "wanted to do the show so went for it."

"I just thought I know I am a good person and I had seen the overseas versions so trusted the integrity of the brand," she said.

She pointed to numerous seasons in other countries and said if there was any significant issue with the contract other women "would not be going back again and again."

"I thought I'd take a chance, as far as I was concerned there were women going back and doing it again and again. I thought regardless of the contract they are all pretty happy so I went for it."

Batley Burton was thrilled with how the show turned out and how she was portrayed. She said Champagne sales had boomed and she had new volunteers around Auckland feeding stray cats.

In the third show of the series she hosted a 'Pussy Galore' party raising funds for cats which had earlier been abandoned.

Signed away

• Cast contracted to participate in advertising, publicity, blogs, video diaries and webisodes

• Producers gain approval to use of name, voice, imagery and other intellectual property "throughout the universe, in perpetuity"

• Have to participate in "get togethers" with cast at producer's discretion

• Paid $15,000 for working on first season of the show

• Can not change appearance without written approval from producer

• For "dramatic effect" can be told statements that are "true, partially true or untrue" by producers

• Personal, medical, psychiatric or other information may be disclosed

• The use of hidden cameras or recording devices cannot be used

• Contract can be terminated in the event of "death, serious illness or serious injury to an inmediate family member" or "serious illness or serious injury" to cast member