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The Standard

$50,000 per Hobbit job

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, November 28th, 2012 - 144 comments
Categories: capitalism, jobs - Tags:

Government has a central role in job creation. Just ask National. They’ll tell you it’s not true, and then proudly proclaim that they got The Hobbit made here (ie. bent to hollow threats from Hollywood), creating 3,000 temporary jobs. According to the New York Times, the total cost of our government’s subsidies for The Hobbit is NZD$150m – $50,000 per short-term job.

Look, I’m sure The Hobbit will bring in a few tourists and I’m all for government support of desirable industries but why don’t manufacturers, who actually produce things of tangible value, get a even a fraction of that support? How many of the 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost under National could have been saved with $50 million?

For example, hundreds of permanent, high wage, high value job at Hillside and supporting companies would have been saved if the Government had been willing to spend a few million to buy Kiwi made rather than go for artificially cheap imports when buying new rolling stock.

If only the Hillside workers were able to invite Key to their Bell-Air mansions to have dinner with movie stars, maybe then the Government would care about them.

Make you submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing today here.

144 comments on “$50,000 per Hobbit job”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    I’m relaxed about the subsidies and tax breaks to Jackson and Warners. It’s a sound investment. We just need more of it, in other local innovative and creative industries right across the spectrum. I would bet a modest bungalow in Brentwood that we won’t see Trevett writing about Key’s “hypocricy” on this front?

    • tom dick and sally 1.1

      Free trade means nations compete to offer the best deal for profit making to be had by corporations. Whats wrong with that? The best deal for corporations is found in the nation that cuts back on employee compensation the most and gets taxpayers to foot the bill the most. Race to the bottom and JOHN KEY TOOK that to new depths.

    • Fisiani 1.2

      Eddie try actually reading the link. The subsidy you mention is NOT for the Hobbit but for a trilogy called LOTR which finished well before 2008.

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        and is in place for the Hobbit

        • bfloyd 1.2.1.1

          As far as I know, The subsidy was increased slightly for the hobbit( don’t even like writing the word hobbit anymore..this fiasco has spoilt one of my cherished childhood experiences)…

  2. ad 2

    “Tangible value” seems to be the problem of the post here.

    A film is one of the lowest-bulk, highest IP, highest-value products a country can manufacture. Pretty damn tangible wouldn’t you say?

    This government’s decision to subsidise film over (say) heavy industry is quite consistent with the Growth and Innovation Framework from the Helen Clark Government’s first term.

    Definitely points off National for being non-explicit in their policy to do so. And the film industry only took off under a Prime Minister who pushed the arts like crazy. And we can definitely hate Key for lowering labour standards for the film.

    But securing and promoting The Hobbit was the right thing to do and we should be proud of it today. Pay the subsidy, for the right industry.

    • Ant 2.1

      “A film is one of the lowest-bulk, highest IP, highest-value products a country can manufacture. Pretty damn tangible wouldn’t you say?”

      Citation needed

      • ad 2.1.1

        http://www.nzfact.co.nz/press_releases/PwCReport-ECNZ.pdf

        There are bunches of reports like that. Treasury did a couple for GIF way back when as well.

        • bfloyd 2.1.1.1

          Quoting a study undertaken by the film and tellevision lobby is not exactly “proof” young ad man……

          Have you never heard of the term “self serving” before? That “study” looks more like a PR puff piece than any real, independant analysis……

          Where are the other studies you mentioned? or are they all just self funded propaganda?

      • Warren 2.1.2

        But New Zealand isn’t making the film, Warners is. All that lovely profit goes to them not us.

        • Rob 2.1.2.1

          We are not paying for it either Warren. If we want all those lovely profits then we would have had to front with the funds to pay for it.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            But, that’s just it, we are paying for it – quite a lot in fact. And, yes, if the government had just stumped up the cash to make the films in NZ without the multi-nationals having their claws in we’d be much better off as the profit would return to NZ and not the multi-nationals.

            • Rob 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Paid what to who, I understand that we have collected less tax.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes, exactly. Payment was made through waving the usual fees.

                • Rob

                  You know , you have a real issue in what payment means. The Govt paid nothing towards this movie, nothing. What it did was collect less tax. The business pays the Govt, the Govt collects.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The business pays the Govt LESS, the Govt collects LESS.

                    Yes, it’s a subsidy.

                    • KB

                      And if the movies were made elsewhere then the Govt would have collected NOTHING at all.

                    • felix

                      “And if the movies were made elsewhere… “

                      Except that wasn’t going to happen, as we learned when Helen Kelly caught the Earl of Jackson lying about it.

                      Did you miss that whole escapade, sleepy hobbit?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      KB, fuck the threats from the corporates. Any corporate entity which tries to negotiate by holding a gun to NZ gets kicked out as a matter of course.

                      You want to use the intrinsic awesomeness of NZ to make money off that’s fine, but you better treat NZ workers as well as you treat American ones working on the same project.

                      Otherwise, Jackson was welcome to spend 3-5 years living and directing the movie in Eastonia if he wanted to.

                    • felix

                      And more to the point, what CV said.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Taxes pay for the infrastructure that is used. One way or another that infrastructure has to be paid for. WBros by paying less tax means that we need to pay more. So, yes, we did pay – it just wasn’t direct.

  3. BM 3

    How much will each Kiwi build job cost the tax payer?

    Also , give it up on knocking the Hobbit, Jesus, no wonder Shearer thinks bloggers are a pack of out of touch wankers.
    If he listened to you guys, the Labour party would be rating in single figures.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Look, I’m sure The Hobbit will bring in a few tourists and I’m all for government support of desirable industries but why don’t manufacturers, who actually produce things of tangible value, get a even a fraction of that support?

      Eddie isn’t knocking The Hobbit … just the disparate treatment between government support for Hollywood film studios who can throw lavish parties in flash mansions … and ordinary New Zealand workers who can’t.

      • ad 3.1.1

        Put like that, today of all days that sounds like the lead cheerleader for the national hockey team complaining that the All Blacks got more media coverage after winning the Rugby World Cup than they did.

        Eddie is just plain wrong.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Interesting you bring that up. NZ Rugby also gets massive subsidies from tax payers and rate payers.

          • Richard McGrath 3.1.1.1.1

            I note from the NY Times article that Mallard would have thrown our money at movie moguls just as Key has.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I love the way you guys fixate on the government money and ignore the rewriting of employment law to give NZ workers less rights than sweat shop workers.

      • BM 3.1.2

        Why would Key care about going to a party in a flash Mansion, he can stay at home and do that if he wants.

        Here’s a though, maybe Key actually sees value within the NZ film industry and it’s worth giving up a few dollars to help cement the long term viability of film making in NZ.

        AS for Hillside, sorry to say times change, it’s a global economy, countries buy our exports we have to buy theirs, it’s the way it works.
        The only thing that gives our dollar value is our exports, if we’re not willing to reciprocate with our trading partners and buy the stuff they export, then we’re in trouble.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          “AS for Hillside, sorry to say times change, it’s a global economy, countries buy our exports we have to buy theirs, it’s the way it works.”

          Really? Please show me the contract where we “have to buy theirs”, thanks.

    • mike e 3.2

      theirs only one sho

    • Depends whether you measure the cost up-front or the cost after the home is sold.

      If it’s the latter, zero, because the program is designed to be self-funding.

  4. kea 4

    Are you guys familiar with the concept of short term gains and long term losses ?

  5. Gosman 5

    I actually disagree with the concept of providing support to particular industries along the lines that the Hobbit received, mainly due to the very reason that people start arguing that if you did it for them why not for others.

    That stated, it is hardly a direct subsidy along the lines people are arguing for other sectors. The majority of the support was in the form of a tax rebate. If the money wasn’t spent in NZ by the Producers of the Hobbit then the Government would not have had the money to rebate.

    You could argue that Governments should offer more in the way of tax incentives for particular sectors, (although I would argue why not lower tax rates for everybody across the board). That is completely different to direct subsidies and/or retrictive trade practices.

    • Wayne 5.1

      Gosman is right here on the issue of the tax rebate, effectively it lowers the corporate tax rate to 15% (as I recall).

      I know that this site keeps referring to Hillside. A subsidy there would have actually been a loss making proposition. Kiwirail would have been paying more to buy wagons (25% or more) than they could otherwise get them from China. The Hillside business itself would still be uncompetitive, with no hope of earning export dollars. It is comparable to assembling cars in NZ, which no one (not even on this site) would now seriously suggest.

      It is also probably a breach of the China FTA, to subsidise a local producer on the direct cost of manufacturing a specific product – different if it is an R&D grant or an export market promotion incentive. But Hillside does not export.

      In contrast global filmaking is a new high value export oriented industry that is profitable. Worth incentivising with a tax break.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        “It is comparable to assembling cars in NZ, which no one (not even on this site) would now seriously suggest.”

        Sadly you are quite wrong. There are in fact a number of regular posters on this site who do argue this very point. In fact I belive DTB has even suggested we should create our own electronic and software industry so that we will be using NZ made machines utilising NZ made operating systems and applications. Kind of like North Kora but without the fun mass military parades.

        • mike e 5.1.1.1

          or the starving masses

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          In fact I belive DTB has even suggested we should create our own electronic and software industry so that we will be using NZ made machines utilising NZ made operating systems and applications.

          These industries already exist in NZ. My suggestion is that we boost it.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.3

          are electronic and software industries like car assemblies??

      • Karen 5.1.2

        The Hillside workshop would have made better quality wagons. Didn’t the Chinese made ones all have problems and needed to be repaired – cheapest is not always the best option. Plus what about the cost of people in the workshop being unemployed and having to receive benefits. And who’s to say that with a bit of govt support the Hillside workshop couldn’t have built up a niche industry and gained overseas contracts in their own right? Not everyone necessarily wants to buy cheap rubbish from China.

        • Gosman 5.1.2.1

          All valid points. However the senior managers of NZ Rail made their decisions based on their commercial prioritites and decided to opt for Chinese made wagons.

          What you seem to want to do is for Government to direct commercial enterprises to make decisions based on other reasons.

          • Karen 5.1.2.1.1

            It’s my belief that KiwiRail as a taxpayer owned entity should indeed take a big picture view when making commercial decisions i.e. what’s the best long term option for the country as a whole. I’m sure senior managers take their decision making cues from the govt of the day – certainly the short sightedness of not taking up the Hillside workshop contract in favour of a ‘cheaper’ Chinese contract seems to reflect the mindset of this particular govt.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.2

            The problem being that commercial priorities are the wrong priorities to making such decisions on.

          • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.2.1.3

            Nah the decision to go to china was a political one not a commercial one. It doesn’t matter how dressed up as a commercial decision it is portrayed as, the actual decision was political.

          • RedLogix 5.1.2.1.4

            By the time you take account of GST, PAYE and other sundry taxes like Kiwisaver … on the very first pass the total cost to the Government (as owners of Kiwirail) there was remarkably less difference between the cost of building the wagons at Hillside or in China than you might imagine.

            When you then take account of the fact that the money spent in New Zealand would continue to be circulated primarily in the local economy (as distinct from being entirely spent in China) and you then consider the revenue raised by this circulation … it would have actually been far cheaper for the government to build them at Hillside.

            But that was never the point. I’ve been told first hand from two separate Kiwirail engineers, that there was direct Ministerial intervention to ensure Hillside would not and could not win the bidding. (If it’s good enough for media journo’s to quote anonymous sources, then it’s good enough for me.)

            • Gosman 5.1.2.1.4.1

              Hearsay unless you have actual hard evidence. I heard it was the Reptilian overlords myself.

              • RedLogix

                Yes I said it was effectively hearsay, as is much of what is printed in media columns too.

                Nonetheless I’ll be bookmarking that comment gossy. Will come in handy.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Clearly politicians interfere in the running of SOE’s. The notion that they do not is risible and the SOE structure and the fake competition structure these less publically accountable organisations have is all political.

                  Remember this

                  “This includes a special dividend from Meridian of $521M, related to
                  the sale of the Tekapo power stations to Genesis.”

                  Spose you think that was a commercial decision as well.

                  And the track record on the Chinese producing good quality trains:

                  http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/07/20/gordon-campbell-on-kiwirails-outsourcing-bungle-with-the-chinese/

                  basically none.

                  And you think interferences like this are not political:

                  “A brief review of the timetable for the EMU tender is instructive in this respect. Just over a year ago – on 17 July 2010 – Kiwirail announced four companies were on the shortlist for the EMU contract, none of them Chinese. The same month, both Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Steven Joyce visited China.

                  On 3rd September Kiwirail re-opened the tendering process, and announced a new shortlist of ten companies, several of which were Chinese. By December 2010, Australia’s Bombardier transportation had withdrawn from the EMU tendering process, with its managing director reportedly saying : “Your decision to extend the shortlist raises questions on the level of confidence that Bombardier can have in the process.”

                  You really, really think SOE’s operate on a hands off commercial basis with no political interference?

                  • RedLogix

                    Thanks DoS. I should have thought to check Gordon Campbell.

                    I have to add (pure hearsay of course) that one of my inside sources can be quoted as saying ” the only upside is that Woburn and TeRapa shops will have plenty of work for years to come keeping these POS’s on the rails”.

          • mike e 5.1.2.1.5

            Gos we have had overseas made rail stock before the English And American rolling stock has been fine lasted 60 years but the cheap knock off’s from east asia have fallen to pieces and have been scrapped!
            While it make sense in the short term its gets you to the next election it cost more in the long run.

          • Tracey 5.1.2.1.6

            Do you know that for a fact? It would be naive (wouldn’t it) to think politics never enters these decision-making processes?

        • BM 5.1.2.2

          China doesn’t just produce cheap rubbish, what it does produce is goods worth the money people are willing to pay for.

          You want to pay a bit more, you’ll get a top quality product, you want to pay bugger all you’ll get a crap product.

          That’s the way it works with China, they just make to what people specify.

          • One Tāne Huna 5.1.2.2.1

            “…they just make to what people specify…”

            Just like Sanlu. No, wait…

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2.2

            China doesn’t just produce cheap rubbish, what it does produce is goods worth the money people are willing to pay for.

            Nope, what China does is spend a lot of time and effort setting up the industry so that it can produce the product and then sells that product to the rest of the world. Something like what NZ did to get most of our industry going. The rest of the world, bowing down to the Capitalist God, goes woohoo, cheaper stuff, higher profit and buys from China causing massive unemployment and then blames the unemployed.

            The reality though, is that China cannot actually make anything cheaper than anywhere else. Doing so is actually a physical impossibility. But, I hear you say, they’ve got cheaper labour costs and so it’s cheaper. Well, no, the labour costs the same amount because the labour still needs to eat, needs to have somewhere to live and requires medical attention etc etc. As I said, it’s a physical impossibility.

            It’s the difference between the real economy that surrounds us and upon which we depend and the delusional economy taught by the economists.

            • TheContrarian 5.1.2.2.2.1

              Yes but the labourer is paid a pittance so they do have cheaper labour costs

              • Crimson Nile

                Is that really the best role model for New Zealand to follow though? John Key and Bill English might consider low wages and poor living conditions “competitive advantages” but that environment creates huge societal problems.

              • Draco T Bastard

                How much they’re paid is immaterial – they still have the same living costs.

                • “they still have the same living costs.”

                  Well, no they don’t – the have much lower living conditions which is why it is much cheaper. The medical attention is poor, housing is poor and the sustenance level is much lower yet they work longer hours for less with real problems in worker suicide rates because of it.
                  Working someone 14 hours on a production line and paying them a pittance is cheap labour no matter how you cut it.

                  ” How much they’re paid is immaterial”

                  No it isn’t, a worker over there could be paid $1.00 per hour for the same work therefore labour cost is cheaper.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No it isn’t, a worker over there could be paid $1.00 per hour for the same work therefore labour cost is cheaper.

                    Only in monetary terms and money is nothing. I real terms, the costs are effectively the same.

                    • In real terms the of cost working someone very long hours for very little pay without redress, representation or having to spend money on proper safety, well-being and mandated holidays is much cheaper.

                      The living costs are not effectively the same. They are vastly different

              • RedLogix

                TC … you miss the fundamental point DtB is making. The real difference between making something in China and something elsewhere in the world is mainly due to the difference in currency values.

                And that difference is an entirely political matter.

                • Really, so working someone on a production line under fear for a pittance without union representation nor having to spend money on worker safety is mainly due to currency values?

                  Fascinating.

              • felix

                Reminds me of the film Shallow Grave where one of the plotters asks another, who has spent some loot on a frivolous and attention-drawing item how much it cost, and on being told how much says “No, that’s what you paid for it. We don’t know how much it cost us yet.”

      • lprent 5.1.3

        …is a new high value export oriented industry that is profitable. Worth incentivising with a tax break.

        Amazing how selective that the Nats are about this kind of thing in where they want to do some “incentivising”.

        http://www.ird.govt.nz/technical-tax/legislation/2008/2008-105/2008-105-repeal-rd-tax-credit/

        The reality is that the movies are very much one off projects and extremely flightly. Ok if you’re thinking as short term as only National Ministers seem to be able to do well (ie the length of time to the next photo-op).

        R&D tax credits tends to build more sustainable export based industries over the long term. Which probably explains why the Nat’s nuked essentially all tax credits and most incentives to do any R&D, and have never replaced them with anything serious.

        http://sciblogs.co.nz/a-measure-of-science/2011/05/24/lifting-new-zealands-productivity-through-rd/

    • Lightly 5.2

      “If the money wasn’t spent in NZ by the Producers of the Hobbit then the Government would not have had the money to rebate. ”

      You can make exactly the same argument for any investment of any money ever. Should all business spending be rebated on the grounds it creates jobs? If so, how are you going to pay for it?

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        You couldn’t make the claim for all businesses. Some make losses no mater what the tax rate that they pay. In that case the only way of keeping them afloat is direct subsidy. Many countries used to do this. Many still do. They usually involve SOE’s although sometimes involve private companies.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          The reality is that no business can get by without government subsidies. If all businesses made a profit the subsidy would come in the form of a government deficit caused by an ever increasing welfare bill (and the bigger part of that will be the corporate welfare – just as it is today).

          The capitalist system is significantly worse than a perpetual motion machine. The perpetual motion machine supposedly works with no other inputs forever. The capitalist supposedly machine gets bigger by taking stuff (profit) out.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    No ones knocking the film industry but in the case if this film we wont call it the hobbit cos Im not knocking the hobbit, National payed subsidies which it wont do for other industries cos subsidies are bad you understand. The National Government believes in the free market you know!

    So National will invest in a film or bail out South Canterbury Finance but it does not have money for Special needs units or breakfast in schools pro-grammes, no sir. Not enough money to fund Teacher professional development properly no sir cos those teachers they all belong to the UNION, in fact National cant even get the teachers payed correctly…. but Hekias great doing a great job!

  7. Tracey 7

    BM

    I guess you are the only kiwi who hasn’t noticed Key’s tongue hanging on the ground each time he is near

    sportsmen (spesh ABs)
    Royalty
    celebrities

    • One Tāne Huna 7.1

      On the ground? Down the back of the trousers more like.

      • ad 7.1.1

        Come on people all politicians do that. And suction (defined in The Wire 3rd season) is fun! The Labour leadership are there today in glorious unabashed form, bathing in the things they promised Parliament and us would hurt the country. Enjoy!

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Yes lots of people are foolishly enamored with celebrity, and behave foolishly because of it, but not many take the foolishness as far as to rewrite a country’s labour laws.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.2

          Am trying to recall our former PM quite as fawning as our current one. In fact she wore trousers to meet the queen… Now the current PM probably would wear a skirt if the royal protocol people told him he must.

  8. Rich 8

    They could have just not cut public service jobs, so we could have adequate delivery of services through secure, well thought out systems, instead of a new cock-up every week.

  9. indiana 9

    Well this issue is certainly not a problem for Labour and it’s leadership, as they will be all smiles and hi-fiving the crowd as they walk down the red carpet.

    As Flavour Flav says, No sell-outs here my man!

    • Tracey 9.1

      If you have children did you bring them up with that same underpinning philosophy indiana, that two wrongs make a right even when they outcome from both sucks?

  10. Tracey 10

    Is that per NZer with a job from the Hobbit or per person employed on the hobbit?

    • rosy 10.1

      “Is that per NZer with a job from the Hobbit or per person employed on the hobbit?”
      … And is that calculated on full-time equivalent jobs, or jobs regardless of hours?

  11. Tracey 11

    I have been involved personally and professionally in the leaky home area for over 3 years. I can tell you that I have yet to be involved in a single case where the developing company is still around to take its share of responsibility. 99.9% wound up, changed their name and incorporated a new company and carried on… wound up after taking the profit, incorporated a new one and so on.

    Of ALL the culpable parties this group have got away with murder in this area. Many of the ones I have been involved with a individually very wealthy people and trusted up tot he eyeballs. IF any political party had the will it could stop this behaviour. Neither Labour nor National have the will…

    SO developers made and continue to make millions while ratepayers foot their bills.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Yet interestingly WINZ seems perfectly able to reach back into trusts as far as they like when it comes to assessing eligibility for rest-home subsidies.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      IF any political party had the will it could stop this behaviour. Neither Labour nor National have the will…

      Capitalism is all about the state writing laws that protect the capitalists and lump the costs on everyone else thus enriching the capitalists. So, no, neither Labour nor National will change those laws to bring these scum to justice.

      • Tracey 11.2.1

        In fact they will open up more land and ease consent restrictions to help them make their next profit (and then liquidate their companies and move tot he next project)

  12. TightyRighty 12

    I thought a plank of Labours election policy was to provide job subsidies? So surely you should support this? Or is it because it’s getting provided outside a union that it makes it hard for you to bear?

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13

    $50k for a job is outrageous, yet you are happy to give away $100k for each subsidised house?

    I thought you guys were ridiculous spending with no proven benefit on the basis that at least it’s not doing nothing.

    [lprent: To whom are you speaking? Me? ]

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      As you know, Gormless, the government is not “giv[ing] away $100k” for each house built.

      For that to happen, the raw cost of the house would be, for example, $400k and they would sell it on the market for $300k. In fact, they are projecting that the raw cost would be $300k, and that they would sell it on the market for $300k. Therefore there is no subsidy.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Indeed. The objective is break-even for 100,000 homes being built and 2000 people off the dole into in apprenticeships alone.
                   
        Much better than $50k per job “created” (plus the annual leave people would have to use up just to watch the movie). 

        • One Tāne Huna 13.1.1.1

          $50k per job for jobs that were never in doubt.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13.1.1.1.1

            So this is a “do-nothing” government. Until they do something. Then they are “do the wrong thing” government.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, a few of us have been trying to get people to stop using the do nothing meme as this government is actually very busy – wrecking employment laws and handing huge amounts of cash to the rich.

            • felix 13.1.1.1.1.2

              “So this is a “do-nothing” government. Until they do something. Then they are “do the wrong thing” government.”

              That’s a complaint that, while accurate, should really be addressed to the National govt and not to One Tane Huna or any commenter here.

              Most of the folks here would love to see the govt doing something worthwhile. It’s a frequent theme on this site.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.2

      And the houses will last a lot longer than 3 years.

      • lprent 13.2.1

        I think that most are certified for something like 60 years after construction.

        • Tracey 13.2.1.1

          not quite.

          You can recover from any of the people who contributed to building it within ten years of its “built date”, and if anyone is left to sue (companies closed etc).

          Timber is supposed to last a minimum of 70 years, but if it fails in year 11, 25, or 30, you can’t sue because your ten years has passed.

    • mike e 13.3

      Gormless you got the decimal point in the wrong place but its the same size as tight arse almighties!
      it works out at about 10,000 per house!

  14. BM 14

    If you’re looking at the news right now, you’ll no doubt be looking at the Hobbit premier.

    Unless you’re blind you will see the happiness, the sense of pride and the enthusiasm and respect for Peter Jackson.

    What the fuck was Labour thinking opposing this, the lack of political nous just blows me away.

    They deserve to rot in opposition for decades.

    • One Tāne Huna 14.1

      What was it Labour opposed again? Citation needed.

      • BM 14.1.1

        By trying to throw spanners in the works, Labour is seen as being against the Hobbit.
        You may think that’s not the case but it’s the public perception.

        • One Tāne Huna 14.1.1.1

          Yeah right, you speak for “the public” – didn’t we cover this yesterday?

          • BM 14.1.1.1.1

            You’d have to be blind not to see it.

            • One Tāne Huna 14.1.1.1.1.1

              You’d have to be Wormtongue to lend credibility to your delusions.

              • infused

                Keep living in your dream world. Labour got smacked in the house about it again today and Key is rubbing in Labours face right now live.

                • Rob

                  Where is Robyn Malcolm and the union dude from Aus, perfect opportunity to gloat at what a shocking outcome this has all come to……

                  • karol

                    Looks like she’s p**sed off to Aus.

                  • Tracey

                    what spiteful people you are. Of course the film was made, it was subsidised and had labour laws changed for it following a campaign of lies and misinformation involving the director and the Minister. For some reason you are happy about that. Yet you positively frothed at the mouth when a painting was signed and sold for charity. Your leader thought the PM should resign…and promised higher standards.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes … in ancient Rome gladiatorial contests to the death were very popular too.

                  Or more recently I recall Muldoon was once hugely popular too. Nowadays it’s hard to find any bastard who’ll own up to voting for him.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Confused, you pay attention to anything Key says? My condolences.

        • felix 14.1.1.2

          BM, you said Labour was “opposing this”.

          Now you’ve changed you tune to “Labour is SEEN” to oppose this.

          That’s a good backdown from the first blatant lie, but you still need to show how “Labour is seen as being against the Hobbit”.

          ps it won’t count for much if it’s just the views of Nat MPs.

    • lefty 14.2

      I tried watching the news.

      It is a sad day when we make a hero out of a union buster and turn out in large numbers to celebrate our own loss of sovereignty.

      Just because a lot of people support something doesn’t make it right.

      The left should support what is right – not what is popular.

      If that means being in opposition until people are won over, then that is better than being another stupid government beholden to foreign corporations.

    • OneTrack 14.3

      Hi BM

      Yep,watching it now. Looks fantastic. Wellington should be very proud.

      • Descendant Of Smith 14.3.1

        It’s a blessing the cricket is on and for once recently we’re doing OK.

        Overhyped hobbit vs cricket – it’s a no-brainer.

      • lefty 14.3.2

        Fuck the unions. My involvement with them has always been negative

        Yeah well.

        Certain types of people do get a hard time from unions.

        Maybe you are one of them.

    • Tracey 14.4

      Alot of people smiled during the rugby world cup but the country did not MAKE money from it. Aucklanders underwrote, and are having to foot the bill for the $280m joke that was the Eden Park upgrade.

      Your attitude, and may our children not share it, is that if everyone is happy do what you like with our money.

      Jackson makes films. He has done well at it so far. That we are becoming a nation of celebrity whores, with our PM at the head of the queue is not something I stand up and applaud let alone want to see money diverted from hospital waiting lists and education for. Still, BM are you on Planet Key or just “aspiring to be”… face squeezed through the gates?

      I have no problem with Mr Jackson’s success or his talent. BUT when he got involved in a lie to achieve a better outcome for his overlords, when he became part of changing the labour laws in NZ, he movied from just being a neat guy who makes lovely movies.

      That you seem to conisder some people immune from criticism BM is sad, unless they are receiving a welfare benefit. Other benefits you are happy with.

  15. Blue 15

    “How many of the 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost under National could have been saved with $50 million?”
    @$50,000 p.a. = about 1,000 jobs. All of them just as temporary, if they need a subsidy of that size to survive. Which means its not a oneoff $50,000,000 spend, its an annual one.

    • Descendant Of Smith 15.1

      Bit like working for families then to subsidise employers or Accommodation Supplement to subsidise landlords or employer subsidies that already exist through agencies such as Workbridge or Mainstream or WINZ..

      Also note that unless you’re suggesting that the Hobbit subsidy was a one off and no more films are to be made here (which seems pointless as the bulk of the argument and the legislative change is in theory to have films made here on an ongoing basis) would also mean that the $50 million cost is not a one-off.

      I can’t see why film should get preferential treatment over engineering or manufacturing.

      What we do know is we have an aging population of tradesmen and plenty of young people who want to work in film.

      Methinks we should subsidise tradesman as a priority over film.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      @$50,000 p.a. = about 1,000 jobs. All of them just as temporary, if they need a subsidy of that size to survive. Which means its not a oneoff $50,000,000 spend, its an annual one.

      FFS that’s totally the wrong calculation.

      With a $5M-6M “subsidy” 100 Hillside manufacturing jobs could have been saved for the next 3 years, compared to giving the order to China.

  16. Richard Down South 16

    The govt coulda kept funding the rape crisis centres with $50, and have a heap of change left over

  17. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    Just a fraction of that amount would provide adequate funding for sexual abuse care.

  18. outofbed 18

    I was stopped parking outsise a job in Tory St Wellington on tuesday because of the fucking hobbit movie, and therefore could not do a scheduled job (too much equipment to handball any distance) And thefore have completley fucked my job schedules. and cost me dosh which I can ill afford All so that some wanky US firm can make more money. The fuckers

  19. Cant wait for the Hobbit to come out, we can be proud of Peter Jackson, the benefits to this country will be endless, those in film making know he has changed everything.

    Well done to him.

    • Tracey 19.1

      Can you quantify it? Will it be like the Rugby World Cup?

      • Brett Dale 19.1.1

        Tracey:

        It’s nothing like the Rugby World cup, people outside of New Zealand actually care about the Hobbit.

        • Craig Glen Eden 19.1.1.1

          The mob want it so let them have it aye Brett Dale.

          I spoke with a guy who works in the film industry, doing set work mostly from what I understood here in Auckland. I asked him if he was going to work on the Hobbit as he said he was going to work in Wellington for a bit. He responded that he had worked for Jackson once before and would never do it again. He said Jackson paid shit money and was an arse to work for.

          I didnt tell him what I thought of Jackson re the dispute but it did confirm what I thought he would be like.

          • karol 19.1.1.1.1

            There’s a fair bit of local and international films and TV work providing jobs n the industry in Auckland that provides a bit of employment  – doesn’t always get as much fanfare as Jackson’s stuff.  But I think Jackson is a very good self-publicist.  I guess many Aucklanders have alternative employers to compare the Hobbit/LOTR experience with.

          • Brett Dale 19.1.1.1.2

            Craig:

            I also know a guy who was an extra, and he loved his experience on the Hobbit.

            The movie is going to be brilliant, people here are jjust pissed off, because your union
            didnt get their way.

  20. KJT 20

    The subsidy for one job. Boss of ports of Auckland. Cost 34 million plus the 750k he was paid directly.

    Much cheaper to give some R and D and development finance support to our own manufacturers.

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