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National Breaches Crown Copyright

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, January 17th, 2014 - 43 comments


Rob Salmond at Polity on the National Party’s use of public service videos for political ends.

The Good and the Bad: NZ screen industry

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, December 16th, 2013 - 77 comments


The NZ government changes to NZ’s screen industry incentives is a mixed bag. Some (not fully developed) support for a sustainable NZ industry. Selling out NZ workers; bowing to Hollywood corporate, neo-colonial values.

NZ’s struggling screen industry

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 24th, 2013 - 116 comments

Warner Flag

The NZ screen industry is in a precarious state, unable to compete with incentives in other countries to attract the crums from Hollywood productions, impacted by the currency high dollar rate.  Innovative ideas needed for an independent NZ industry, linked with public broadcasting TV & online viewing. [Updated: Maori TV & Barry Barclay]

The view from China

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, August 6th, 2013 - 103 comments

oil new zealand

The world has become a very strange place when NZ is getting lectured by China. Problem is, they aren’t wrong.

The convention economy

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, July 29th, 2013 - 14 comments

Burning Money natonomics2

You know it by now, Key, English, and Joyce have said it often enough – National’s formula for the economy is more mining, selling assets, and convention centres. We’re actually making less money from mining now than 5 years ago. Asset sales have been a predictable failure. But we’ve got 3 new convention centres coming, that’ll bring in the international revenue, eh? Nah.

Who’s Tourism Minister again?

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, June 25th, 2013 - 45 comments


Back in 2008, a bright new thing called John Key said that, if he became Prime Minister, he would take the Tourism portfolio. He said “it’s an industry that’s particularly important in maintaining and boosting this country’s employment levels and growth prospects” and “we can do an awful lot better”. International tourism revenue has fallen 20% since 2008.

Two videos & a documentary

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, April 25th, 2013 - 6 comments

Hawkes Bay protest

A Jackson PR video promoting NZ scenery as a beautiful backdrop for the Hobbit & tourism; a Campbell Live video on a Dannevirke protest against Big Oil exploiting their area; an anti-fracking Canadian team filming in NZ.

The Stealth Dismantling of Environmental Protection

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 6th, 2013 - 27 comments

cow in river

To a first approximation the protection of the environment in this country is managed by two distinct entities; inside the Conservation estate it falls to DoC and outside of that it falls onto the Regional Councils. Under this government both are being slowly dismantled. Over the last month I’ve had the opportunity to talk extensively with DoC […]

Johny on ice

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 14th, 2013 - 55 comments


After four weeks holiday in Hawaii, John Key will briefly land in New Zealand this week before popping off on a junket to Antarctica. Now, you won’t hear a lot about this in the media – because half the press gallery is going with him and they’re just excited to go to Antarctica – but there’s all kinds of buzz coming out of the public service about how and why Key set up this trip.

Missing the point: Minister of Tourism fail

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, January 13th, 2013 - 102 comments

key fail

Michael Field on Stuff, responds to a question he attributes to “Labour Party blog, The Standard” about our Minister of Tourism spending most of his holidays in Hawaii  and fails to answer the question he cites. Field diverts to past PMs, ignores all Clark’s NZ holidays, and champions “Kiwi” Muldoon.

Where the bloody hell are you?

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, January 9th, 2013 - 70 comments

aloha from hawaii

Like here, Queensland’s tourism industry is hurting. Like ours, Queensland’s Tourism Minister thought it would be a good idea to holiday in a foreign tropical resort instead of supporting her local industry. But, there, the main newspaper responded with a devastating “where the bloody hell are you” attack that could sink her career. Here, not so much.

Secretive Haast-Hollyford Highway

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, December 5th, 2012 - 15 comments

Lake Mackenzie - tunnel would pass under these mountains

A rather secretive bid in Central Otago/Westland for what amounts to a toll road cutting through a National Park. As with the as-yet-undecided tunnel and monorail proposals, this raises the question of whether Zealand is moving in the direction of selling its most public and protected land to private developers, for their private profit-generating schemes. It will have meetings to brief as many “key stakeholders” with a “significant interest” but will include “no public meetings”.

The Hobbit episode II… continues…

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, November 27th, 2012 - 103 comments

key meets warners

Today The Hobbit  employment dispute is revived, exposing gaps between principle and practice.  Jackson defends his role; some of Labour’s ABC club will attend the premier; John Key-speak weaves a contradictory path of  populist nonsense, linking the movie, 100%Pure, 100% Middle-earth and Macdonald’s.

Local Bodies: Mike Joy, Traitor or Martyr?

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 26th, 2012 - 49 comments


Reprinted with permission from Local Bodies. See also the anonymous editorial in The Herald today – written no doubt by some genius who has never even looked at Dr Joy’s data, let alone understood its implications.

In other news, selling NZ: TPP, Hobbit rulz …

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, November 20th, 2012 - 57 comments


John Key is steaming ahead in selling NZ.  He is Obama’s wing-man to extend the TPP into the Asia-Pacific region.  Meanwhile, the “Hobbit Law” is taking a heavy toll on many NZ actors.  And there are claims that the Hobbit production has been harming animals.

John Key Selling (out) New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, November 11th, 2012 - 53 comments

Warner Flag

John Key’s selling out of NZ workers’ rights, tourism industry and identity to Hollywood, the TPP and US corporates, has reached a new low.  OIA papers reveal the extent to which Warners is dictating the NZ government’s promotion of 100% Middle-earth.

Key the Diplomat

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, November 3rd, 2012 - 171 comments


The UK’s biggest daily newspaper’s lead about Britain’s favourite son today:

Becks is as thick as bats*** says New Zealand’s PM

‘The Asian Century’: Aus, NZ

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, October 29th, 2012 - 22 comments

Australia in the Asian Century

Gillard’s ‘Asian Century’ white paper, and negotiations of the ASEAN trade agreement (RCEP) are significant developments in US-China struggle for dominance in the region. Aussie wants to be a major player. How should NZ respond?

Selling New Zealand: 100% Muddle-Urf

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments

key meets warners

Why is John Key backing the flagging tourist industry as a major export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was partly about using the Hobbit to promote NZ as a tourist destination. Why is the government so fixated on attracting more US tourists?

Greens call for new tools, QE to save jobs

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 7th, 2012 - 327 comments

russel norman

40,000 manufacturing jobs gone in four years. Manufactured exports in free-fall. Tourism revenue collapsing. If that’s not a crisis, what is? Why is the government going to do? Nothing. Nothing. On Q+A, Russel Norman put forward a solid proposal: lower the OCR, new tools to stop housing booms, and quantitative easing to pay for Christchurch […]

ImperatorFish: Environmentalists Are Not The Problem, Mr Groser

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, July 3rd, 2012 - 9 comments

imperator fish logo

Tim Groser in the NBR: “Our enemies who are internal, will find one cow in one stream and feed it back to environmental activists in the developed world to be used to try to exclude New Zealand’s products and services in the ludicrous belief this will somehow help New Zealand.” Paranoid, much? And don’t you think the polluters are the problem, not the people who fail to hush it up?

Tea ladies to be drug tested

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 11th, 2012 - 45 comments


 Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson seems to be living  in an alternative universe, with her comment on Checkpoint yesterday that tea ladies in the adventure tourism industry could be drug tested: “The boss might be tested, it could be his turn or it could be the tea lady.” We’ll take it as a given that Kate assumes the boss […]

Key ups the ante on an empty hand

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, April 19th, 2012 - 77 comments

Bad poker hand

Back before John Key’s political nous deserted him (circa mid-November 2011), he would have run a mile from the dirty pokies deal with SkyCity. Instead, he’s claiming the dirty deal as his own and SkyCity’s chairman bragging about his access to Nat ministers. All to build a useless convention centre that will demand ongoing subsidies. Not worth the political capital.

Worth a thousand words: minister of tourism

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, January 31st, 2012 - 28 comments

tourism income big

A brighter future?

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, September 23rd, 2011 - 32 comments

international tourism spending

The Greens’ awesome water policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments

cow in river

The Greens want to charge 10 cents per tonne of water used by farmers. Use the revenue to restore our rivers and lakes. Even Actoid types can support this: internalise externalities, use price mechanisms to encourage efficient use of resources. Naturally, the farmers don’t want to pay. Funny how ‘wealth creators’ never want to pay their fair share.

You paid to get Try-hard John on the telly

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 pm, August 1st, 2011 - 165 comments

letterman key

Remember John Key’s awful Letterman appearance?  Supposedly worth a fortune in tourism. We know that was complete crap. It was a stunt meant to impress us saps. Now we learn that we paid for it. PM’s office pleaded for months to get on Letterman. Try-hard even sent a demo tape. When that didn’t work, they paid a US PR agency $10K to seal the deal.


Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, June 28th, 2011 - 42 comments

indian tourism

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, May 26th, 2011 - 58 comments

key hard at work in a little toy boat large

Chart of the day: measuring success

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, March 15th, 2011 - 32 comments

us visitors

Tourism: revenue flat, employment down

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 29th, 2010 - 29 comments


I’m confused by the up beat coverage of the tourism figures released on Wednesday. Have people actually read the numbers? Tourism is in decline. Employment and revenue are still going down, and the next time oil prices go through the roof, the situation will get worse. No cycleway will change that.

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