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The Standard

Government manoeuvres on the Hobbit

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, October 23rd, 2010 - 82 comments
Categories: business - Tags: , , ,

Right-wing insider Fran O’Sullivan makes an interesting comment about the government and the Hobbit in her column today:

Key will try to pull off a solution. It will inevitably be a commercial one that could result in New Zealand taxpayers giving Warner Bros an even better tax break to keep The Hobbit here.

The actors would get to stay in work and New Zealand would forgo some tax revenue. Not the brightest of results, really. But Key and co can’t afford to keep on giving in to Malcolm and her fairweather friends.

Fran often gets the inside running on this government’s spin which makes me suspect that the government is going to try to blur the tax issue and the (settled) dispute together as a way of giving the tax-breaks that are at the heart of this matter while trying to keep the blame on the union.

And interestingly John Key has said he’s taking advice on increasing the tax-breaks.

But on Campbell Live Peter Jackson made it clear that the problem wasn’t tax but it was the (settled) dispute (although he failed to mention the dispute was settled at the time he launched his campaign against the union).

So a solution involving tax breaks would be no solution at all, right?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what shakes out over the next week.

82 comments on “Government manoeuvres on the Hobbit”

  1. This has to be saved, if not both Key and Robyn will lose a lot of credit, the way Peter has been treated by certain people has been sickening.

    • Marty G 1.1

      It’s very interesting the way Jackson is being portrayed as almost saint-like by some. The premise is that Jackon would never act like an ordinary human being to maximise his own interests, therefore it must be someone else’s fault – even if that means believing something purposterious: like that a $660 million movie project that has already spent $100 million in NZ moves over the ‘threat’ created by an already settled disputed with a small number of actors.

      I’m not saying Jackson isn’t a great guy, just that he’s as human as you and me. Strip away your assumptions about the inherent goodness of the parties and instead look at the financial motivations. Everything will make much more sense.

    • J Mex 1.2

      But on Campbell Live Peter Jackson made it clear that the problem wasn’t tax but it was the (settled) dispute. – IrishBill

      I can’t remember if it was Close-up, or Campbell Live, but Peter Jackson was VERY clear. It didn’t matter if the boycott was lifted, the damage had been done. Warners were very twitchy about labour disputes. They had a whole project canned over it. They were interested in a stable environment in which to film.

      I suspect that a group of 100 people saying ‘OK, we’ll stop ransoming your project now’ would be of little solace to Warners. I suspect they simply want to operate in an environment where 100 people (who are not even directly involved in their project) can’t screw their project over.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    It has been said that the party that is prepared to walk away has the strongest position in negotiations. As it stands now we have Warner bros prepared to walk, and NZ desperate to keep them here. Consequently, Warner bros are in by far the strongest position with these negotiations. Therefore, regardless of why the dispute started in the first place, why wouldn’t Warner bros try and use this fiasco as an opportunity to screw more out of the NZ government?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      You don’t play poker do you?

      You haven’t noticed Warner and Jackson holding an entire country to ransom? A King’s ransom of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars?

    • IrishBill 2.2

      I agree with you tsmith. And I’d like you to think about that next time you argue for lessened work rights.

      In some ways this whole thing is simply business as usual for big aggressive studios. But trying to land the blame on the union is a particularly dirty bit of business. I’d quite like people to realise that fact before they start getting the pitchforks out for a bunch of actors who wanted a few minimum standards.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        I still think the union has done very poorly on this. I don’t have any problem with them negotiating for a better deal. However, if you’re going to wave the big stick, you’d better make sure you can back it up. In this case, the union has been found out to be bluffing because Warners has called them on the bluff, and the union has capitulated. This suggests very poorly thought out negotiation tactics on the part of the union. If they had realised from the start that they had a relatively weak position in the negotiations they could have taken a much different approach.

        Now, regardless of whether Warners are genuine or not about their concerns about industrial stability, the union has certainly provided a scapegoat for Warners to screw more out of the government. I don’t think anyone would forgive the government if they didn’t do all within their power to keep the movie here. So, the government is also in a very weak position. I expect the government will fold with more concessions; its almost a given IMO.

        • IrishBill 2.2.1.1

          Nobody is arguing the union did well although I’d say they had a strong position with the ban but weakened it by not having a decent negotiating or PR strategy. However they certainly didn’t put the film under threat and if the government decides to provide tax-breaks but somehow blame the union then the government will be acting extremely dishonestly.

          • tsmithfield 2.2.1.1.1

            “However they certainly didn’t put the film under threat and if the government decides to provide tax-breaks but somehow blame the union then the government will be acting extremely dishonestly.”

            Perhaps. But why wouldn’t the government blame the union? I am not trying to debate the facts of the issue here. But, the point is that the government now has an opportunity to look great (apparently saving the Hobbit) and at the same time put the boot into their rivals. What political organisation wouldn’t jump at that opportunity?

            What do you think of these planned protests to “save the Hobbit”? IMO this is playing right into the hands of Warners. They will now see that the voting public is also desperate to keep the Hobbit here. So there will be even more pressure on the Government to cave into Warners. All the rules of effective negotiation have been broken from woa to go in this case. We deserve to get screwed by Warners.

            • Marty G 2.2.1.1.1.1

              $100 million has reportedly already been invested in NZ for these films. The producers aren’t just going to walk away from that investment. Their game is to convince the government they might.

              • tsmithfield

                Marty, I guess only Warner Bros know the motivation for the actions they are taking. However, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if their concerns about industrial stability are quite genuine. However, whether or not this is the case, I expect they will milk this situation for all its worth. Why wouldn’t they?

                • RedLogix

                  However, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if their concerns about industrial stability are quite genuine.

                  Why? All workplace agreements have dates that give everyone certainty. No-one would dream of signing up to one otherwise.

                  So sure they’re milking the situation for all the the tax-breaks (or whatever the hell their real agenda is) they can get…as you say why wouldn’t they? Question is though, why do you admire them for it?

                  • tsmithfield

                    I’m not so sure I admire them. I guess I appreciate their tactical finesse. Something thats sadly lacking on our side.

    • Jim MacDonald 2.3

      Screw, Screw, Screw !
      We can take it, We can take it, We can take it ! !
      .
      .
      …. errr …..

  3. Blue 3

    Peter Jackson is the one who has inflamed this situation from the beginning. The first media storm on this blew up after a press release from him, and so did the second.

    The tenor of his outbursts has been frustrated and angry from the beginning and he’s been lashing out in some very intemperate language.

    If there is going to be any solution to this, I think the key will be calming him down and managing his interaction with the media.

    I think Warner Bros will find their lives a lot easier if they handle things themselves rather than letting Peter Jackson do their talking or negotiating.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Jackson is a great movie maker, industrial negotiator and man of the people, not so much.

  4. The tenor of his outbursts has been frustrated and angry from the beginning…

    Yeah, I’m thinking that probably has something to do with the struggle he would have had to get Warner to let him make the film here instead of somewhere cheaper, and succeeding in that difficult task only to have these prize fuckwits promptly call an international boycott down on it, for reasons they’ve never been able to explain in a way that makes sense. Frustrated and angry? He’s taking it better than I would, I’ll give him that much…

    • Blue 4.1

      On the contrary, I think NZ was the first choice as a location for making these films, and the studio hasn’t seriously considered alternatives before now.

      I think Peter Jackson got so worried about any further delays to this already much-delayed production that when the actor’s union wanted to negotiate and he couldn’t find a quick solution he took it badly and over-reacted.

      There was no need for this to have got as big as it did, and I think if Warner Bros had handled it themselves it would never have gotten so out of hand. Pay negotiations should be handled by someone who has the knowledge and experience of employment law, not a guy who loves to play with high-tech special effects.

  5. It’s Jackson that’s played the NZ public like a fiddle,
    Inflame, deceive and slander has been his modus operandi from the start.
    Happily demonizing workers and their representatives
    Just to provide leverage in a gambit for even more corporate tax cuts.
    A millionaire lackey to his billionaire masters. A nasty piece of work.

  6. SHG 6

    Sir Peter Jackson is one of New Zealand’s most beloved and respected people. Anyone going up against him in a PR battle has lost before the battle even starts.

    • Jim MacDonald 6.1

      I quite liked that character, Saruman, at first as well and then …

    • RedLogix 6.2

      No-one was ‘going up against’ Jackson. He’s the one whose spun what should have been a fairly simple industrial relations issue into this monster.

      Or are you simply saying that the man should have been allowed to write whatever deals that suited him?

      • SHG 6.2.1

        Kelly and the CTU through their own incompetence either created, or allowed the creation of, a media narrative where they were fighting Sir Peter Jackson the person. Just look at Kelly’s description of Sir Peter as a “spoilt brat” in the news. That there was noone around advising Kelly that slagging off the most beloved living New Zealander might be a stupid thing to do just shows how totally clueless the CTU have been through this whole affair.

        • IrishBill 6.2.1.1

          Kelly came into the piece late, played a role in getting a deal struck last week (which one would have thought was the end of it) and then got attacked out of the blue on Thursday.

          If I had someone renege on a deal and then run a media ambush blaming me for the whole thing I’d be likely to say some intemperate thing too. Wouldn’t you?

          • SHG 6.2.1.1.1

            I’d be likely to say some intemperate thing too. Wouldn’t you?

            No, I wouldn’t. No matter how pissed off I was I would NOT say some intemperate thing. Because to participate in that discussion is to lose. By opening her mouth about Sir Peter, Kelly allowed the confrontation to be painted as one between the CTU and Sir Peter Jackson, hero of New Zealand and patron saint of the New Zealand film and tourism industries.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.2

          Hard hard lessons for Kelly and the union movement through all of this. Not a good look, no clear comms plan, going off message at every turn. Bad bad bad. The Left need to get their media training and PR management together before 2011 hits. Yes Kelly probably assumed that she could play the role of an honest broker in good faith negotiations with Jackson but that illusion was quickly busted.

          See Brian Edwards footnote on this matter. He is dead on.

        • Vicky32 6.2.1.3

          “the most beloved living New Zealander”
          Exaggerating much, SHG? If he is acting like a spoilt brat she ‘s entitled to say so.
          Deb

  7. SHG 7

    And, to bring this back to the topic of the parent article… I’m not surprised the Government is manoeuvring based on this clusterfuck, because it has the field entirely to itself. It has no opposition. The CTU has become NZ’s most hated organisation overnight, and the Labour Party doesn’t want to go anywhere near it. Labour knows that if it allows itself to be perceived as being on the CTU’s side it’ll be flogged. So Labour can’t afford to say anything on this issue. So the Government is unopposed in whatever it does.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      It’s interesting to see how the argument from the right has shifted from “union is bad” to “this looks bad for the union”.

      Are you tacitly agreeing that the real issue isn’t the dispute?

      • SHG 7.1.1

        I have no interest in any of the parties involved, although I will confess to holding a great admiration and respect for Sir Peter Jackson, what he’s achieved, and how he’s done it.

        But yeah, I think it’s self-evident that this fiasco is way bigger now than how it started, which was an Australian union – one so nasty that it’s hated in Australia too – trying to muscle in on the NZ film industry. It has become such a fuckup that the issue is now, in the public mind and the media stories, “are unions worth the hassle”.

        I’d be pretty pissed off if I was a member of the PPTA right now, because the CTU has made union action toxic. The moment any union makes any comment ON ANYTHING people will think of Helen Kelly and the CTU.

        • Marty G 7.1.1.1

          again, this deification of Jackson. You can’t analyse a situation clearly when you assume that one party can do no wrong

          captcha: wrong

          • SHG 7.1.1.1.1

            Since only the first sentence of my previous post even mentions Jackson, why don’t you just ignore it address the substance of the post: my observation that the CTU’s involvement in this issue has taken the wind of the the sails of every bit of union activity in the country.

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1.1

              And if the CTU hadn’t gotten involved you’d be spinning it as a fiasco because they had held back from intervening and helping to sort things out.

              which was an Australian union – one so nasty that it’s hated in Australia too – trying to muscle in on the NZ film industry

              And as you know perfectly well the rather tiny NZAE was too small to register as a Union under the ECA and because so many of it’s members worked trans-Tasman it made sense to link up to their bigger and better resourced Australian counterpart. If you’d been paying any attention you’d know this.

              • SHG

                And if the CTU hadn’t gotten involved you’d be spinning it as a fiasco because they had held back from intervening and helping to sort things out.

                If the CTU hadn’t gotten involved then it would have stayed an MEAA/AE fiasco, which is what it became the moment the worldwide boycott was called. By inserting herself and the CTU into the process late in the game and behaving with absolutely breathtaking incompetence, Kelly has turned this into a CTU fiasco, which hurts every union and all union activity in NZ.

                • it’s true she was wrong to trust Jackson’s word

                • RedLogix

                  By inserting herself and the CTU into the process late in the game and behaving with absolutely breathtaking incompetence,

                  Sorry but exactly what was ‘breathtakingly incompetent’ about getting to a settlement? You know, the MoU signed off on with Gerry Brownlee in the room.

                  Or are you referring to her entirely understandable reaction to Saint Peter Jackson publically making a fool of her a few days later when he pretends the deal doesn’t exist?

    • You’re clearly delirious SHG, you should call someone.

      Kelly, Malcolm and the CTU have risen considerably in my estimation. They’ve maintained their professionalism despite profound bullying and demonizing from very powerful interests. And they have acted in the pursuit of a simple justice: equal pay for equal work.

      Jackson however, in his determination to defend and promote Third World labour conditions for the sake of even greedier taxpayer sponsored corporate profits, has damaged his image with the NZ public considerably.

      • SHG 7.2.1

        Kelly, Malcolm and the CTU have risen considerably in my estimation. They’ve maintained their professionalism

        Like I said in another comment, they moment a newspaper quotes you describing the most beloved living New Zealander a “spoilt brat”, you’ve lost. That’s not professional, that’s stupid. Professionalism is NOT being videotaped having dinner at a flash restaurant with an AUSTRALIAN union boss and then walking out past worried movie technicians like you’re Margaret Thatcher staunching out the miners.

        If that’s professionalism, I’d hate to see incompetence.

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.1

          So much has been made of Kelly calling Jackson a “spoilt brat”.

          Gee wiz we are dealing with an adult here arn’t we? What is that saying about sticks and stones?

          As if a $600m project should end just because someone used a couple of words to describe another essentially after she was called a liar.

          • Carol 7.2.1.1.1

            I think a lot of the right wingers are fixating on some minor issues and/or minor errors of judgement, and avoiding dealing with the substantive evidence of financing issues eg as in Gordon Campbell’s articles; and of the fact that industry unions can be far stronger and challenging to companies in other countries.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Too many people have forgotten the need for strong unions, or for the younger workers, have never realised it in the first place.

      • aj 7.2.2

        I agree totally with redlogix and teh sprout. Kelly is the person who rightfully feels betrayed, after a deal was struck. She has become angry, and who wouldn’t be. But restrained anger, witness the way she has controlled herself during TV and Radio interviews while being called a liar, when all the facts are on her side. She was also called a liar by many on these blogs – facts are out and they should apologise. She has gone way up in my estimation.

  8. Pdogge 8

    and I see I.B. that Bomber has done a scenario much in keeping with your prophecy and analysis

  9. 😆 and… back to the ‘bullying, interfering, hated Australian Union’ line :lol:!

    you really need to sort out your story and stick to it

  10. IrishBill 10

    Right so your argument is that it’s a bad look. Not that the union’s claims were unfair. Not that the union is really to blame for the threats to take the film overseas but that it’s a bad look for the union.

    So tell me, what is your opinion of Jackson and Warner’s role in all of this? I ask because you seem to accept the fact they reneged on a deal, set up a media ambush in bad faith and are likely to be using it to squeeze bigger tax breaks out of the government but you don’t seem to think they’ve done anything worth criticising. Seriously, I’d like to know.

    • tsmithfield 10.1

      Irish, don’t want to debate the facts with you, as you may well have a point.

      However, the facts and the perception of reality are two different things. The problem for the union movement is that the public perceive that the actors union is risking a major economic opportunity for the country. The government is likely to milk that perception for all its worth. Not saying thats right, however, its good politics.

      Now the government has a rod to beat all unions with. Any time a union takes action that affects others outside of the dispute the government will be able to simply claim that the union is acting against the greater public good just like the actors union did. This will immediately associate union activity with the Hobbit debacle.

      Worse, for Labour, is that they have associated themselves more closely with the unions via Little. Therefore, they are likely to suffer collateral damage from any PR advantage the Nats can get from this fiasco.

      • IrishBill 10.1.1

        It’s a pretty simple question. What do you think of the way Jackson and Warners have behaved?

        • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1

          I think there has been dodgy behaviour on all sides of this matter. However, what you or I think doesn’t really matter. What matters is the public perception of reality. If the history books record that the actors union cost NZ “the Hobbit” then that has become reality. What actually happened is irrelevant.

      • KJT 10.1.2

        NACT was and is always going to do this.

        Unions do need to get better at being on the front foot. A more objective press would help.

        Now Labour is looking to be on the resurgent they will miss no opportunity to demonise Unions.

        • Carol 10.1.2.1

          Friends in the US & UK tell me the unions are getting heavily bashed there, too. The right in NZ were always going to find some way to bash union resistance to their new wave of “austerity”. Yes, unions everywhere just need to get smarter.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1.1

            And more people need to understand why we need strong unions now, more than ever. The Right feel their ground slipping away from under them and they are going to be vicious in response.

  11. BLiP 11

    This aint “show friends”, its “show business”

  12. Lazy Susan 12

    Hey Irish, posted on “Hobbitt Producers Caught In A Lie”e but have re-posted here as I think it is more pertinent to this discussion.

    The timeline tells you more about what’s behind this than all the other stuff which is just distracting noise.

    (i)Agreement had been reached to lift the boycott last Monday. This has been confirmed by a series of emails between Warners and the Screen Actors Guild that have been shown to the NZPA.

    (ii) Warners requested that the announcement of the boycott be delayed to “sort out the wording of the press release”.

    (iii) 2 days later (Wednesday) a protest march by technicians condemning Actors Equity is organised in Wellington and led by Peter Taylor – manager of Weta Worshop (Jackson’s post effects/post production company)

    (iv) The following morning (Thursday) Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films go public condemning Actors Equiy and threatening that the production will move overseas. Warners execs are “on the way to make arrangements to move the production”

    (v)4 days later (Friday) Key, Brownlee and English make noises about relaxing employment law, tax breaks and meeting the Warners execs when they arrive next week.

    So by the Friday Actors Equity and Helen Kelly had been demonised and the NZ governement were talking about more favourable conditions for Warners.

    It beggars belief that Jackson and Wingnut were not aware at the beginning of the week that the boycott had been lifted. The question remains why, having been quiet for so long, did Jackson decide this was the time to go public and why did Warners need to delay the press release?

    • SHG 12.1

      Lazy Susan: to be specific,

      a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute

      That statement does not confirm that an settlement existed. That simply shows that WB and the SAG were haggling over how to ANNOUNCE a settlement. I would not be surprised if WB and the SAG were also haggling over how to announce a FAILURE to reach a settlement. Such organisations plan their press releases way ahead of time and have releases prepared for every outcome.

      Of course all this uncertainty could be cleared up by the MEAA/Actors Equity releasing a dated copy of the agreement. That such a release has NOT been made suggests that there isn’t one.

      • the sprout 12.1.1

        you’re clutching at straws there SHG.
        the documentation shows that regardless of any settlement (and none has ever been claimed), no industrial or union impediments to a deal existed.
        Jackson and Warners are using non-existent union opposition as a bargaining tool for more tax cuts.
        That’s a bit more to the pertinent facts of the matter, or would you like to invoke the ‘nasty interfering bullying Australian unions’ again at this point?

      • RedLogix 12.1.2

        If the agreement did not exist, why discuss the wording of a press release about it?

        If there was a failure to come to an agreement, then why discuss the wording of a press release announcing a settlement?

        Why the need to obfuscate the obvious here?

        • SHG 12.1.2.1

          If there was a failure to come to an agreement, then why discuss the wording of a press release announcing a settlement?

          To be prepared for the eventuality of one being successfully reached. As I said, I expect that they also discussed the wording of a press release announcing a total breakdown of talks in order to be prepared for THAT eventuality. They probably also discussed the wording of press releases announcing all sorts of things in between. It’s called being prepared. That’s how professionals work.

          • IrishBill 12.1.2.1.1

            But that’s not what happened. There was a memorandum of understanding signed on Thursday last week and Gerry knew about it because the deal was done at the meeting he convened. A full week later Jackson went on the attack.

  13. Irascible 13

    In the film making world the NACT Govt is now playing with the real world… a world they have never entered in all their lives. The film studios are famed for playing hard ball as they screw everyone to maximise their own self interests and profit and bugger the consequences.
    The NZ public are being screwed by our own sentimentality and small world sense of “ownership” of the film studio’s product.
    Let’s not forget that Jackson ended up suing the Film Company for unpaid residuals from the trilogy in another hard ball game.

  14. Anthony C 14

    It’s also weird how Helen Kelly has been blamed as the instigator of this whole shebang, afaik she stepped in to mediate?

    • SHG 14.1

      I haven’t seen anything that describes Kelly as the instigator, FWIW. As far as I can see she is being criticised for inserting herself and the CTU into an already touchy situation and handling it very very badly.

      • IrishBill 14.1.1

        Handling it badly? She got a deal sorted out on Thursday last week and then got ambushed by Jackson a full week later even though he knew the deal was done. I think she’s done reasonably well given the astounding bad faith Jackson showed.

        • prism 14.1.1.1

          The trouble with the statement that Helen Kelly sorted out a deal with the unions is that neither Warner or Jackson would have known if it was worth the pixels that printed it out. They could vanish at the touch of a button.
          The damage that was done in trying to heavy the film makers by asking for assistance from large international unions couldn’t be wiped out in an instant or by an email saying oh we’ve changed our minds now and we’re all sweet now.

          If it was the Australian organiser that started all this, and that’s what I’ve read, then he has shown himself to be irresponsible and a potential wrecker. Warners have got real money and reputations riding on this and they need to make it work. The union members who want to take negative action haven’t got anything invested, and never will amass anything to invest the way they carry on. I suggest that the ruling egos in this are the union commentators, not Jackson’s. His comments don’t arise so much from ego as frustration at the nuttiness and irresponsibility of the worker unions.

          • IrishBill 14.1.1.1.1

            Bullshit. They had an MoU calling off the action. SAG was informed, Warners knew about it immediately as they were an interested party. So did Gerry Brownlee because he was in the room.

            The big threats on Thursday were about leveraging tax-breaks. Just wait and see what comes this week. I’ll guarantee the “solution” will have bugger all to do with employment law and plenty to do with tax.

            • Carol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I think tax breaks are a major part of the issue. But I also think Warners wants to nip international union solidarity in the bud – well, they would want to keep unions under the thumb, on the home front as well. So there, Warners and Key have a mutual interest. But if international solidarity of unions scares them, then it must have some power.

            • pollywog 14.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m betting this is one time English will call their bluff and not open the cheque book and that warner bros are over here on a scheduled meet to discuss other matters.

              the hardest thing will be trying to beat this story up til they get here, if they get here, so’s ‘smile and wave’ can still get his hero photo op shot in the can.

              no way is ‘the hobbit’ going anywhere now.

              shows over folks, move along. nothing to see here.

              • Carol

                I think there’s some rugby league going on that will stir up some patriotic fervour until JK does his big photo op announcement with the Warners’s big wig & PJ, orchestrated by the TV news doing a “will they or won’t they?” reality TV build up.

                Then JK will have another scrap book opportunity to look forward to with Hillary Rodham about to drop in – though he’d probably be more excited if it were Bill not Hill.

              • IrishBill

                Nah, if Fran’s saying tax break it’ll be a tax break. She’s too well connected to punt something like that without having the inside running.

                • Lazy Susan

                  Yep that’s where my money’s going Irish. Here’s how an alternative timeline could have unfolded.

                  (i) SAG and Warners announce the boycott’s over as AE and producers have reached an agreement

                  (ii) Warner’s, Jackson and Wingnut say production likely to move offshore as tax breaks and employment law not favourable in NZ.

                  (iii) Government capitilutates and offers tax breaks and changes to employment law.

                  Result:
                  AE look reasonable and unions don’t get demonised
                  Warner’s, Jackson and Wingnut look like unreasonable bullies
                  Government looks weak and easily manipulated.

                  The delay in releasing the announcement that the boycott was lifted was crucial.

            • prism 14.1.1.1.1.3

              Good IB great if you’re right. I don’t mind a tax break to get the film made here. Whether Key wants kudos or not we will get something out of that money if the films are made here.. That money will produce jobs, return and mana for NZ unlike paying out SCF. It just might be enough to half the recession effects.

      • KJT 14.1.2

        She did fine. She was ambushed by liars with no sense of decency.

  15. It wont be called tax break but protection money.

  16. truthseeker 16

    ” played the nz public like a fiddle”
    the sprout might have a point – uk newspaper, the daily mail (mail online.co.uk) has an article by jody thompson dated 22-10-10(4-45pm) Headline: “Middle-earth moves to Watford: $500m adaptation of The Hobbit set to leave New Zealand for Britain’s Harry Potter studios” – and states: “director Peter Jackson decided against filming in his native New Zealand because of industrial action there”……..and……….
    “Jackson’s wife and production partner Fran Walsh revealed that they’d already started location scouting in the UK and had earmarked a studio for The Hobbit, which is being released in two installments.She told Radio New Zealand: ‘They’ve got a huge studio there that Harry Potter has vacated, the ex-Rolls Royce factory, that they say would be perfect for us.” The comments that follow the article from frantic Kiwis and excited Brits are a revelation. As Robyn Malcolm said ‘how did this happen?’. Some one knows me thinks.

  17. gn 17

    You are naive. Warners are developers. They have a 1/2 billion dollar bank loan to invest, and the local tinpot unions are demanding they break the law of the country that a 1/2 billion dollars is to be invested in, or they will effectivly stop the project.
    Then the Aussie union jerk, who probably didnt know NZ law, ripped a big one thinking it would actually work, and when him and the actors realised they could NEVER win they lied to try and make it OK.

    FUCK admit it, its a fucking cock up with no winners. Helen Kelly is an absolute idiot- has she ever been to LA, does she know that movie producers have lawyers literally on their staff and following them around all day, reading their emails all the time? How can Warners honour the bank commitment they made with the ctu making comments like that, with that level of risk insurance companies would have been notified and lawyers from the bank put on stand by. You are not in fucking West Auckland anymore , your are in the real thing.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Incoherent babble.

      and the local tinpot unions are demanding they break the law of the country

      Why is it that so many people adamantly cling to the first piece of information they read (however wrong it turns out) and refuse to accept further updates?

      And what’s with the ‘Aussie union jerk’ schtick …all the while worshipping the big US studio bosses for their ‘real thing’

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