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Hobbit emails show Jackson’s dodgy dealings

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, February 26th, 2013 - 314 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: , ,

The government has released the Hobbit documents. The Ombudsman ordered them to. The full release is available at stuff and what stands out (apart from the insistent and narcissistic tone of every film industry correspondent) is the fact that Peter Jackson himself noted the “do not sign” advice from the union was being called off. TWO DAYS before he went public with his “evil union destroying the Hobbit” story.

Here’s the email:
Jackson email

As you can see Jackson himself acknowledged that the dispute was effectively over. So why blow it up two days later?

Well, from what I can tell from these emails and ones released earlier, Jackson simply didn’t want to negotiate with a union and wanted the law changed to make sure he didn’t have to. And what Peter wants, it seems Peter gets.

To be fair to the government it seems that they resisted changing the law until Jackson blew it up into a fake crisis and John Key stepped in (no wonder, as I commented at the time, Gerry Brownlee sounded sick on the radio the morning Jackson pulled the pin).

Of course there’s also the matter of tens of millions of dollars of subsidies – no doubt the “crisis” offered Warners exactly the leverage they needed to extract that final pound of flesh from the taxpayer.

What really pisses me off about this is that Jackson made the lives of hundreds of his workers hell, and got many of them to turn on their unionised colleagues, by making them think their jobs would be gone when all the time he knew there was no danger of the film leaving NZ at all. What a nasty little creep.

314 comments on “Hobbit emails show Jackson’s dodgy dealings”

  1. Gosman 1

    A tax rebate on money spent is hardly a subsidy. It would be like arguing that the mafia giving you half your protection money back is them paying you.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      It’s forgone revenue. That makes it, by definition, a subsidy. Don’t any of you right-wingers do economics anymore?

      More to the point, how do you feel about Jackson faking a crisis two days after he tells the government it’s over?

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        It’s not forgone revenue if the revenue wouldn’t be there if you didn’t offer the rebate.

        • IrishBill 1.1.1.1

          But Jackson’s email says the union action wasn’t going to chase the film off. You did read the emails, didn’t you?

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            This is not in relation to just The Hobbit situation but to any rebate.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              In that case what you say is true (from a certain perspective), but irrelevant.

              • Gosman

                It’s not irrelevant in the context of the statement made in the article “…tens of millions of dollars of subsidies “. I’d agree that you could argue that giving additional rebates may not have been necessary but it isn’t a subsidy.

                • McFlock

                  But the article is dealing with the Hobbit film, right? Not just any rebate. The Hobbit rebates in particular.

                  In the case of the Hobbit rebates, the revenue would have been there, regardless – according to Jackson, anyway.
                  cf your : It’s not forgone revenue if the revenue wouldn’t be there if you didn’t offer the rebate.

                  So the rebates were foregone revenue. And your just nattering on about a semantic irrelevancy.

                  • John

                    There would be no revenue to NZ if the film didn’t happen in NZ. The rebates were the price to pay to have the films made here. A smaller slice of something, rather than nothing. There was a net gain to NZ taxpayers (not to mention film workers) by having the films shoot here.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BULLSHIT

                      read the email

                      The location of the films was never in actual question apart from a fearmongering campaign (which you have gullibly bought into)

                      Jackson would never have allowed the films to be moved to Estonia or wherever because he wouldn’t have wanted to live the next 5 years of his life there.

                    • geoff

                      Where does it say the film wouldn’t have been made without the rebate? Seriously, do you have a link?

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed – key gave the smaller piece of cake to the country, when he could have given a larger piece of cake.

                      $67million would have enabled to HRC to avoid arbitrary cost cutting, for example. Or kept schools or hillside workshops open.

                    • McFlock

                      but then PJ helped out with the nat’s campaign ads, didn’t he – only polite to do so after that gift, of course.

                    • John

                      If you read the emails no one wanted to shoot the films elsewhere, and the threshhold for doing so was quite high, but it was on the table. I work in the film industry, I know how keen the studios are to go to the cheapest location, if they can make it work. Why are there so many films being shot in Romania, Albania and so on? US states do it too. Louisiana, Michigan are leaders. Warners had the vacant Harry Potter stage they were keen to use. But PJ was very keen to shoot here, and they made it work, despite the union.
                      BTW I am an independent contractor, and have always been an independent contractor. The legislation change merely confirmed the status quo, rather than the aberration that was the Bryson decision.

                    • McFlock

                      okay.

                      It was a possibility that nobody wanted with a very high threshold before it was likely to happen.

                      So, worst case scenario based on what the know now, the rebate was most likely a subsidy offered by a government that loves to grow a deficit.

                    • McFlock

                      what we know now

                    • geoff

                      Fuck you’re full of shit John. Everyone knows that major studios completely capitulate to A-list actors/actresses and directors. Fat arse Jackson loves to sleep in his Wellington bed so it was never ever going anywhere else.

                    • John

                      Everyone on this site is so committed to the ‘evil Peter Jackson’ point of view that there’s no point in actual debate. I’m personally against subsidies, but to be pragmatic having a film industry here requires them, so the question is do we want to be part of the international film industry? Or do we want a subsistence / cottage industry film industry? And the reality is these ‘subsidies’ or in fact rebates, didn’t cost the country anything, they meant a smaller tax take than otherwise, but a net gain to the taxpayer. The rhetoric / hatred on this blog is out of line.

                    • Arfamo

                      This movie is going to make a fortune. It was always going to be made here. There was no need to surrender to demands for tax relief. NZ taxpayers were cheated.

                    • felixviper

                      Everyone on this site is so committed to the ‘evil Peter Jackson’ point of view

                      Which only exists in the minds of a handful of right-wing lackeys.

                      But I guess in a Tolkien thread you’re gonna get a bit of fantasy.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m personally against subsidies, but to be pragmatic having a film industry here requires them,

                      So you’re in favour of subsidies then, as a “pragmatic” policy choice?
                      So am I.

                      The thing is, the tax rebate for the Hobbit wasn’t a subsidy to preserve an industry or essential economic skills. It was a nice little gift from Key to Jackson and his mates. The film was going to be made in NZ anyway. But throwing a little union red herring around justified to the public giving away thousands of hip operations or subsidised medicines, in exchange for a plastic sword and a dvd extra nobody will watch.

                    • Epping Road

                      “It was a nice little gift from Key to Jackson and his mates. The film was going to be made in NZ anyway. ” Yeah right-o, the only people saying that the film was going to be made in NZ anyway happen to be the people who had no decision on where the film was going to be made. Nobody has come up with any evidence that Warners would have proceeded. In the three years since the dispute not a single disgruntled former employee of Jackson’s or Warner’s or anyone working in any of the ministers offices or government departments who were working on the deal have leaked a single document supporting your theory that it was a stitch up.

                      All we have is everybody involved in the decision making it very clear that they were pulling out unless they could get certainty. Only in your fantasy land would you seriously think Key wanted to give away government cash if he didn’t have to. I think you might be mistaking him for Michael Cullen’s genius train set deal.

                    • the pigman

                      Epping Road, @ 1:05am (since you’re so deep in the thread I can no longer reply to you), have you read the documents released?

                      They are not voluminous. The correspondence from actual WB people are nowhere near the blackmail that the NZ public was fed by Jackson/the National guvmint and the MSM.

                      For fucks sake read them before you continue parroting the “it was moving offshore line”. It’s a disgrace.

                    • McFlock

                      Only in your fantasy land would you seriously think Key wanted to give away government cash if he didn’t have to

                      You have actually watched what this government does, right? Everything from limos to finance company bailouts to casino convention centres. The only people that Key resists giving bucketloads of money to are doctors, teachers and the poor.

        • 1) The email indicates that there was no danger of the production leaving NZ.
          2) Choosing to reduce taxes to attract a production is pretty much the definition of a subsidy. If you don’t believe in those, well, you can’t defend this, and if you do, well, then it should be alright for any business that we wouldn’t get otherwise, and all of a sudden you don’t really believe in free trade anymore.

          There’s really no way to defend this deal from a right-wing perspective.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1

            crony capitalists and corporate socialists pretending to be right wing.

            • Rich 1.1.1.2.1.1

              If the people working on the film had worked on other movies, or on TV, or as baristas, or (in the case of the many IT techs) fixing payroll software and the like, they’d have paid tax and so would their employers.

              Saying that this film was a net addition to the NZ economy is artificial.

          • felixviper 1.1.1.2.2

            “There’s really no way to defend this deal from a right-wing perspective.”

            Yes, that’s why Gosman has decided to destroy the thread instead.

    • the pigman 1.2

      Except, Gooseman, if you’d bothered to read the disclosure you’d have seen that Tourism NZ paid more than $10 fucking million dollars to WB for their publicity of NZ.

      stupid
      stupid
      stupid
      stupid

      (although they’re a waste of damned space, I’d really like a smack head emoticon right now.)

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Jackson the member of at least 3 unions himself.

    And a billionaire hypocrite, refusing to give to his employees the very same work and income protections that he enjoys from being a union member.

  3. Gosman 3

    The most interesting new piece of information to come from that is the view of Peter Jackson that Simon Whipp was attempting to claim credit for negotiating The Hobbit contract so that he could claim the large revenue stream from the actors residuals. Certainly puts the whole thing into perspective if true.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      That’s the worst attempt at trolling I’ve seen in weeks. You can do better than that gos.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        What other new information do you think came out then? I have seen numerous people claim that Jackson already knew about the lifting of the blacklist so that is hardly new information.

        • felixviper 3.1.1.1

          Whatever Gosman.

          Whenever it’s been raised before your lot have cried bullshit.

        • tracey 3.1.1.2

          you’ve never agreed that was the situation before though Gosman… in any previous comments on this topic. It appears to have confirm it as fact for you now. So for you, it might not be “new” but it is information you now accept. That is new.

          I’ve read the docs a few times and can’t see the emails or memos from actors equity or helen kelly, or evidence of calls and meetings between govt officials and the other side of this story. Nope, they seem to have blindly accepted there was only ONE side to the story. How awfully naive of them.

          I recall reading, but have no link or proof, that about $200m had already been spent on the hobbitt when this all happened which apparently made it unlikely the Hobbitt would be moved?

      • geoff 3.1.2

        No he can’t. I doubt he could butter toast.

    • Weta 3.2

      “the view of Peter Jackson” .. does this tell us more about Peter than it does about Simon ?

    • PJ 3.3

      “large revenue steam” – lol ah no.

      besides the point anyway, as that”s not the way residuals work. Any organisation to administer NZ actors residuals would be NZ run and affiliated to the NZ Actors Equity, much in the same way that NZ performers dues go towards running the NZ office.

      And anyway, why the hell do producers get a say in how actors administer their residuals!?! Once the deal and percentages are worked out, and the producers have agreed to pay once profits are reached then it should be up to the actors to decide who and how those payments are administered. Once the producers pay it out its none of their business.

      • Gosman 3.3.1

        You obviously have a different view than Peter Jackson. Do you have more experience in the film production industry than him, or any in fact?

        • PJ 3.3.1.1

          I do work in the industry, yes. And yes Jackson has more experience than me, but so? What’s that got to do with the price of fish?

          He’s a multi-millionaire producer, does that mean he should be able to decide how an actors residual is administered? Again, once that residual is paid out it is none of his business.

          I’m talking about how ACTORS administer their residuals, not how he deals with his back-end, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

          • Gosman 3.3.1.1.1

            I’m not arguing he should decide how any residuals are spent. I’m merely relaying the information that he obviously thought control of these was the real reason Simon Whipp brought The Hobbit into this dispute.

            What would be interesting is if any left wing party will be reversing the changes in legislation made as a result of this dispute.

            • PJ 3.3.1.1.1.1

              FFS. Do you just change words every time someone disagrees with you and shift your semantic goalposts? It’s nothing to do with how they’re spent. You do get the difference between ‘spent’ and ‘administer’ don’t you?

              And what do you mean by “control of these” if not ‘administration’? Cause, um, there aint no other way to control a residual, unless your a producer, like, oh I dunno, Jackson….

            • framu 3.3.1.1.1.2

              “I’m not arguing he should decide how any residuals are spent”

              “You obviously have a different view than Peter Jackson. Do you have more experience in the film production industry than him, or any in fact?”

              what ever sunshine – you can play semantics in your mothers basement for ever if you want to

              do you know what would really be interesting? – if you ever engaged in good faith, honest debate on the internet

              • McFlock

                if only because Gossie doing that is a sign of the coming apocalypse.

              • wtl

                do you know what would really be interesting? – if you ever engaged in good faith, honest debate on the internet

                He never will. In the past, he has literally admitted (in another forum) that he was just here to disrupt and annoy others, rather than engage. The hobbit movies seem to be his favourite topic though, and it seems like this post is well on its way to becoming another one with several hundred comments, with half of them being rubbish from gosman. I would suggest DNFTT.

            • Pascal's bookie 3.3.1.1.1.3

              “that he obviously thought control of these was the real reason Simon Whipp”

              Well that’s what he said anyway, in negotiations. Be interesting to see what the claim is based on. Mind reading?

        • muzza 3.3.1.2

          I see you’ve swung into action on this thread gosman, why?

          Peter Jackson did not get where he is, on ability alone, and is owned by the studio, and those who back the studio!

          • Gosman 3.3.1.2.1

            Yeah he’s obviously an owned man out for his own, and that of his masters, good. I wonder if he will get blacklisted by the Actors union as a result. What is Helen Kelly’s take on all of this do you think?

            • muzza 3.3.1.2.1.1

              The question was Gosman..

              Why have you swung into action on this thread?

              • Gosman

                Because I would like someone on the left to actually swing into action on this issue rather than just pontificate about how ‘evil’ Peter Jackson is and how it is sad he decided to screw the workers now he is a ‘rich prick’.

                What would be good is if someone started calling for a boycott of Peter Jackson films. That would be great to see. Do you think it will happen?

                • IrishBill

                  So you’re calling for a boycott?

                  • Gosman

                    I’m not calling for anything. I would like to see a little more than moral outrage by the left on this issue though. Why doesn’t the CTU attempt to unionise the film workers for example?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Because the law was changed to stop them being unionised, you doofus. And why should this be the left’s problem? I thought you lot were opposed to subsidies, let alone the loss of individual rights?

                    • georgecom

                      Gosman. A union was attempting to organise part of the film industry. The final result was a change of law at the behest of a foreign film company that effectively removed the ability of those workers to unionise.

                      I imagine if the law is changed then unions will have another look at organising the industry.

                      You of course can add your support by writing to Key and Jackson lobbying for them to change the law to what it was.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m an independent contractor just like many of the people involved in making The Hobbit. There is nothing stopping me joining a Union that I am aware of. What part of the law stops the film workers doing so?

                    • felixviper

                      Bollocks Gosman.

                      As a contractor you do not have any right to collective bargaining in law.

                      FFS at least learn a little about the subject of these threads before you try to destroy them.

                    • Gosman

                      There is still nothing to stop me joining a union though.

                    • felixviper

                      Sure, you can join a union for no fucking reason you moron.

                    • Gosman

                      Interesting that you think the only reason to join a Union is to negotiate contract terms and conditions.

                    • felixviper

                      Yes Gosman, that is the primary reason that workers form unions.

                      Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

                • Murray Olsen

                  I think the audience will boycott the remaining 6 hours of the Hobbit going for a walk, especially after having been bored shitless by the first 3. I’m wondering if Jackson is just bored and seeing how much of a piss-take he can get away with.

                • felixviper

                  I love it when Gosman pretends that others are calling things ‘evil.’

                  The only time I ever see the word here is in his comments (and in the comments of a couple of others who write in a very, very similar style.)

          • Weta 3.3.1.2.2

            Perhaps this

            “What would be interesting is if any left wing party will be reversing the changes in legislation made as a result of this dispute.”

          • Ennui in Requiem 3.3.1.2.3

            Well stated Muzza, there is the little matter of tax subsidies for NZs fledgling film industry all those years ago without which Jackson and Taylor etc might have never flourished. Very nice of them to thank the NZ taxpayers in the way they did,especially that large bunch of union members who were the majority of workers all that time ago.

            What dos that tell us? Perhaps that government intervention is good at creating work. And that you have to expect the winners you pick will include parasite ingrates.

            • Gosman 3.3.1.2.3.1

              Or perhaps don’t bother attempting to pick the winners in the first place.

              • Colonial Viper

                Gossie, Jackson wouldn’t have the empire he has today without Government help through the 80’s and 90’s. Picking winners works. That’s what the private sector does all the time.

        • tracey 3.3.1.3

          He seems very passionate about the movies he makes. Other than that I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know his background in law reform or employment relations. I also now know he has a direct line to our Government for chats and the expression of his views. I think he probably just made another good chunk of coin from The Hobbitt but no awards. We have to be careful about turning people into saints when we don’t know them. He’s a film-maker, great, good for him, all power to him but that does not make his opinion on some matters worthy of completely ignoring the view of those he is upset with. In my experience very passionate people can be a little blinkered.

  4. chris73 acualy is Dolan 4

    Of course that nice simon whipp was completely blameless in this situation

    Yeah keep flogging that dead horse, that’ll get some traction :)

    IrishBill: I haven’t even mentiond Whipp. I don’t like having words put in my mouth. Do it again and you’ll get banned.

    • chris73 acualy is Dolan 4.1

      Irsihblil pls…

      My comments were in response to this:

      What really pisses me off about this is that Jackson made the lives of hundreds of his workers hell, and got many of them to turn on their unionised colleagues, by making them think their jobs would be gone when all the time he knew there was no danger of the film leaving NZ at all. What a nasty little creep.

      See it sounds like you’re placing all the blame on Sir Peter Jackson when, IMHO, Simon Whipp played a much bigger part in this so thats why I mentioned him

      Placing the blame where it lays so to speak

      • IrishBill 4.1.1

        Damn right I’m placing the blame on Jackson. Two days after privately admitting the don’t sign notice was lifted he went out and told his workers their jobs were in danger because the union had put a don’t sign notice on the hobbit.

      • Have you heard of the principle of good faith negotiation?

        Simon Whipp was not negotiating in bad faith, whereas clearly Jackson did given that the strike was already lifted before his little publicity stunt.

        • georgecom 4.1.2.1

          Good faith – not to deliberately deceive or mislead.

          Very arguable that is what Peter Jackson did. Certainly not good faith, very arguably bad faith.

          During negotiations all parties to the negotiations need to act in good faith. Without checking I am unsure whether Jackson was directly involved.

          However, he was certainly going to be a beneficiary of those negotiations. He’d get his film made and he stood to make more or less money depending on the outcome.

          His actions in misleading the public must certainly constitute a lack of good faith, even if not directly related to the bargaining.

      • tracey 4.1.3

        Hi Chris

        I am interested in what you base your opinion that S Whipp played a “much bigger part”?

  5. aerobubble 5

    Selling a product, wholesome child fantasy, oh, lets spit on the union affiliations of a section of the movie going public who rely on unions in the GFC to feed their kids.

    It was a let them eat cake moment.

  6. Roy 6

    It’s common, but deely disappointing, when people from ordinary backgrounds go all narcissistic and entitled when they succeed.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    So we see that the premier job creators in the NZ film industry felt themselves betrayed and played for fools by an Australian parasite who had only Self-interest in being involved. Yet Helen Kelly got involved (fuck knows why) and the entire union movement in NZ must go down like the titanic in solidarity. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face

    • Weta 7.1

      That’s your idiosyncratic take on it.

      I would like to think that there is more to the ‘NZ film industry’ than Tolkien, or Jackson.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        There is, but is there one as big or as high profile / value as Jackson? Dream a little dream all you want, just don’t wish it into a nightmare

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Jackson understands the value of being a union member in getting a higher income.

          So he stopped NZ workers from getting the same benefits that he gets as a union member.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.1.1

            And yet he’s allowed to retain a union membership. How is that for solidarity? So we have to hate big multinational movie makers who don’t care about our workers but not big unions with international pull and connections. Lol. Suck my balls solidarity.

            You’ve managed to answer the question why do NZ unions persist in flogging this dead horse in the name of solidarity?

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey Tighty

              This thread is about Jackson’s hypocrisy as a union member himself, denying his fellow citizens the same rights and privileges that he was pleased to afford to foreigners and foreign corporations.

              If you want to start another thread about SAG etc go ahead

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          There probably would be – if we didn’t keep giving all our money to Jackson and US production companies.

    • Socialist Paddy 7.2

      Don’t you feel upset tighty righty being lied to by the Government and them pissing your tax dollars against the wall to solve a crisis that did not actually exist?

      Answer the post. Jackson said the film was under threat when he knew it was not.

      • TightyRighty 7.2.1

        That’s your view. I’m close enough to some high level involvement with this to know it isn’t so cut and dried, or even remotely like you make it out to be.

        • Socialist Paddy 7.2.1.1

          You mean like Peter Jackson made it out to be. Read the email TR and explain why it does not mean what it says.

        • felixviper 7.2.1.2

          lol, course you are dear.

          Why are you calling Sir Peter Jackson a liar?

        • Murray Olsen 7.2.1.3

          Pfft. Having signed first editions of all the LOTR action figures isn’t really high level involvement, even if you had to move back in with mummy to be able to afford thsm.

        • tracey 7.2.1.4

          then perhaps you could do the right thing and leak some documents to support your assertions. Whistleblowing has its place. Asserting the existence of information to support an argument and not being able to produce it or refer to it in detail is a little…. facile?

    • framu 7.3

      didnt helen kelly step in because she was asked to?

      • IrishBill 7.3.1

        Yep. She stepped in and Brownlee stepped in, and they settled it more than a week before Jackson pulled his publicity stunt.

    • felixviper 7.4

      “So we see that the premier job creators in the NZ film industry felt themselves betrayed and played for fools”

      Good lord. You can’t claim that Jackson is a “premier job creator” when the whole issue is that he didn’t want to be treated as an employer.

      You really haven’t followed this issue at all,have you?

      You really think think this is an argument about whether people like Hobbits or not.

  8. Anne 8

    …they resisted changing the law until Jackson blew it up into a fake crisis and John Key stepped in…

    Could that have been arranged by the two of them over the top of Brownlee’s head?

    Lets face it, Key has been living in the Warner Bros. pockets for a long time now.

  9. Rupert Snodgrass (stupid banned troll) 9

    Oh give the propaganda a rest. No-one is buying the ludicrous Trade Union spin on the matter.

    Our film industry rallied around Weta to protect our jobs from the MEAA and their treasonous counterparts in the CTU.

    We marched in Wellington and on May Day of all days, tens of thousands of Kiwis came out in support for us, marching around the country against Trade Union sabotage of a New Zealand industry.

    Trade Unionism is Treason! was the cry from the crowd that May Day. And it saved a Kiwi industry.

    So spare us the propaganda. It’s our industry. We were there. We know what happened. We’re not going to let you rewrite it.

  10. Tanz 10

    On top of all that, Jackson sold out to Hollywood, he went from making original, clever, homespun original, witty films, to overblown Hollywood clunkers, far too many bells and whistles.

    Key is just so sleazy when it comes to deals, all deals. No wonder the man himself is filthy rich.

  11. vto 11

    Seems to me that there is no rebuttal (and never has been) to the simple claim that Jackson and Key lied to the people of New Zealand about the existence of a dispute which would apparently threaten the making of the Hobbit movie in NZ.

    Lied
    to
    the
    people
    of
    New Zealand

    Jackson owes an explanation.

    No more hikkery jiggery behind the scenes shenanagins or spoking through speakspeople. A simple stand up in front of the crowd explanation.

    It seems he owes this given the amount of money that taxpayers have stumped up (or foregone, whatever, same thing ffs) and given that the laws were changed to suit him. And given this evidence of deceit and outright lies.

    Where are you Peter Jackson? Are you worthy of your knighthood?

  12. Epping Road 12

    It’s not true that Jackson told film workers that the production risked going offshore knowing that MEAA had lifted the blacklist. That is just Helen Kelly and Simon Whipp spin. Jackson’s argument all along was that the MEAA’s actions and negotiation strategy, by imposing a blacklist before entering into negotiations made NZ’s employment environment unstable.

    On 21 October Jackson said: “The lifting of the blacklist on The Hobbit does nothing to help the films stay in New Zealand. The damage inflicted on our film industry by NZ Equity/MEAA is long since done.”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Hobbit—Fran-Walsh-and-Peter-Jackson-press-release/tabid/423/articleID/182361/Default.aspx

    • IrishBill 12.1

      Yes, he changed his story after he got caught out.

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 12.1.1

        You lefties really do have your heads up your collective arses on this one.

        Let me spell it out to you:

        On one side we have Sir Peter Jackson, noted film director who has made a number of extremely popular block busters and put NZ (for a small time) on the world map, well respected, well known

        On the other we have the CTU

        Do you really believe this is going to end well for you?

        The fact that middle-class NZers actually got out and marched against the unions (normally its the other way around) didn’t tell you anything?

        No really please keep bringing this up, the more you go on about it the more help you give National

        • IrishBill 12.1.1.1

          You sound shrill and desperate.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            you have to forgive c73

            he really believes in the aura of the wealthy and privileged

          • TightyRighty 12.1.1.1.2

            I suppose you think Helen Kelly sounded grounded and reasonable on this at the time

            • Anne 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes she did. It was all those hysterical film-makers and their media acolytes who were going ballistic around her who made all the noise.

            • felixviper 12.1.1.1.2.2

              Yep.

            • tracey 12.1.1.1.2.3

              given she didnt have a direct line of telephone/email/meeting communication with the govt as others did, she did pretty well. You dont think Jackson calling Whipp evil is a little shrill??? He was also preaching tot he choir, this govt needs no convincing that unions are “evil”, it’s long proceeded on that basis.

        • the pigman 12.1.1.2

          That’s right Chris73, Goliath always beats David…

  13. BM 13

    Hopefully Labour stays out of this.
    The Unions have about as much support as dog shit on toast for dinner.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      You should watch the Campbell live coverage tonight.

      • BM 13.1.1

        Ok, I will watch Campbell live and see what is said.

        • BM 13.1.1.1

          Watched it, if labour has any sense, they’ll stay out of it.
          Helen Kelly, put your ego aside for a minute and think of the damage you’re doing to the union movement.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            Oh BM is all knowledgeable and concerned about the union movement!

            Who wudda thunk?

            (You’re moving me to tears with your sincerity)

      • Arfamo 13.1.2

        I watched it. It didn’t look good for Jackson or Brownlee. But strangely no one involved wanted to appear on the show to comment, not even Helen Kelly. It’s probably time to let this go. We found out the Nats did an unnecessary dodgy deal with Hollywood moguls that’ll boost their profits and and tried to hide as much as they could about how it all happened. Nothing surprising here really.

        • Jim Davis 13.1.2.1

          Helen wasn’t invited, it’s Simon Whipp they invited, and he no longer works for the MEAA.

  14. central scutinizer 14

    “Simple”…….. Don’t watch or purchase Peter Jackson movies. I don’t.

    • chris73 acualy is Dolan 14.1

      Just to let you know its been estimated the cost for the three movies between $600-945 million and the first movie alone has made just $980 million…

      • infused 14.1.1

        usd

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        helped along by subsidies and rebates from the NZ tax payer

        and of course, taking money and conditions from the NZ workers who actually made the films

        glad you are proud of this you moron

      • Arfamo 14.1.3

        “…the first movie alone has made just $980 million…”

        For who?

      • Socialist Paddy 14.1.4

        the cost for the three movies between $600-945 million and the first movie alone has made just $980 million

        Well I hope they pay some tax and don’t ask for a handout.

        Why is it bad for beneficiaries to get a handout but good for the ultra rich to get one?

    • North 14.2

      Hear hear ! Sir Lying Crud Jackson is too toxic to touch. Fuck him and Fran and his shit boring movies !

  15. Arfamo 16

    lol. So that’s two of us. It annoys me though. I enjoyed the LoRs triloogy wanted to see the Hobbit movies until this happened. Still, I try not to give any money to shysters.

  16. karol 17

    The OTT conjecture by Jackson, shows just how manipulative Jackson is:

    In one email, Sir Peter refers to Mr Whipp as “a snake” and says: “He is in revenge mode, intent on inflicting as much damage as he can to our film, to our film industry, to our country.”

    Whipp was a union manager, aiming to get as good a deal as possible for actors in the NZ actors’ equity, an independent branch of the Aussie union. A person in such a role would not be out to destroy the industry that provides work for the union members he represents.

    • karol 17.1

      Edit: link didn’t work – 2010 article on Whipp’s role in the dispute.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4267919/The-Hobbits-whipping-boy-talks

    • Weta 17.2

      +2

      My browser has been crashing when I refresh this site.
      Too much excitement ..

    • chris73 acualy is Dolan 17.3

      Hi Karol

      http://www.buzzfocus.com/2008/04/08/justice-league-movie-still-looking-for-legs-after-mortal-wound/

      Whipp screwed his own country over rebates so why wouldn’t he do it to ours…

      • karol 17.3.1

        I looked into that issue when the dispute was going on. One Hollywood film that was rejected an Aussie rebate because it was not an Aussie story, did not screw the Aussie film industry. It remains in a healthy state.

        That example was used as just another bit of anti-union propaganda.

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 17.3.1.1

          Lessee large scale movie, provide work for lots of people, potential for sequels, Simon Whipp sticking his nose in…yeah no similarities there at all

          • Colonial Viper 17.3.1.1.1

            Foreign actors and workers getting paid more than NZ actors and workers, Jackson helping move tax payer monies to Hollywood corporates to help his own bottom line etc

            Jackson gets the help of Hollywood capitalist muscle flown in and given the limo treatment while the workers bring in one guy from Oz in economy class and still get screwed.

    • Epping Road 17.4

      Oh so calling Whipp a snake, who nobody has seriously defended in the last few years including Helen Kelly, is wrong, but Helen Kelly calling PJ a “spoilt little brat” is acceptable?

      • karol 17.4.1

        My comment was more about the bit in Jackson’s email about Whipp being out to destroy the NZ film industry, not so much about the name-calling.

        • Epping Road 17.4.1.1

          OK fair enough. My point is that at the time there was stress and hyperbole on both sides. If you were PJ and you saw your life’s work going offshore and had a legitimate grievance about the tactics of Simon Whipp, and you genuinely did believe that his actions were destroying the NZ film industry, then you might use strong language about him too.

          Nothing I read suggests Jackson amped up the dispute. Here was a guy who spent years in planning and working on a series of movies and saw Whipp clumsily using the Hobbit to set conditions across the whole NZ film industry. As I said below I don’t think even Helen Kelly tried to defend Whipp’s actions. What Kelly did do was make a lot of claims about what the union’s intentions were which Russell Brown tore to pieces.

          IrishBill: no he didn’t. I’ll put this here so maybe you read it: http://thestandard.org.nz/why-russel-brown-is-wrong/

      • IrishBill 17.4.2

        I think Helen was quite restrained considering how out of line Jackson’s behaviour was. She was threatened on the street by people who had been whipped up by his lies. I’d used much stronger language than brat if I were her.

        • Epping Road 17.4.2.1

          Oh you’re pulling my leg Irishbill, “threatened on the street”? She got a taste of some of the behaviour that she organises against others on a weekly basis. Saying that a protest is in a “lynch mob mood” is pretty stupid for a professional protest organiser.

          Jackson said the production was at risk. He initially said the production was at risk because of the behaviour of the MEAA, and then the boycott, and after the boycott was lifted he said the production was still at risk because he couldn’t trust the union to act in good faith and there was no certainty in the production. I can’t see any lies in any of those statements.

          • Te Reo Putake 17.4.2.1.1

            “I can’t see any lies in any of those statements.”

            Well, open your eyes, fool. Taylor and Jackson lied when they said there was a threat, because a) there wasn’t one and b) the boycott had been lifted and they knew it. So, by lying they got shit loads of taxpayer money for their mates and removed the rights of all of their employees. It’s that simple.

            • Epping Road 17.4.2.1.1.1

              Open your own eyes, fool. The threat to Jackson was the union acting in bad faith and willing to cause instability to the industry at any time, which Jackson had genuine cause to believe.

              • Te Reo Putake

                So lying to people is good faith behaviour? And exactly was the threat? That employees would keep the right to be represented by a union? That Warners wouldn’t get to take home millions of kiwi taxpayers dollars for no reason at all?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Apparently Jackson making false threats that production was going to be pulled out of NZ because workers were being too well treated, was not ‘destabilising’ at all to the industry.

                  Asshole.

        • karol 17.4.2.2

          I expect Helen Kelly to do a post on the documents before too long, as was indicated in one of her recent posts or comments on it.

          A search on the names of Whipp and Helen Kelly throws up multiply (x many pages of google hits) repeated references to one incident that WO, and the like beat up as part of their union-bashing.

          I’ll wait to see what Kelly has to say about Whipp. I also found a Q&A transcript where Kelly was asked about Whipp. She tried to reply, got talked over, and the interview then ended.

          • Epping Road 17.4.2.2.1

            I think it is notable that Kelly barely mentions Whipp when she told her side of the Hobbit dispute. Given the importance of Whipp’s role this seems to me like not an accident that she only mentions him twice in a several thousand word document and doesn’t once address the concerns about his behaviour. I would go so far as to say that Kelly attempts to whitewash Whipp’s role in the dispute because she patently ignores everything he did leading up to her involvement.

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1104/S00081/helen-kelly-the-hobbit-dispute.htm

            • karol 17.4.2.2.1.1

              Thanks for the link. Kelly doesn’t mention Whipp much because he wasn’t that significant to the issue. Kelly explains all the things that were important, and shows why the focus on the MEAA (and thus Whipp) was part of the “Aussie card” that Team Jackson used. Kelly says:

              Equity however still controls its own affairs in New Zealand. Its members meet regularly in branches. They run workshops, make submissions on NZ law, and on cultural and screen matters, organise new membership in new productions etc, have their own newsletters and website and comment on applications for immigration permits for foreign performers applying to work here. They have their own office and staff. Clearly they are also very much part of the MEAA infrastructure as well, but they get the benefits of both worlds.
              Peter Jackson’s criticism of the union speaks for itself – a union seeking to widen membership and influence in the industry in which it operates – exactly! Incidentally, these days we have hundreds of Australian companies operating in New Zealand. Employers don’t criticise that, but apparently, don’t see the hypocrisy in opposing any Trans-Tasman union connection. …

              Peter Jackson’s interventions in this dispute were few and well targeted. They appeared to occur when public opinion was changing or the dispute appeared to be more than one sided. He played the “Australian” card and made uninformed claims about Equity membership numbers (He claimed Equity had between 100 and 200 members –it has over 600). He trumpeted his own union membership of foreign unions (it is a requirement to work for example in the USA). He praised SPADA and the Pink Book (even though, as noted above, early contracts sighted for the Hobbit did not comply with the Pink Book). …

              Continually focusing on Whipp is just a distraction & diversion by right wingers and Jackson Fanbois.

              Kelly just talking about it now on RNZ.

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 17.4.2.3

          Are you referring to this”

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmzSlCY7_s

          I thought it was rich that someone who oversees and condones the use of intimidation (its ok when its the unions doing it) suddenly turn around and complain when shes on the receiving end (something about whats good for the goose springs to mind)

          Maybe something for her to think about in the future…

          IrishBill: That’s a lifetime ban for threatening an author. You nasty little piece of shit.

  17. Epping Road 18

    There was all sorts of information flying about at the time. When Jackson made the statement, the CTU said that the ban had been lifted, but the SAG still hadn’t removed the ban listing from their website. It was never clear when the ban was lifted. The threat to the production, from Jackson’s standpoint, was not just MEAA and the CTU talking about the possibility of a ban (and MEAA didn’t even talk about it, they simply imposed it), but the SAG continuing to publish it. In that environment who was Sir Peter to trust? People who were telling untruths about their negotiating position, and expecting them to suddenly act in good faith, or his experience with him up until that point?

    That notorious right winger Russell Brown came up with a very good analysis at the time. Brown tore apart most of Helen Kelly’s claims, including that the union had been acting in good faith during the negotiations. Paint Peter Jackson as an evil scheming “nasty little creep” if you want, but the way that Kelly bungled this fiasco ruined her reputation.

    http://publicaddress.net/6916#post6916

    Jackson made clear that after the boycott ended that the issue wasn’t just the boycott but providing clarity so that the MEAA couldn’t destabilise the production again.

    • IrishBill 18.1

      I address Russel’s post at the time. And if you look here: http://thestandard.org.nz/jacksons-bad-faith-posturing/

      and here: http://thestandard.org.nz/some-clarity-on-the-hobbit-dispute/

      You’ll see I laid it all out quite clearly on the 21st and with more detail on the 22nd.

      The facts were there at the time for anyone who wanted to know them. You clearly don’t.

      • Epping Road 18.1.1

        Sorry Bill we’re getting caught up in cross posting and talking across each other, so that we’re not repeating some things and missing others I’ll keep the chat in this thread line. I haven’t read your Russell Brown post but I’ll go read it now.

      • Epping Road 18.1.2

        Having read it Bill, neither of those posts dissect Russell Brown’s interpretation at the time, but they lay out Helen Kelly’s position at the time. Your post then missed out some pretty important facts. Firstly that the MEAA imposed a boycott before negotiating with Jackson. Secondly that Actors Equity had refused to negotiate on the pink book for eighteen months before it suddenly became a priority. Thirdly that AE and MEAA demanded that Jackson include parts that could only have formed part of an industry-wide agreement such as nudity clauses which had nothing to do with the Hobbit. It was clear to Jackson that the union wanted the Hobbit to set the standards for the rest of the industry, not just minimum standards for the production.

        The issue was, was the MEAA operating in good faith in its negotiations with the producers? Was Jackson justified in believing that Whipp had an alternative agenda, and that he was using the Hobbit to set industry-wide standards? By any measure I think Jackson was justified in that view. Whether Whipp’s agenda was to tank the NZ film industry to advantage Australia is probably unlikely, but I can understand after Jackson’s experience in dealing with Whipp and AE over two years, and being faced with a boycott, that he would be fed up and have lost any confidence in them suddenly getting their act together for the future.

        • IrishBill 18.1.2.1

          It wasn’t a boycott it was a do not sign notice. As in don’t sign up to an agreement yet – we’re still negotiating one.

          The pink book contains non-binding guidelines. It’s not a legal document and as such it was reasonable that the union didn’t want to negotiate it.

          There is no legal way to create an industry-wide clause from a single collective agreement if the employers don’t want to negotiate on an industry basis.

          Of course Whipp had an agenda. He wanted to organise a union. the hint was in his job title: “union organiser”.

          You need to brush up on employment law.

          • Epping Road 18.1.2.1.1

            And the union knew that it was unlawful to negotiate contractor agreements collectively.

            I accept your point that Whipp wanted to organise a union.

            But you are being disingenuous when you say a “do not sign notice” is not a boycott. Warners would have been blacklisted by the SAG globally if they had overriden it. SAG blacklisting is not what you do at the start of negotiations. It is what you do as an absolute last resort if there is no other way forward. Whipp put up the SAG blacklist before he had even met with Jackson or Warners. That isn’t good faith bargaining by any measure.

            SPADA was happy to renegotiate the pink book over several years. EA resisted. Yes it isn’t a binding agreement, but had EA got the Pink Book revised then EA would have been entitled to insist that all productions that Equity members are involved in comply with the standards. But they didn’t.

            Equity representatives at the beginning of the dispute, including Frances Walsh and Robyn Malcolm, publicly admitted that the agreement they were seeking from the Hobbit in the beginning was a national agreement which was not Hobbit-specific. Russell Brown covered this at the time. So plainly Jackson was being asked to negotiate a collective agreement that he wasn’t allowed to do, and create a precedent for the rest of the industry, which he wasn’t prepared to do.

            Two key issues which Kelly failed to disclose when she rewrote history.

            • Socialist Paddy 18.1.2.1.1.1

              Shock horror AE wanted minimum standards and to improve the plight of their workers. What bastards …

              And it is clear why Jackson was so determined to make sure that all workers were independent contractors, that way he could avoid any collective effort to organise because Finlayson told him it was illegal and against the Commerce Act.

              And ER you are so insistent on there being no minimum standards.

              Why is that?

            • IrishBill 18.1.2.1.1.2

              And the union knew that it was unlawful to negotiate contractor agreements collectively.

              Nope. Agreed minimum contracting standards. Or do you think Weta negotiates every single one of its contracts from a blank piece of paper?

              A do not sign is exactly that. Or should people sign binding contracts and then try to negotiate them afterwards?

              entitled to insist That’s hilarious. You’re basically saying they should spend a whole lot of time, money, and energy negotiating something that Jackson could then just say no to. Have I missed something? is “entitled to insist” in tort law somewhere? Is it a phrase with legal standing in contract law? Or is it code for ask nicely and the boss might let you have something?

              And yes they would have been hoping to put the clauses into other documents but you need to read my response to Russel again. Specifically the bit about pattern bargaining. The desire to pattern bargain isn’t exactly evidence of a dark conspiracy.

              • Epping Road

                I haven’t seen your post in response to Russell Brown, Bill. Could you please post the link.

                Jackson saw the do not sign notice as the escalated equivalent of strike action, as it seems would pretty much anybody else in the film industry. It was what caused several major productions to be lost from Australia, coincidentally at the behest of the MEAA. If you were a NZ film producer, and you saw the same tactics introduced at the start of discussions in NZ as had caused the crippling of the Australian film industry, would you not be slightly concerned?

                Whether or not The Hobbit would comply with the Pink Book is a red herring, Bill. As far as I know, nobody has ever suggested that the Hobbit would not, and did not, comply with the minimum standards set out in the Pink Book. As far as I know the terms and conditions for Hobbit contractors all exceeded what was in the Pink Book.

                My take on it was that Helen Kelly got in far too deep. Had EA had their act together, and been legally able to negotiate directly with Jackson only on the terms and conditions for EA members working on the Hobbit, and expressed that desire throughout, then there wouldn’t have been any problems. But EA didn’t have its act together. MEAA jumped in and tried to use The Hobbit to set precedents throughout the industry where it had previously failed with smaller producers. The CTU funded the Bryson case to break contractor agreements and set a precedent. EA and the CTU never convinced Labour to change the Commerce Act to allow for collective bargaining of contractor agreements.

                But when you’re dealing with international money that has choices about where it’s going to do its productions, you can’t play games. You can’t act as incompetently as EA and MEAA and Kelly did. You can’t make demands that aren’t allowed in law. And you can’t try to hold an international production to ransom. You might think those are legitimate union demands but any realist would say, and experience elsewhere shows, that the international investors will just go elsewhere.

                • Socialist Paddy

                  Too many fecking words ER.

                  So did Jackson lie when he knew that the do not sign notice was being withdrawn but he created a crisis saying it was not going to be withdrawn?

                • IrishBill

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/why-russel-brown-is-wrong/

                  You might also want to look up pattern bargaining.

                  Jackson saw the do not sign notice as the escalated equivalent of strike action

                  Than he was badly advised. Also, if do not sign is an escalation then taking it off is a deescalation and yet he wound the whole thing up to a public frenzy only after the notice was lifted…

                  Whether or not The Hobbit would comply with the Pink Book is a red herring

                  You brought it up, not me.

                  My take on it was that Helen Kelly got in far too deep.

                  Helen turned up and, with Gerry Brownlee, fixed the matter. She was dragged into the later dispute when Jackson blew it up two days after privately acknowledging it was settled.

                  But when you’re dealing with international money that has choices about where it’s going to do its productions, you can’t play games.

                  What would you know about dealing with international money? You don’t even understand contract law!

                  • Epping Road

                    “What would you know about dealing with international money? You don’t even understand contract law!”

                    I don’t know anything about dealing with international money, except that when the same tactics were tried in Australia the big international film market crashed. I appreciate the lecture on employment law but unlike Helen Kelly I’ve never jumped in on an issue and supposedly “fixed” it only to see it blow up in my face and see the Government change employment law to stop the collapse of a multi-billion dollar industry.

                    And history doesn’t treat the MEAA or Equity too kindly either. MEAA’s attempts to get into the NZ film industry has been set back years. Of all the hundreds of actors who worked on the production, how many flocked to join Equity after the dispute? A grand total of zero, that’s how many. Smart tactics from those geniuses. They gambled big on the Hobbit, hoping Warners would blink. Instead they lost everything.

                    • Socialist Paddy

                      Answer the fucking question. Was Jackson saying the truth or lying when he said the do not sign notice was not being withdrawn when he knew it was.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Where to start? That aussie industry didn’t collapse; the issue blew up because Jackson lied; the law was changed because this is a right wing government who don’t like workers rights, and which is lead by an airhead autograph hunter; unions believe in principle, sometimes that costs. But the union marches on.

                      Other than that, terrific summary.

                    • MrSmith

                      Not everything ER, don’t you always find it had to believe people that over exaggerate?

                    • Epping Road

                      Paddy, Jackson was telling the truth when he said that the boycott threatened the production. Once the ban was lifted he said that he didn’t trust MEAA not to cause damage again, and that the issue was no longer about the boycott but the threat that they could disrupt things at any time they pleased. I haven’t seen anywhere that PJ said the ban was still in place when it wasn’t. I have seen PJ say that the SAG had been saying for weeks that the ban would be lifted the next day, but it remained in place for weeks.

                      When the other party you’re negotiating with slaps you with a ban before you sit down to talk to them, and then says it’s going to be lifted but it isn’t and deadlines pass day by day, then I think you’ve got every right to point out that the ban is still in place. And you’ve got every right to lose confidence that they won’t play games in the future.

                    • Epping Road

                      MrSmith, NZ Actors Equity is now registered in Oz and reported zero income and expenditure in the last year. Equity calls itself an “autonomous affiliate” of MEAA but its website is run out of there, the 2011 accounts filed in NZ were the Australian accounts for MEAA which doesn’t mention NZ once. There is now a rival group NZ Actor’s Guild which is run out of NZ, and is five times the size that Equity ever was and promotes itself as not being part of MEAA and accepts contractors as members. As far as I know nobody listens to Equity anymore. For all intents they are pretty stuffed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Funny comments, especially since Jackson was the biggest game player of them all, and the biggest profiteer from playing those games.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “NZ Actors Equity is now registered in Oz and reported zero income and expenditure in the last year. Equity calls itself an “autonomous affiliate” of MEAA but its website is run out of there, the 2011 accounts filed in NZ were the Australian accounts for MEAA which doesn’t mention NZ once.”

                      What’s your point? AE is part of MEAA, so they don’t have to file seperately. I appreciate that bullying international employers don’t want their workforces in different countries to organise together, but why is it a problem for you?

                    • geoff

                      Epping Road, so you’re saying PJ wasn’t bargaining in good faith?

                    • Epping Road

                      NZ Unions have to be registered in NZ. Actors Equity isn’t. All the time during the dispute Helen Kelly said it wasn’t an Australian union, but a NZ one. That’s now proven to be a sham.

                      I’ve read Bill’s scathing attacks on Russell Brown. He does a nice job of running Helen Kelly’s lines. And if you’re wanting to position it from Keyy’s perspective to make her look better then it really isn’t a bad argument. Except his inclination to smear Russell Brown and question his motives the whole time.

                      And Bill’s claims do need to be put in perspective, in light of his claim to have seen the protest march and said that there were no more than 150 protesters that day. That claim is seriously eroded by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6vT4gvmYWg&feature=related

                    • geoff

                      If he gets sick of films I’m sure PJ could get a management position at Ports Of Auckland.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Still shilling for big money?

                      I’m sure you always wanted to grow up to be a better man than that.

                    • geoff

                      And Bill’s claims do need to be put in perspective, in light of his claim to have seen the protest march and said that there were no more than 150 protesters that day.

                      Yes Peter Jackson is good at getting people to buy into a fiction, have you not seen Forgotten Silver ?

                    • geoff

                      It’s great sport to watch a spinmuppet like ER squirm about when they are getting paid to defend a lier.

                    • Epping Road

                      You take the cake Geoff. So we should take Bill’s word on the number of protesters when the video evidence proves the opposite? The unions should have embraced PJ and held him up as their icon rather than try to tear him down. If the Hobbit saga proved anything it’s that PJ can muster protest crowds far better than the unions can.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You have real funny ideas, and not funny haha

                    • MrSmith

                      “As far as I know nobody listens to Equity anymore.”
                      (from you cmment at 10.48)

                      Well ER they might be Listening now, don’t you think?, and lets hope the rest of the emails and correspondence are hopefully released, because according to you they have nothing to hide or had anything to hide in the first place, apart from a few lies it seems.

                      The Media hopefully will be all over this and I suspect the unions will be the eventual winner, unless the spin doctors can rewrite history ER.

                • aspasia

                  Can you produce ANY evidence that the CTU funded the Bryson case? Take care with your answer–i know what it should be. Perhaps you will check the meaning of “intervener” in an employment law case before you respond. But isn’t it fascinating that you should make this unsubstantiated claim in light of Jackson confirming in the just-released documents that Warner Bros funded the Three Foot Six Ltd side of these proceedings.

                  • Epping Road

                    Aspasia read http://union.org.nz/sites/union/files/data/general/files/Unionist22.pdf published by the CTU which sets out its role in taking Bryson to the Court of Appeal. Of course Warner Bros funded the Three Foot Six side. In case you didn’t know, Three Foot Six is wholly owned by Warner Bros.

                    • aspasia

                      ER, your link has nothing to do with the Court of Appeal. It does talk about the Supreme Court hearing in which the CTU appeared as an intervener. So did Business NZ — are you suggesting that they were funding Bryson? Your link does not show that the CTU appeared in support of Bryson. Interveners are heard by consent on issues of major importance in the jurisdiction. Even more to the point it does not show any CTU FUNDING for Bryson.
                      So, do you have any evidence that the CTU funded Bryson?

            • geoff 18.1.2.1.1.3

              Great to see a Jackson PR hack on here. The Standard does the job once again.

    • karol 18.2

      Many of us disagreed with Russel Brown on that at the time. In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at relevant evidence. Still don’t agree with Brown, and today Bomber was asking Brown if he was going to change his view.

      The email make it clear the blacklist had been withdrawn and Jackson knew, yet he continued to argue that the union was putting the Hobbit filming in NZ at risk. That SAG notice does not change that and was tossed in as a distraction/red herring. And Jackson was the one acting in bad faith, as Irish posted previously.

      One of my previous posts on the issue.

      • Sanctuary 18.2.1

        In the wash-up, I am pretty sure we can count Russell Brown amongst the casualties of this as well. His reputation on the left took a fatal hit, and his once vital “Hardnews” blog is an feeble shadow of what it was before the Hobbit dispute, a blog whose name that now more often mocks it’s content than reflects it.

  18. Quasimodo 19

    Key released this, and headed off to America Latina.

    His strategists probably hope that fuss will be over when he returns,
    and that it strengthens the conservative narrative – witness gosman’s
    sudden active involvement on this blog and his line of argument.

    No accident. He is planting seeds, testing themes, testing the opposition.

    Textor will use them in focus groups, further refined
    in targeted phone surveys, and used in Nationals monthly polls.

    It will probably emerge as a theme in the next campaign.

  19. Rogue Trooper 20

    Textor can “focus” all he wants; don’t change sh*t; just keeps the merry-going-round.

  20. North 21

    Sir Lying Crud Jackson.

    This is certain: days before the cessation of weeping that The Hobbit was at stake, Sir Lying Crud already knew that the blacklist had been lifted. But he continued to weep. Poor genius Peter. His life’s work at risk. And the jobs, the jobs, the jobs.

    Bullshit !

    The kaupapa went far beyond the instant. Sir Lying Crud wept his arse off advancing the true agenda of his paymasters Warners, viz. he wrought a change in New Zealand employment law. Key et al were complicit. And all those good folk were encouraged to publicly hate their colleagues for fear of their jobs. Wonder what the dupes are thinking right now ?

    Sooner or later the redacted portions of those emails will come out. Without them we already have banana republic. We gotta know what’s in those redactions.

    Sir Lying Crud, turn in your knighthood you arsehole !

  21. higherstandard 22

    Shorter IB

    I luvs Helen Kelly and the CTU and anyone who crosses either of them is the antichrist.

  22. Rich 23

    Explain why we need Tories on here, again?

  23. Blue 24

    “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction), and the choice of production base for the Hobbit.” – Peter Jackson, Monday 18 October 2010 at 7:08pm.

    Cheers for that, PJ. Not quite what you said at the time, is it?

    The dominant thread running through these emails seems to be pathological hatred and paranoid conspiracy theory ramblings directed at Simon Whipp.

    How much different would this whole saga be if PJ & co just had a meeting and talked things over like adults instead of writing bitchy paranoid emails about a feud that existed only inside their imaginations?

  24. RedBaronCV 25

    Down at my workplace at lunchtime it was 100% for Helen. Most of the comments about Peter were ruder than the ones on here. It’s about winning hearts and minds. Nobody is going to the Hobbit.

  25. Grumpy 26

    Just so I understand it…….an Aussie unionist (aided by a couple of NZ useful idiots) tries to sabotage production of the Hobbit in New Zealand.

    The Labour government in NSW steps in and offers subsidies and tax breaks to the evil Warner Brothers.

    The NZ government, matches those offers and gazzumps the evil Aussie saboteur and wins thousands of jobs for New Zealanders.

    …….and the NZ government is wrong – why?

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Nice fictional rewrite of history mate. Fairy-tale-ish. Maybe you could get a few more edits made to the script and then have it shot as its own feature film?

      Refer to the email above.

      There was no risk of the shooting being moved.

      And Jackson had no interest in living in Australia for the next few years of his life while shooting the films.

      • Grumpy 26.1.1

        So, if Warner’s requests were so abhorrent, why was the labour govt in NSW so eager to accommodate them, and offer substantial tax breaks?

        • geoff 26.1.1.1

          Change your name to Thicky

          • Grumpy 26.1.1.1.1

            Any answers…..or is the government , and Jackson’s only crime, making fools of leftie heroes Malcolm and Kelly.

            In reality they made fools of themselves………..did the nice AE man from Aussie tell them that the NSW Labor govt was trying to get it’s hands on the movies?

            • geoff 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Fuck you’re a waste of space. You must hate the thought that kiwi’s should be able to get a fair wage. Fucking traitor.

        • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.2

          It was never a credible offer mate, the fact you swallowed it hook, line and sinker says something about your wish to race to the bottom.

          BTW Australia is full of Evil Actors Unions

          You’re normally pretty smart but tonight you’ve gone Full Moron

      • Epping Road 26.1.2

        So Key intervening to lure the Hobbit back to NZ after WB was ready to call it quits was an example of hands-off economic management, right?

        • Colonial Viper 26.1.2.1

          Hands-on corporate socialism for the Hollywood uber-wealthy

        • Arfamo 26.1.2.2

          WB weren’t going to quit NZ. Jonkey was successfully conned.

          • Colonial Viper 26.1.2.2.1

            nah. That;s giving jokeyhen too easy a pass. John Key knew what he was doing – giving a Tory salute to the union movement with the help of a billionaire.

        • geoff 26.1.2.3

          You’ve had your corporate arse handed to you tonight Epping, cut your losses and fuck off.

  26. Skinny 27

    Two points: 1. Jackass >has been <  lobbying for employment laws changes for years.

    2. No 'zero' academy awards this year for the Hobbit…because he got snubbed after all the crap he caused.The guy has tarnished his reputation with the heavy weight actors & actresses. GBJ 

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      You my man win the Academy Award for making that point

      AA nominations closed mid January 2013 and you are right. It got 3 nominations and won a big fat zero.

    • Epping Road 27.2

      Yeah no oscars. There is the minor consolation that it’s pulled in a billion dollars so far before it’s even gone to DVD and employed 3,000 people. And that there are two more installments to come. What a dodgy impact on New Zealand that guy has made!

      • Te Reo Putake 27.2.1

        So what’s our return on investment? Every other investor in the Hobbit made out like bandits, so what’s our share?

        • Epping Road 27.2.1.1

          3000 jobs. Income tax on those jobs. GST on everything spent by those people from their jobs. Hundreds of millions in economic activity. Security for the film production industry that they can make big films in NZ. Tens of millions in promotional activity for NZ. Given that the government’s investment was limited to the GST that they wouldn’t have collected if the films hadn’t been made here in the first place. I think that’s a pretty good investment.

          • Colonial Viper 27.2.1.1.1

            How many of those 3000 jobs still exist mate

            The vast majority were unsecured contractors jobs with no job security, and certainly NZ workers and actors treated like second class citizens in their own country compared to the foreign workers and actors

            Fact of the matter is we gave a fuckload of tax payers money and concessions to billionaires for no reason

            if the films hadn’t been made here in the first place.

            Yeah I don’t think Jackson wanted to spend the next 5 years shooting the film in Khazakstan or in Sydney

            • Epping Road 27.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah because when you go into production for a year to make a film you expect the actors to be employed for ever.

              As opposed to, say, losing the production to NZ just because they weren’t permanent jobs.

              How much job security do you think actors have in NZ if all the big international producers pull out? Do you know anything about the film industry in NZ? It’s these big productions that pay far better than local productions and create an industry for them to work in. But apparently you think it’s better to give our film industry away to an Australian union to ruin for us. Nice principle that is, mate.

              We didn’t give away a fuckload of taxpayers money. Warners got their GST back. GST that the government wouldn’t have got if the production hadn’t happened here. “For no reason”. Except all the money the government got, and all the money New Zealanders earned, from having the films made here.

              • Colonial Viper

                Fond of your economic blackmail and threats aren’t you?

                Beggars can’t be choosers, is your message right?

                Just be grateful we gave you a few pennies while the Hollywood studios earn and earn and earn?

                First from theatre screenings, then bluray DVD then pay TV then network TV, and those lunch box sales too?

                Fucking traitors, always kowtowing to foreign money, never even trying to give our own talent the protections that foreign actors take for granted.

                • Epping Road

                  Yeah I get your point, Warners wanted to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars to get New Zealand actors belonging to an Australian union on the global screens, rather than you know, tell Tokein’s story.

                  I’m not an actor but I would much rather actors are making money doing the stuff they love doing, aka ACTING rather than sitting on the dole not doing what they love because we’ve chased all the big companies out of NZ because they’re foreign-owned.

                  Why don’t you start a political party called Ban the Hobbit? See if you get elected to Parliament and change the law so you can ban international money in films. Last I saw the Hobbit films were stupendously popular.

                  How did you go with your I HATE PETER JACKSON sign at the Hobbit premiere in Wellington? Get a good reception from the hundred thousand people who showed up to celebrate, did you?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Jackson is very rich and he is also an international scale liar.

                    And he hires shitheads to shill for him.

                    No surprise there.

                  • xtasy

                    Epping Road

                    I am waiting now, for those Chinese investors, wanting to buy farms and dairy production factories here, also wanting to build new ones, coming with the same argument and agenda. Like for instance that wages here are too high to compete with Chinese production, so the government has to lower the minimum wage.

                    Then a National led government may say, hmmh, maybe, maybe we need to look at this. For the benefit of NZ, for getting “investment” and for getting “jobs” created, the minimum wage may be reduced to $ 5 or less an hour. Also they may look at migration law reforms, falling for arguments by operators from China, claiming they need the “skilled staff” able to read in Mandarin, or Kantonese, to talk with their supervisors in that language, so migrant rules may change to allow in many more low paid migrant workers from China, living in dormitories and working 1 2to 16 hours a day.

                    This is what all this is about, it is about the “global playing ground” of ruthless capitalism, and it is happening everywhere, one country and economy being sold and played off against another. It stinks, is rotten, it only benefits the large multinational operators and their shareholders and owners. So you are trying to justify just that, without seeing the bigger picture.

                    Where does the race to the damned bottom end I ask, in pay and working conditions like in Bangla Desh?

                    • Epping Road

                      Yes it is possible that all those things could happen in the future xtasy. Except they aren’t happening. There’s no sign of any of that. The minimum wage has never been cut in NZ. Immigrants to NZ are pretty low compared to where they were when the economy was growing at full tit. Those Chinese investors who bought into Crafar can’t take their farms back home with them. They have to run their farms based on NZ rules, or walk away from them. That is totally different from a film production that can happen anywhere.

                    • McFlock

                      There’s no sign of any of that. The minimum wage has never been cut in NZ

                      Questionable in relation to the CPI.
                      And unless you happen to be a child or young person looking for work.

                    • felixviper

                      “Yes it is possible that all those things could happen in the future xtasy. Except they aren’t happening. There’s no sign of any of that. The minimum wage has never been cut in NZ.”

                      Actually it has, the rate for everyone under 20 has been cut to $10.80 p/hr.

                      What there’s “no sign of happening” is films moving offshore because of any blacklist, as Sir Peter Jackson told NZ, and which has been proved to have been a deliberate lie by the release of these emails.

                    • xtasy

                      Epping Road:

                      “They have to run their farms based on NZ rules, or walk away from them.”

                      Oooh yes, based on NZ rules that will be changed due to lobby pressure by any future governments, so NO obligation under present rules! They can and will be changed, likely downward.

              • felixviper

                Of course you don’t. So you should probably shut the fuck up about putting the whole industry at risk and being reckless with people’s livelyhoods and and the rest of the bullshit you’ve been spinning seeing as it’s suddenly such a not-big-deal.

          • Te Reo Putake 27.2.1.1.2

            “3000 jobs.”

            Wrong answer. What is our actual ROI? Nothing. Not a cent. The 3000 temp jobs would have been available anyway, because the production was never under threat. The millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted. John Key may be NZ’s worst ever negotiator.

      • bad12 27.2.2

        Tell us oh genius, how much of that Billion Dollars was or will be declared as profit and pay due taxation in New Zealand,

        Here let me help you, my calculation if sweet fuck all, what’s yours…

  27. hoom 28

    I shall be quite interested to see what Weta staff make of this.

    I ran into an old friend who works/ed there a few months back and she was absolutely adamant that they were told within Weta that production was on its way to UK/Ireland to the point of mass visas being arranged & flights booked for them.
    Like as in within weeks they were all expecting to be shifted en-masse.
    Thus they were really fucking angry at the union.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      A mighty interesting anecdote and it sounds about right judging by the over the top emotional reaction from Weta staff on the day.

      Rich pricks enjoy using ordinary workers as pawns and leverage.

      It’s part of what makes them rich pricks.

      • xtasy 28.1.1

        CV – divide and rule tends to work, most the time, and this is exactly one other example of it!

        • Colonial Viper 28.1.1.1

          Yep. This was a proper full scale conspiracy they pulled off, one worth many tens of millions of dollars to Jackson and the Hollywood studios private pockets.

  28. xtasy 29

    In summary, and in short: NZ has a rotten, virtually “corrupt”, highly manipulative government, and this just shows it. They have their favoured business people, whether in film-making, gambling, oil drilling and farming, and whatever, and they will do all to shut up the ones exposing their legally questionable conduct, and they are changing the law all the time, to reduce transparency, honesty, accountability and standards.

    NZ is run by a rotten lot that only gets away with what they do, because most people are struggling, busy working, to earn the money to pay the bills, and the also rotten mainstream media is too busy to go soft on the ones that pay their livelihood, being commercial advertisers with their lobbies, who are also favourable towards the National and ACT parties.

    NZ is indeed something of a dictatorship, as all other stakeholders and dissenters and questioners are increasingly being disenfranchised, having rights and resources taken away, and simply are being walked over in the rudest way on a daily basis.

    Welcome to Nat ACT NZ, the dictatorship that many do not even recognise as such. But that is the most successful form of dictatorship, that people do not view as such.

  29. hoom 30

    Something that really pisses me off about the whole thing is this continued reference to the ‘Bryson loophole’.
    Its actually the absence of loophole which they are actually angry about.

    It used to be that you could force regular workers into a Contracting relationship with its reduced protections while still treating them as regular employees.
    That was the loophole.

    Labour changed employment law to specifically close that loophole.
    To me as a layman the law is pretty damn clear and no uncertainty would have been present had they simply hired the guy as a regular employee which was what they treated him as.

    Fundamentally the whole ‘loophole’ issue came about because of some doubtless very well paid management yet again proving incompetent or too lazy to actually do the job of managing the HR department/processes properly.

    Also the fact that the improved conditions being requested by the union would have cost such a tiny amount compared to probably even just the management hours spent talking to Government & media let alone the extreme cost of moving such a huge production at such a late stage and then having to operate under much stricter union conditions anywhere they might move to.

  30. Dan1 31

    I can’t find any reference in this emotive thread to what has happened since the law was changed. How have NZ actors and techies been affected by the change? Can US film-makers fly in their crews and leave NZ workers on the sideline?

    • karol 31.1

      There was an articve or two about the impact on actors after the Hobbit dispute a while back. I mentioned on in this post, in which I linked to this article, which says,

      Since the infamous actors’ dispute over terms and conditions on The Hobbit, some Kiwi actors have had to endure on-set conditions that include sharing coloured prop contact lenses, their union says.

      Phil Darkins, of Actors’ Equity, told a conference in Wellington yesterday he had also heard of actors being verbally abused, denied shelter, and not being offered blankets or warm drinks after long shoots in the water.

      Those who spoke out would not get further work, he said.

      “To go public is essentially falling on your sword and saying your career is over.”

      • vto 31.1.1

        q’uelle surprise.

        bloody idiot people forget what unions are about, what working life was like prior to unions, what unions have achieved, and what will / is happenning when they are weakened.

        idiots.

        dumbo ignorant idiots.

  31. vto 32

    The lie told by Key and Jackson to the people of New Zealand remains unanswered.’

    In te paper this morning the sole rebuttal was Gerry Brownlee calling it “ridiculous”. Says it all really. No answer, just a bozo brownlee response.

    Come on Jackson, stand up in front of the taxpayers and people of NZ, the ones who subsidised your career and then your biggest films (we don’t get no subsidy), and explain yourself.

    Unless there are big pieces of the picture missing you are coming across as entirely unworthy of the knighthood. Key will join you in the realm for certain however so it kind of points to the standing of knighthoods in these islands – a fucking joke.

    Stand up Jackson. Stand up and be a man.

    • vto 32.1

      This may be easily seen as an uncharitable view above, however given the heavy weight of evidence pointing to lies being told to we the New Zealand people by Jackson and Key, an answer is deserved.

      Pretty simple. Explain. Otherwise we are simply being shat on from great height, and nobody likes that one little bit…

      • Pascal's bookie 32.1.1

        That Brownlee response really is the classic formulation eh.

        “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

  32. Pascal's bookie 33

    Well here’s a timely piece on the VFX industry and how it’s currently structured:

    http://thebillfold.com/2013/02/why-there-were-400-visual-effects-artists-protesting-at-the-oscars/

  33. Adrian 34

    When people lie they give themselves away with body language. Jackson on Campbell Live I think it was at the time was a perfect example , lots of blinking , shifting in his seat and unable to look at his questioner. I said to my family then that “this bugger is lying through his teeth”. He was the most startling example of all the giveaway traits I had ever seen.

  34. Roy 35

    I wonder what it would take for Jackson to be stripped of his knighthood. Obviously, blatantly lying to the people of New Zealand isn’t enough.

  35. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 36

    I wish the government would offer more deals like the one they offered to Warner Bros so as to get more major business coming to NZ, if the business is good for NZ and its workers.

    If I had been the pivotal person in a giant, expensive project and also wanted to do it in NZ and then the workers in NZ who would benefit from the work and experience, and the wages they would get, threatened strike and problems if they didn’t get what they wanted I would have been shocked and disappointed. Then I would have stopped trusting their commitment and sense of values if they would put their own interests in jeopardy and also doubt their sense of responsibility and commitment to the enterprise.

    Then for actors to be so stupid and naive to join with an Australian union which would be strongly chauvinistic about their own industry and jobs, and expect Oz to do a better job for NZ than ourselves, well it’s unbelievable. Such actors should take up scriptwriting, in the increasing long spells between acting jobs, and learn to think out the storylines so that they recognise the believable and doable from fantasy and wishful-thinking.

    The Australian union used the NZ situation to be able to strut with their chests out in other parts of the world while not getting the retaliatory results – because NZ would get that. It was a cynical move to advance the Oz situation, and put NZ down. And if some in NZ continued links with the Oz union, the more likely that further problems would occur at crucial filming points and finally the possibility that the whole project would be lost or only the first part would have been made and limped through in NZ, and Peter Jackson would lose the mana he had achieved.

    Details about the film the River Queen made down the Wanganui River by Vincent Ward is worth remembering. This had an uncommitted actor in it and she caused much difficulty on her own, without a hostile union manipulating other fickle actors as well. Vincent Ward, the director, was taken off the film for about one-third of the shooting.
    This was about the star Samantha Morton.
    They fired the wrong person,” Irish star Stephen Rea told the Listener last year, speaking of an actress who was “just operating on ego”.
    “Impossible,” someone else intimately involved in the production told me – again off the record. “Brilliant but absolutely bloody impossible.”

    For a start, she accepted another role (opposite Johnny Depp in The Libertine) at the last minute, forcing an autumn shoot to be postponed until winter. The result: a larger crew was needed to deal with the treacherous conditions. Costs ballooned.

    In autumn, perhaps Morton would not have contracted the flu that took her out of action and shut down the production for six weeks. (The only other one of the 130 on the shoot who got sick, Ward says meaningfully, was off for two days). And when she was there, she reportedly clashed openly with Ward, arrived on set late, refused to accept the sometimes spartan working conditions and acted like a star.

    Peter Jackson would have been aware of the diverse problems that can occur in any film and be trying to prevent them.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      UTTER BULLSHIT

      Please explain: how does giving NZ actors the same allowances and rest breaks as US actors threaten workplace instability?

      I have a better idea, just institute martial law on sets and in the industry.

      Also set up blacklists so known troublemakers and unionists are locked out of the industry. Fear and pressure is how you get compliance from troublemaking workers who think too much.

      In addition, threaten NZ contractors and workers by making it clear that at the drop of a hat, foreign labour can be used at less than half the cost.

  36. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 37

    The link for the River Queen story above.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10364654

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      You want to make a billion dollars in profit from a big film project?

      Stomach the accompanying risks or get out of the industry.

  37. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 38

    CV
    To make a billion dollars profit from a big film project, first it has to be done. It is done on a considered decision that it will be profitable if it results in what has been planned, and if that is what happens then the profits will come, if large then that’s icing on the cake. A lot of ifs and no-one on this blog has ever undertaken such a large-scale expensive project that relies for profit on the opinions and cash from millions of people looking at a story in moving pictures. It’s a big task and it’s easy for the non-involved to kick at something so much bigger than they have ever attempted.

    • vto 38.1

      Well, that deserves closer analysis… because it feeds into some myths and spin.

      How much did the production cost? I don’t believe the numbers spun out at the time of $200 or 500 or whatever00 million. It is common practice in business to ramp up the numbers in such situations. Then of course there is the question of how much of that number comprised payments to Hollywood, or funding costs, or some other unknown sums which remained locked wherever they were made up. So lets pick some random number and be generous – I’m picking $200 million.

      So how many jobs in NZ are of that similar level? Let’s see… First we have the Chch rebuild which swamps that ridiculously, but of course that is a combined number involving many individual businesses etc. However, within that $30,000 million there are a significant number of private individual jobs at $20 million to $50 million. So there we go right there already, quite a number that are 1/10th to 1/4 of the size of the Hobbit.

      What else? Um. Farming. Irrigation scheme in canterbury (grrrr!) Central Plains Water has an estimated cost of around $500 million, so that is in fact heaps more, and put together by probably people than the Hobbit.

      Trademe was a $700 million enterprise set up by one small person.

      Take a look at the NZX, or even better, have a close look at the many many coops and unlisted private businesses in NZ.

      I’m sure you get the gist. Ffs, even people in my circle have done things on a scale that is measureable (as a fraction) against the Hobbit.

      So Mr Nose, it aint quite the big thing people make out. Such things get done all the time by ordinary New Zealanders. And they pay taxes. And where are their knighthoods?

  38. tracey 39

    if only Key would sign a painting he didnt paint for a charity, then we would see outrage over his lack of integrity and morals???? Wouldn’t we???

  39. Graham48 40

    The World of movies is full of dodgy deals like this and Sir Pete is donkey(hobbit) deep, a lot involving the casting couch I might add . Key and his cronies are well versed. It was the unsubtle use of a popular medium to bash unions…the gullible bought it

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    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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