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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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    An average kiwi | 25-07
  • Manipulated Data and the Art of Deception
    The National led Government are desperate to present the good news stories to promote the success of the past six years of their governance. They have increased the budget and the numbers of their spin doctors to ensure that it...
    Local Bodies | 25-07
  • Has Brownlee actually broken any laws?
    So Gerry Brownlee was running late for a plane, sweet-talked some hapless airport security guard into letting him duck through an exit door to avoid the screening queue, and is now facing an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority. He’s...
    Occasionally erudite | 25-07
  • Right Thinking: repeal section 172
    Leading authoritarian libertarian Dr Frank Shizenhausen returns with some common-sense thinking on regulation....
    Imperator Fish | 25-07
  • Dissonance
    The Greens revealed their campaign billboards today: images of environmental destruction and the slogan "Love New Zealand". I'm not sure it works. I get that they want to confront people with what they're against - but shouldn't they make it...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • NZ stinks, #LoveNZ!
    So the Greens have launched their art and their hashtags. Here is one of the visuals they are going with: Usually, I am a big fan of the Greens' design work. Their policy documents look exceptionally good. But here, I...
    Polity | 25-07
  • Inside the US “no-fly” list
    The Intercept has leaked and analysed the guidelines the US government uses to place people on its "no-fly" list. Its a long and detailed article (the Guardian has a shorter summary here) and it shows just how arbitrary and baseless...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • “Hideously inefficient” road spending in Australia
    For an interesting Friday afternoon read, here‘s an article from Australia which may ring true for New Zealand as well – especially given the possibility that National is considering an absolutely daft idea, creating a second road-only Waitemata Harbour crossing....
    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • Justice for rendition
    After the US launched its war on terror, Poland played host to a CIA "black site". Prisoners were kidnapped by the US, rendered to Poland, and tortured there. Now, the ECHR has found the Polish government guilty of unlawful detention...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • #ClimateVoter Question Time
    Since launching on the 22nd June Climate Voter has been asking a ‘Question of the Week’ to see what action political parties will take on various climate related issues. This is to let voters decide which policies they want to...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 25-07
  • Coleman lied about Dotcom
    Last week, in response to the revelation that the SIS had initially recommended that Kim Dotcom not be granted residency due to an FBI investigation, then-Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman denied all knowledge. He hadn't been told, he said. He "had...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Aunty Helen copped it so why not Borrows?
    We've all heard the claims before, that the media in New Zealand is biased in favour of the ring wing. There are numerous arguments for and against this assertion and to be fair, it's not OK to tar every journalist...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Awful
    This publication is entirely awful. It documents a meandering, process-laden legal conference call that lasted 30 interminable minutes. Sample dialogue: THE COURT: I have not been able to read the motion because I have just called you immediately. So please...
    Polity | 24-07
  • World News Brief, Friday July 25
    Top of the AgendaKerry Renews Push for Israel-Hamas Truce...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Press Release: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy. “We...
    Gareth’s World | 24-07
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Why anyone does it in the first place
    Florian Habicht’s Pulp film is warm, funny, satisfying and true. And its first few minutes are just brilliantly, awesomely exuberant. They're why people buy records and go to gigs and obsess over bands, and why people play in bands in...
    Public Address | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Accelerating the Additional Harbour Crossing project?
    Yesterday was a busy day for transport news. Alongside Gerry Brownlee’s strange airport escapade, Labour Transport Spokesman Phil Twyford dropped a bit of a bombshell in relation to the possible acceleration of the Additional Waitemata Habour Crossing (AWHC) project as...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
    Labour has been bleating about Mike Hosking being used as moderator in a TVNZ election debate. There is even the unconvincing talk that Labour may boycott the debate if Hosking takes that role....
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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