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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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    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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