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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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    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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