web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Hobbit producers caught in a lie?

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 pm, October 22nd, 2010 - 132 comments
Categories: employment - Tags: ,

The Herald is reporting that Warner brothers and SAG had settled the Hobbit dispute on Monday (US time):

…a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute from as early as Monday, US time.

That’s two days before Peter Jackson launched a broadside attack on the union.

I figure this means one of two things:

Either the communication between Jackson and Warners is really poor (like communicating by courier pigeon poor).

Or the attack on the union was a straight up act of bad faith.

If it’s the former we have to ask how urgent the situation really is if the big players are taking days to talk to each other but if it’s the latter then we have to ask why the hell was a settled dispute reignited so aggressively by Jackson?

I think it’s the latter but, given the claims that the issue endangering the Hobbit is supposed to be stable industrial relations it seems counter-intuitive that the producers would deliberately destabilise a done deal.

Which leads me to think that the claim this whole new blow-up is about pressuring the government is quite plausible (interestingly Finance Minister Bill English is certainly not discounting this theory).

I also note that, faced with this proof, Jackson claimed that the action wasn’t lifted early enough but that begs the further question of what were Warners doing at the negotiating table and preparing a media statement if it was too late? We’re they doing it just for kicks? I don’t think so.

This isn’t a story that’s going away and I get the feeling that we’ll see a more detail come out over time. I also get the feeling that the actors’ action will turn out to be peripheral to the real story behind this fiasco.

Update: just seen on TVNZ that “Key is taking advice on New Zealand labour laws to see if they can be softened to accommodate the studio. And the government is even looking at whether there is any room to move the tax rebate for film companies from 15% to try to sweeten the deal.”

If it’s workforce instability and not tax breaks that are at issue (as Jackson claims) then the result of this advice will make that clear. My money is on a small temporary change to employment law to save face and a tax break to actually do the business.

Update 2: Fran O’Sullivan is predicting tax breaks will be the answer:

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

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

Fran’s generally got the inside running on the Nat’s spin so it looks like they’ll try to pass the tax-breaks off as a solution to the (settled) dispute. I’ll be very interested to see how they try to link the two and whether the media buy it.

132 comments on “Hobbit producers caught in a lie?”

  1. Carol 1

    Well, yesterday, Peter Jackson admitted knowing that the union action was called off, but said it didn’t matter because the union had already done the damage. Today it was reported on Nat Rad in one of their bulletins, that PJ said Warners didn’t say the action was over because they were waiting for SAG to appologise for supporting the boycott. (say what?) So that seems to be an excuse for Warners saying they knew nothing about the boycott being called off, and maybe also for PJ starting scaremongering on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, about the union dispute putting the NZ location for the Hobbit under threat.

    It all just doesn’t add up, and really looks like PJ has been deliberately stirring it up by going public when he did.

    There’s been people online doing their best to bag Helen Kelly. But as far as I can see, she hasn’t tried to lie or distort the truth. She comes across as quite genuine to me. And everything she said has now been proved with the release of the emails. Before that, a load of people were trying to say she is the liar. She could have handled some things better, but she seems to have been doing her best to help resolve the dispute.

  2. KJT 2

    Betcha this does not make the news.

  3. Cnr Joe 3

    truth will out Irish,
    loving the worlds of conjecture in the mean whilst

    captcha – establishes

  4. wasi 4

    looking for this on kiwiblog…nothing yet…

  5. wtl 5

    More detail to come out? The next play is already in progress: ‘the damage has already been done’ meaning that the union was to blame as soon as they announced the boycott, regardless of what happened next. If PJ and WB manage the shift the media onto that point, the argument will move on and the truth will never come out – which would seem to be the plan at this stage.

    • Cnr Joe 5.1

      nice

    • IrishBill 5.2

      There’s too much interest in the story for the lies to be sustainable. But I figure that by the middle of next week the deal for tax breaks will be done, the film will be staying here (although film is an international product so I’m sure some of the work will be done elsewhere, even if it’s just the PR) and everyone will be wondering what the fuss was all about. The sad thing is the union will have made bugger all gains.

      But they didn’t go into this with a decent strategy and they didn’t talk to the CTU until it was too late to save so I guess that’s a lesson learned.

      A crying shame if you ask me, if anyone in this country needs an effective union it’s film workers. As we’ve seen in the last few days they’re up against a well organised and brutal bunch of employers who don’t seem to feel bound by good faith.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        I think WB are used to dealing with the unions and guilds in the US, and were clearly no match for little old AE-NZ.

      • jacinda 5.2.2

        And if there are no additional tax breaks (as is 99% likely) are you willing to admit you were completely wrong on almost every detail?

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.2.1

          Well if there are tax breaks and other Government concessions, are you willing to admit that you were completely wrong on almost every other detail?

  6. bobo 6

    The movie Studio & Jackson will keep moving the goalposts what ever comes to light.

  7. Jim MacDonald 7

    Might the Kiwi Hobbits have been set up for a beat-up ?

  8. jaymam 8

    The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union seem to have no idea what they are talking about, and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies.
    The people to blame are those who threatened a boycott. They should never again be in a position of power.
    The thousands of actors in NZ should create a new union and vote for some sensible people to be in charge of it.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union seem to have no idea what they are talking about,

      Everything Helen Kelly has said has turned out to be true. Jackson can’t say the same.

      and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies.

      The same reason an american production company is calling the shots? Film is an international product made by international companies. Why should unions act internationally too?

      The people to blame are those who threatened a boycott. They should never again be in a position of power.

      So the people who blew up the situation even though the boycott was off aren’t to blame at all? In a funny way the boycott was kept in place by the producers for the last half of last week.

      The thousands of actors in NZ should create a new union and vote for some sensible people to be in charge of it.

      Bloody good idea. I’ll never argue against having more union members. I’d be keen to see if they’ll get a better reaction from Jackson.

      • wasi 8.1.1

        “and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies”

        they could be acting as proxies for the yanks…whip across the ditch…crank it up and then keep your head down…the aussies stuff us and uncle sam gets what he wants…which is…all our money and the subsequent destruction of little ol` NZ`s film industry…

    • Carol 8.2

      The NZ union has been too small to be effective. They weren’t getting very far in drawing up basic job standards. It was part of the NZ distribution union (or sommat like that) for a while, but the others in that union didn’t really understand the actors’ issues. Then they asked to be affiliated to the Aussie MEA. So NZ AE is an independent branch of MEA, though I guess they get to share resources. The AE doesn’t have fulltime officials, so the head of MEA helps them out. No conspiracy, just a practical solution to being a small industry.

    • NickS 8.3

      The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union…

      The misogyny is strong with this one.

      And before you get a chance to shout ZOMG! UR bEing 2 PC!!11111!!!!11!, the problem with that opener is simply that if it was guys in charge you wouldn’t even bother mentioning they were guys, combine that with the rest of your post, and it’s easy to see you’re placing the blame firmly on them just because they’re women.

      Which is very much a definition of misogyny.

      (cue mansplaining in 5, 4, 3…)

      And this on top of your blatantly moronic failure to actually read, because otherwise you would have noticed that the work conditions and pay issues have effectively already been sorted before Jackson’s pathetic outbursts, per the dropping of SAG’s blockade on the film. Which coupled with the higher corporate welfare payments being offered by other countries, is not a problematic inference to assume that Jackson’s recent outburst and the studio’s statements are aimed at hiding getting better welfare payments out of the NZ government, while providing a handy distraction and a scape goat.

      But hey, given the state of even uni-grads abilities to critically think, your stupidity is completely expected.

      • QoT 8.3.1

        I love this comment and wish to be joined with it in an egalitarian non-heteronormative ceremony bestowing tax benefits and legal recognition.

        • NickS 8.3.1.1

          lawl, alas however, the law is yet to reach such a halcyon state of recognising the rights of a human to join with a blog comment :(

          It also would have been snarkier, but 40mg of Citalopram a day make Nick a much nicer person*. At least at the start…

          *and much less depressed!

          [Edit]
          Gah, just noticed errors in that post. Oh for longer editing time windows.

  9. wasi 9

    has anyone had a really close look at peter jacksons movies?

    take king kong for instance…bad acting (jack black for gods sake)…poor production values and crappy CGI effects…all obviously done on the cheap…so where`s all the money going?

    Bones bombed and lost big at the box office…how many millions of NZ taxpayer funds went into that lemon?

    same goes for the Rings movies…i`ve heard many complaints from punters about the tacky special effects and threadbare production values…but hey, its made in little old NZ…so its gotta be good for you…and the flow of NZ tax dollars via peter jackson to overseas corporate Warner brothers can`t be bad can it?

    • Nick K 9.1

      Yes, they’re total crap.

      Fortunately he’s never received any Oscars for any of them.

      Oh hang on…………..

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        So you’re saying they’re at least as good as “Dances with Wolves” or “Forrest Gump”?

      • wasi 9.1.2

        who knows why peter jacksons movies got so many oscars?

        perhaps the main beneficiaries of NZ taxpayer generosity at warner brothers and new line cinemas know the answer to that question….

        • Carol 9.1.2.1

          Weta is more the reason for the Oscars, than the rest of the content of the movies. Weta is the real hero here, PJ only in as much as he enables it to flourish.

          • jacinda 9.1.2.1.1

            Absolute pap sorry. He is responsible for organising the whole shebang. In fact he achieved something never done before in history, simultaneously shooting a trilogy, and releasing all 3 films within 2 years.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about if you claim he is not responsible for the success of them.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Peter Jackson is extremely capable and talented, yes. Principled and forthright in the way he deals with ordinary workers? No.

            • M.A.B. 9.1.2.1.1.2

              Jacinda, I’m on your side, but come on. Weta has more than a bit to do with PJ’s success! Peter Jackson’s accomplished incredible things, but it’s important to acknowledge that there’s an entire extended family of highly talented and motivated creatives who came up with him, and his success is THEIR success as well.

              That’s kind of the whole point being made down here right now in NZ. We’re a community, we’re all in this together, and we want it stay that way.

    • QoT 9.2

      Oh God wasi do no start me on King Kong. I want those three hours of my life back.

  10. bobo 10

    I think Peter Jackson’s super computer is pulling the strings here. First its anti-unions next anti-people.. mark my words..

    Supercomputer for hire
    http://www.ngi-nz.co.nz/news/nz/nr1094780978.html

  11. Tammy Gordon 11

    Certainly the union communication hasn’t done their cause any great favours; they’ve been hard put to spell out clearly exactly what the issues are and that’s made it harder for other people to come to their defense.

    And yes the email trail looks vindicating for Helen and Actors Equity, it’s a pity they waited a whole news cycle to release them. Dry facts are exactly what’s needed in such a highly charged dispute.

    Some people wondered at the timing of Richard Taylor’s ‘impromptu’ march to Parliament on Wednesday, just hours after 4000 union members held a fairness at work rally there and on the same day as around 20,000 union workers turned out around the country. Was it a coincidence? I shouldn’t think so but I also don’t think that’s worth getting worked up about. It’s called campaigning – they do it, we do it. Let’s not ascribe evil intent to basic organising. The fact is the unions have taken a whooping over this and it looks like HK and Actors Equity were seriously outplayed by some very serious players.

    With any luck though the frenzy has peaked and now we all wait to see what the Warners’ meetings generate. The only sure bet is that John Key gets a win no matter what.

    • Roflcopter 11.1

      “With any luck though the frenzy has peaked and now we all wait to see what the Warners’ meetings generate.”

      Well, with Irishbill now heading into conspiracy theory la-la land, he’s making damn sure it stays as current as possible! Not a peep out of the Labour Party… why not? They’re in it up to their necks and they know it.

      Go IB!!! Thousands of union members about to lose their jobs because of you and your mates’ greed… solidarity for the win!

      • IrishBill 11.1.1

        It’s pretty clear the deal was done last week. Warners were happy enough with it to prepare a joint release on Monday/Tuesday of this week. The threat to leave was made at the end of this week. Well after the dispute was settled. Could you please explain to me how the union is to blame because unless it involves some kind of time-travel it doesn’t seem possible.

        • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1

          Because some of your brothers-in-arms unions overseas had still not removed the “do not sign” flags even as late as this morning.

          The decision by Warners to come over was announced to the media yesterday, the actual decision to come over probably sooner, based on your union brothers not removing notices in a timely manner.

          You continually go on about PJ not bargaining on good-faith. Explain good-faith on behalf of the union, who’s very first action was to blacklist and then demand terms and conditions.

          • IrishBill 11.1.1.1.1

            What? From their websites? I’m sure they also had some fliers lying around their offices too. The deal was struck last week. That’s the point of contract and Warners (and quite likely Jackson) knew that.

            If you sign an unconditional contract to buy a business it’s legally binding from the moment it’s signed. If it takes you a few days to transfer the cash and take the business over you wouldn’t expect the seller to start abusing you in public for not having bought the business.

            I would have thought a rightie would understand the good faith that underpins the contracts that, in turn, underpin our capitalist society.

            • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Explain good-faith on behalf of the union, who’s very first action was to blacklist and then demand terms and conditions.

              • IrishBill

                That’s business. I’ve seen enough companies using brute leverage over workers and other businesses to know that. I don’t think it was the right way to go about it but I also know from personal experience (on both sides of the table) that it’s not outside the norm in the business world.

                • Roflcopter

                  Oh I see, it’s OK when unions do it.

                  • IrishBill

                    No it’s business. In any business deal you play your game at the table as hard and as smart as you can but once the ink is on the paper it’s over. Getting the deal done and then running an attack campaign is just bad faith. And bloody unprofessional, especially if you’re claiming you want a stable business environment.

                • jacinda

                  Whoops – snap!

      • bbfloyd 11.1.2

        Rolf…do yourself a favor, and take your thumb out of there.. it’s starting to freak the neighbours out.

    • Carol 11.2

      I don’t know. There are some pluses here. Helen kelly has become a bit of a household name. In spite of her missteps, she has been shown so far, to be telling the truth, while Warners & Team Jackson have distorted, stirred and prevarricated. It hasn’t been taken on board by many. But I see some of PJ’s tinsel has warn off. Some are seeing him now as having over-egged the situation.

      And the actors now will probably go on to get a properly organised union, and maybe a better deal. Brownlee has made some suggestions of law changes, that have many people scratching their heads. And many lefties and unionists generally have become more resolute.

      John Key continues to show he has nothing much to offer as PM, except photo ops with celebrities, whatever way he manages to manufacture them into existence.

    • IrishBill 11.3

      I’m not sure Key will get a clear win from this. It’s looking increasingly clear that either the Hobbit will go and he’ll have to try to blame the union (which is looking like a thinner and thinner ploy) or the Hobbit will stay at the cost of grater tax breaks (which I don’t disagree with giving out but many voters will see as a bit sus).

      • Roflcopter 11.3.1

        Have you been advised by higher up to soften your stance? The Labour Party has been very quiet, are they issuing instructions?

        [lprent: Of all the authors here I think that Irish would be the least likely to obey anyone from the Labour hierarchy. He is pretty well known for his rather ummmmm unsympathetic stance to my favorite political party, his rather public advice to them about how disappointed he is in them, and above all for his advice to them about how to suck eggs correctly.

        But in any case suggest it again and you'll rediscover how vindictive and nasty (by policy) I get when I ban people for attacking authors independence. ]

        • Carol 11.3.1.1

          The Labour Party don’t usually intervene in specific industrial disputes, or take sides. National is being a bit sus by doing that. It certainly breaks with protocol. Also, Nat & Key are clearly intervening to get themselves some kudos – or else why do it so publicly? Such things are often best arbitrated away from the public eye.

          So the REAL question to ask here is, why have Key et al chosen to break with protocol and, not only intervene, but more crucially, taken sides? And why do it so publicly?

          • Roflcopter 11.3.1.1.1

            So the REAL question to ask here is, why have Key et al chosen to break with protocol and, not only intervene, but more crucially, taken sides? And why do it so publicly

            $2.8b/year worth of reasons Carol, and the livelihood of 1000’s of unionised workers set to lose their jobs because of the actions of one of their own. For a government to do anything less would be remiss.

            [lprent: Looks like I'll have to tone down the css on the cite tag. Too noisy.. ]

          • KJT 11.3.1.1.2

            They have also brought out the Muldoon era Union bashing phase book.

            That was the last time I saw politicians getting directly into private sector disputes.

            • Roflcopter 11.3.1.1.2.1

              Good, there’s some unions that need a good bashing around the ears at the moment…. 1,000’s of their members at risk of losing their jobs because of their actions.

              • KJT

                Step back and read what is coming to light Rof. It was a jack-up. The dispute was settled by the CTU and Warners 2 days before the beat up. Either bad communication between PJ and Warners or extremely bad faith.

                Now watch NACT give them another 20 million for helping them with bashing people who just wanted to discuss their terms of employment.

                • Roflcopter

                  $20 million huh?

                  Let’s conservatively spread that across 2,000 workers who have their jobs saved for the next 3 years. A better investment than the dole.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    $20 million huh?

                    Let’s conservatively spread that across 2,000 workers who

                    Are you slow on the uptake?

                    That’s exactly the point. Jackson and the US corporates aren’t spreading the wealth across anybody

                    That’s why they decided to frak the union over a few hundred grand worth of minimum terms and conditions, make them the PR scapegoats, even as they reached for the $20-30M Government payout.

                    And as I said: none of those tax breaks are going to anyone except Jackson, his inner circle, and Warner. The rich get richer and the workers get frakked.

      • Tammy Gordon 11.3.2

        yeah it’s not often you get to do Pollyanna. I hope you’re right. I guess it’ll depend on whether the MSM has got the balls to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  12. the sprout 12

    I don’t think the question mark on the headline is necessary ;)
    Jackson and Warner Bros.’ dishonesty is unravelling nicely.

  13. I hate to sound cynical but it is clear what happened, Warners thought they would have a go at the Trade Unions and Jackson bet it up as much as he could.

    They told porkies and the left told the truth.

    And now Warners will meet with Key and demand further tax breaks to cover the “risk” that these terrible militant unions like Actors Equity pose and Key will agree and become the saviour of the Hobbit.

    And there will be the heated exchange of views from RWNJs and the left and the RWNJs will hope that by being heated enough they will win the debate no matter what the truth is.

    And the swinging voters will think that the awful left Labour Trade Unionists almost cost us Hobbitsville.

    AND the good news from the Labour Conference and the Industrial day of action has been decimated.

    Am I being cynical?

    • IrishBill 13.1

      It’s up to the union to make sure the truth comes out. That’s a hard job but they’ll have to do it.

      • Roflcopter 13.1.1

        Well with Robyn Malcolm saying “there was no boycott”, and then getting called out to explain why all the unions had been advised to “lift the boycott” if there wasn’t one, the union has lost any semblance of integrity it had…. she totally floundered for the country to see, and revealed the union’s true duplicitous nature.

        • IrishBill 13.1.1.1

          I think she revealed she’s an actor, not an industrial relations expert. That’s the reason they’ve been played so well by the producers (or rather the producers’ consultants, there’s no way this has been done by amateurs).

          • Roflcopter 13.1.1.1.1

            I suggest you go and watch the Close-Up interview, she specifically states it was she and others who have done all this.

            Why is she protecting Simon Whipp?

            • IrishBill 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Um because he’s not driving this,

              • Roflcopter

                hehehe, so he’s like a hit-and-run driver…. with the same results… doesn’t give a toss about the consequences.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sheeesh is this amateur hour with the unions, can they please do a proper post mortem once this is all settled and get their comms programme sorted out before the next big stoush.

                Lots of media training and no more ad lib in front of the cameras, OK?

        • jaymam 13.1.1.2

          “Well with Robyn Malcolm saying “there was no boycott”, and then getting called out to explain why all the unions had been advised to “lift the boycott” ”
          Basically that’s the most important point. Robyn Malcolm is a liar and the others in both unions are all incompetent. I want to see proof that ALL members in the NZ union were polled as to what the union should do. And the Australian union can go away forever.
          I do believe in unions, but they have to be run properly.

          • IrishBill 13.1.1.2.1

            To be fair to them they still managed to get a deal of sorts by the end of last week. And even the best unions would have been taken off guard by the post-settlement attack Jackson ran.

    • pollywog 13.2

      here’s my pick…

      By the time warner bros get here, the kerfuffle will be over, the films will have been unequivocally decided to be shot here in NZ and everyone will see through the charade of ‘smile and wave’ pretending to have saved the day.

      Bill English wont be bringing out the cheque book to write off more tax for warners cos it’ll cost wayyy to much to move production of shore by now and there’ll be no need to bribe them.

      If anything the whole project will get canned before it ever gets shot anywhere else and the producers will write off the loss.

      Kingdom come, kingdom go…

    • jacinda 13.3

      For once your predicted outcomes are true Micky, well done! Its just the reasoning behind it is completely wrong from where I stand :-)

      I want to know, when Warners start filming here, and no further tax cuts have been given, will you admit that you were completely wrong, or be a bad sport?

  14. wasi 14

    this is the nub of the matter…

    “a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute from as early as Monday, US time.

    Yet this morning, New Line Cinema said in a statement that reports the boycott of The Hobbit was lifted by unions a number of days ago and that Warner Bros asked to delay this announcement were false.”

    …the fact is helen kelly was telling the truth…peter jackson`s american backers Warner Brothers and New Line Cinemas have been caught red handed telling porkies…how can we believe anything that they say now?

  15. tea 16

    Where is the mainstream reporting on this?

    Peter Jackson- fuck you. We took the risks for LOTR with our tax base. Now we get this shit.

  16. tea 17

    And the government is even looking at whether there is any room to move the tax rebate for film companies from 15% to try to sweeten the deal.”

    This shit cracks me up Irish- fuck this is complete class and generation warfare. Really is. THe noose around the neck shit and this. Fukn unbelievable.

    Does someone want to drop Russell Brown this line? I’m confused, he makes it sound as if the unions have fucked it up.

    • IrishBill 17.1

      AE fucked up the game but they’re not in the wrong. Russell has decided that because they didn’t play their game well they don’t deserve his support. That might be a legit position to take in football but it’s pretty cold when it’s a few actors versus a powerful and well resourced employer.

      • Roflcopter 17.1.1

        It was engineered and delivered by Simon Whipp. The same guy who decimated the Australian film and advertising industry. It’s a shame your unions allowed him to potentially be responsible for the 1,000’s of unionised NZ workers losing their jobs.

        The unions have failed the NZ working class and NZ as a whole, the Labour Party know this and that’s why they aren’t saying anything.

        It will all come and haunt you next year, and UNITE will be there to keep it fresh in our memories.

        • IrishBill 17.1.1.1

          Whatever.

        • NickS 17.1.1.2

          I guess all those safe work-places and raises in the minimum wage, let alone the idea of paid breaks, sick leave and ye olde 40hr working week sprung entirely from teh bosses and the business owners…

          Ignoring all that history jazz of course, especially recent history.

          Because otherwise it would clear that unions have played key roles in workers rights and other issues. Despite the odd fuckup.

          • IrishBill 17.1.1.2.1

            I think rofl should make sure he goes to work this Monday as a protest against all that union stuff.

        • The Voice of Reason 17.1.1.3

          Where are these thousands of unionised jobs, Rofl?

          • Roflcopter 17.1.1.3.1

            Shall I start at the film workers themselves, then move through all the outside businesses that feed into the film industry, and then the ones that supply the suppliers? How big a can of worms you want opened?

            • The Voice of Reason 17.1.1.3.1.1

              Off you go then. Where exactly are these thousands of unionised jobs?

              • Joe Bloggs

                I don’t know about the thousands of unionised jobs but here’s the voice of one of the workers who the MEAA/AE should have conasidered when they called for a global boycott as their opening gambit to good faith bargaining:

                Among the Wellington marchers was production co-ordinator Danielle Prestige, who said keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand was pivotal to the future of its film industry.

                “We’ve just had two years of recession where a lot of colleagues have lost their jobs or had jobs at risk, films have fallen over. Everyone’s on the edge.

                “[The Hobbit] is pivotal. It’s the one film that will revitalise it to the point it was like with Avatar and give people the longevity of work. That’s why we decided to march. We don’t want our livelihoods threatened.”

                As for whether the boycott was lifted on day 20 or day 21, or who told what to whom: that’s a nice sideshow for the LWNJ conspiracy theorists but it’s just that – a sideshow.

                The damage was done when the MEAA/AE called for a global boycott as their opening gambit to good faith bargaining. IB describes this as doing the business. I describe it as fucking the industry – that boycott lit up this whole fiasco and for the unions to say that the threat has been withdrawn and everything’s cool is breathtakingly naive and completely disingenuous. When will the unions learn that you can’t undo an act of vandalism.

                The unions have so overplayed their hands that they’ve effectively labelled themselves as fools and fuckwits of the first degree.

                Incidentally we are still waiting for Simon Whipp to front up to the public and to the rest of the industry. Instead we get every man and his dog speaking on Whipp’s behalf, from Hater and Wrecker Kelly through to Outrageous Malcolm.

                • IrishBill

                  Funny thing is we only heard from Jackson on Thursday and we’ve not heard from anyone from Warners at all. I take it you’re just as upset about them not fronting?

      • Carol 17.1.2

        RB also seems to have bought into the line about the nasty Aussie union pulling the strings – at least, that’s what I got from hearing him on Nat Rad Panel this arvo

        • Roflcopter 17.1.2.1

          The Aussie union were the first cab off the rank in all of this. They right royally screwed it by blacklisting, then trying to force terms and conditions in a manner illegal in this country.

          If Warners are behind this, then Simon Whipp must be a plant by them… well he is a plant, the vegetable type.

          • The Voice of Reason 17.1.2.1.1

            Except it’s not illegal. Other than that, you’re doing fine. Carry on …

            • Roflcopter 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Collective bargaining for a group of contractors is illegal. Attorney General’s ruling trumps your imagination any day of the week.

              • Colonial Viper

                Technicality with plenty of ways around it.

                And thats ignoring the fact that a lot of those contractors should actually be *employees* because they are expected to perform as such.

                Which by the way happens to be one of the basic issues Equity and the unions want to address.

              • IrishBill

                Nope. There are plenty of legal workarounds including the legal fiction of having the union act as an independent third party provider. That’s the thing with contract law, it’s very very flexible (unless you ask a narrow interpretive question like the AG did). Otherwise most courier, taxi and franchise agreements would be illegal. In fact if you had a look at most of the contracts Jackson’s company had with its workers I suspect you’d find they were eerily similar.

                But as tvor says, carry on, it’s certainly entertaining.

              • The Voice of Reason

                It’s not my imagination, it’s a fact of everyday life. Tens of thousands of independent contractors have contracts that are, in a legally enforceable sense, identical to those of their colleagues. Cabbies, couriers, etc etc. They can be, and often are, collectively negotiated.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why is it that these supposed Right Wingnuts are so bad at employment and contract law? And SME development? And macroeconomics? And…

  17. bbfloyd 18

    my feeling is that NZ’ers should boycott the movie when it comes out here…. i don’t say this lightly, as i was really looking forward to seeing on film, a book that captivated my ten year old imagination as no other book did until the lord of the rings a year later, and papillon a year after that.. the papillon movie was shite compared to the book, but the lord of the rings trilogy was great.

    i couldn’t enjoy it though, knowing that pj had allowed the movie to become part of a nasty little political game designed to do no more than perpetrate the abuse of democracy that we are undergoing now… thanks peter, for sullying precious childhood memories for me… you can bugger off, and never come back as far as i’m concerned…

  18. ianmac 19

    Have you all considered that even in the Age of Rapid Communication there is just a mess of mis-communication? What Jackson said was so true. So was Robin Malcolm. So was Kelly. So was Warners. So was the Media and so on. The possibility that the right people were not hearing the right message at the right time has lead to conspiracy theories, the blame-game, mis-information, and opportunism from politicians.

    But what everyone seems to want is the Hobbit to be produced in NZ. Have the heavily biased opinions expressed here helping or hindering?

  19. Heres hoping the Hobbit wont move offshore, its going to be a huge project.

  20. wasi 21

    hellen kelly has done well against enormous pressure from the yanks and NZ`s govt and socially conservative rednecks and so-called mainstreamers…who don`t think that a woman should be doing politics any way….and she has been vindicated by the emergence of these latest emails…she is a credit to her name….she just needs to relax and hold the line….meanwhile our erstwhile PM john key is doing deals and offering bigger taxbreaks to peter jacksons barefaced liars and financial backers..this will come back to bite him in the arse. Rumour has it that peter jackson owes bigtime for the “Bones” fiasco…he looked a bit sweaty and desperate on the TV to me.

  21. Key is taking advice on New Zealand labour laws to see if they can be softened to accommodate the studio.

    Isn’t that what the actors want? A change in the laws forbidding them from collectivising while independent contractors?

    • IrishBill 22.1

      To be fair giving single employee contractors access to the ERA on the same terms as employees have would create a stable workforce. I wouldn’t be laying money on ipredict that that’s gonna be the outcome though.

      • Nick K 22.1.1

        To be fair giving single employee contractors access to the ERA on the same terms as employees…

        What’s an employee contractor?

        • IrishBill 22.1.1.1

          Hmm, perhaps I should have added a hyphen. “Single-employee contractor” as in a contractor who has just one employee (ie the contractor themselves). Otherwise you’d end up making real contractors with their own staff defacto employees.

  22. Adrian 23

    AUD= USD stuffed the Aussie industry same as NZD.75=USD does here. The funniest thing was Jackson saying “Warners have been honourable in this”. Another first for PJ, the first time in history the words “honourable” and a Hollywood studio have ever been used in the same sentence. Studio execs are the worlds greatest arseholes, when those bastards go surfing the fucking sharks get out of the water.

  23. Francisco Hernandez 24

    To be honest – this is far too late. The PR damage has been done.

    • IrishBill 24.1

      Yeah but what can you do? Jackson blindsided the union after the deal was done and the only option they have now is to fight back. Frankly I think he’s made a mistake by trying to back Helen Kelly into a corner like this as it’s a tactic you only use when you know you can completely break your opponent and the union movement has been around too long to be broken by a little film dispute – they’ll be pushing their side of this story for as long as it takes. The left can bear grudges in geological time-frames.

      There’s also about five days left in this story as headline news which is a lot of time for the story to turn. A week is a long time in politics but it can be an eternity in industrial relations.

      • Joe Bloggs 24.1.1

        The left can bear grudges in geological time-frames.

        at last! Someone on the left speaks with integrity – praise the Lord!

  24. Colonial Viper 25

    I really really wish the union would come forward with simple clear details of what they were seeking from Jackson for their members.

    One of the problem the PR has worked against them is that no one could understand in concrete terms what the union was actually asking for.

    It was therefore very easy to make the union look like they were causing a fight for frak-all of importance.

    Jeeez i hope Equity is getting some real clarity on this, and getting some good advice locally and internationally.

  25. Irascible 26

    Watch out for the crosby-textor spin that Key is the great negotiator, the svengali of brokering a deal with the saviours of the NZ economy – \”Wingnut-Warners\” and thus demonstrating that he, single-handedly, can undo the damage done by the evil, vicious, self interested communistic Unions. This spin will allow NACT the excuse to introduce legislation to attack the Unions that are now showing the public the true nature of the NACT legislative programme and how bad the Key – Dipton management of the economy is.

  26. James 27

    So wait, now you’re all FINALLY seeing this was a massive screw up that’s actually f***ed up Unions and given the Right a public mandate to screw us all royally? Are we all going to go to now go buy Russell Brown buy him a drink for making that exact same goddamn point right from the start, and every fricking step along the way?

    Or is he still an enemy of the people for daring to question whether AE was actually acting competently or not?

    I’m guessing probably still the later…

    • wtl 27.1

      I’m not sure I’m reading the same set of comments as you, because I’m not sure they can be seen to be supporting RB’s view. Most posters have always openly accepted that the union could have handled things better but the other side was acting and continues to act in bad faith. If you think that means the blame lies solely with the union, good for you.

    • Colonial Viper 27.2

      You did say that you were a very serious Lefty, correct? One which regularly sides with the big money corporates?

      Yes the unions got played by Jackson, Warner, and their millionaire PR boys. Yes the unions could have handled the situation differently and not assumed good faith on the part of the employers. Yes Equity is a new and amateur organisation who got totally run around by the big boys.

      But the bottom line remains: the corporates were flat out refusing to deal with workers getting organised around *minimum terms and conditions* and they are using the workers as leverage to get more tax payer handouts.

      And not only that, don’t forget that Jackson and co. are blatantly blackmailing the entire country to get those handouts.

    • pollywog 27.3

      Russell’s all about the free drinks.

    • KJT 27.4

      So are you going to tell unions they should no longer ask for a better deal for their members. Because what we have seen in the last few days will be standard RW OP whenever a union asks for anything between now and the election.

      They are already demonising the teachers and health workers for asking for an adequate wage which goes a little further towards paying them properly for their contribution to NZ.

  27. ak 28

    Headlines we’re liable to see:

    ODDSPOT: ANTIPODEAN ANGST OVER KIWI KIDDIE FANTASY FLIX

    Thanks, sir NACTson, laughing stock again.

  28. ak 29

    (and hats off to you, sir Irish Bill, for your relentless defence of the facts – as someone once said, Truth will out. And it always does. Kia kaha son, you’re an inspiration)

    • comedy 29.1

      comedy gold

      • RedLogix 29.1.1

        A tiny union of your fellow New Zealanders is monstered by one of the biggest US studios with immensely greater clout and resource… and comedy here has been consistently barracking for the big ugly thugs.

        One of the most common features of bullying is the mob of sociopaths who’ll join in and ‘mob’ the victim when they feel it’s safe to do so.

        In a mobbing situation, the ringleader incites supporters, cohorts, copycats and unenlightened, inexperienced, immature or emotionally needy individuals with poor values to engage in adversarial interaction with the selected target.

        http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/mobbing.htm

        • comedy 29.1.1.1

          “In a mobbing situation, the ringleader incites supporters, cohorts, copycats and unenlightened, inexperienced, immature or emotionally needy individuals with poor values to engage in adversarial interaction with the selected target.”

          Straight out of the union manual wot.

          If you want sociopaths best you look at this blog and those from the right and look at those that go with the mob.

          The tiny union is so tiny it’s australian and appears to be made up of well paid luurvies such as dear jenni and robyn who are prepared to take a dump on their fellow workers who are just trying to put bread on the table. Reality is those with the cash can spend it in NZ or not and this stupid fucks have made it a shite load easier for them to take it offshore and/or secure better tax breaks.

          now fuckoff and look after your multiple properties you chardonnay swilling fuckhole

  29. Blue Boy 30

    Peter Jackson = Knighthood
    Unions = Evil

  30. Anthony C 31

    I’m still trying to find an actual timeline for this, did Peter Jackson start his media campaign against the NZEA before or after the Boycott/Do not sign memo?

    • IrishBill 31.1

      After. As I understand it the deal was done late last week, the memo and release were being worked on with Jackson’s input on Sunday/Monday (US time) and Jackson launched his media campaign on Thursday (Wednesday US time).

    • Lazy Susan 31.2

      It was after, and that timeline tells you more about what’s behind this than all the other stuff which is just distracting noise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  31. James 32

    It’s lifted when the announcement happens. If AE and SAG held off the announcement it’s their own stupid faults. What, you have to get frigging PERMISSION from the studios before you make your announcement? That’s ridiculous.

    The top question by the way, is not asking what you answered. To answer: the boycott was initiated a long time before Peter Jackson went public with it. I’m not sure whether the SAG botcott was made public first or PJ went public first from SAG. The first accounts I’ve seen were in Variety and came out about the same time as PJ’s statement. Really hard to tell because of the time differences with the states. Should be easy enough to research though. Quite how long, AE expected the boycott of the Hobbit to remain out of the press is anyone’s guess. It would obviously be somewhat naive to think that it wouldn’t.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      It’s lifted when the announcement happens.

      Not necessarily. When an All Black gets dropped and replaced by someone else has the decision already been taken internally and in effect internally? Or is it only effective from when Henry gets in front of the cameras to announce it on the 6pm news? I would argue that the effective date of the action can have nothing to do with the timing of the press event.

      Obviously a global boycott is not going to remain outside of the entertainment press long. Yes it is a public signal and unavoidable if that step has to be taken.

      However that is still quite different from making public statements designed to sway the court of public opinion and trying to frame negotiating points and assertions in the press.

      • James 32.1.1

        “I would argue that the effective date of the action can have nothing to do with the timing of the press event.”

        I’m not talking about a press event, I’m talking about SAG actually, physically taking down their stop work order. That is: actually telling their members it was alright to work on the Hobbit now. That hadn’t happened until after the crew march. The union promising to isn’t the same as actually doing it, I’m sorry. If they got held up because the studio wanted to change the wording… well… again, since when do the SAG take orders from the studio about how they phrase their stop work orders?

        “However that is still quite different from making public statements designed to sway the court of public opinion and trying to frame negotiating points and assertions in the press.”

        There’s nothing wrong with that though. Problem is AE just did a really terrible job. PJ didn’t do an especially great job either.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere