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Hollywood Rules

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, October 8th, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: business, copyright, culture, economy, film, International, internet, jobs, john key, overseas investment, tv, workers' rights - Tags: ,

We have another u-turn from slippery John Key after his trip to Hollywood. First he said he wasn’t going to offer sweeteners, now it seems they are on the table.  There are many potential advantages for New Zealand and its screen,and digital industries from attracting Hollywood productions to NZ. However, most of the reports, commentaries and background information point to a further push by major, US-based corporates to extend their dominance internationally, in support of their own interests, power and values.

Coverage on TV3′s The Nation yesterday, highlighted most of the relevant issues, especially in the Rachel Smalley’s interviews with Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland Law School), Helen Kelly (CTU president), Jo Coughlan (Wellington City Councillor), and Stephen Jacobi ( NZ US Council Executive Director).

As Helen Kelly said, there are many things to be celebrated about bringing international screen productions here.  It is some of the elements that are being incorporated into the latest rounds of relevant negotiations that are causing concern. She says:

We’ve just seen Weta apply to bring 400 foreign workers in to do some core jobs in the industry that they should be training and giving to New Zealanders. We’ve seen the Employment Law change, basically removing all employment rights for workers in the film industry, and we’re seeing the secrecy.

And Kelly added:

And the other thing is that we are seeing jobs in this country going out the window all over the place. And why is the government also not putting the time and energy into looking into those industries? Over 100,000 jobs in manufacturing. Why isn’t the government looking at those as well? Why aren’t they for example spending six million, allowing Kiwi Rail to make our trains here. Long term engineering, building, fabrication jobs?

These are some of the relevant concerns:

The importing of foreign workers to do jobs New Zealanders could do.

It’s fine if they upskill New Zealanders  to do the jobs in the future, but there are concerns this is not happening.

What kind of jobs are being opened up to New Zealanders?  It seems to me that a lot of the work are in technical jobs, but a lot of the more powerful creative and production jobs are being done by visitors from overseas.  For instance the jobs for Kiwis that Jo Coughlan particularly refers to are electricians, labourers, caterers, designers and seamstresses.  Very important jobs, with many being highly skilled, but not ones with a lot of power/control.

In addition to the above concern,  Hollywood productions tend to promote US culture and values.

In contrast, there is a need for locally made productions that ensure New Zealanders can have some input on topics, values and stories that are important to us. For instance, Sir Peter Jackson has had the clout to be able to use his own Kiwi scriptwriters on his films, but on other productions, especially TV fiction, the Hollywood screenwriters guild has exerted far more power.  This can be seen on TV productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus. John Key is looking to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand.

For TV drama series, it is the producers and writers who determine the creative direction of the show.  Certainly Pacific Renaissance (Xena, Hercules) and Starz productions (Spartacus)  increasingly used local directors but not NZ scriptwriters. (Although such productions have created more long-term work for New Zealanders than Jackson’s movies, providing many with new career opportunities.)

Hollywood producers international control over copyright, and intellectual property (TPPA issues).

There are very real concerns about big US-based film and media conglomerates, along with related investment and financial companies, attempts to extend their hold over digital copyright laws.  This is being done in ways that will promote their own interests, and restrict the international promotion of Kiwi creativity. This is a significant part of the current TPPA negotiations being conducted in secret.

Helen Kelly says:

 No they’re not transparent, and what’s at stake here, it is very complicated, but what’s at stake here for example is there may be very much restricted use of the internet as these Hollywood producers try to protect their intellectual property which is one interest, but as New Zealanders perhaps in smaller film industry and creative industries want to use the internet to promote New Zealand culture and New Zealand industry.

And Jane Kelsey says something similar:

What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

76 comments on “Hollywood Rules”

  1. deuto 1

    Another good post, Karol.

    Gordon Campbell has also just put up an intriguing post on Scoop on the same subject.

    “Intriguing” in that he reports that James Cameron has apparently recently been in China wooing the Chinese, who are vying for more co-productions with the US film industry. Maybe the reason for the postponement of the release of Avatar 2 for a year….

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/10/08/gordon-campbell-on-the-chinese-shadow-over-john-keys-trip-to-hollywood/

    Perhaps the slippery one’s trip to Hollywood was related to this as well?

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks, deuto.  I was looking at Gordon Campbell’s blog while I was writing my post, checking if he had written on it today.  It wasn’t up there before I scheduled my post for publication.
       
      But that’s an interesting bit of research. It’s an extension of the China-US struggle over the Pacific region.  Campbell says:

      If China is to become a significant player in global cinema production in the next 20 years – which we should be treating as a given – it is hard to see how our film industry would benefit from a TPPA that excludes China, and that ties us into a restrictive copyright/IP regime aimed against it. Especially if, on the side, Hollywood and China’s new film studios are pursuing their own bilateral arrangements.

       
      It’s also interesting to note that, in it’s co-production contracts with the likes of the US, China includes clauses that go beyond jobs for locals.  They look to include some Chinese content in the productions:
       

      …the main ingredient in securing Chinese funding seems to be the content onscreen, so that Chinese filmgoers can see their own country reflected in international cinema.

       
      Both Aussie and Canada aim to do that in negotiations for with co-production, or foreign productions in their countries. This is something that NZ has failed to do.  On The Nation Jane Kelsey said the doors have long been closed on that in NZ, due to past decisions under National governments.  Kelsey said:

      and one of the things that the Hollywood industry has been targeting in the Trans Pacific Partnership is a provision that would allow some kind of special recognition of the needs of the local cultural industry. And in fact that was introduced when Helen Clark wanted to introduce local content quotas like Australia has, to support the local culture industry, and was told that a previous National government had already signed away the right to do that in the World Trade Organisation. So these agreements have a long history of closing the doors for our local innovation, our local industry and our local jobs, to get the advantages that John Key is now promising to Hollywood.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    The contrast between the way this government portrays New Zealand beneficiaries compared with the extent it is prepared to shield and subsidise foreign corporate interests is the defining position of their government.

  3. vto 3

    .
    Social welfare for hollywood.

    Who would have ever thought …

  4. captain hook 4

    great.
    so they want to use our tax dollars to make mindless crap for infantilised idiots.
    boffo?
    new zealand the way you want it?

  5. Tracey 5

    The fact that Key’s host, James Cameron has decided not to film Avatar 2 here, must have been a clue that this trip was for Key to be “convinced” so Cameron could film here, and we will subsidise. What appalls me is that Key is continuing to peddle the myth/lie that he “saved” jobs on the Hobbit. That’s a lie, the movie was NEVER going to be moved. What he did achieve was to increase the offshore profit of the Hobbit.

    • karol 5.1

      tracey: for Key to be “convinced” so Cameron could film here, and we will subsidise.
       
      There’s that, and, I suspect more. Key and NAct are trying to balance trade with China with their stronger allegiance to the US.  So Key is possibly operating with and for the US-moguls in trying to ensure Cameron and his films don’t go over to the other (China) side.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Interestingly by calling the Greens suggestion of QE “wacky” hasn’t he just called is BFF (USA) wacky?

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Bash the vulnerable, shower the already wealthy with love, that’s the Natz!

    Bomber Bradbury’s long running “sleepy Hobbits” metaphor/jab becomes uncomfortably real when their hero Lord Jackson (and now other bloated studio types) get another top up from the NZ taxpayer.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    In contrast, there is a need for locally made productions that ensure New Zealanders can have some input on topics, values and stories that are important to us. For instance, Sir Peter Jackson has had the clout to be able to use his own Kiwi scriptwriters on his films, but on other productions, especially TV fiction, the Hollywood screenwriters guild has exerted far more power.  This can be seen on TV productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus. John Key is looking to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand.

     
    Oh fuck off, seriously. It’s mass entertainment, not an object lesson (and I think you mean “values and stories important to you rather than us). We do earnest little independent films really well in this country, but the international market for those is tiny. The US is the primary market for Hollywood films, so if a big budget movie is to be viable it has to be crafted for that specific market by people who know the deep structures that appeal to that market – which would for the most part be Americans or the heavily Americanised. If you want a piece of that pie, expect to put your national pride to the side. Also, studio script writing is a very specific and technical profession – I doubt there would be many people in New Zealand with the skills or experience. And if John Key wants to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand, then bloody good – it provides New Zealand talent with a day job while they work on their own little projects at the same time, and it keeps the talent here.
     

    For TV drama series, it is the producers and writers who determine the creative direction of the show.  Certainly Pacific Renaissance (Xena, Hercules) and Starz productions (Spartacus)  increasingly used local directors but not NZ scriptwriters. (Although such productions have created more long-term work for New Zealanders than Jackson’s movies, providing many with new career opportunities.)

     
    Whinging about the Americans not using New Zealand script writers is like whinging about the lack of decent New Zealand comedy on TV for very similar reasons. The spin-offs for people working at the production level have been very significant however.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      A mere fraction of what it should be. That’s what you don’t understand. We will never build up the expertise to have a fully independent industry if we allow ourselves to be treated as just cheap labour and a bit of scenery.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        Actually CV you are yet again talking through your arse about things you know naught of. We already have a fully independent industry. It produces excellent low budget small films like Boy and In My Father’s Den. If you’re after artistic integrity, that is about the limit of what we can ever realistically achieve. Hollywood makes Hollywood movies, and Hollywood is essentially America – it makes the product so it makes the rules, hence I don’t see courting Hollywood as particularly desirable.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Hollywood isn’t the only successful movie production locale intentionally.  We are a bit one-eyed about it because of our historical ties to the US.
           
          But why not do more UK, Canadian, and European co-productions, or ones with South east Asian or Aussie companies?  And in Asia, Hollywood isn’t so central, India, South Korea and China all have thriving movie and TV industries, that are seen as more central by people in those countries.
           
          October 2010:

          The Auckland film industry hopes its three-year effort to build relations with South Korea will lead to a lucrative new co-production market.
          Industry body Film Auckland has signed a memorandum of understanding with its equivalent body in the city of Pusan.

           
          As of September 2011, these are the co-production treaties the NZ film industry has signed,

          …New Zealand was a party to co-production agreements with Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Korea, China, India and South Africa.

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.1.1

            With the exception of France and the UK, and maybe Italy, when did you last see a movie from any of those countries? Especially if you wanted to be entertained rather than do any serious thinking? And while District 9 might have been a South African movie, it wasn’t all that shit hot.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Love how you write off China/HK, Bollywood, also the TV richness coming out of Canada, all in one go.

              More pro-American ra-ra from P1. They’re on the decline mate, it’s time we learnt to stand up on our own two feet before we forget.

              • Populuxe1

                Trying to compare a century of Hollywood classics to a few decades of subcontinental musical kitsch isn’t really possible, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t seem much Canadian television because with a few exceptions it’s mostly knockoffs of US formats.
                Not being particular interested in matching the current crop of Hollywood pablum and sequelitis is hardly “pro-American ra-ra” CV, you sad bitter creature.

                • karol

                  Populuxe1: I’m willing to bet you haven’t seem much Canadian television because with a few exceptions it’s mostly knockoffs of US formats.


                   Unfortunately this is true of mainstream screen productions in most countries, and is a reflection of US dominance.  For instance, it’s seen in the format of most Aussie dramas, even though they give it a bit an Aussie accent.  When another country does something innovative, Hollywood appropriates it and tries to make it over in their own image.  This is seen with their remakes of South American tele-novellas, attempts at doing Outrageous fortune, The Office, etc.
                   
                  Some of the most innovative new shows form non-US countries have been shown first as web series.  And Canadians have made a couple of pretty unusual ones that then got picked up and “normalised” by television studios and channels. The first I saw was Sanctuary, which first went online a few years back. It  was produced by and starred several Stargate alumni (people who had been given more opportunities for creative input by the US-Canadian agreements) – Amanda Tapping was the main producer and actor.  It went to TV on the sci fi channel and has been a mediocre success.
                   
                  The second, one of my favourites was Riese.  It is a fantasy, medieval version of Steampunk.  Unfortunately it only lasted about 6 episodes being internationally available as a web series, before it was pulled and made into a TV show – so glad I downloaded the original web episodes.  I have seen the first 2 TV eps, but unfortunately it’s made for dummies.  They’ve added a  voice over narration, whereas the web series had less dialogue, and was far more visually focused, with many things mysteriously unexplained at the beginning.  And now the online episodes are locked down geographically, so we can’t see them here.
                   
                  The Internet does provide a possible route to international exposure.  Unfortunately, from what Kelsey was saying on The Nation, I understood that Hollywood is trying to take control and restrict what other countries can do online to promote their own product.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Amanda Tapping is fabulous! ANd even although it’s more a less a copy of Saturday Night Live, I have a soft spot for Kids in the Hall.
                    I think it’s best for all concerned to avoid the Babylon of Hollywood and concentrate on the small-but-perfectly-formed which we excel at.

                  • mike

                    Trailer Park Boys
                    The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.2

              With the exception of France and the UK, and maybe Italy, when did you last see a movie from any of those countries?

              Last night actually. Amazing thing this internet – it allows me to source a greater variety of culture than what the local bosses provide.

              I’m not against co-production but we really do need to produce own stuff and the internet allows for a greater possible audience than the US does.

              • karol

                DTB: the internet allows for a greater possible audience than the US does
                 
                There are possibilities there, especially if the government really got behind it as part of a strategy for supporting NZ screen production.  There’s been a couple of isolated attempts to do that, (mainly with children’s/youth drams) but they could have been done better.  Maddigan’s Quest (based on a Margaret Mahy story, put a lot of effort into its website, and made the first episode available internationally online.  I heard there were some problems with the production process – can’t remember details – uncertainties and disagreements of how to do it maybe?
                 
                And TVNZ did the web series Reservoir Hill online.
                 
                Unfortunately, though, it looks like the US via TPPA, may be looking to limit how much NZ creativity can be promoted internationally online.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2

          Actually CV you are yet again talking through your arse about things you know naught of. We already have a fully independent industry.

          Nah, you’re setting your sights too low, in addition to ignoring the massive influence Peter Jackson has over the whole industry (as exhibited by his destruction of working conditions for all).

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.2.1

            No, I’m setting my sights just right – countries like France, Italy and even the Czech Republic have very respectable film industries, mainly because they know their limitations and work to them. And what does Peter Jackson have to do with the price of fish? His bloated hulk might be in Miramar, but his fanboy soul is in Hollywood, and those crappy changes to our labour laws happened because a lot of people set their sights too high and wanted in on a game where only the big boys tend to come out winners.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              and those crappy changes to our labour laws happened because a lot of people set their sights too high and wanted in on a game where only the big boys tend to come out winners.

              What stupidity and erasure of recent history.

              Key and Jackson were cornerstone players in selling out the country. Jackson in particular prevented NZ workers from receiving the same protections he gets as a union employee, and which he happily gave to foreign workers.

              • Populuxe1

                And why would a calculating populist like Key do this? Why were the rioting protesters attacking the critics of this law change? Because so many people were intoxicated by the Hollywood mystique and not thinking critically. When Hollywood becomes involved, suddenly it’s high stakes and high passions and people get away with terrible things. It shouldn’t happen, but you are being incredibly naive if you think any sort of normal decency applies in the Hollywood system. If Wallmart had come here and tried to do that, the outcry would have been far greater. Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who knows “Why” Key did this, the fact is he did. He is a member of at least 3 unions himself, and he prevented NZ actors from unionising on the Hobbit set.

                  You’re smart and stupid all rolled into one. Fascinating.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Yes, the man is a shit, but he’s playing the game. You seem to be under the impression that you can get your own way against someone with a stronger hand than you without bribery and underhandedness. I don’t see any point in getting into the game in the first place – it’s like sailing a rubber dinghie in the America’s  Cup.

        • Jokerman 7.1.1.3

          In My Fathers Den, one of the great achievements of Aotearoa cinema, imo

    • karol 7.2

      pop, as it is, so shall it always be?  People like Jo Coughlan argue for importing US expertise in order to upskill Kiws so they can do those roles.  So why not script-writing also?  We have people keen to make a successful career out of film and TV writing. Why haven’t any US production companies taken on a Kiwi or two as apprentice writers (with the exception of Jackson’s writers)?
       
      Yes, I agree that overseas productions have provided work and a career path for many Kiwis in the industry that didn’t exist before.  And not just because of Jackson.  Auckland US TV productions trained a lot of the crew and other workers that went on to work on LoTR – Jackson couldn’t have done it without them, but his very good at his own PR.
       
      However, other countries are more aggressive about protecting their own culture and local productions.  And how great would it be if a few Kiws could learn how to write and produce more comedy?  Why did we let the US snaffle Flight of the Concords?

      • Populuxe1 7.2.1

        I would argue, Karol, that we are perfectly competent at producing our own movies as it is – we understand our own voice and stories. Hollywood is about submitting to a vast market-driven factory that produces very slick mass product, much like the music industry. Why do so many of our musicians head off overseas? – it’s not from lack of recording facilities. It is unlikely any sort of apprenticeship can make you flawlessly wield US idioms, cultural values and the other deep structures bedded in Hollywood films.  

        Why did we let the US snaffle Flight of the Concords?

        My thesis is because they weren’t actually very funny in New Zealand. Being in America made their awkward nerdy New Zealand humour something outlandish and funny. Here they’re just quirky, maybe. Look at Rhys Darby – he’s a horrible stand-up comedian, but quite reasonable playing a “New Zealander” in another country to a foreign audience.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          I always forget what pro-American cheerleading sounds like. Especially the kind which seeks to undermine our own national self confidence. Beware mate, they are on the wane and we must relearn how to stand on our own two feet before we forget how.

          • Populuxe1 7.2.1.1.1

            If you read ” pro-American cheerleading” into that, CV, you are clearly a fool as well as a deluded jingoist. How the fuck is know ing what we’re good at not standing on “our own two feet”. Your anti-America conspiracy paranoia is, as always, entertaining.
            I hate ukulele orchestras as well, does that make a closet Nazi too?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1.1

              How the fuck is know ing what we’re good at not standing on “our own two feet”.

              Because standing on our own two feet would be pushing to take it to the next level rather than staying exactly as we are and hoping that Hollywood comes along and holds our hand. It’s the latter that you’re advocating.

              • Populuxe1

                No, I’m advocating we follow the path of countries outside the usual US/UK axis and put money into making powerful thoughtful smaller films that don’t aspire to ersatz Hollywood because we are never going to break into that market. Many European countries in particular have very respectable film industries, but know your market.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah just weasel words mate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, we certainly won’t if we don’t try. The market, if you hadn’t noticed, is the entire friggen world. Make the films to the genres, give a good selection of subtitles and dub overs and I’m fairly sure that we could produce films quite capable of beating the Hollywood made ones.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well, we certainly won’t if we don’t try.

                    Who is going to pay for it then? How much does your average Hollywood movie cost to make?

                     
                    The market, if you hadn’t noticed, is the entire friggen world. Make the films to the genres, give a good selection of subtitles and dub overs and I’m fairly sure that we could produce films quite capable of beating the Hollywood made ones.

                    That’s precisely what NOT to do – look at Australia, it’s top grossing films have been things like Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla – definitely not genre. Our most popular films have been most definitely New Zealand stories – otherwise it’s just kitsch, like spaghetti westerns and bad kung fu films, and subtitled films are simply not popular in the mass market. Either you make small, good films, or cheap crap films.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Who is going to pay for it then?

                      The government through NZ On Air. I suspect that basic taxes on the returns will actually pay for them.

                      That’s precisely what NOT to do – look at Australia, it’s top grossing films have been things like Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla – definitely not genre.

                      As you seem to be having difficulty with the language:
                      Genre

                      1. a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
                      2. Fine Arts .
                      a. paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
                      b. a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
                      3. genus; kind; sort; style.

                      So, yes, as a matter of fact, those two films did fit into some sort of genre. What I meant was that we make them to be a good SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, whatever with our own culture on them. People will watch them.

                      Our most popular films have been most definitely New Zealand stories…

                      And yet you seem to be saying that we shouldn’t make these.

                      …and subtitled films are simply not popular in the mass market.

                      Then we either dub over the voices or teach our actors to accurately pronounce other languages. I think you’ll find computer dubbing to be the cheaper option though.

                    • karol

                      Aussie films really took off when the Aus government got behind the industry and provided funding.  Priscilla and Strictly Ballroom were films the government funded in the 1990s.  And look how many they funded, really since the late 60s!  Their government has been much more proactive than ours in funding and supporting home-grown movies and TV.
                       
                      Priscilla‘s genre is classified here as “Comedy, Drama, Music” and Ballroom as “Comedy, Drama, Romance”. Genres are mainly marketing classifications.

        • Jokerman 7.2.1.2

          popularity and popular culture aside, i have a very dear friend in his late forties who has worked as an electrician and related roles on the production of both local and international films, for over two decades, including for Jackson, where he was often an extra, bearded (get the picture) and all that.
          He has informed me at great length of the use, abuse and dependence upon alcohol and class A, B and C drugs by many of the allied trades-people working on film projects; apparently, historically for certain, the OSH and similar regulations applied to other domestic industries are not followed or adhered to amongst the producers of glitter. Interestingly, he advised of Fun Fridays, when dealers (pushers) turned up regularly with brief-cases of whatever started your motor; acid, speed, coke, dope and booze.
          Roll on Hollywood, if the shoe fits, the freakin country is like the Wild Wild West already, (and that Kate Roger could get a job as an extra.

    • David H 7.3

      More US TV programmes, WHY? Is the deluge of mindless drivel that’s on our TV screens not enough? Why do we need more America’s got no talent and the y factor to say nothing of the endless cooking shows, usually doing recipes that the average Joe couldn’t conjure up in more than a week of intense concentration. Me I cook so I know they will probably taste like shite. Where as I can make a Steak and Mushroom casserole that you would pay for. Why would the American’s even want NZ script writers? We don’t speak the same language and The Americans have their sense of humour removed at 5.
      So they make series after series of CSI, NCIS, La Law etc etc they add cities to those. And when they do get around to something half decent, they cancel it, or they change the script writers and eviscerate the story line. I used to watch Discovery But the crime shows from the other crime channels have overtaken it. So really apart from Eggheads and Doctor Who (both English) and Babylon 5 and some for the star trek stuff. all of which I have. TV can go burn. They are using an outmoded and out dated business practice and now with the TPP they want to keep their ancient and outmoded business models, and RAM them into our law so we will have to prostrate ourselves to them, the dinosaurs that refused to change. But this time I think Extinction will come early. Well one can only hope.

  8. muzza 8

    What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

    Actually Jane, what we are seeing is the rolling together of a number of the agendas into a single stream of action, its just that people still can’t understand it.

  9. Blue 9

    Did anyone really think Key wasn’t going to offer sweeteners?

    The Hollywood moguls know he’ll get his chequebook out the moment they start their ‘We’d really love to make our movie in New Zealand, but…’ sob story.

    They got the measure of him during the Hobbit debacle.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Did anyone really think Key wasn’t going to offer sweeteners?

      Only the idiots. From what I saw on the video he went over there fully expecting to give even more of our money and wealth to Hollywood.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.2

        I wonder if Key got the kudos from Hollywood for taking Dotcom down that he thought he would.

        What if Key has had enough of the Bullshit Banking world and wants to take a sideways step into being a top Hollywood Exec?

        • Jokerman 9.1.2.1

          He has part of the ancestry that has succeeded there.
          (such a waste of heritage)
          The Passion of The Christ however, the most prophetic work of Gibson since the first two Max films, imo

        • David H 9.1.2.2

          Probably not. But he did get more pics to bore people with, and more entries on his CV.

        • prism 9.1.2.3

          CV
          I wonder, it’s possible he wants to be the Eighth Wonder of the World.

        • karol 9.1.2.4

          I seem to recall, a few years back, around 2006, several US banks were looking to invest in Hollywood movies.  Merrill Lynch was one of them – although not so successfully.  I also seem to recall that Key has some of his old bankster contacts in Hollywood.  So, maybe he is looking for something else, now the banks are becoming more dubious and the Teflon is wearing off the PM gig?

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.4.1

            Hollywood films are $100M wonders of hidden financing, non-transparent accounting and one off shell companies.

            What interest could the bankster fraternity possibly have in such an industry.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.4.1.1

              Well:

              Myth: The copyright monopoly is an essential source of income to artists today.

              Fact: Out of the money spent on culture, a mere 2% (yes, two per cent) make it to individual artists through mechanisms of the copyright monopoly. This was studied in-depth in Sweden by Ulf Pettersson in 2006 (link to article, direct link to study, both in Swedish), who concluded that the vast majority of artists get their income from other means – everything from a day job to student loans.

              When you’ve got a multi-billion dollar a year income and the possibility to get a large portion of those billions…

              • karol

                Yes, Hollywood is foremost an industry – a commercial operation, making money out of other people’s creativity.  And the technology to make screen productions is becoming cheaper and more accessible.  So Hollywood tries to find ways of making things expensive – huge star salaries, big blockbusters, etc.
                 
                Straight-to-web series really started to take off a couple of years ago.  And many TV studios were starting to get anxious.  It holds out the possibility of cutting out many of the middlemen. Though, like anything on the web, it’s not always easy to find an audience.
                 
                Sites like koldcast have tried to host some of the better, or most popular series. It remains to be seen if they’ll just end up becoming another corporate – I fear so.  Some series can be locked down geographically, or require a paid subscription, but it looks like The Division can be viewed in NZ.

              • prism

                DTB
                Talking about copyright on Radionz this morning, Tuesday, it was mentioned that USA wants to up the present period of 50 years after death to 100 years. So much for encouraging bright innovative ideas which feed off each other like open source etc. No, keep out of the sandbox, I want to have the only toy and you can pay me if you want to play.

            • David H 9.1.2.4.1.2

              He’s looking for a new job?

    • Fisiani 9.2

      The Hobbit haters are alive and well on the Standard. John Key is securing jobs and investment in NZ and still they hate the Hobbits here. Sad but utterly predictable

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        No, what John Key is doing is giving away our wealth to the already rich for basically nothing.

      • North 9.2.2

        Your article of faith Fizzy (because SlimeBall says it) but not much else.

      • Tracey 9.2.3

        Are you serious??? You still don’t understand that the Hobbit was NEVER in danger of being moved from NZ, that was a lie. Proven. What happened was an existing movie company with a movie already committed here got it’s profit increased by us.

        IF we are going into the business of subsidising businesses why on earth would we subsidise a business whose huge profit is taken overseas and cannot be taxed here? Surely there are other industry equally or more deserving of our subsidies?

        Which jobs has he secured? Cameron is going to take Avatar 2 away from NZ unless he can make a bigger profit by us subsidising him further.

        You do understand the Hobbits aren’t real don;t you Fisiani? Not unlike your untouchable PM.

      • Tracey 9.2.4

        Bungling under your PM’s watch, or with his his knowledge has turned a probable criminal into a folk hero. How does that sit amongst the Nat supporters law and order “eye for an eye” policy??? Explained away because it’s the PM?

        Given the vitriolic outpouring of Nat supporters when Ms Clark signed a painting she didnt paint for charity, it seems weird to note no Nats calling for the PM’s head for being found in botch up after botch up and at best an appalling memory of important issues throughout his life and tenure as PM.

        I sense misogyny.

      • tc 9.2.5

        come on folks..don’t feed the troll.

  10. captain hook 10

    dont forget the casting couch!

  11. deuto 11

    Sorry if I am duplicating anyone else providing this link, but have not had time today to read TS extensively.

    Just checked out TV3 news/Campbell Live on the net and watched this video re Johnny goes to Hollywood and was heartened that they are going to be doing a piece later this week on the implications/relations to Kim Dotcom etc.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-NZ-film-industry-post-Hobbit/tabid/817/articleID/271934/Default.aspx

    Not exactly a fall over Key video, and will be interested to see their fuller take later in the week.

    The story that just keeps on giving.

    • karol 11.1

      Yes, I saw that last night, deuto.  It sounds like CL is going to try to join up the dots between Hollywood, Key and Dotcom.

  12. If only people would have a go at NZonair for spending tens of millions for NZ music artists to have their whole career publicity funded, instead of movies that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to our country.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      We’re being ripped off mate, subsidising a half billionaire (Peter Jackson) and his multi-billion dollar Hollywood studio mates.

      Is this what you are into? Corporate welfare for rich but disloyal NZers who threaten to walk away from the country at the drop of a hat?

      • tc 12.1.1

        Right on…how would Vincent Ward get on fronting NZOnAir with a solid concept and his track record…3 guesses anybody.

  13. captain hook 13

    the hobbitt is basically claptrap for intellectually impoverished saps who cant read a book.
    you know the ones that go gangbusters for cucumber sandwiches.
    as for nz movies that is an oxymoron.
    In my opinion the best nz film is NGATI but you cant even get it on amazon.
    as for the rest you should say a prayer for chilean miners who put their lives on the line every day mining silver so that the idiots here can tell their pathetic little stores that really aint worth shit.

  14. karol 14

    Jane Kelsey’s article in the NZ Herald today, spells out what is behind Key’s trip to Hollywood – and it’s all about the TPPA, and intellectual copyright.  It provides more explanation of some of the points she made on The Nation at the weekend.  Hollywood and the music industry provide powerful lobbies to further their interests, especially in relation to digital technologies and the internet.
     

    One target is a ban on parallel importing of books and DVDs….
     
    The monopoly copyright term would be extended from the current life of the creator plus 50 years to over 100 years, further increasing costs.
     
    Perhaps the most stifling proposal in terms of innovation targets the internet, which operates as a giant copying machine. New rules would control temporary electronic copies that move information from point to point, effectively installing tollbooths along the electronic highway.
     
    Internet Service Providers would be required to police the internet, identifying and cutting off infringers and sending their names to the industry. Many current privacy safeguards would disappear….
     
    This is too high a price for the jobs and publicity that subsidised mega-productions bring to New Zealand and would stifle the growing local industry. Hollywood even opposes a weakly worded cultural exception in New Zealand’s trade agreements that allows support for creative arts of national value, including film and creative on-line content.

     

    • tc 14.1

      Yup nothing like a compliant teapot outpost with one of our own Merryl Lynch cowboys at the helm…yee hah!

  15. captain hook 15

    They have just passed a bill under urgency.
    if you dont like the hobbit then you can be prosecuted under the un-newzealand activities bill!

  16. central scutinizer 16

    And Jane Kelsey says something similar:

    What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

    firstly hollywould should close down Googles youtube. Hold on Google might have more money and bigger friends in congress. But for one to get around censure-ship. Try proxy servers. Fucks hollywould and the RIAA every time.

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    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville
    Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville Internet Party Leader Laila Harré will stand in John Key’s Helensville electorate because “the Prime Minister has some explaining to do”. Ms Harré wants to debate Mr Key at candidate meetings in his own...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist
    West Papua Action Auckland is shocked that that Ministers Coleman and Tolley have decided against giving even a brief time to meet with visiting Papuan journalist Victor Mambor (Chair of the Papua Chapter of the Association of Independent Journalists...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Cliff Curtis Apolitical
    While I respect my cousin Annette Sykes commitment in engaging in the political process, I do not endorse or support any political party. I respect all candidates who make the commitment to stand for political office. It requires and takes...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • National getting students into science
    National Party Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop today supported the government’s launch of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, a programme to boost community involvement in the science sector....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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