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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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  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Wild West culture a result of gung-ho government
    Successive employment law changes over the last six years that have taken away work rights have led to a Wild West employer culture in many workplaces, Labour’s workplace relations spokesperson Andrew Little says. A government audit of 23 Christchurch building...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Dr. Kennedy Graham’s speaks in the 2014 Ministerial Statement –...
    I have listened closely to the Prime Minister's statement this morning and to this debate over New Zealand's engagement towards the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In my contribution I want to focus on the broader aspect...
    Greens | 05-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • There’s a better way of discouraging would-be jihadists
    The Prime Minister claims there is a growing threat from New Zealanders attracted to Islamic State and he wants to increase state powers to watch such people and take away their passports. I believe there is a better way to...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Nationwide Day of Protest Captures Public Attention on TPPA
    . . NZ, Wellington, 8 November 2014 – Wellington basked in a beautiful summers’ day with nary a breeze and only a few clouds in a clear, blue sky. The sort of summer day that we keenly await after months...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Judge joins calls for tourist driver tests
    A district court judge has joined the growing number of professionals calling for tourist driving tests....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU congratulates new Labour leader
    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union congratulates Andrew Little on his election as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. “I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” says Bill Newson,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • WHO Highlights Devastating Global Impact of Drowning
    The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 372,000 lives are lost each year to drowning. Safekids Aotearoa, as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, has joined the worldwide effort to focus more attention...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPA must refuse phosphate mining application
    Text of the Press Release issued by KASM (Kiwis against Seabed Mining), Greenpeace and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition on 17 November 2014: “EPA must refuse phosphate mining application” The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency should refuse...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Compulsory smoke alarms needed in rental accommodation
    The tragic deaths of three young people during a house fire in Hamilton, hot on the heels of a 3 year old dying in a house fire the previous week, point directly to the need for compulsory smoke alarms in...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • CAA fines Minister for security breach
    The Civil Aviation Authority has completed its investigation into an alleged security breach at Christchurch International Airport by then Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and two aides on 24 July, 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Pacific climate funding must prioritise the poor
    Caritas supports the government’s prioritising of the Pacific for direct climate change related funding, rather than making a major contribution to the global Green Climate Fund....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
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