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In other news, selling NZ: TPP, Hobbit rulz …

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, November 20th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, copyright, film, internet, john key, tourism, trade, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

It looks like while many of us on the Left are focused on a struggle for the political direction of NZ, John Key is steaming ahead in selling NZ.  Today he is acting as wing-man to Obama, to ensure the success of the TPP in the Asia-Pacific region.  Meanwhile, the impact of the “Hobbit Law” (selling NZ workers to Warners) is taking a heavy toll on many NZ actors.  And it seems the tax payer-supported Hobbit production has also been taking a toll on animals.

John Key claims that NZ will benefit from the TPP.  However, the way Key is linking up with Obama to extend the TPP into Asian terrritory suggests otherwise.

Prime Minister John Key will team up with United States President Barack Obama in Cambodia on Tuesday morning in a push to seal a major trade deal with Asian leaders. …

The meeting,  … – will see Mr Obama launch discussions with the United States’ vision for the deal, with intellectual property regulation a major sticking point.

The main problem with TPP is that it enables multinational (largely US-based) corporates to over-ride NZ laws and interests for their own profits.  This includes intellectual property laws, which, in the TPP, has strong links to the Hollywood, media and communications industries.  I’ve posted before about Key’s efforts to sell NZ to Hollywood, in a deal to give US interests control over promoting tourism in NZ (here and here).

In an earlier post, recapping the Hobbit dispute, I outlined the linkage between Key’s sucking up to Hollywood and the TPP, with reference to a link to Jane Kelsey’s press release. She said:

“The entertainment industry is the principal driver of US demands for radical new intellectual property protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, currently under negotiation,” Jane Kelsey said. …

Hollywood is driving the US push for unprecedented extensions to intellectual property rights, carrying with them the further criminalization for breaches and massive cost increases for everyday Internet users. It also wants a ban on parallel imports.

In my post recapping the Hollywood dispute, I argued that,

Both the government and Jackson manipulated the dispute and its coverage in the MSM to their advantage.

Key and Jackson did this by undermining the actors’ union’s campaign for better pay and conditions working on international productions. I quoted Nigel Haworth (2011) who said

Thus, analytically, the New Zealand state simultaneously conceded, financially and legislatively, to the global film sector whilst taking the opportunity to further its ER liberalisation and attack the domestic trade union movement.

Today Tom Hunt and Paul Easton report how NZ actor’s have been suffering as a result of the “Hobbit Law”; a law that was pushed through parliament to please Warner Brothers.

Since the infamous actors’ dispute over terms and conditions on The Hobbit, some Kiwi actors have had to endure on-set conditions that include sharing coloured prop contact lenses, their union says.

Phil Darkins, of Actors’ Equity, told a conference in Wellington yesterday he had also heard of actors being verbally abused, denied shelter, and not being offered blankets or warm drinks after long shoots in the water.

Those who spoke out would not get further work, he said.

Also today, PETA claims animals have been harshly treated in the making of The Hobbit.  A claim Sir Peter Jackson rejects.

So, remember, John Key has not stopped in his endless drive to sell NZ to overseas governments and big business interests.  It’s not only that Key is being Obama’s wing-man in negotiating the TPP in the Asia Pacific region.  His government is juggling the TPP with an Asean based trade agreement-in-the-making: the RECP, as I posted about here.

57 comments on “In other news, selling NZ: TPP, Hobbit rulz …”

  1. maffoo 1

    I would support any party that promised to withdraw from TPPA negotiations, regrdless of any other policy. Yes it is that serious.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    Key continues to gamble, as ever. These are major stakes. He risks becoming neatly wedged right between American and Chinese interests. As he only “thinks” short-term, he will be counting on playing a two-way game, without concern for alienating one side or the other in the longer term.
    Should his passion for all things American prevail, he will eventually alienate China to our great cost (e.g. bye-bye free trade deal!)

    • muzza 2.1

      To me it looks like a rigged game of chicken..

      Talk of US/Chinese interests is mising the point, there are simply “interests”, and they happen to be the same thing!

      Notice the ever expanding list of entries, this is about making a play to form the EU of ASIA!

  3. Wayne 3

    I know the Left commentatators on this site are oppossed to TPP (but not David Shearer, or for that matter David Cunliffe), and many of you are oppossed to all free trade agreements. However, I would have thought it would be a considerable success for NZ, if John Key can work with President Obama to get TPP across the line. If John Key really is that essential for TPP, that will be a huge boost for NZ’s profile in the Asia/Pacific.

    The fact that newly re-elected President Obama has made TPP such a priority so soon after the election shows the US committment to getting a deal done. It will give much greater substance to the Pacific Pivot, breaking it out of purely security concerns.

    You need to look at the gains for NZ if TPP succeeds. The US market will be open for NZ’s argriculture, especially in dairy products. That is huge, with benefits right through the economy.

    I would guarantee that Labour will support TPP, as much for the strategic relatioship issues as anything else. If Labour was in Govt when it is ratified, I am sure they would come to the Nats to get the legisalation through the House, assuming that the Greens would be oppossed. And in that event the Greens will stay in Govt rather than bring down a Labour/Green Govt.

    • maffoo 3.1

      We will get nothing. US interests will never allow NZ agricultural products into the US, & they are heavily subsidized anyway. All that will happen is we will get sued left right & center every time we try & implement any policy that threatens the profitability of US corporates.
      We also lose sovereinty as we can be sued in courts that have no connection to any country, more a kangaroo court made up of lawyers & CEO’s.
      Anyone who thinks we will ‘win’ under this agreement is delusional.

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        Obama needs to swing the Republican controlled house of congress, so of course he wants to put as many levers on the table to negotiate over and win a legacy for himself. NZ, where’s that he will say.

    • muzza 3.2

      You need to look at the gains for NZ if TPP succeeds. The US market will be open for NZ’s argriculture, especially in dairy products. That is huge, with benefits right through the economy.

      Hi Wayne, are you aware of how the UA agribusiness operates, the power it has, and the protection it receives.

      You are being foolish if you see the US market being opened to NZ! This is about foreign ownership, plain and simple.

      Fools are blinded by rehetoric, please do some reading!

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        Well, I know the Left view very well. I know Jane Kelsey’s views, and have read all her material, plus others with similiar views. I disagree with her. She was also oppossed to the China FTA and CER, plus any other free trade agreement you can think of.

        Those of us not of the Left have a different view on the importance of free trade agreements. Many of us have done huge amounts of reading in the area. You might just as well tell Tim Groser to read more; he has and has a diffrent view to you.

        In any event I note no one has commented on the position of Labour on this, which was really the point of my comment.

        At least I note Rosy could see the value to NZ if the deal can be largely done here in Dec, though I know she will be opposed. But all FTA’s involve both sides giving a bit, but also gaining something of even greater value.

        Those of us who beleive in free trade see the overall reduction of tarriffs and quotas that occures in all members of an FTA as a net benefit to the economy.

        • muzza 3.2.1.1

          Those of us who beleive in free trade see the overall reduction of tarriffs and quotas that occures in all members of an FTA as a net benefit to the economy.

          Is that what you reckon will even out the playing field Wayne? You believe in free trade, LOL. I believe that the 40 year history of NZ, and globalisation since it came to be tells a very different story about which side of the debate has their pants down, which is scant help to those in NZ who are suffering the effects of the lie that is free trade/globalisation!

          Feel free to explain how NZ as a country has benefitted from the various FTAs in place currently, and how it has assisted the actual position of NZ inc Wayne, and while you’re there go explain it to those in NZ who can no longer get jobs, which dont exist, which has in turn lead to massive poverty, and other social disasters!

          FYI – I am not from the left (and if you call Labour, left, you would be wrong) , and I certainly am not from the “free trade/globalist camp either, which is where you will find Tim Grosser, and anyone who thinks that TG knows what he’s doing, and/or supports his position.

          • Mike 3.2.1.1.1

            +1

            Smaller economies such as ours never EVER benefit from free trade agreements. The only thing we the NZ public or consumers get out of such things are cheap TV’s and the like (which is not really a benefit). Free trade and globalization is destroying our sovereignty.

            Decentralization = Evolution

        • lprent 3.2.1.2

          My post http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-conference-2012-policy-remits/

          Passed: Remit 35: Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
          THAT in light of the Labour Party’s strong commitment to both the benefits of international trade and New Zealand’s national sovereignty, and recognising the far-reaching implications for domestic policy of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, in which trade is only a small part, Labour will support signing such an agreement only if it which:
          a) Provides substantially increased access for our agriculture exports to the US market;
          b) Does not undermine PHARMAC, raise the cost of medical treatments and medicines or threaten public health measures such as tobacco control;
          c) Does not give overseas investors or suppliers any greater rights than domestic investors and suppliers, such as Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or reduce our ability to control overseas investment or finance;
          d) Does not expand intellectual property rights and enforcement in excess of current law;
          e) Does not weaken our public services, require privatisation, hinder reversal of privatisations, or increase the commercialisation of government organisations;
          f) Does not reduce our flexibility to support local economic and industry development and encourage good employment and environmental practices;
          g) Contains enforceable labour clauses requiring adherence to core International Labour Organisation conventions and preventing reduction of labour rights for trade or investment advantage;
          h) Contains enforceable environmental clauses preventing reduction of environmental standards for trade or investment advantage;

          There is an amendment by Phil Goff to “Labour will support signing such an agreement only if it which“. The rationale is that it is a negotiation, getting 90% and then being unable to do it because of absolute adherence to this list would be daft. I think that he is right to insert that amendment. The TPPA agreement is pretty problematic in my view – but that is because of the current information of the US stance. This appears to be the stance of the most of the unionists which is interesting.

          The lack of information on the TPPA is the real issue.

          That is now the policy of the NZLP (and that “which” still makes no sense to me).

          My view. I like free trade agreements. I approved of both CER and the Chinese FTA when they came up because we were given pretty full info during the process of those agreements proceeding. You can quibble about parts of each, but as a whole they were beneficial to us all.

          What I don’t like about the TPPA is how secretive the development has been, and obviously what has been released so far isn’t exactly settling to the mind of someone who works in the IT sector. The idea of in effect destroying the local tech industries by introducing the damn silly US patent laws on software in exchange for indeterminate access for farm products is silly. There are other markets for farm produce that won’t carry such awkward trade offs and we can carry on growing our tech exports which actually employ a lot more people for the capital employed.

          I gather the secrecy is meant to continue until ratification and for some parts of any agreement for some time afterwards.

          In NZ such agreements are not subject to parliamentary review and therefore the select committee process except where legislation changes are concerned. Since much of what it will affect can be done with regulation then potentially it will effectively be a quiet imposition without consultation. And reading about the “consultation” in the US makes my skin crawl.

          Basically as far as I can see we’re being asked to take a great deal on trust of the MFAT and the suspicion is that it will be completely skewed towards the interests of corporates rather than the interests of most of NZ businesses and workers.

          • Macro 3.2.1.2.1

            There are no benefits for workers from international trade deals as evidenced by the continual export of jobs since NZ freed up imports and opened up our borders in the mid ’80s. The current exporting of manufacturing jobs to China is a sad case in point. It is a foolhardy not to say naive position to take to continue to support ANY ‘free trade” agreement, if we have the interests of NZ workers are heart. Labour are as much at fault in this ideological stance as National and will never get my vote whilst they maintain this position of selling off employment for NZers overseas.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2.2

            Labour will support signing such an agreement which:

            Hmmmmm…Conference passed an amendement which strikes out the “only if”, and replaces it with “which”. IE it weakens the remit somewhat, but Goff made a good case to say that it gave the NZ negotiating team more to use at the table.

        • Rosie 3.2.1.3

          Hi Wayne.

          You say “all FTA’s involve both sides giving a bit, but also gaining something of even greater value”. How does this pan out for the worlds workers and the worlds consumers?

          How does reducing tarriffs benefit NZ’s already gravely threatened manufacturing sector? How do FTA’s protect our workers jobs when we outsource our manufacturing to sweat shops in Honduras, China, Chile, Pakistan, Argentina and many more? How do you and I as consumers feel when we have no choice left but to purchase items made in factories where we know human rights abuses and deaths are occuring as part of the normal operational procedures of that business? How are indigenous environments protected when exemptions are given to multi nationals, who can pollute and contaminate the land and waterways that people are reliant on for a food source? Under FTA’s the only winners are global business giants. All else lose and its a huge price to pay.

          • Wayne 3.2.1.3.1

            Rosy, In NZ we virtually have no tarriffs on manufactures, so we dont give up much there, certainly not enough to make any difference to NZ manufacturers.

            Look in any shop – full of Chinese, Indonesian, and other Asean nations goods, and we all buy them. All those nations have gained huge prosperity precisely because markets are essentially open to manufactured goods.

            Free Trade agreements are now more about services and agriculture, and different nations have different interests.

            That is why the NZ debate is all about Pharmac, and intellectual property rights. The US wants more protection for IP in movies, sorftware etc, and better access to the pharmacuetical market. That is their big issue in TPP. A competive market should in theory lower costs in pharmacueticals

            We want access for our agriculture – notwithstanding the skeptics. If tarriffs and quotas were much lower on dairy products, Fonterra would definitely sell more product in the US. Food manufacturers would get cheaper ingredients, and supermarket chains would buy cheaper cheese, butter and infant formula than they would get from US suppliers. There is simply no monoply control in the food industry.

            So clearly the US is going to get something out of TPP, just as we expect to. No point in having a negotiation unless all states each get something they want.

            • karol 3.2.1.3.1.1

              Wayne, to me yours all looks like the view from big business.  Don’t know about the “theory”, but in practice, ordinary Kiwis have a lot to lose, e.g. if US pharmaceutical companies over-ride Pharmac – higher costs, less access to important drugs.

              And the Hobbit case shows how workers will lose out. Rosie’s view, is from that of ordinary workers and other Kiwis.

              And just “improving the economy” depends on what aspects you consider, and whether it takes into account the lives and well-being of ordinary people.

              • Rosie

                Hi Karol,

                As an aside, thanks for posting this article and the Palestine/Israel article. It’s been a whirl of Labour party conference/leadership news and big ups to all the authors who covered it. Special mention to QOT who gave us the lolz.

                • karol

                  Thanks, Rosie.  It’s a turbulent time for the Left in NZ, so I also am glad for the coverage of the conference/leadership issues by other authors.

            • rosy 3.2.1.3.1.2

              I agree with your assessment of what the US wants from New Zealand. The Dotcom saga is integral to the IP debate. As for “A competitive market should in theory lower costs in pharmaceuticals”

              That’s the thing about theories – they need to be proven. Check exhibit 7, page 7 in this document from the Comonwealth Fund as an example of what is at stake here. The US pays more for the 30 most commonly prescribed drugs than countries with more regulated health systems. New Zealand pays the least by quite some margin, which is why the position of Pharmac is so heavily debated, along with IP.

              • aerobubble

                But? Capitalism distorts, after it meets basic needs (and even then). So take any product and you’ll find that if you buy the generic, say lawn mower, it will rust, or handles will wear out faster, than the expensive one. You pays peanuts. Essential this is wrong since building a cheap and nasty lawn mower takes energy and resources, and there is no means to punish the manufacture who cheapens the end product. Same goes for medicines, the more minor aliments that aren’t life threatening, but cause detriment to ones ability to live a full life, the more incentive it is to create them in our medical system. Distort and profiteer. Free trade without regulation, or harder to regulate as products are internationalized, actively creates more opportunity for distortion.
                And trade agreements that allow businesses to sue sfor adverse regulation are fool hardy at best, and just create monopolies for distortion rackets. Look I not against free trade, I’m just against castrating capitalism by leaving the market place to openly uncompetitive behaviors. Its a myth that you can have a free market through government non-involvement, its like sayong one side of a contract has to be silent and take everything however adverse. Government represent a group of people who like an investor in a business, has rights to their common protection, form other states, and also global corporations..

            • Rosie 3.2.1.3.1.3

              Hi Wayne,
              (Theres Rosy and Rosie here BTW:-) )
              Every day for the last few years I have woken up to an inbox full of news from labour rights and environmental rights campaigners. Its not good news. These news bulletins are from NGO’s who work directly with communities and worksites who have in some way been affected by their loss of power in controlling their own destinies and their ability to produce their own food. In the majority of those cases the cause of their disempowerment and susequent loss of well being is due to the influence of a multi national. Sometimes there doesn’t even need to be a FTA in place for this to happen due to an ineffective government but often it is, especially in the cases of NAFTA countries.

              If you want I can dig out these examples if you’re interested. I guess Shell Oil in Nigeria is the most common example of win/lose “trade”. (Actually the Nigerian govt is currently considering fining Shell an unprecendented 5 billion for environmental damages.)

              I do understand the TPPA has a different set of issues clouding the negotiations, as you rightly point out: Pharmac, internet acess and freedom etc but the mechanisms of power vs powerlessness underlie the TPPA too.

              In regard to your comment about how our shops are already full of imported goods from Asean countries and we all buy them. Does that make it ok to support sweat shop manufacturing just because we can and we’re too lazy to consider the implications of our purchasing decisions? With a little bit of effort you can chose to shop in a more ethical way, although sometimes it can’t be avoided, due to our dwindling choices. Geez, with a little bit of effort we could bring back manufacturing to NZ so we can support our own workers and support our own economy. You say those aforementioned nations have gained huge prosperity. But for who? Newsflash, profit sharing isn’t one of the perks on the job at the FoxxConn factory. The average worker in many of these countries live in absolute poverty and do dangerous work.

              In regard to ganing greater access to markets for Fonterra: Isn’t it a bit simplistic to assume that this must be good? What price to our environment due to the intensification of industrial farming? We have a population of 6 million dairy cows and already we have loss of wetland habitats due to pollution. What price to the NZ consumer who is forced to pay global prices for their dairy products already? What price to the US dairy farmer who loses his /her livlihood due to imports they can’t compete with?
              For trade to be good it has to be sustainable and it has to benefit all which leaves me at your final point “No point in having a negotiation unless all states get something they want”. Our one sided and unsustainable approach to trade has depleted the worlds natural resources and impoverished communities.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.3.1.4

              Look in any shop – full of Chinese, Indonesian, and other Asean nations goods, and we all buy them. All those nations have gained huge prosperity precisely because markets are essentially open to manufactured goods.

              And we got all those goods by having more poverty and less development here in NZ.

              Any and all FTAs come with far too high a cost.

              • OneTrack

                I don’t see where you are going with this. Are you saying we should cancel the FTAs with China and Australia and stop exporting to them? Nek minnit, conomy collapses.

                • KJT

                  And China would not have bought from us without an FTA. Dream on!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Don’t need FTAs to trade. Calling FTAs a trade agreement is tantamount to lying as their more properly called free-capitalism agreements. They have very little to do with trade and a hell of a lot to do with capitalists being able to move money in and out of a country at will and being able to buy up that countries assets allowing them an even higher rate of capital accumulation.

        • Bill 3.2.1.4

          But all FTA’s involve both sides giving a bit, but also gaining something of even greater value.

          Erm. How does that work out? One side – the weaker economic ‘partner’ – will be pressured to ‘give up’ far more than the stronger economic ‘partner’ is willing to ‘give up’. And so the stronger economic ‘partner’ will gain and the weaker will lose.

          That’s the way mercantilism/classical/neo-classical/neo-liberal/free trade (call it what you will) dealing has always worked

          Or am I missing something?

          I mean, I accept that people in NZ won’t have to ‘give up’ their thumbs as the Indian cotton weavers had to do in return for the ‘privilege’ of exporting raw materials to Paisley, Manchester etc when the British thought free-trade was just a fine idea. But y’know?

        • rosy 3.2.1.5

          “At least I note Rosy could see the value to NZ if the deal can be largely done here in Dec”

          Sorry Wayne, I should have put a /sarc tag on the ‘what a coup’ line. Key will think it’s a coup to announce an agreement in Auckland. The distraction from all the incompetence of his ministers and the Dotcom saga will be a bonus for him. My concern is we, the public, have no idea until he announces an agreement, what we are conceding. I suggest he knows already. So the value I see is for Key, not for New Zealand.

          • Wayne 3.2.1.5.1

            Rosy,

            I did realise you were being a bit sarcastic. But it will be a big foreign relations “coup” if the deal could be done here, not just for John Key, but for NZ. If we can be seen to be a broker of of a major free trade agreement in the Asia Paific (think of the number of nations involved) then we will gain influence on other Asia Pacific issues – disarmament, environment, security etc. Mind you completing TPP is likely take more than the December meeting.

            The Asia Pacific has a whole of things of going on at the moment, especially with the growing competition between China and the US. If we can be seen to facilitate solutions to the things that are driving that competition, that will be to NZ’s benefit, no matter who is the Govt.

            ASEAN is playing this role at the moment. They have facilitated most of the forums which bring the whole region together. But we could take a more active role.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.5.2

            My concern is we, the public, have no idea until he announces an agreement, what we are conceding.

            We won’t even know then as it will be years before some of the agreement is made public. The TPPA process is totally undemocratic and the reason for can only be that the multi-national corporations and the politicians know damn well that the people won’t agree to the terms and condition within it.

    • prism 3.3

      Wayne
      “You need to look at the gains for NZ if TPP succeeds. The US market will be open for NZ’s argriculture, especially in dairy products. That is huge, with benefits right through the economy”

      In your dreams

    • ropata 3.4

      TPPA is a vote winner for the property owning middle class and capital gains farmers. Selling off NZ land piece by piece for a few pieces of silver and a comfortable retirement

      Disgusting

  4. rosy 4

    It’s starting to look like Key already knows which bits NZ is going to have to “give a little bit on”. Jane Kelsey was certainly correct on the importance of the October Hollywood trip in that regard.

    I’m thinking he’s beginning on the softening up process for the NZ public while finalising details for the NZ leg of the negotiations in December – what a coup if he gets some agreement that can be publicised then. The opposition needs to mobilise, it would be good to learn what’s being given away beforehand. Oh for transparency!

  5. prism 5

    Key is amusing in that he says that he sees no conflict between the TPP and the Asian agreement now under way. What a tur-key! If only we had a system where MPs and especially PMs had to make some reasonable financial contribution after bringing in a policy that proved not to be in the country’s advantage.

  6. vto 6

    Well if Key is an Obamaite then he should listen to what Obama said today about the importance of extending democracy and giving people the vote, because Key has done nothing but the opposite to that. Key has stripped me of my vote in Canterbury, the c&@t.

  7. ianmac 7

    “…with intellectual property regulation a major sticking point.”
    Wonder if that means that Warner Brothers will not need extradition rights for folk such as Dotcom. Under the agreement will they just sue at anything that moves regardless of NZ Law?

  8. David H 8

    The only winner here will be Key, he will get his pic taken with Obama and have his name in the paper as well. More crap for his scrapbook entitled How I sold NZ down the river.

    Anything for a photo op with famous people what a tosser.

  9. Daveosaurus 9

    PETA claims animals have been harshly treated in the making of The Hobbit

    Before anyone gets too excited about this, they should pause and reflect on the fact that PETA has a reputation, in comparison with which Peter Jackson is honest and Sea Shepherd are moderate.

  10. millsy 10

    “…sharing coloured prop contact lenses….”

    That’s a health and safety issue and would be unacceptable in any workplace.

    I felt that the actors were quite reasonable in their ‘demands’, and Jackson’s overreaction, along with the government’s snatching of the rights of workers in the film industry, turned me off The Hobbit. Ill probably download it in a few months, but no way I plan to fork out $10.50 and see it in the theatre. I really cannot get excited about them like I got excited about LOTR, I think those in the film industry (which is not known for its gold plated wages and conditions — the fact that there are thousands of people who are fooled by the glamour and reckon they would work for nothing, is used as a weapon).

    I kinda get the feeling that the general excitement that was around when LOTR was released is not there this time round. The people in my circle are more excited about series 3 of ‘Game of Thrones’ due to come out next March/April.

    • KJT 10.1

      Same here. I am not paying to go to any Peter Jackson Movies.

      I suspect many people will be quietly boycotting them.

      Expecting our support for Union bashers is too much.

      • millsy 10.1.1

        And other thing: I cringe to know that Wellington City Council is spending over a million dollars on the red carpet opening. At the same time looking to cut services such as parks and libaries, and outsourcing task to find money to meet leaky home liabilities and eathquake strengthening.

        • vto 10.1.1.1

          “And other thing: I cringe to know that Wellington City Council is spending over a million dollars on the red carpet opening”

          What?

          Yet another example of the free market and private enterprise being unable to look after itself? $%##@8 (*6 &&%#$ !!!

          Don’t mind if it is willingly acknowledged that assistance is needed but ffs, this sort of stuff? Why bother with civilisation? It is just a full-on grabfest.

          Grab it grab it grab it. Get what you can. Mortgage it, derivatise it, take it, delete democracy to get it, sink the jackboots in, just take what you can get ….

          In the amazing words of ex-all black captain David Kirk “you only get in this world what you can take”

          endeth

    • Mike 10.2

      Totally agree. In fact I think that the hobbit movies might turn out to be shite and have heard from some sources that the script is rubbish. While I didn’t work on the Hobbit, I do work in the industry and know plenty of people who worked on Hobbit both in front of and behind the camera. They have pretty much all told me the same sorts of things:

      It was one of the worst productions they’ve ever worked on. There was absolutely no sense of fun involved in the shooting. There was no moral at all within the crew and people were constantly fearful for their jobs. So much so that there was an unprecedented level of “setting other crew members up” to help solidify your position. The pay and conditions were way below par, (some crew and performers got much higher daily pay on a recently finished American production filmed in Auckland than they did on Hobbit.) There were massive technical mistakes made in the actual shooting which had to be rectified and no doubt cost huge sums. Sometimes on a scheduled shoot day, nothing at all would be shot due to P Jackson being a perfectionist to a damaging level and apparently, P Jackson has turned into a complete up himself a’hole now he is a major player in Hollywood.

      This is all second hand info so I can’t verify it, but similar subjects seemed to be brought up by many different people.

      But sorry Millsy, I have to disagree on Game of Thrones. I quite enjoyed season 1 but thought season 2 was crap. If season 3 is anything like book 3 it will be downright painful!

      What do you think of Spartacus, filmed here in Auckland? Even aside from the graphic violence and sex, it is an awesome show in terms of character conflict and drama as well as being beautifully shot. Blood and Sand (season 1) was absolutely outstanding and if you haven’t seen it you should.

      • millsy 10.2.1

        Never seen Spartacus, but have heard about it – Personally its good to have historical dramas that show life in that particular period as it most likely was – no rose tinted glasses.

      • karol 10.2.2

        Thanks, Mike, for that report.  It seems to confirm the reports I linked to in the post.  It’s depressing.

        I have been watching Game of Thrones on Prime.  I like the story line about the outcasts on the Night’s Watch, and the Tomboy character.  The rest seems quite macho stuff. i’m kind of fascinated by the dragon princess storyline – but the “savage” tribe was such a negative stereotype.

        I have seen some of Spartacus.  It’s well done and generally does have a good story -sex and violence is a bit gratuitous & aimed at attracting an audience. 

        • millsy 10.2.2.1

          The Dorthrakians (sp?) seem to be modelled on the Central Asian/Mongolian tribes, the Lannister family modelled on English aristocracy during the Medieval era, the city of King’s Landing modelled on a Meditaraniean city-state, and Winterfell reminds me of Scotland – while the Night’s Watch seem to have a Scandanivan feel about it.

  11. If the SPCA came out and said animals were hurt during filming , I would listen. But since its PETA, it cannot be taken seriously.

    I also think kiwi extras/ actor have done pretty well because of Peter Jackson, if it wasnt for him, they would be struggling to be in a countdown food commercial with that annoying family, who think they’re clever.

    • millsy 11.1

      Personally I dont find the the industry to be too attractive in terms of wages and conditions, Jackson or not. And I would rather work in a TV commercial than in a film production — the ‘Hobbit Law’ specifically excluded workers in TV.

    • Mike 11.2

      They would be getting paid more to do the countdown commercial than they got on Hobbit. In fact many extras worked for free on Hobbit.

      Kiwi extras / actors have been sold down the road by Jackson to American corporations. Kiwi extras / actors have done pretty well because of guys like Rob Tapert who has been making TV shows here employing thousands of people for over 15 years. His shows always pay extras more than any others produced here. The wage bill alone for Spartacus was over 90 million dollars in 3 seasons. You don’t hear extras and crew talking about how bad their experience was on his shows like you do about Hobbit even though the budget on Hobbit is so massive.

  12. karol 12

    When I was out driving earlier, I heard a report on Checkpoint, about an RNZ journalist being refused entry to the Hobbit premiere.  Apparently it’s because she has done too many negative stories on The Hobbit.  She was told that other journalist had been refused entry, too.  But she couldn’t find any NZ journos who had been rejected.

     

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    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • 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
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 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
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