web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Key’s announcement

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 pm, October 27th, 2010 - 178 comments
Categories: business, film, john key, Media - Tags: , ,

John Key will be making announcement on The Hobbit this evening, with a press conference due to be held at 7.20pm.

Will update this post after the announcement.

Make your predictions!

Here’s my prediction. Key will roll over and sell New Zealand’s employment law for thirty pieces of silver. He will have moved on tax breaks too, something moderate, enough to feed a significant quantity of taxpayer’s money to the studios, but he’ll be allowed to save some face. The Hobbit will stay in NZ.

Here’s my conclusion. Key has been played like a cheap violin. He piled in against Kiwi workers right from the start. The studios saw we had a muppet for a PM, and saw how easy it would be to exploit him to score a cheap few million. So they did.

And as folk have been saying in the comments:

Where was the public outrage, to keep Skellerup, Firestone, Fisher and Paykel, boat building, coastal shipping, rail way and marine engineering, shoe making and all the other industries, as successive Governments did their best to remove employment and productive business from NZ.

Where indeed?

Update: RNZ reports that the movies will stay in NZ, and the Nats have sold our employment law (overriding the courts) to “clarify” the distinction between an employee and a contractor in the film industry.

Key has also agreed, on our behalf, to a US$7.5 Million dollar per movie tax rebate, and to pay for a US$10 Million advertising campaign in the US, a totalcost of US$25 Million. This adds to the existing US$60 Million tax rebate.

IrishBill: just a quick note on the contractor change – the union took the action despite nearly every one of its members being an independent contractor. While this is arse for film industry employees (the few there are) it doesn’t really change a thing in law in relation to the Hobbit. In short it’s a meaningless distraction from the real issue of tax cuts.

178 comments on “Key’s announcement”

  1. Zorr 1

    “WB made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I prostrate NZ for them and they promise to be gentle.”

  2. Too easy.

    Hobbit stays, more dough for Warners and urgent legislation cutting back rights of workers.

    Who would have guessed?

    Stand by for wingnut onslaught, after all it is the fault of the trade union movement …

  3. “They said it was a choice of their ring or mine, and mine is more relaxed”.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    ding ding ding…

    herald sez, emph mine…

    Filming of The Hobbit will stay in New Zealand after an agreement was reached between the Government and studio executives at a crisis meeting today.

    The major sticking point during negotiations appeared to be what financial incentives the Government could offer Warner Bros to keep the $670 million production here.

    The studio had also been worried about ambiguities in New Zealand employment law and the threat of disruption due to union action

    Geez. hoocoodanode?

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Fantastic to see John Key burning our money! More! More! More!

      • jacinda 4.1.1

        Dick – 670 mil is getting spent here.

        You obviously failed math. Thats why I get paid more than you.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          You have got to be kidding jacinda.

          Tell me, out of this $670M, how much do you think the wages budget going to NZ actors and extras is going to be compared to the international promotions budget spend on TV ads globally going to Rupert Murdoch and the like?

          Do you think that NZ actors and extras are even going to get a piddly $50M out of this $670M in total?

          • Pascal 4.1.1.1.1

            Idiot. Will the food for the actors be flown in? How about accomodation? How about entertainment? How about all their expenses while here in New Zealand?

            Yeah. All the businesses that provide those services will benefit. Which means more jobs. and which means more tax income for New Zealand. That in turn leads to more money for benefits or whatever it is your leftist wet-dream is today.

            Then consider the tourism benefits. Do you recall the boom after Lord of the Rings and what it did for our tourism industry?

            I’m seriously starting to think you were dropped on your head.

            But hey – if you want to blame anybody for your panties being in a wad … blame the damn Unions and their idiocy. They are the ones that caused all of this.

            • felix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Your name is very similar to that of a regular commenter here. You may want to consider a new one to avoid confusion.

        • Puddleglum 4.1.1.2

          John Key appears to disagree with you jacinda. Listen to this interview on Morning Report yesterday to hear our PM say that we don’t get much out of the filming economically as the incentives essentially balance the gain. For Key, it’s simply good PR for NZ (it’s towards the final bit of the pre-recorded interview – once again, he didn’t want to front Morning Report live).

          So, according to JK, we see little, in effect, of your 670 mil. You might have better figures than he does though?

          • Puddleglum 4.1.1.2.1

            Oh, and I guess now with the extra ‘incentives’ we are nett losers in direct (i.e., remotely measurable and accountable) economic terms, according to Key.

        • Vicky32 4.1.1.3

          It’s maths, unless you’re an American – are you?
          Deb

      • Jim Nald 4.1.2

        “to KEEP the production here”
        Yeah, right.

  5. smhead 5

    My prediction is that John Key’s and national’s poll ratings have just gone up eight percent. Labour will be challenging National’s 2002 election result.

    He should be sending the bill for the extra subsidy to the CTU. If they and Actors Equity hadn’t got us into this mess we wouldn’t have to front up with more cash.

    • marsman 5.1

      No!!! Warners and Jackson manipulated an effort by actors,for fairer work conditions, to screw an extra $25 MILLION out of the NZ taxpayer.
      They should be paying us to film here,user pays remember?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        $25M? Nay my friend its more like NZ$34M.

        Seeing that Key slashed home help for the frail and elderly to save a fraction of that sum and then gifted these monies to the Hollywood corporates.

        The elderly of this country salute you, Sir Peter Jackson, and the Rt Hon John Key.

        Frak both of you.

  6. tsmithfield 7

    So, was this a bad deal for NZ?

    It seems to me that NZ will gain a lot more in the long run from the concessions that were made. Warners had to give quite a lot to the settlement as well (as should be the case in a good negotiation).

    • Well it is (a bad deal).

      The really interesting thing for me is why Warners have to be afraid about our employment law.

      I thought Jackson’s company was employing the workers. If there is a blow out in wages then he has to fund it. Warners could only be interested if Jackson fell over and there is not much chance of that.

      Played like a violin …

      • Inventory2 7.1.1

        Nice to see you’re as gracious as ever Micky

        Heh: Captcha = dealing; something that John Key seems to be pretty handy at!

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        So, how was it a bad deal Mickey? Other than for the employment law changes which I didn’t expect you would like? In the scheme of things the amount we had to cough up was peanuts. Also, from what Key was saying it seems like the extra 7.5m per movie is contingent on the success of the movies, so its not even a given that we will have to pay for that. As a contra for the extra incentives on offer we have an impressive marketing initiative for NZ from Warners including NZ promos on all DVD’s sold, and a premier here in NZ amongst other things.

        So, are you pleased to have the movie here or not? Or would you rather have paid nothing more and lost them?

        • J Mex 7.1.2.1

          So, are you pleased to have the movie here or not? Or would you rather have paid nothing more and lost them?

          It’s a very good question to ask (and one I don’t expect too many posters on here to answer).

          It is also important to note that it is seriously unlikely that NZ would have had to fork out any extra money if it wasn’t for the ham-fisted actions of the Union.

          • mickysavage 7.1.2.1.1

            If you repeat a lie often enough then swinging voters may believe it …

            • J Mex 7.1.2.1.1.1

              You guys keep trying then, Micky…

            • tsmithfield 7.1.2.1.1.2

              So, are you happy the movies are staying here or not Micky? And how would you have improved on the deal that has been done?

              • TS

                I am happy the movie is staying in New Zealand.

                I refuse to accept that AE’s actions or our Labour Laws caused the problem.

                I worry that New Zealand may now be for sale to the loudest multinational.

              • Pascal's bookie

                nah, it’s better to have it here than not. Point is the ‘industrial relations’ problem being ‘fixed’ wasn’t enough to swing it.

                It was always a pretext, otherwise the financials wouldn’t have been a ‘major sticking point’.

                Warners isn’t exactly robust and secure itself, and fan reaction to filming the hobbit outside nz would be horrific. Our position was always a lot stronger than many made out.

                Details still to come on the deal but the rnz report says this (emph mine)

                Mr Key confirmed the Government will widen the qualifying criteria for its Large Budget Screen Production Fund “to improve New Zealand’s competitiveness as a film destination for large budget films.”
                The Hobbit films will receive an extra tax rebate of $US7.5 million each, depending on box office takings, he said.

                so it’s an increased rebate on all productions?

                Good to see we ain’t picking winners eh righties? ;) Rand fans where art thou? Looters and moochers are afoot in the shire pillaging your taxes what they stolled.

                • tsmithfield

                  Pascal, that 7.5m is contingent on box office success. If it is successful, then the NZ promos on the DVDs and the world premier should return much more in tourist dollars than the money expended. If it is unsuccessful then we won’t have to pay out the 7.5m. I doubt we could get international marketing for as cheap as the deal we have struck, so it has to be good for the country.

                  I have no problem with this sort of subsidy being offered for other movies if it is tied to a similar marketing package for NZ.

                  I don’t see NZ as having rolled over on this at all. Everything we have given away has been matched by a contribution from Warners. It seems like a win-win to me.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Like I said though, details still to come. These movies are guaranteed box office diamonds. Not filming them in NZ would have hurt their box office by more than whatever was on the table.

                    The marketing in dvd’s seems to be specific for this movie and is tied to the ten mill in promos we pay for, which I agree is a good deal. As long the ad is done right. I’m picturing one of those bastard ads that you cannae fast forward through.

                    • jagilby

                      “Not filming them in NZ would have hurt their box office by more than whatever was on the table.”

                      Really? I don’t buy that. What do you base that on?

                      You have how many billions of consumers in the world who couldn’t give a flying fuck if it wasn’t filmed here.

                      NZ doesn’t have a monopoly on good scenery and a lot of it could be recreated with CGI regardless.

                      Face it, Peter Jackson is the reason these studios want the films here. Keeping him on side an happy has as much, if not more economic value as any rebates.

                      I don’t think it being filmed here, per se, really makes a heck of a lot of difference at the box office in markets like the US, UK, Germany and Japan… half of those consumers couldn’t even locate us on a world map

                      Captcha: Facts.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      And where did Peter want them filmed? And the fanbase that provides the buzz and buys all the shit rather than just downloading it?

                      The LOTR came with a huge package of which NZ was a part. Destroying that, and pissing off the near psychotic fanbase before filming even started, would have been a huge risk.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You have how many billions of consumers in the world who couldn’t give a flying fuck if it wasn’t filmed here.

                    Pre-opening buzz from the true fans of the movie series is critical. Their comments on the blogosphere, fan websites, interviews with the media. And true fans would care, a lot.

              • Colonial Viper

                tsmithfield trust you to defend actions which screw both our workers and our taxpayers.

                Frankly this is a case for why NZ needs to regain its economic sovereignty. And a cadre of decision making politicians who aren’t spineless gits.

                The Fabian Society was quite right.

                The moment you lose your economic sovereignty, your sovereignty as an independent nation is f**ked. Thanks for the real life demo, Key, Jackson and Warner Bros.

                • Vicky32

                  “US, UK, Germany and Japan… half of those consumers couldn’t even locate us on a world map”
                  I believe that would be true of the USA only, but not the other countries you have mentioned.
                  Deb

        • felix 7.1.2.2

          “So, are you pleased to have the movie here or not?”

          You say that as if it were ever really in question. It wasn’t. It was never going anywhere. And the hard-nosed expert negotiator known as the “smiling ass” had to have known that, and yet he still got stared down like a giddy schoolgirl by the big swingers from hollywood.

          Played like suckers. Shame on you all.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.2.2.1

            Its easy to say that when you’re not doing the negotiations felix. However, it is certainly true that Warners had other options. The deal struck didn’t cost us a lot more, has been well and truly compensated by the contribution from Warners, and was good insurance to ensure it did stay here.

            • felix 7.1.2.2.1.1

              Everyone has “other options” in any given situation ts, the question is how likely they are to take them – what they have to gain or lose by doing so. In this case it was incredibly obvious (about a hundy million obvious) to anyone who has been paying attention that Warners were very, very, very unlikely to take any of their “other options”.

              Not that they needed to though as Key obviously doesn’t have the stomach for this stuff and folded like a deck of cards.

          • Chess Player 7.1.2.2.2

            Who would have been better to negotiate on our behalf?

            1. Michael Cullen – bought a used train set for twice what it was worth, even though he was the only feasible buyer the sellers could sell it to…

            2. Helen Kelly – thumbed her nose at people she had absolutely no chance of footing it with, and then scuttled off under her rock until her stool pidgeon (and future Green candiate for Sue Kedgley) Cheryl West had covered for her…

            I consider the outcome acceptable under the bad circumstances, but hardly an ideal situation in the first place.

            • felix 7.1.2.2.2.1

              Glad you bought up Michael Cullen. I remember when you dicks all used to say how with geniuses like Key and English in charge we wouldn’t get screwed over by the big international players anymore.

              And now you’re defending them for throwing away workers’ rights and throwing our money at a company to make a film they were never going to make anywhere else in the first place.

              Hmm.

              • Chess Player

                Like I say – hardly an ideal situation in the first place.

                It was only ever going to be about loss minimisation once you guys shot us all in the feet….

              • Colonial Viper

                The unions held a gun to Jackson’s head. Jackson then held a gun to the head of the NZ Government, and while at it worked with foreigners to threaten our entire economy.

        • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.2.3

          Hmm time will tell I guess.

          I can understand the earlier support for the LOTR films more than this time. The LOTR effort was much more of a risk for the movie companies.

          Peter Jackson was unproven on this scale, he was strongly pushing his own vision for the movie, previous attempts at making LOTR into movies weren’t successful, a trilogy of movies increased the risk as the the use of yet unproven CGI techniques and so on.

          That isn’t the case this time. The risk involved is much much less and it is difficult to see from the outset how this movie wouldn’t make a profit.

          Some of the people I know working in the industry are quite happy for it to be made – not because they want to work on it – but because lots of others will be and they might actually get some paid work for a change working on movies etc they wish to work on instead of constantly working for nothing to build their reputation.

          The reality is many in the current industry spend 100’s of hours working for a few beers and the experience while holding down another job.

          I do wonder whether that money could be better spent supporting local movie making that utilised emerging talent rather than spending on those who have already succeeded.

          • felix 7.1.2.3.1

            Exactly right re: risk.

            Whatever you think of these films, and regardless of how successful Jackson’s recent projects have or haven’t been, the fact remains: Jackson making Tolkien in NZ is about as safe an investment as you could ever hope to have in the film industry.

        • Puddleglum 7.1.2.4

          Do you mean, TS, that we didn’t have some promotion built in to DVDs, etc. with the previous level of incentives? How remiss. Anyone know if there were NZ promos in the DVDs or ‘making ofs’ for LoTR?

          • Vicky32 7.1.2.4.1

            I believe that indeed there were such things in the LotR DVDs… we have four of them, the ordinary ones and one of the special expensive ones, thanks to the son!
            Deb

  7. J Mex 8

    I predict this announcement, in it’s entirety, will be enormously popular with the public.

    I also predict that the Standard authors will currently be furiously writing a “democracy under attack” and “NZ: Not for sale” posts.

    I also predict that Labour and Goff will be very quiet in the house tomorrow, with very little opposition.

    • Carol 8.1

      Labour was well into opposing mode today, so I expect them to scrutinise the law changes tomorrow, as well as they can given the rush. Today, Labour opposed aspects of the Rugby World Cup enabling bill, on the grounds that it gave too much control to one authority/Minister. They stood up well to the attempts by National MPs to brand Labour as unpatriotic and anti-rugby. I was going to say against the “onslaught” by National, but Nikki Kaye was easily put in her place for calling Labour unpatriotic.

      • Joe Bloggs 8.1.1

        oh, has Phil come out of hiding?

        • James 8.1.1.1

          Just in time to say precisely the wrong thing at the last second. Yaaaaaaaay…. : /

          • J Mex 8.1.1.1.1

            I thought the same thing this morning…

            Too late to appear decisive and presidential, but late enough to cause himself some problems with his eventual position

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.2

            Phil Goff, nice work mate. Both the press and the Righties are paying you a lot of attention these days. Keep steam rollin’ ahead.

  8. bobo 9

    Will be interesting to see the detail when they ram it through in Parliament tomorrow, was surprised that the Closeup poll was 50 50 on whether the gov should give sweeteners to Warners, I was expecting a 80% in favour of it. Maybe this issue will go from being a penalty kick to an own goal for Key when more of the detail comes out, wont hold my breath though. And we have to pay PJ a few million to get a come to New Zealand endorsement advert on the dvd :) Nice one

  9. Descendant Of Smith 10

    More assistance will be provided to make the film in New Zealand.

    This will be done however by meeting with the union and the workers and agreeing to subsidise the difference between the pay rate that the company might normally pay and the setting of some minimum wage conditions for all working on the film that ensures NZ workers get paid the same as the overseas workers.

    This ensures that the money is spent directly on NZer’s.

    In return the NZ government gets 1% of the profit from the movie but doesn’t have to cover any losses given their earlier tax break contribution and this direct joint venture investment.

    As part of the deal the names are changed to those used in “Bored Of The Rings” as these names provide more commercial opportunities for the private sector to brand their product. Names such as Fito, Spam, Pepsi, Serutan and Orlon shall ring loud.

    John Key expresses his desire to play Goodgulf cause he has oil interests in Kuwait and has some of the best lines.

    “Goodgulf looked pained at the use of his old school nickname, but adjusted his robes with dignity. “It is no fault of mine that unbelievers ridicule my powers,” he said. “My wonders will yet again make all gape and quail!” Suddenly he made a pass with his scratcher and the room was plunged into darkness. Through the blackness Dildo saw that Goodgulf’s robes had become radiant and bright. Odd letters appeared mysteriously on the front of his robe, reading in elvish, Will Thee Kiss Me in the Dark, Baby? Just as suddenly the light returned to the comfortable burrow, and the inscription faded from the conjurer’s breast. Dildo rolled his eyes upward in his head and shrugged…”

  10. sdm 11

    Why shouldn’t their be clarity as to who is a contractor and who is an employee across ALL industries?

  11. SHG 12

    Fantastic outcome. This is great news. Big up the PM.

    • Richard 12.1

      Couldn’t agree more mate. He’s done a great deal here to tidy up this ridiculous mess caused by this arrogant and self-centered minority and has scored a coup in getting NZ advertised all around the world at the same time. Well played Mr. Key. The economic benefits of these movies and the follow on from tourism will be a great boost for our economy – far better for us than having to make dole payments to half of NZ’s film industry if the film had gone overseas.

      • Puddleglum 12.1.1

        Hi Richard (and co – i.e., those who feel similarly).

        You may want to have a read of this report to get a sense of what we actually know about the effects of LoTR films on tourist behaviour. Have a read of page sixteen, especially Table 6 and be prepared to scale down your prediction of a “great boost for our economy”.

        The effect on tourism numbers and spend will be minor and will be more about shifting rather than increasing spend and visitation. ‘Image’ is a funny thing to quantify.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Actually amost everyone at my workplace today was talking in terms of how we’ve been played…

      Bill English must be seething at how he’s been had TWICE by these bandits.

    • Big up the PM.

      You do not know how close you are …

  12. Brett 13

    That John Key,He is the Man.

  13. Joe Bloggs 14

    The “long-term strategic partnership” to promote New Zealand as both a film production and tourism destination is a stroke of genius.

    Now back to reality and the next Stalinist purge in the CTU. What’s with Pete Conway fronting this evening instead of Helen Kelly? She’d be a bit of a poisoned chalice right now … wonder how long it’ll be before she gets the Order of the Heave-Ho?

  14. gobsmacked 15

    Anybody who dares ask questions about this – or even wants to read the details before giving unqualified approval – should be hauled before the House Committee on Un-New Zealand Activities. If you don’t love this deal (um .. whatever it was, we don’t know yet) then you don’t LOVE your country.

  15. Nick C 16

    To anyone who is critising Key here: What would you have done? The left talk about government protecting jobs, and thats exactly what Key is doing. The changes to employment law appear to be minor.

    • felix 16.1

      That’s not a question for anyone who isn’t the Prime Minister, Nick. He’s supposed to be up to this job, not me.

      I suppose you could look to how previous PMs and ministers have handled such matters but I don’t think you’ll find the comparison favours the Smiling Ass.

    • Armchair Critic 16.2

      What happened to “it’s not the government’s job to pick winners”?

  16. R2D2 17

    This is an excellent outcome for all New Zealanders.

    Thank God we have a Prime Minister who has been able to provide the leadership to overcome the unions attempts to destroy our film industry.

    Thank you Prime Minister Key.

    • Marty G 17.1

      Please use two hands while typing, R2D2.

      I know how sexy you righties find Key but have some dignity.

      • R2D2 17.1.1

        Sorry Marty if it comes across that way but Its hard to contain ones emotions when it comes to this whole saga.

        Especially when you consider how much the loss of this production would have effected our country I can’t help but be thankful that we have got such a capable leader who has the skills and ability to have achieved this result.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          I can’t help but be thankful that we have got such a capable leader who has the skills and ability to have achieved this result.</blockquote.

          Hey mate you're no longer in North Korea, just relax.

          • R2D2 17.1.1.1.1

            No I’m definitely not there. The unfortunate people of North Korea aren’t blessed with a leader who posses anything near the skills and leadership qualities that our Prime Minister Key has.

            We are so lucky.

        • Puddleglum 17.1.1.2

          R2D2, please have a look at the link in my comment above.

          The “loss of this production” would not have affected our country much at all – a silver bullet it is not.

  17. Crumble 18

    I just had a thought.The 1st tax break was $60 million for the Hobbit. Was that $60 million all up or for each film? If it is for each film that means, with the new John “the Pimp” Key’s new tax break the film will cost NZ $135 million.

  18. ianmac 19

    If you are against this settlement you must be a disloyal anti- New Zealander. If you are not for us, you must be against us. Arrest that man!
    “But -but I just wanted to find out what the flow-on effect might be.”
    “No way! Traitor!.”

  19. Murray 20

    Good Old Smile N Wave, once again John Key proves why hes one of New Zealands best Prime Ministers

  20. anonomis 21

    New Zealand 3 – MEAA / CTU / Labour 0

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Selling out our national sovereignty to a multinational for peanuts is a win? What, are you deluded?

      • Inventory2 21.1.1

        Selling out our national sovereignty

        Who’s been listening to Helen Kelly then?

        • IrishBill 21.1.1.1

          You mean when she said this was all about tax breaks? I think you should have been listening.

          • Chess Player 21.1.1.1.1

            Well, her name is Helen, so I guess she must know…

          • Inventory2 21.1.1.1.2

            I’m still astounded that none of you guys have criticised NZAE/MMEA/CTU’s definition of good-faith bargaining IB. Good faith goes both ways, and instituting a boycott BEFORE going to the table does not strike me as a particularly good-faith tactic.

            Then again, I’m just an employer, so what would I know?

            • IrishBill 21.1.1.1.2.1

              Good faith bargaining only applies under the ERA. This was a business contract negotiation. And as Warners have just shown, business is gloves-off pursuit.

              Now would you care to explain what you make of Jackson launching his media attack a week after the dispute was settled to Warners’ satisfaction?

    • Anthony C 21.2

      Haha, so desperately trying to make this stick to Labour.

  21. dave 22

    what superb leadership from John Key. How’s Robyn Malcolm’s position on the Labour list looking?

    • Chess Player 22.1

      Nah – Green list for sure – too red for the Labs

    • Dave the quality of your judgment of Key’s leadership is matched by your knowledge of Labour’s membership list.

      Robyn is a Green. She would make a damn good MP too.

    • IrishBill 22.3

      Jesus. This really has brought out the finest minds of the right. This was about tax breaks. Warners came over here and got tax breaks. The employment law change offers no more certainty than existed before it. What a bunch of suckers. I can only hope I end up doing business with you someday.

      • Grapethroat 22.3.1

        “Warners came over here and got tax breaks”
        The door was shut on that though, the global boycott called on August 17th wasn’t the best idea, no matter how good the intentions. Nobody was actually in any danger of being exploited on The Hobbit, and NZ gets a huge boost out of these movies. A mea culpa from a few parties is due.
        Do you wonder if Sir Peter Jackson might also be a contractor to the studio? I hear he belongs to 4 unions.

        • IrishBill 22.3.1.1

          I think the mea culpa you’re talking about might be from Jackson. He was the one that said it was about fear of industrial unrest (which the law change doesn’t affect) and not about tax breaks (which is clearly has been).

          Funny thing is he said that a week after the dispute was settled.

          • J Mex 22.3.1.1.1

            That’s a bit like your Union spokesperson – Robynne Malcolm, who said it was about working conditions (even though she later said that Jackson supplied excellent working conditions) and how they only ever wanted a quiet chat.

            Funny thing was they called for a global boycott before asking for a quiet chat.

            • Colonial Viper 22.3.1.1.1.1

              Jackson and Wingnut deliberately refused to even meet with the union for months, simply as a show of strong arm tactics.

  22. Depends on how much NZ spends in advertising itself around the world. While I am not really a supporter of handing out money to anybody who doesn’t deserve it (and these studios don’t deserve it), it is a good thing we will have this film shot in NZ.

    Put it this way, NZ means nothing to most people around the world. This film put us on the map for so many people unaware of our national identity and has sent so many people visiting NZ that I cannot think for a second it’s a loss for NZ or indeed the unions, who will surely have workers in hospitality etc who will benefit from this too.

    Labour should have spoke up about this – and now John Key will reap all the benefits from this in the polls.

    • Puddleglum 23.1

      Sorry Clint but you’re assumptions don’t stack up to what little evidence we have – beyond anecdote – about the impact of film tourism in New Zealand. Please check out the link in my comment above.

      The effect of LoTR was barely discernible. I doubt whether the Hobbit films will winkle out a huge tranche of global citizens who, post-LoTR, remain unaware of NZ. This is especially the case if you look at our visitor profile (i.e., our main markets – Aus, UK, US, Japan, Germany). Those likely to travel in those countries won’t suddenly discover that NZ exists because of these films. At best it may prod a very small minority to come ‘now’ rather than some other time.

  23. mattyroo 24

    Would you wombats stop repeating the lie that it is NZ taxpayers money funding these films! It is only Warner’s paying less tax, that of which is their own money.

    Furthermore, if someone wants to be a contractor, why can they not be a contractor? Why must they be an employee? Only so a union can get its grubby maulers on their money as union dues – because we all know that contractors don’t become union members.

    Interesting to see that the bloke who took his contractor/employee case to court was funded by the CTU…. Now what sort of interest would the CTU have in this being successful? Don’t need to be Einstein to figure that out.

    Also, funny to see the unions screaming their lungs out in Oz a couple of weeks ago, because contractors are outgrowing employees in some professions. Of course the unions think this is because they are being forced to, which is not the case at all – these contractors are doing it for lifestyle reasons – why wouldn’t you when earning 190kAUD p.a. Again, the unions are only upset because they are missing out on potential dues.

    Hopefully Key grows the cahones to rip up all legislation regarding employees/contractors allows it to become about personal choice.

    Having contracted all my life, I know where the money is….. The left just want everyone to be a wage slave – keeping them poor, therefore being a perfect target for their propaganda.

    • Marty G 24.1

      “It is only Warner’s paying less tax, that of which is their own money.”

      No. It is not just tax rebates. And every tax rebate means that someone else has to provide the revenue for government expenditure than that.

      “Furthermore, if someone wants to be a contractor, why can they not be a contractor?”

      They can be but if they are employed in the nature of an employee and they want the rights of an employee they should be able to get them. Would you deny these people the choice to be recognised as employees?

      “Only so a union can get its grubby maulers on their money as union dues – because we all know that contractors don’t become union members.”

      Actually, plenty of contractors are union members (like the members of NZ Actors’ Equity for example) and plenty of employees aren’t union members.

      “these contractors are doing it for lifestyle reasons”

      they might be but any contractor who is working in the nature of an employee should have the right to their employment status recognised if they choose. If they want to be recognised as employees they’re obviously not contracting for ‘lifestyle reasons’. Would you deny these people the choice to be recognised as employees?

      • Grapethroat 24.1.1

        “Would you deny these people the choice to be recognised as employees?”
        Yes – if they sign up as contractors. If the role is only offered as a contract role then people wanting employee status shouldn’t take the job. The hourly rate for contractors is significantly higher than for employees to compensate for lack of paid leave and other benefits. If the contractor isn’t getting that premium over an equivalent employee then they have an argument, but that is about the rate, not the status.

    • Chess Player 24.2

      You’re on the wrong blog mate – only party line stuff allowed here – certainly no free thinking encouraged….not good for (union) business

      [lprent: you really a an idiot. Obviously can’t read either. With the exception of your always below standard comments, i seem to see quite a lot of debate from all sides.

      But that is the second time you’ve gone for that same idiot troll line today that I’ve noticed. A obvious attempt at self-martyrdom which I am happy to indulge you in.

      Go away for two weeks and think if you want the ability to comment here. Next time I have to notice your behaviour and apparent inability to argue or contribute here I’ll permanently ban you. ]

      • felix 24.2.1

        “only party line stuff allowed here “

        Yeah, apart from the near constant flood of right-wing opinions every day of the week that is.

        “certainly no free thinking encouraged”

        Try it for a change. You might be surprised.

      • IrishBill 24.2.2

        And yet you’re still here. Which means your comment empirically and self-evidently disproves itself. I’m starting to realise what a tenuous grip on reality you have. No wonder you’re celebrating the govt giving away your taxes.

        • mattyroo 24.2.2.1

          “tenuous grip on reality”

          Were you looking in the mirror when you typed that shamrock?

          The only one with a tenuous grip on reality is you when you state “the govt giving away your taxes”.

          Being in touch with the real world has never been a strong point of the left though has it.

          • Maynard J 24.2.2.1.1

            I’ve heard the ‘lets me keep more of my money’ when related to personal tax cuts, and I can see how people form that opinion, even if I think it’s wrong (as that tax pays for all the things that enable them to get the money, and live in a civilised society and all that).

            But a rebate for a MNC film studio, and you think it’s letting them keep their money?

            Honestly mate, try that one in the real world and see how far you get.

          • Colonial Viper 24.2.2.1.2

            I’m coming to the conclusion that when people do a hard days’ work they do it in part for themselves and to build their own brighter future, but they also do it in part for their whole community, and the brighter future of their whole community.

            That’s about all which needs to be said on that.

        • Inventory2 24.2.2.2

          $15m equates to $4.46 per man, woman and child in New Zealand IB. That’s about the cost of a takeaway coffee (large). But anyway, in the spirit of good-faith negotiations, I’ll pay your share if you’re too proud to dig into your own pocket :-)

          Heh; another very appropriate captcha – treats

          • IrishBill 24.2.2.2.1

            It was US$25m. Not a bad deal but nothing to do with the industrial dispute and all done in an extremely unprofessional way. The tax breaks have been on the agenda for months and the government dropped the ball on them.

            • Grapethroat 24.2.2.2.1.1

              Are you saying that Warners were seeking to renegotiate the tax breaks even before the August 17th FIA advisory to not accept work on The Hobbit?

              • Colonial Viper

                International boycott did not take effect until Sept 24 – it was then that it was first reported by the news services.

            • Colonial Viper 24.2.2.2.1.2

              Inventory is full of it. No, not full of inventory, the other stuff.

              Total tax breaks on The Hobbit now equal ~$93M, give or take depending on the success of the film.

              That’s $27 for every man woman and child in NZ i.e. every man woman and child has just bought two movie tickets to see The Hobbit before Jackson has even started filming.

              This is a total shame given that we could not even spare 60c each to ensure that the elderly frail in Southland and Otago could have home help, but we could spare $27 to give to half billionaire Jackson and his US big money movie mates.

              NZ has gone mad.

          • Vicky32 24.2.2.2.2

            Who buys large takeaway coffees? No one in the real world, just the yuppies! No wonder you have the views you do…
            Takeaway coffees are a complete waste of money – treats for lazy people.
            Deb

  24. Grapethroat 25

    Thousands of workers will get a huge boost out of having The Hobbit made here. The tourism boost should also be huge.

    • Puddleglum 25.1

      “The tourism boost should also be huge”.

      At risk of being a broken record in this comment thread, please see the link in my comment above. [Then again, repetition has its effect too – what would modern political discourse be without it?]

      There’s little evidence of huge boosts in tourism around these sorts of films. Your first point is more likely to be correct.

  25. dave 26

    I know Robyn is a Green. So what, Winston Peters was once a Nat. Roger Douglas and Tariana Turia were Labour Party members. Josie Pagani was a Progressive member. People switch. Robyn Malcolm was an actor, once.

  26. Carol 27

    Well, things pretty much played out as expected. At least now the people who want NZ to be a Hollywood satellite, at any cost, are happy & will probably go back to their plasmas & 3D movies. Now the left can focus on working for employment rights, a productive NZ and a fairer society in a less frenzied environment,

  27. Nadis 28

    I think both sides of the debate are missing the economic point. Lets assume this is just about these two movies, not the wider long term production industry. Let’s also assume that say 40% of the budget gets spent directly in NZ, let’s abitrarily assume 250 mm. If it’s all consumption that would be about 40 mm of gst or if all compensation somewhere around 50 to 60 of tax. So somewhere in between. Then add in the multiplier effect of what? 2 to 4? Thats a lot of economic activity. against all this tax credits of whatever (25 mm, 40 mm?).

    But here’s the point – they are tax credits an offset against tax that would otherwise be paid. No spending by warners, no tax offset by NZ. Can someone who’s been claiming we have been economically fisted by warners explain how? No movies made here, no warners spend, no tax credit – net cost to NZ nil ( except for all the job losses). Movie made here, positive economic contribution due to spending ( jobs, sme profits etc). Only moving part is how much tax revenue the govt gets- but by definition it is a number greater than zero.

    Can one of the economic geniuses claiming ” this a bad economic deal for NZ” explain why?

    • mattyroo 28.1

      My point exactly Nadis.

      I suspect it will go through at about 25,000 feet with this lot though.

    • IrishBill 28.2

      I never said this was a bad deal for NZ. What I said was it wasn’t about the union it was about tax breaks. Tax breaks that should have been organised months ago.

      • Grapethroat 28.2.1

        Yeah, dirty old Warners waiting until almost the last moment to not screw us half as bad as they could have .

        • Marty G 28.2.1.1

          we should be thankful if the rich don’t screw us too much?

          ‘massa, massa, thank you for only whipping me ten times, for I know you could have whipped me twenty times’

          • Grapethroat 28.2.1.1.1

            No:
            1) there’s no profit for ‘massa in whipping you Marty
            2) Warners haven’t whipped us at all, in fact with the tourism marketing counted in I reckon this is a better situation for NZ than even before the boycott.
            Warners could have saved well over a hundred million if they went somewhere else, given rebate levels up to 28% (Ireland) and exchange rate fluctuation. And that somewhere else would still have welcomed the economic shot in the arm. Logically NZ should also.

            • Puddleglum 28.2.1.1.1.1

              I’d genuinely like to see your evidence for the previous, quantifiable, effects of tourism marketing please – especially via the marketing vehicle of film.

            • Colonial Viper 28.2.1.1.1.2

              Warners could have saved well over a hundred million if they went somewhere else, , given rebate levels up to 28% (Ireland)

              Ummmm….yeah and how much would they have saved by delaying the shoot for 6-8 months or trying to shoot in the murky freezing winter of Ireland, instead of the brilliant summer light of NZ?

              Come on, I agree that we got a good deal with the tourism marketing stuff, but we sold our national sovereignty down the river for a song.

              Maybe the hobbits can dance to it, but I’m not.

    • Carol 28.3

      The films were probably always going to be made here. Because of the hysteria whipped up by Jackson & co, we are paying Warners more tax dollars than we needed to in order to have the benefits of having the movies shot here.

      It depends on what the changes to employment law will be. Devil in the detail. There is a danger that the law will be changed so that many NZ workers will be worse off in the long run, adding to the increases in inequality in NZ – not good for the country as a whole. But such deals focus on the short term and not the long term impacts.

    • No one is saying it is bad per se. Just that the deal last week was better and we did not have to do this. Warners were going to stay no matter what.

    • Puddleglum 28.5

      Nadis, John Key seems to disagree with your analysis of the economic benefits.

      He thinks that, before the latest deal, the nett economic effect was close to neutral. See the link in this comment of mine above and listen to a point close to the end of the interview.

      So, given the now increased set of incentives with only some unquantifiable promos on the other side of the ledger, I presume JK would now argue that “this is a bad economic deal for NZ”. Then again, maybe he’s not “one of the economic geniuses” so you might still be right.

  28. mattyroo 29

    Edit: responding to martyg

    You prove my point – obfuscate with propaganda….

    What about if the movies were not filmed here? There would be a damn site more revenue needing to be provided for the government, due to all the lost revenue the INDUSTRY brings in, as well as all the benefits that would need to be paid to the people who would then be out of work.

    You can put forward no sound argument as to why this is bad for the county – you are just screaming about this because Key and Brownlee have done a damn good job making the best of a bad situation – created by the unions and their political masters.

    If the noxious clark had done as Key and Brownlee have, I would have been equally as pleased – however, the left can never give credit where credit is due – simply because it may fly in the face of their blind ideologies.

    If people want to be employees they can, but more importantly, if they want to be a contractor then it should be their choice. Everyone who works as a contractor makes an informed choice to do so – the problem is, many people who want to be contractors are forced to be employees.

    There are very few employees being forced to be contractors on the other hand.

    • Marty G 29.1

      learn to use the reply function. It’s not hard.

      what exactly did I say that you disagree with? What’s the ‘propaganda’? that people should be able to have their real employment status recognised if they want? that when one taxpayer gets a subsidy someone else has to cover the cost?

      “What about if the movies were not filmed here? There would be a damn site more revenue needing to be provided for the government, due to all the lost revenue the INDUSTRY brings in, as well as all the benefits that would need to be paid to the people who would then be out of work.”

      Yeah. I agree that it’s good that the films are being filmed here. I disagree with there ever having been a real threat of that not happening. I agree that the government, however, couldn’t take that risk and had to pay up.

      “You can put forward no sound argument as to why this is bad for the county[sic]”

      It’s not bad compared to the filming going overseas. It is bad compared to the film not going overseas and the taxpayer not having to fork out $33 million.

      “Everyone who works as a contractor makes an informed choice to do so”

      Don’t be naive. I’ve worked as a contractor because I needed work and the bosses were only offering to employ me as a contractor. I could have walked away but I needed work. The reality of employment contracts for nearly everyone is that the employer decides (within the constrains set by law) and the employee accepts or loses their livelihood.

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        The reality of employment contracts for nearly everyone is that the employer decides (within the constrains set by law) and the employee accepts or loses their livelihood.

        Hence the need for a stronger, more strategic, broader union movement.

        • SHG 29.1.1.1

          Yeah, ahhh…. I don’t think a “stronger union movement” is going to get much support at the moment.

      • mattyroo 29.1.2

        “learn to use the reply function. It’s not hard”

        So typical of the left…. presupposition and trying to make themselves seem intellectually superior. I did use the reply function, but think I made a typo in the anti-spam, hence when I went back to repost after the auto-redirect, the reply didn’t follow through. So, piss off with your intellectual superiority.

        “It is bad compared to the film not going overseas and the taxpayer not having to fork out $33 million.”

        The only reason the film was likely to go overseas was because your union flunky mates decided to try and hijack it for what they perceived was a good cause – which quite deservedly blew-up in their faces.

        And one more time fool, it is not taxpayers money that is being forked out, the movie company is effectively just paying a lower tax rate.

        The taxpayer would certainly be forking over more money if the idiot unions less-than-tactical nuke had actually gone off though.

        “Don’t be naive. I’ve worked as a contractor because I needed work and the bosses were only offering to employ me as a contractor. I could have walked away but I needed work. The reality of employment contracts for nearly everyone is that the employer decides (within the constrains set by law) and the employee accepts or loses their livelihood.”

        So what if the employer says they have a contract role, but not an employee role? They are offering the position, if the terms don’t suit you, turn the page in the newspaper. When will you lot ever understand that a job is a privilege, not a right. Nobody owes anybody a living/livelihood.

        [lprent: a couple of bugs have crept in over the last few updates. I’ll have a look for that particular one on the weekend. ]

        • Colonial Viper 29.1.2.1

          So typical of the left…. presupposition and trying to make themselves seem intellectually superior.

          OK. Then you go ahead and say this:

          And one more time fool…

          and

          When will you lot ever understand…

          So all of this tells me that you are not only a frakking moron, but a hypocritical one at that.

          Thanks for the confirmation.

          • mattyroo 29.1.2.1.1

            Loota – I didn’t presuppose anything, or make myself out to be intellectually superior.

            I have outlined my position, and stated why this is good for NZ, not one of you have conclusively rebutted why this is bad for NZ.

            NZ 1, Unions 0.

            End of story.

            • Colonial Viper 29.1.2.1.1.1

              lolz I think you just called someone a fool and intimated that they couldn’t understand. I think that = making yourself out as being ‘intellectually superior’. False advertising that.

              NZ’s Elite = 1, Unions 0.

              300 rounds to go before election day. Can’t wait for the rematch.

            • felix 29.1.2.1.1.2

              When people say “end of story” part way through a discussion it’s a pretty good indicator that they’ve stopped thinking, so there’s probably not much point replying to you mattyroo, but anyway…

              “…not one of you have conclusively rebutted why this is bad for NZ.”

              Who said it was? The point is that once you disregard the scaremongering about taking the hobbit money offshore (which was never going to happen as has been pointed out consistently here for the last couple of weeks) then it’s obvious that we were in a better position last week than we are now. About $33 million better in fact.

            • Akldnut 29.1.2.1.1.3

              mattyroo – your’e a dick if you think your wank idol has done the best possible for NZ.
              If that was true he would have fronted up with the dosh earlier and paid it to the Kiwi actors then negotiated with Peter Jackson to to make up the difference. FFS the actors would have probably settled for what he’s given away.

              This would keep all our money in NZ, boosting our economy and kept Warner Bros.out of the stuation completely – you and I know that this was just an exercise in manipulating Kiwis and scoring points.

              Your genius is a fucking moron and so is anyone who buys into the shit he’s peddling.

              • mattyroo

                Are you Robyn Malcolm or Kalamity Kelly by any chance Akld nut?

                You have the coherency of them, so makes me wonder.

        • Marty G 29.1.2.2

          “So what if the employer says they have a contract role, but not an employee role? They are offering the position, if the terms don’t suit you, turn the page in the newspaper. ”

          In case it’s escaped your attention there are quarter of a million people looking for jobs in this country. What does a responsible person do? Take a contractor role when they would rather be an employee if the opportunity arises, or ‘turn the page’ and remain unemployed?

          You’re living in a dream world – people take the work they can get with the terms dictated by the employer. The law, as it stands, protects people by saying that they have the rights of employees if their employment relationship is, in reality, one of employment, not contracting. The Nats are about to take that away.

        • Vicky32 29.1.2.3

          I asked a businessman here before but he didn’t deign to answer me… Why do you guys call jobs “roles”? Because to you it’s all some kind of fake thing? Really, please do answer…
          “When will you lot ever understand that a job is a privilege, not a right. Nobody owes anybody a living/livelihood.”
          When you will lot ever acknowledge that bosses need workers? Can a guy with a B Com answer his own phones, type his own letters, and dig his own cabe trenches, sell his own product, etc?
          The boss class would be shredded without the workers, and I look forward to the parasites realising that.

    • felix 29.2

      “What about if the movies were not filmed here? “

      They were always going to be filmed here. They already had a great deal. That’s why they had already started and had already spent a hundred million on it. They were not going to walk away.

      “If the noxious clark had done as Key and Brownlee have, I would have been equally as pleased “

      Then you must have been delighted. The “noxious clark” and previous govts handled the Hollywood boys a lot better than these clowns, as evidenced by the deals they made. Which were in place when Warners started work on this film and spent the first hundred mil.

      “if they want to be a contractor then it should be their choice.”

      Absolutely.

      “There are very few employees being forced to be contractors.”

      That’s ridiculous. I’ve worked with hundreds myself and know of many more. What business are you in?

      • mattyroo 29.2.1

        “What business are you in?”

        A beautiful one that offends all you lefties and makes me more money than you can dream of!

        • felix 29.2.1.2

          Bullshit mattyroo. You don’t know what offends me and you have no idea of the flexibility of my dreams.

          I doubt you’re in business at all actually. Rereading your comments they’re nothing but sloganeering. Nothing in them suggests any business experience at all.

          • mattyroo 29.2.1.2.1

            Loads of business experience Felix, and a very profitable one at that. What really makes me smile is that everyday you lefties contribute to my industry, through almost everything you do, and the obscene profits that we make.

            BTW, all my workers are contractors, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. At a guess, they would make more in a day than you do in a fortnight. But they put in the work and the sacrifice to get those kind of rewards – shows just how well you can do when you are filled with aspiration instead of resentment.

            • Maynard J 29.2.1.2.1.1

              Yup. Definitely what Marty said above:

              ‘obscene profits’

              ‘wouldn’t have it any other way’

              ‘filled with aspiration’

              Filth.

              (got any free DVDs mate?)

    • Carol 29.3

      Didn’t John key say yesterday, that the Hobbit films don’t bring that much financial benefit to NZ?

  29. felix 30

    Exactly as expected, Carol, and exactly as predicted over and over again here by Irish and elsewhere by Helen Kelly, Trevor Mallard and others.

    All the right wing idiot naysayers who have commented on Irish Bill’s posts this past week owe him a fucking apology.

    • IrishBill 30.1

      That’ll be the fucking day.

      • mickysavage 30.1.1

        That should be the next post. An analysis of wingnut denial of Irish’s predictions and how they are now changing their tune.

        • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1

          Frag the Wingnuts.

          I think the next post should be about a long needed campaign to make a new generation of NZ’ers – whether they are on wages or on salary – understand what modern unionism is about, the core values from yesteryear which still hold true, and why today modern workers need a union more than ever.

          Oh yeah, wouldn’t hurt to examine how current union structures and functions can be adapted, made more nimble and appropriate for the demands of the 21st century.

          • SHG 30.1.1.1.1

            Well the union movement is going to have to come up with some Epic Wins in the near term, because right now the face of modern unionism is Whipp, Kelly, and Malcolm staunching out a bunch of movie technicians who are terrified of having to go on the dole.

            • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1.1.1

              don’t remake the same old BS sandwich, the high tech post production work was always going to be done in Wellington by WETA, no matter where in the world Jackson shot the movie.

              The only thing in question (supposedly, since it was never actually) were the location shoots and associated support.

              • Marty G

                no, no. Jackson would have fired all his workers here, worn the redundancy costs and law suits from contractors, and then constructed a new worldleading digital effects centre somewhere else and found the specialist staff for it.

                That’s right, eh SHG? Just sensible business practice.

                • SHG

                  Irrelevant. Right now the narrative is that Prime Minister John Key and Sir Peter Jackson went to bat for New Zealand workers and saved thousands of jobs while the union reps dined out at Matterhorn.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “The narrative is…”?

                    Could you forward us a copy of the Crosby Textor memo? Or your talking points. Either will do.

                    • SHG

                      If you want the talking points, just pick up a newspaper or watch the TV news.

                    • luva

                      CV this is the only forum anywhere that is saying anything other than that narrative.

                      Open your ears and eyes and turn off The Standard for 20 minutes.

                      You have every right to believe what you do, but if you and the left want to keep this story going you are very foolish. The right is going to use the Hobbit to bash Unions until the election. The left needs to stay as far away from this story as possible.

                    • felix

                      Not according to what I’m seeing and hearing luva. Kiwis aren’t as dumb as you think.

            • Maynard J 30.1.1.1.1.2

              Nope, they’ll just keep going.

              Every time unions ask for better conditions and capital flight is brought up, the same eventuates. This is just on a bigger scale, but it’s nothing new. ‘Oldest trick in the book’ is the phrase that comes to mind.

              Just sad that so many fall for it, or realise that acquiescing to these types of demands leads to a race to the bottom.

  30. spam 31

    Do you guys actually honestly believe that this is a big conspiracy to screw over workers via changing employment law?

    I mean, really.

    Why haven’t they been manipulating the CTU like that for years?

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • On the uncanny resemblance between John Key and Sergeant Schultz
    In the 30-odd years that Judy and I have been providing media advice and training to prime ministers, prostitutes and pretty well every profession in-between, our teaching mantra has remained the same: “Be straightforward, tell the truth, admit your mistakes”....
    Brian Edwards
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • Ports of Auckland Moving More Freight By Rail
    Ports of Auckland did a press release back in September that didn’t really get picked up on: Working with KiwiRail, Ports of Auckland has doubled the rail services between its Waitematā seaport and Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub. The increased service...
    Transport Blog
  • Momentum Builds for No Deforestation Palm Oil
    By now you know the problem: a rapidly expanding palm oil industry, eating up forests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, and sparking conflict with local people and workers.But if you had to guess at what is turning out to be a key...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • “Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
    The Heartland Institute has produce a new propaganda poster on climate change. Here it is: And this is what they say about it: This poster presents clear and undeniable evidence that the debate is not over. Looking out from this poster...
    Open Parachute
  • Whiteboard Wednesday – How a flat tax would be fairer than our current sy...
    Geoff is going to talks us through how a UBI and Flat tax work together. The end result is less bureaucracy and a fairer, simpler, more productive society....
    Gareth’s World
  • Ede and the Public Records Act
    Jason Ede was required by the Gwyn Inquiry to produce emails from his private accounts that included official government information. He couldn't do that in the end because, gosh darn it, he had just destroyed and permanently deleted everything in...
    Polity
  • “Appalling”
    In 2011, John Key was Minister for the SIS. At that time, according to John Key: The SIS didn't understand the workings of the OIA. I mean that's appalling, and I accept all of that."1 Well, if that is the...
    Polity
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    frogblog
  • Symposium on the way forward, 4: making our own revolutionary kaupapa and f...
    On Monday, November 24, The Freedom Shop, an anarchist centre in Wellington, held a meeting about the way forward for the activist left.  A number of speakers were invited to give ten-minute presentations; below is the presentation given by Don...
    Redline
  • When will the PM take responsibility?
    It often bemuses me as to why people would vote for a dishonest political party that has spent the last two terms in government undermining our once great democracy. Why on earth would voters support a scoundrel like John Key,...
    The Jackal
  • Gordon Campbell on the inquiry into one case of dirty politics
    Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released...
    Gordon Campbell
  • John Key: The buck doesn’t stop with me
    President Harry Truman famously had a piece of walnut wood on his desk in the oval office that read, "The buck stops here", and when the president referred to it in speeches it was to say that he had to...
    Pundit
  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world
    The “serials crisis” has been a feature of research life for over 20 years. According to figures from the US Association of Research Libraries, during 1986-2007 academic journal subscription charges increased by 340%, four times the rate of inflation.Publishers contribute...
    Public Address
  • 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...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law. TEU, the union representing tertiary education staff, says the...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Being mindful of mental illness
    There’s a lot of mental illness stigma in New Zealand. From the friend or family member who tells you just to ‘get over it’, to the many little ways that living with a mental illness in an unsupportive environment slowly...
    On the Left
  • Auckland Transport November Board Meeting
    Every month I comb through the reports to the AT board looking at what the organisation is up to (that they’ll say in public). I’ve already covered the separate reports on additional bus priority and the New Network for the...
    Transport Blog
  • Henryk Grossman on the struggle for Marxism, 1883-1932
    Henryk Grossman, Fifty Years of Struggle over Marxism 1883-1932, translated by Rick Kuhn and Einde O’Callagan, with an introduction by Rick Kuhn; Ebook AU$6.34 from http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OE6KF7O and paperback AU$10 from redflag.subs@gmail.com reviewed by Tom O’Lincoln There is a story about Marx’s legacy that...
    Redline
  • Financial assistance for tertiary students
    I’ve gotten my final assignment back for the 300-level Policy Research & Evaluation paper I did last semester, and earned another A+ and another teacher telling me to do post-grad if I can afford it without starving. The only way...
    The little pakeha
  • A brief commentary from John Key, Prime Minister
    Hello. I’m not going to apologise. There’s nothing to apologise for. I have done nothing wrong. Yes I suppose a few people in my office may have possibly been in contact with people in Camoron Slater’s office, but I had...
    My Thinks
  • A surveillance power-grab
    Section 7 of the government's spy bill introduces a new power for police and SIS to access information held by Customs. Its not mentioned in the press release, and the bill's explanatory note is extremely vague. So what's it about?...
    No Right Turn
  • Another shoddy analysis
    What's the case for the government's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill? I've been reading the bills Regulatory Impact Statement, and the short version is that there isn't one. A RIS is a vital part of the quality control process for...
    No Right Turn
  • “We should be a working on the railroads…”
    Yesterday Peter asked if the Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations”?. In it he briefly mentioned engineer Joseph Wright who questioned how much the motorways would cost. In response I put this image in the comments however it probably justifies it’s...
    Transport Blog
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    frogblog
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    frogblog
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    frogblog
  • Counterproductive
    Since June, the US has been bombing Iraq. Since September, they've been bombing Syria. In both cases, the aim is ostensibly to stop ISIS. So how's it working out?About as badly as you'd expect:US air strikes in Syria are encouraging...
    No Right Turn
  • No justice in America
    On August 9, police officer Darren Wilson shot and murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.. The shooting of unarmed black men by American police is so routine that they don't even bother to keep statistics on it. And of course,...
    No Right Turn
  • The Andrew Little experiment has failed
    It’s time to admit that the Andrew Little leadership experiment has been a failure. A terrible failure....
    Imperator Fish
  • Abuse of power: The OIA / public records dimension
    One of the things to emerge from the "dirty politics" report is that the SIS pissed all over the OIA:The NZSIS also made a significant error in considering information requests by the news media. Such requests were, from 25 July...
    No Right Turn
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    frogblog
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
    The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations...
    Hot Topic
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • Cover up in the PM’s office
    Here's an extract from a very good post by Russell Brown this morning: But there’s more. The inspector, Cheryl Gwyn, has this to say: Witnesses appearing before this inquiry also produced documents. Documents were provided voluntarily by Mr Hager and...
    Polity
  • An abuse of power
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released her report into the release of information to Cameron Slater by the SIS. Its a lot to digest, but it looks like the core allegation of Dirty Politics - that the Prime...
    No Right Turn
  • Media Link: The Slater/SIS/PM’s Office OIA debacle.
    Sometimes one has to speak bluntly but honestly about unethical behaviour within the NZ intelligence community. The revelations about the way an OIA request from a notorious right wing blogger was  handled by the then Director of Security and Intelligence...
    Kiwipolitico
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • 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.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter referring to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    ...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. 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
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • #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
  • #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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon Richard Prebble CBE,
    Out of the Red $29.95 The untold story of NZ's biggest business turn around....
    Scoop politics
  • Submissions called for two herbicide applications
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on the reassessment of the herbicide Firebird and an application for release of the herbicide Sakura....
    Scoop politics
  • Collins Inquiry – Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
    "I am pleased that the inquiry was undertaken and with the outcome announced today, especially given the unprecedented level of speculation, criticism and comment around investigations into the collapse of finance companies - much of which bore little...
    Scoop politics
  • #GivingTuesday focuses on charitable giving in Xmas lead-up
    More than 100 New Zealand charities are taking part in the inaugural #GivingTuesday being held on Tuesday 2 December....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • 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
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere