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The Standard

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?

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    It is my pleasure to share with you a blog from Hester Moore who is currently interning with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Cairo, after graduating from the Univeristy of Canterbury. Sometimes, as a nation it is… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • Tamaki state housing transfer risky and desperate
    The Government’s transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company -- to be announced at 9am today -- shows it's desperation to off-load state houses and show some kind of action against Auckland's out of control housing crisis,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tamaki state housing transfer risky and desperate
    The Government’s transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company -- to be announced at 9am today -- shows it's desperation to off-load state houses and show some kind of action against Auckland's out of control housing crisis,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Woodhouse should close work visa loophole
    The Immigration Minister must revoke the work visas of temporary Chinese engineers working on KiwiRail trains and close the loophole that allows their employers to avoid New Zealand employment laws, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues, Iain Lees-Galloway. “New Zealanders… ...
    5 days ago
  • Job losses show folly of Chorus’ copper cuts
    Chorus and the Government are neglecting the copper broadband network, leading to 145 potential job losses at Transfield Services as well as poor services in the regions, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Steven Joyce and Amy Adams have made… ...
    5 days ago
  • National quietly ditches its surplus promise
    National has quietly dropped its long-promised return to surplus by this year by removing the date it will get the books back in the black from its online campaign material, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s pledge to reach… ...
    5 days ago
  • Even cheap houses now unaffordable
    New housing affordability data show that now even the cheapest houses in Auckland are unaffordable for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “The AMP360 Home Loan Affordability Report reveals Auckland's lower quartile house price has leapt to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s careless chatter tips off Arabic media
    John Key has shown a frightening lack of judgement in disclosing to an Arabic media outlet that Kiwi troops are in the UAE awaiting deployment to Iraq, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “At the same time the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Child poverty will not be solved by vouchers
    New Zealand has debilitating levels of child poverty, entrenched violence against women and children, and the ongoing effects of colonisation on Maori are brutalising communities. When we dwell on the statistics – which mostly we don’t because it all seems… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Simon Bridges spent over $6500 on Northland
    Transport Minister Simon Bridges spent over $6519 on travel and flights to Northland for the by-election – spending around $1000 a week, Labour’s Acting Leader Annette King says. “Simon Bridges’ desperate dashes to Northland got him in political hot water.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Firing squad deaths deplorable
    The execution of eight men by an Indonesian firing squad is deplorable, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “New Zealanders do not support the use of the death penalty under any circumstances. ...
    5 days ago
  • Aged care workers need more than talk
    Yesterday AUT released the New Zealand Aged Care Workforce Survey 2014. The conditions of aged care workers are important for many reasons. We have an ageing population and people are going into care/requiring care later than before, so it’s critically… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Aged care needs urgent attention
    The Government must stop neglecting older New Zealanders and the people who care for them and give urgent attention to a sector that is in dire straits, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The lead author of the New… ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck a disaster in the making
    Moves to overhaul the social services sector are nothing more than privatisation in drag and are a potential disaster in the making, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “A report from the Productivity Commission supports the Government’s push for… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tauranga’s oil spill shows potential for devastation
    When the Rena ran aground off the Bay of Plenty coast, the impact was overwhelming. Some 2000 dead birds were found, and up to 20,000 birds are thought to have been killed. Taxpayers paid nearly  $48 million in the aftermath… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    6 days ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 week ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    1 week ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    2 weeks ago

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