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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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    Polity
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    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • 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
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 is 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
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
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  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
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  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
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  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
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  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
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  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
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  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
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  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
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  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
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  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • 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
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
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  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
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  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
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  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
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  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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