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Lucy Lawless to Steven Joyce: ‘U killed NZ film industry’

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, October 25th, 2013 - 103 comments
Categories: business, economy, film, john key, Mining, national, overseas investment, Steven Joyce, sustainability, tv - Tags:

Steven Joyce seemed somewhat complacent in his RNZ interview this morning on Radio NZ. His argument seemed to mirror some of the points I and others made with my post yesterday on NZ’s struggling screen industry.  However, Joyce’s version seemed to be rather a shallow exercise in covering his lack of efforts for the Auckland screen production industry, while failing to offer any well developed, concrete solutions to the problems.

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Lucy Lawless doesn’t appear to be that keen on Steven Joyce, judging by her twitter feed, blaming him for the decline of NZ’s film industry.

While Joyce and John Key seem to have been keen to actively intervene to get the sleazy Sky City convention centre-pokie deal, they (and Mayor Len Brown) seem to have neglected Auckland’s once thriving film and TV production. As ad points out, when Bob Harvey was mayor of Waitakere City, he actively promoted the West Auckland studios and locations for filming by local and international companies.  While Key was keen to offer handouts to Warners, they seem to have made far less effort for the Auckland region as a production and filming location.

Unlike the Key government’s support for the Hobbit movies, Joyce is now saying they don’t want to participate in a “race to the bottom” in competing with the bigger government financial incentives now available in countries like Ireland.

RNZ reports:

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce concedes some television and film production companies are struggling and describes it as a challenging period.

He says the Government is working hard with agencies, including the New Zealand Film Commission, on a long-term solution.

Mr Joyce says Auckland in particular has issues and the Government is in talks with the Auckland Council to look at what it can do over and above the incentives offered by the Government.

Mr Joyce admits it is hard to compete with other countries offering better incentives but told Morning Report the key to making the film industry sustainable is more development and control of local stories.

He says key players such as filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson and producer Robert Tapert, who was behind Spartacus, also need to choose to keep making films here instead of going offshore.

NZ, as a small country and economy does have particular difficulties in developing it’s own screen production industries. This is explained in detail by Tricia Dunleavey and Hester Joyce in their 2012 book, New Zealand Film and Television: Institution, Industry and Cultural Change.  They argue that, unlike some larger countries like Australia and Britain, New Zealand screen industries are more noticeably impacted by the government of the day,

whose influence is exerted not only through the level of public funding that is allocated by supporting this production but also through the priorities for  screen policy that is determined at a cabinet level and enacted by politically-appointed officials. [pp. 19-20]

Furthermore, they argue, that NZ’s small internal market for screen productions means there is a need for a “consistent level of public funding … to insulate production industries from the effects of fluctuation in the general economy, ”and from external economic/financial shocks [p.23]

The authors show how the Clark government re-invigorated NZ’s film industry with both financial incentives for international productions in NZ, and with support for local NZ productions.

Undoubtedly, the NZ screen industries have benefited from the increase in major film and TV productions in NZ, especially those of Peter Jackson and Rob Tapert (the later the prime mover behind productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus).  The production of Xena and Hercules in Auckland resulted in significant developments in the industry infrastructure, local up-skilling and international opportunities for Kiwis, beginning in the latter half of the 1990s.  This skill development then fed into the production on the LotR films in Wellington at the turn of the century.

Now the international economic environment has changed, making it harder for the NZ industry to compete internationally.  I wonder if now the NZ industry has become a bit too dependent on big international productions.  From the above linked RNZ report:

Freelance television director Jonathan Brough, who has moved to Melbourne, says the responsibility for making the film industry sustainable lies with the Government.

He says the Government is too reliant on big budget film productions, which will go to the cheapest place to make movies, and that is no business model for an industry.

Mr Brough says changes to legislation are needed which would force broadcasters such as Sky Television to make local programmes, as is the case in Australia.

This directly contradicts claims that key’s government has prioritised production of NZ stories. Furthermore, allowing the internationally-supported Auckland screen production industry to go into decline, without already having something more locally-focused to replace it, reeks of government and Council neglect.

The infrastructure, resourcing and skilled local workforce took over a decade to develop, and will take time to rebuild if it is allowed to continue to wither.  There will continue to be some value from having some international productions in New Zealand, but this needs to be anchored by the development of a much stronger New Zealand funded, locally-focused screen industry.

Some recent tweets from (the real) Lucy Lawless, putting the blame firmly with Joyce:

SJ, u brilliant db, we shot #Xena for 6 yrs in that studio w. a train next door. The film industry is dying coz U killed it. @stevenljoyce

Bryce Pearce asked:

@RealLucyLawless @stevenljoyce Why not get Rob to discuss studio requirements with them Lucy? Evil Dead – warehouse. Spartacus – warehouses

Lawless replied:

He did. He gave them the best advice to keep film rolling and they screwed him over. @Brycepearce @stevenljoyce …

Another production just left NZ for Sth Africa. Film Industry dying, SJ! Why do you love fossil fuels so much? #ClimateChange @stevenljoyce

 John White responded:
SA. What’s that got to do with fossil fuels?
Lucy Lawless tweeted in reply:
@welliejaffa @stevenljoyce Govt policy on tax rebates for NZ film killed all incentive. foreign invest now NIL. Big Tax$ spent wooing BigOil

That last tweet is a little ambiguous, re-what “NZ Film” refers to.  I am very happy for the government providing incentives to prioritise NZ productions over international ones.  However, the bigger focus on wooing Big Oil with tax payer money is not good for NZ’s future. And the focus of the MSM seems to have been more on keeping Avatar here, than on Auckland’s screen failing industry.

I would like to see more concrete evidence of the ways the Key government is (allegedly) supporting NZ made and focused screen productions.

 

103 comments on “Lucy Lawless to Steven Joyce: ‘U killed NZ film industry’”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I heard Joyce’s interview this morning and felt a continuous urge to say “you hypocrite.”

    The Government bent over backward to solve a problem with the Hobbit that did not exist yet is doing nothing when the evidence of a crisis is clear.

    • karol 1.1

      Yes. Agreed micky.

      And Key & Joyce favoured Sky City over Auckland’s screen industry – they seem to pick their favourites.

      btw, is the RNZ audio showing on your browser? It showed when I previewed the post, but on my browsers the post has a message saying I need to download version 9 of audio flash player needed.
      – ah working now.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Yep Safari version 6.

      • FastSage 1.1.2

        RNZ reports: “the Government is working hard with agencies, including the New Zealand Film Commission, on a long-term solution.”

        This is what I call B.S. on. They had a long delayed, over due two-year long Screen Sector Review, heard from people like Rob Tapert during it, and then changed nothing. No forward thinking or strategy came out it, ‘cos they didn’t care or understand that you can make money and jobs out of creative industries as well as oil.

    • Dumrse 1.2

      Hobbit, now there’s a movie title that’s not hard to recognise however, the ” Auckland screen industry” does not ring any bells. Sounds like the latter is on the bludge for some funding so we could rightfully ask for a long hard look at the last 3 or 4 balance sheets so as we can get some idea of where the money will be spent. Looking for handouts seems to suggest there have not been too many financially successful screen productions of late. Unlike the Hobbit.

      • QoT 1.2.1

        If you missed the awesomeness that was four seasons of Spartacus then you’ve only got yourself to blame. Three seasons of Almighty Johnsons? Six seasons of Outrageous Fortune? Bueller?

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          Bueller?

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          Spartacus didn’t really rock my world, but they did try to do interesting things with it.

          What actually is “Bueller” (comments above notwithstanding :) )?

          Oh, what was that Neill/Kightly one: “Harry”? That’s definitely on my dvd list.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.3

          If you missed the awesomeness that was four seasons of Spartacus…

          I don’t think I finished watching the first series. Pretty good but not great.

          • Mike S 1.2.1.3.1

            It seems Spartacus was one of those love it or not so much kinda series. Personally, I thought it was the best TV series I’ve ever watched and was groundbreaking in terms of it’s visual style. Awesome stunts, awesome cast, awesome crew obviously. Getting to see mz LL strut her stuff as a scheming, nasty, oh so sexy baddy was brilliant! I am a wee bit biased but it also was and is extremely popular worldwide. I think it was the number one cable show in the states and possibly the number one downloaded show on the internet at one stage.

            Jupiter’s cock!!

          • QoT 1.2.1.3.2

            It went for four seasons despite having to replace the main actor. It ain’t This is Not My Life which was cruelly cut off after one season, but that speaks to its success.

    • Tim 1.3

      The trouble is Micky, Joyce couldn’t actually give a shit. These people wear such things as badges of honour.
      The only thing they understand is when things begin to hurt personally.

      You’ll see that when there actually is a change of government when you can expect to hear them squeal like stuffed pigs – AND when that happens, I hope like hell that Labour doesn’t get all sorrowful and let them off the hook.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        You’ll see that when there actually is a change of government when you can expect to hear them squeal like stuffed pigs – AND when that happens, I hope like hell that Labour doesn’t get all sorrowful and let them off the hook.

        QFT and when that does happen, as it will, Labour and the rest of the Left need to put more pressure on them.

  2. Davidw 2

    Oooh ‘eck, if Lucy Lawless says so, it must be true! I have real difficulty in ascribing believability status to people who have only proven very adept at uttering other peoples’ words – mostly fiction, and exhibiting convincing outward signs of being someone else. That’s just me I suppose.

    • McFlock 2.1

      So that’s why you think Joyce is full of crap.
      What about Lawless?

    • karol 2.2

      I think you’ll find Lawless has done a little more than act.

      Meanwhile, you ignore the other evidence referred to in the post, eg by television director Jonathan Brough? Plus supporting sources that point to the buck stopping wit the government?

      Meanwhile you accept the word of politicians who mouth the words scripted for them by their PR advisers?

      • lprent 2.2.1

        Don’t be so harsh and judgemental about DavidW. Afterall stick figure puppets *like* stick figure political puppets. Neither can see the strings…

      • newsense 2.2.2

        She was the Prime Minister’s personal assistant so I think she knows what she’s talking about guys…

    • emergency mike 2.3

      Wow you’ve got a point Davidw, dem actors make career from acting, why should we listen to anything they say? Especially the hugely experienced and successful ones like Lucy Lawless.

      Politicians like Stephen Joyce on the other hand, we know they’re straight up folk who tell it like it is.

    • Sosoo 2.4

      I’d agree with her. She’s too handy with a sword.

    • Bryce P 2.5

      Ahh, David, you might want to do some research on Lucy’s husband – Rob Tapert. He’s done a few little films and TV series. Nothing big. Just Evil Dead and the like.

      • Kikilia 2.5.1

        Um- Bryce P— In regards to Rob Tapert and the “little films and tv series”…. Xena ring a bell? It’s still a money maker at conventions, what about Hercules, or Spartacus? They were all shot in NZ and brought a lot of work and money to the country.

        The Evil Dead was made before he moved to NZ for his projects…..

  3. Philgwellington Wellington 3

    Xox
    JOYCE and Key have their favourites. Tiwai, Warner Bros, America’s Cup, RWC. Andarko , Fletcher, Sky Channel and SKY TV, etc. What about help for the
    struggling smaller businesses KEY?

  4. Ennui 4

    I really objected to the government donation to the Sainted Peter and Time Warner for the Hobbit. I also really object to the government donating my portion of cash that is taken to provide me with a decent social environment to any other private entity. That includes the film industry. That National choses not to fund the film industry suits me just fine. Give the money to aged care, womens refuge, etc.

    • karol 4.1

      Well, definitely concerns like aged care, women’s refuges, beneficiaries etc should be a priority for government funding. But it should be possible also to set in place the legislation and funding for local screen industry, related to public broadcasting and affordable access to online activities for all Kiwis – it’s the arena for the kind of communications and engagement necessary for democracy to thrive.

      The Dunleavy & Joyce book that I referred to in my post, also explains the reasons for “New Zealand domiciled” or “locally produced” productions which “describe productions whose conception, narratives, financing, development, and completion are centred upon New Zealand culture, creative personnel and institutions.”

      They say up til the 1960s and 1970s, there was pretty much no local NZ screen production. So NZ basically was saturated with US & British images, idioms, stories and values & this continued the Pakeha-dominated colonial legacy & a kind of cultural “malaise”.

      There is a reason why the US government strongly supports measure to maintain their international dominance in screen productions. Part of that is economic, but part is also related to a deliberate campaign for cultural colonisation internationally.

      Since earlier in the 20th century, they have aimed to “soften up” local populations to accepting dominant US values & perspectives by encouraging distribution of Hollywood movies to other countries. First the movies, then entrance of other economic activities into overseas countries. And, they have continued similar practices into the 21st century: in Iraq after the invasion in 2003, they started broadcasting US TV programmes into Baghdad and other areas of Iraq – part of the “winning hearts and minds” initiative.

      Economic and cultural independence for NZ go hand-in-hand.

      • Tat Loo 4.1.1

        Thanks for making explicit note of the importance of propaganda in the control of western opinion, karol. It’s especially easy for the smart and the educated to be manipulated, because they think that they are way too smart and educated to fall for it. Which as every con knows, makes them perfect marks.

        Because of a lack of media coverage, hardly anyone in the west recalls the case of the Al Jazeera cameraman the US imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for years, primarily because they regarded the news channel as an enemy organisation.

        Of course throughout the Mulsim world, Sami al-Hajj is a household name.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        Dunleavy (if it’s Trish you refer to), is one very smart lady! (although from Natty stock) and hopefully someone who’ll be prepared to participate in the restoration of Public Service broadcasting in NZ when the time is ripe – alongside a couple of her colleagues).
        That lady – along with the likes of Thompson at Vic, and acouple of others of a more technical bent, know exactly what needs to be done to break the back of the destruction of PSB, Freeview, Sky monopoly, Government dept and Quango incompetence and TVNZ gravy-train-riders. (Well almost – she got thoroughly hoodwinked by one nasty little gravy-train rider that’s still a TVNZ trougher).
        Her research is usually impeccable. It’s a BIG shame she hasn’t received more support from some of her colleauges (that’s of course if we’re talking about Trisha Dunleaey)

    • belle 4.2

      “‘ I also really object to the government donating my portion of cash that is taken to provide me with a decent social environment to any other private entity.”‘

      Foreign productions bring multi million dollar budgets. They pay New Zealand workers millions of taxable dollars. They bring money here the government would never had in the first place? How is that spending “your portion of cash”?

        • greywarbler 4.2.1.1

          DTB
          Mmmm… But it’s nothing that you can hold in neat oblongs or circles with special art work.

      • Ennui 4.2.2

        You obviously have zip all grasp on the economics of NZs film industry: TW only agreed to play ball after they and the the Sainted Peter blackmailed the maleable Shonkey to part with tax payers dollars. We the tax payers run a deficit and some privileged few keep employment at the expense of other taxpayers…i.e we transfer the pain, somebody else does not get funding so goes on the dole etc. Meanwhile the taxpayer also lines the pockets of those who profit. Last time I read the papers Treasury stated that the whole thing was a deficit to the taxpayer.

  5. Rich 5

    The argument for pork-barrelling business is usually that it’s “seed money” that will enable the business to take off without government funding in a short while.

    We’ve been doing this for the screen industry for 20+ years, and it hasn’t worked. (It hasn’t worked for tourism or big sport, either).

    Meanwhile, NZ on Air financed thousands hours of film for less than the Hobbit cost – NZ created stories, not a US-oriented adaptation of an old English book.

    If government stuck to funding things for the benefit of New Zealanders on a sensible basis, rather than pouring dollars into the pockets of foreign multinationals, it would create jobs and benefit everyone.

    • FastSage 5.1

      Um… Peter Jackson is the result of Film Commission “seed money”. Seems like a good pay-off to me. Weta Digital was in the Herald this morning as a $140m annual revenue company.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I agree that Weta Digital has been the big success story resulting from Jackson’s international productions. And it is areas of digital creativity that the NZ government should be investing for the future.

        • FastSage 5.1.1.1

          Agreed. Yet (I’m told), digital animation rebates are more out of touch with international trends than film and video games (the growth area) are completely excluded.

          • karol 5.1.1.1.1

            Interesting, FastSage. Can you explain that more, please?

            Like how can NZ produced digital animations & video games be encouraged and supported?

            • FastSage 5.1.1.1.1.1

              (Done my homework, see http://www.mch.govt.nz/screensector-review)
              After 2 years of navel gazing in July the govt announced:
              17.3 That the qualifying expenditure threshold for short-form animation be lowered
              from $1 million to $0.4 million per hour.
              17.4 That animation productions have joint access to NZ On Air, Te Mangai Pāho and
              Screen Production Incentive Fund funding.

              Spending $1m/per hour of TV on animation before you can access the rebate would require Pixar-quality animation and meant no local animation studios could use the rebate that was intended for them. So: National Govt inaction meant we had 5+ years of animation studios not even being able to access their supposed support. And I hear that the current $400k/per hour rate is unrealistic also, especially combined with the $NZD.

              Also, see how there were all these ‘silos’, which is an out-dated view of things. The Screen Production Incentive Fund criteria specifically exclude computer games. They don’t even have 1 silo.

              My answer: create a fund that encourages original IP for international audiences but owned by Kiwis, in addition to the existing funds to tell local stories for NZers, and for NZers to work on overseas productions. It would be for film, TV, animation and games. It amazes me that this doesn’t exist.

              • karol

                Excellent. Thanks, FastSage, I’ve saved it for future reference.

                What is “IP”?

                • Tat Loo

                  Intellectual Property

                  • karol

                    Ah, Thanks, Tat. I kept reading it as Internet Provider.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I do things like that as well. I always read “TS” as TeamSpeak.

                    • Tim

                      And everytime I see a van (such as) with “J.P. Wally & Sons – shopfitters”, I read shopLIFTERS. It’s a sign of the times.
                      We should avoid acronyms – its really very neo-lib – part of the agenda to fool and deceive.
                      SDLC – is it Synchronous Data Link Control? or is is Systems Development Life Cycle? – or has yet some other meaning been applied?

                      The neo-libs LERV the potential ambiguity ….. and nine times out of ten its just as quick to say the actually meaning than it is the acronym.
                      IP – Internet Provider
                      IP – Intellectual Property

                      They’re all acronyms designed for lack of specificity and for ambiguity.

                      IT …. now ‘so last century’!!!. Now has to be ICT I think.
                      Same shit, different stink.
                      Still, I ‘spose a few people earned a few grand kicking in the buzz (while a few others starved, one or two Bangladeshies got crushed, and a Nat polly or two convinced themselves how important and how much power they had).

                    • Francis

                      I generally us “copyright” since, for the most part, it covers it. You could also add in “trademarks” too, I guess.

                      Never liked the term “Intellectual Property”, besides “IP” standing for a heap of other terms, it implies property rights (ugh) of an intangible object and lumps several relatively unrelated concepts together (trademarks, copyright, and patients usually).

                      EDIT: Throw in “Internet Protocol” as another ambiguity of “IP” (as in Internet Protocol address)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Never liked the term “Intellectual Property”, besides “IP” standing for a heap of other terms, it implies property rights (ugh) of an intangible object

                      Which, of course, is it’s purpose. Just another part of the neo-liberal paradigm subtly changing our language and thus our culture.

              • karol

                This looks like a success story: Reservoir Hill, developed and delivered as an Online series for the TVNZ website, the rights have been sold to a Swedish TV company for a remake, plus it’s being developed into a film by the NZ Film Commission.

        • Mike S 5.1.1.2

          Rob Tapert has employed more Kiwis than Weta ever will. The wage bill alone for Spartacus was 90 million dollars.

    • karol 5.2

      Yes, I agree that their should be a priority on smaller budget NZ movies. The Dunleavy & Joyce book also points to the successes of the NZ Film Production Fund, set up under the Clark government in 2000. By 2009 it had contributed to the production of the following films:

      Whale Rider
      Perfect Strangers
      Perfect Creature
      River Queen
      The World’s Fastest Indian
      The Ferryman
      The Vintner’s Luck
      Boy
      Two Little Boys

      But since then it has been short of funds, partly due to the GFC, and probably also due to the change to Key’s government – according to Dunleavy & Joyce.

      • FastSage 5.2.1

        Yeah, but if we want a sustainable (read, self-funding) screen sector, instead we need NZ not to fund The Hobbit but to own something the equivalent of The Hobbit. Whale Rider only made US$41m (according to Wikipedia).

        The best attempts at this I can see are The Wots Wots, Jane and The Dragon (Richard Taylor is involved in both of these two) and Buzzy Bee. They’re global in appeal, but are based on what were originally NZ works. Then you get the show, the toy, the game app, the ebook, the royalties and a long-term brand.

        Ironically, these are all children’s TV shows – exactly what a public broadcaster should be funding so we have NZ stories for NZ kids, yet they can be commercialised internationally. The ABC in Australia do this well too, with shows like Bananas in Pyjamas. Check out http://kidsonscreen.co.nz/

        Maybe we can have public broadcasting and commercial outcomes at the same time?

        • tc 5.2.1.1

          Yup, easy. Hope across the tasman and look at their ABC which now sits 3rd in the 5 networks on audience share as the major footy codes have completed their seasons.

          You could also look back to when TVNZ made alot of money onselling its kiddult shows like ABC does now.

          Its just another example of the blighted future under neolib MO, like Hillside and telco etc one more industry been sent packing either by action or inaction.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Freelance television director Jonathan Brough, who has moved to Melbourne, says the responsibility for making the film industry sustainable lies with the Government.

    Yeah, because the private sector won’t. They’ll just go the cheapest route which means importing foreign shows.

    • karol 6.1

      Yes, due to economies of scale, the US can produce of lot of screen product (that looks slick but may, or may not have great quality) a lot more cheaply than by NZ companies. That’s why co-productions with other countries in the region (Aussie, South East Asia) may be a better option than encouraging US and European companies to film here.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Yes, due to economies of scale, the US can produce of lot of screen product (that looks slick but may, or may not have great quality) a lot more cheaply than by NZ companies.

        They don’t make it any cheaper, they sell it to far more TV channels which means that they can sell it cheaper while making similar, if not more, profit. NZ could do the same, make it here and then sell it around the world and the price on the market would be about the same as the US shows. Private investors won’t do that though – they’ll just look at the shows already available, decide that it’s too risky to make new shows here and then import decimating the local industry.

        This is why I say that the government needs to step in with full funding.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    Unlike the Key government’s support for the Hobbit movies, Joyce is now saying they don’t want to participate in a “race to the bottom”

    humph, very rich as that’s the rationale behind all of neolib’s labour market and social policy.

  8. VFX Soldier 8

    I’ve written heavily about the subsidy race in the film industry. In order to compete, NZ has to give the US studios more money than other countries. NZ has given $411M since 2008.

    So my challenge to you: How much money would NZ have to give to US studios in one year to beat Canada? Is there any limit to the amount to give away? NZ is a relatively small country compared to others in competition.

    • Tat Loo 8.1

      “How much” $$$ to give away is one issue, yes. However, there also has to be a longer term comprehensive plan than just a subsidy race to the bottom (although part of a longer term plan could be short term participation in that subsidy race to help establish more expertise and infrastructure). Anything else isn’t sustainable.

      The big studios are of course professional experts at setting off bidding wars between nations. They aren’t our friends and they have no loyalties, apart from to their own margins.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      And for that $411m we could have produced our own movie using full NZ actors, writers, audio and sound production and then sold it worldwide and made a decent profit. Hell, for that price, we could probably have made two or three of them.

    • Ad 8.3

      Good question.
      Instead why not subsidise industry that is spatially fixed and not completely globally fluid like screen industry is?
      A: it’s precisely because fixed industries can’t leave that you don’t have to support them as much as globally fluid ones
      B: globally fluid industries tend to require creative, specialised, highly paid people. They are the ones that change economies fastest and best.
      C: the interventionist point is to strive to attract industry capital to partner, and make less mobile, and make them interdependent with society. Creative industries I’ve observed really get that more than many others.

    • Bryce P 8.4

      You don’t have to give more but you need to be in the ballpark. The rest of the tempting comes down to locations / crew etc.

  9. cricklewood 9

    If I was been cynical the industry is dead/dying because we make to much shit TV that no one wants to watch… Sure production here costs but as in many industries if you produce a high quality product the cost isn’t much of an issue…

    • karol 9.1

      NZ does produce good stuff, but we need more, and it needs to be promoted well.

      Actually, I think there’s a cycle that needs to be broken. The US media corporations spend a lot of time promoting their screen products. Many Kiwis that are Internet connected, tend to look to the US as having the “best” programmes – you only need to look at web sites like Throng NZ to see how they salivate over the published line up for the latest seasons of US series when they first get published.

      And NZ TV schedules tend to follow that line too. But there’s a much more diverse lot of TV and movies and web series coming out of various countries all over the globe. I have watched programmes and/or and/or web series films from Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, South American countries, Canada, etc, that never get shown here, but have strong international support, albeit sometimes with niche audiences.

      I rate NZ’s Blue Rose, and there are some very good Aussie series showing on NZ Freeview TV. But often they can be on late night, and require a digital recorder. Maori TV also shows some very good movies and TV series from various countries, but many people don’t even think of watching that channel.

    • Mike S 9.2

      shit TV such as? …….

  10. Nick K 10

    The high $NZD has nothing to do with it aye.

    • Tat Loo 10.1

      So you agree that the NZ$ is currently too high?

      Good to know. Let’s get a Labour/Greens Government prepared to do something about that.

      • BM 10.1.1

        That’s going to be easy.
        Just getting elected will wipe about 30% off the value of the Kiwi dollar.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          One can only hope.

          • BM 10.1.1.1.1

            Really?, I’m sure all those voters will be stoked to see their cost of living go through the roof.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              well, at east they’ll have jobs.
              Because our exporters will make a killing.

              Hell, we might even start making stuff again.

              • BM

                Yes, all these jobs will just appear overnight and everyone will be happy, especially the little pixies.

                Happy times for all

                • McFlock

                  It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it would happen.

                  We have:
                  rich natural resources, most of them renewable
                  A culture of improvisation, creativity, invention, and innovation
                  fucking awesome scenery

                  This fucking screams “massive export advantage”.

                  The two things holding us back are:
                  a national govt that serves finance companies, not manufacturers
                  a dollar artificially inflated by the above

            • Tat Loo 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Offset by shitloads more jobs, movie industry contracts, and more onshore manufacturing. I guess a few people in the top 5% might be miffed that their dollar doesn’t buy as much on their European ski tour.

      • Dumrse 10.1.2

        How do you plan doing that? Will you get Russel to crank up the printing presses?

  11. lindsay 11

    What’s Joyce thinking of when he says that Peter Jackson needs to choose making films here. Peter has been doing this for 25 years. Joyce hasn’t noticed?.

    • karol 11.1

      I guess Joyce is saying Tapert and Jackson should “choose” to film in NZ even when competitive financial incentives are not on offer.

      Lawless’s tweets indicate that Tapert tried to negotiate so that it would be viable to film his latest project in NZ. She tweet that Tapert,

      He gave them the best advice to keep film rolling and they screwed him over.

    • QoT 11.2

      There’s also a coded threat: “we have to make whatever accommodations Peter Jackson demands or he’ll throw a tanty and take his film home.”

  12. Ennui 12

    This whole column seems in contradiction with where we were at when Shonkey gave away our dollars to TW plus when Richard taylor made mockery of Labour day leading an anti union march.

    • karol 12.1

      The main issue here is about how to save an industry – or at least the Auckland region part of it – rather than how to get a higher subsidy for one production that was always going to be filmed here, plus to change employment law to suit a US corporate.

      The most significant issue here is how to make a sustainable industry that works best for NZ, economically and culturally.

      • Tat Loo 12.1.1

        Correct. The whole Hobbit/Peter Jackson saga was centred around tax payer subsidies of corporate and personal super profits. What we are trying to do here is find a pathway ahead for a diverse, locally self sustaining industry ready to nurture the next generation of creative New Zealand talent.

        And notice how subsidising the Hobbit/Peter Jackson to the tune of millions has had no positive long term impact on the situation we see now in Auckland. That’s what we need to avoid.

        • greywarbler 12.1.1.1

          Tat
          That’s so true that the subsidy was only good for one use and now we’re empty again.. But what can be done immediately to stop companies breaking up? NACT are good at one off showpieces. Now Labour has to find a way to pick up the pieces now the show has moved on. And apparently it has now

          And Ennui all our creative innovative industries need some sort of subsidy. It is hard enough for them to get the chance to come up with new clever stuff. Then the beefy ox faces look at them with the words ‘Is this good for me’ going through their minds like ticker tape. We have to support them like tender plants which we will be able to eat later.

      • Ennui 12.1.2

        The aim of “saving” the industry is laudable. Which other industry will pick up the bill via tax transfers? Which other workers will be out of a job because government “picks” a winner and cant subsidise somebody else? We just cant go on expecting the tax payer to pick up the cost of unsustainable unprofitable enterprises at the expense of others.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 12.1.2.1

          Look at the Singapore Government’s current massive investment in biotech enterprises.

          And the Australian government has just announced it is putting AU$112.6M into a new biotechnology venture capital fund (to match the same sum from the private sector).

          Mariana Mazzucato has done a lot of work in this area i.e. “the entrepreneurial state”. Building brand new industries and technologies usually takes a lot of government time and money; the eventual pay back to the country needs to be in financial, social and cultural terms, as well as an industry which is self-sustaining and successful on it’s own terms.

  13. BrucetheMoose 13

    Never mind. They might as well continue, as they have been successful at slowly killing plenty of other establishments during their term. Worker’s rights and wages, the nation’s environment protection, education sector, the erosion of the country’s fundamental democratic processes, New Zealander’s privacy, Christchurch.

  14. Sable 14

    Seems no one likes these arseholes save a few sad old Tory die hards like Shitelands, King Pong and the rest. Even Lawless is applying her boot to Joyce’s fat ass and good job too.

  15. rich the other 15

    lucy and her lot are getting what they deserve .
    Money to support anything in our community must be earned .
    Lucy and her deranged green extreme mates are against most things that generate revenue .
    Attacks on farming , mining , oil and gas , motor way construction etc etc are real examples of the destructive negative attitudes these people have, they want to stop real money making ventures yet still want a hand out.
    It’s time this lot woke up , money doesn’t grow on trees .

    • karol 15.1

      Almost reads like a parody, but not a very original one.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 15.2

      It’s time this lot woke up , money doesn’t grow on trees .

      In fact, you are absolutely correct.

      Today, money is in fact generated out of thin air (“ex nihilo”) using computer keystrokes, and digitally credited to electronic accounts. A hundred million, a billion, a hundred billion dollars can therefore be created in seconds, at no cost.

      No trees need to be involved, or need to be turned into currency paper for printing, for this to happen. Hope this satisfactorily explains to you “where money comes from.”

    • Sable 15.3

      Just look at the losses National has incurred from its asset sales alone and its not hard to see what brand of fool votes for these idiots.

  16. Vanessa 16

    For all the fuss and blow bagging the Hobbit caused at the time of Shonkee wanting to rub shoulders with Hollowood when they had the ‘big boy secret squirrel signing of the Warner Bros tax break thingy’, the film itself was boring, and so uninteresting, after ten minutes I thought, “hurry up”, then I thought (about the story and characters) “who cares, then I fell.. That said, Shonkee is and will only ever be interested in putting his hand in when and where there is ‘big money’… even if its ‘blood money’. Look at his back ground and where he’s come from. His whole working life is geared around setting up business situations thru dodgy loopholes so that he and his stockholders can rake in someone else’s money. And so what he has shown us over the last few years has exposed him as being ‘emotionally, spiritually and compassionately unintelligent’. Where are NZ’s other choices in leadership. Why do we not have other strong options in leadership. Surely to god we can come up with a hand full of people that are better, stronger, wiser than Shonkee. Come on you fullas step up to the base stop hiding and being humble, we need you to come forward and take charge away from these ‘sandpit truants’.

  17. Sophie 17

    After working on both PJ and Rob Tapert projects I know for a fact this is BS! “He says key players such as filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson and producer Robert Tapert, who was behind Spartacus, also need to choose to keep making films here instead of going offshore.” This is absurd, he has no idea what he is talking about. Both are continuing/trying to keep projects here!!!

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    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
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