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Nat’s sell Kiwis out for their mates (again)

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, April 27th, 2012 - 188 comments
Categories: business, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Remember way back when the government were changing the law to take rights off film workers and increase tax breaks for Warners? It was all about keeping Kiwi jobs they said.

Well it turns out that at the same time they were doing this they were also making promises to Peter Jackson that those Kiwi jobs would be given to imported workers.

Usually when workers are brought into New Zealand by an employer they need to prove that the skills they are bringing are not available in New Zealand. And if there’s union coverage in the industry that union gets to vet the applications and make a case against them if they believe there is no skills shortage.

Thanks to this secret deal this system no longer applies to Jackson/Warners.

Despite this situation the good news would be that imported workers would be bound by NZ employment law, maybe even a collective if there was one. At the very least these minimum standards would ensure that they couldn’t undermine local workers.

However the government’s change to the law covering film-workers means (as far as I can tell) that Jackson/Warners are free to import workers as contractors – contractors who could legally be contracted on terms and conditions below New Zealand’s minimum standards.

I’d be very interested to know how many workers were being imported under this deal and what kind of terms and conditions they’ve been given. But seeing as it’s taken more than a year to find out about this shoddy affair I doubt we’ll ever know just what the results of the government’s secret deal have been.

188 comments on “Nat’s sell Kiwis out for their mates (again)”

  1. When you combine the Sky City deal with the Crafar farm sale and combine it with the Warner Bros deal you end up with such a huge pile of steaming corporate influence you would have to wonder who is governing our country and for whom!
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/dodgy-hobbit-deal-revealed.html

    • framu 2.1

      import talent? what do you mean?

      Big name actors? extras? crew?

      Big name actors didnt/wouldnt get stopped as its their name not skill per se that is the reason for them being hired to the film

      and theres nothing wrong with importing talent if we dont already have it.

      plenty wrong with cutting out talent and skills we have in order to bring in your own. Thats why its part of employment and immigration policy

      • framu 2.1.1

        that was in reply to tighty righty’s comment – which seems to have disappeared

        and the reply function isnt working for me for some reason (using the reply button – but no indentation of comment)

  2. The Baron 3

    Movie making, the IrishBill way:

    “Oh I dunno if we need this Sir Ian McKellan bloke when we have Dave from Shortland Street… and this Stephen Fry guy can’t be much better than that fulla from the instant kiwi ad”.

    Come on IB, I know every single thing that any Union does gets a boner from you, but the prospect of the Union not having a veto over foreign actors is your great big concern here? Is there anything else you had in mind to try make sure this movie wasn’t made?

    Some might think the bigger picture of having a couple of hundred mill of foreign cash sloshing round the NZ movie industry wasn’t such a bad thing. But nope, not Irish Bill! Gotta make sure the Unions get to call all the shots after all, even if that shot is in their own bloody foot.

    • Kaplan 3.1

      Ian McKellan was contracted for LOTR prior to all this and without needing a law change.
      So clearly that is not what Peter Jackson was trying to ‘fix’. If you actually read the post you’ll see it mentions ‘workers’ and ‘contractors’, not ‘lead actors’.
      Try again.

    • IrishBill 3.2

      I’ve heard the deal is being used to bring in technical staff on contracts. I’d be interested to know if they all have skills unavailable in NZ.

      • The Baron 3.2.1

        Oh ok, but one single link you have as evidence for this little fanboi union rant is based on Actors, isn’t it, Irish. So, um, where’s the story about the tech peeps that have your knickers in a knot?

        I’d hazard a guess that we don’t have a wealth of world-class CGI and post production types waiting around on the dole, don’t you? If that’s the case, perhaps Petey needed to tap foreign markets because the pool was empty here. After all, I’m sure Brian the good ole boy from the Union could pick up all that CGI stuff if we had that veto!

        I mean, I dunno – I’m not the one making hysterical arguments about the NATS SELLING OUT KIWIS based on what “I’ve heard”. On that basis, I’d say my theory holds about as much water as yours right now.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          I’d hazard a guess that we don’t have a wealth of world-class CGI and post production types waiting around on the dole, don’t you?

          Then you’d probably guess wrong. With modern software CGI is actually fairly easy and it’s becoming a fairly popular hobby.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.1

            So very funny. I must let my mate’s brother know all about how his job is really easy and anybody can do it in their spare time (obviously with a couple of hours of training).

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.1.1

              You do know that a lot of the most successful people are people that started their field as a hobby don’t you?

              • Gosman

                That doesn’t make it ‘fairly easy’ which I believe is the term you used.

                Your mistake, (other than being an unreconstructed hard core leftist), is to equate something that someone might do as a hobby with something that is easy to pick up.

                It is quite obvious you have little idea about what you state on this subject. I’m sure that won’t stop you from grandstanding on it though.

                • felix

                  Granted, it would be fairly difficult for you Gos.

                • Mike

                  “It is quite obvious you have little idea about what you state on this subject.”

                  I however do; and it is fairly easy. A locally based TV series that is very heavily cgi based has a multitude of “cgi guys” who are very expensive. Alot of what is done is essentially cutting and pasting. Anyone who is “IT competent” can pick up the basic required skills in next to no time.

              • Draco, and this is a fairly good example of someone starting out as a hobby… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzFpg271sm8

            • felix 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Or alternately you could let him know that “with modern software CGI is actually fairly easy and it’s becoming a fairly popular hobby”, which is what Draco said rather than what you pretended he said.

              Not that it matters as your mate’s brother already knows this and he thinks you’re a tool.

              • Carol

                Which is, of course, how Peter Jackson started – making a film in his and others’ “leisure” time, at weekends. And then Weta was started after the first, off-the shelf visual effects computers were available…. t’was when Jackson did most of his best, and identifiably Kiwi stuff.

                http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001392/bio

                Pity he sold out for the Hollywood $

                • felix

                  Shh, don’t tell Gos. You’ll ruin his fantasy that the entire NZ film industry appeared from the clouds fully formed as a reaction to Peter’s innate genius.

                  • Yup, Felix, and Jackson relied on state funding to get “Bad Taste” finished. If it hadn’t been for QEII Arts funding… well, let’s say we’d be in a Parallel Universe where “Lord of the Rings” never masde it to the big screen (except for that animated attempt back in the ’70s.)

              • Gosman

                No, I’m pretty sure my mate’s brother will think DTB is a tool for such a laughable viewpoint. Certainly his brother found it funny when I e-mailed it to him. I believe he used the term ‘out of touch plonker’ to describe the comment.

            • OneTrack 3.2.1.1.1.3

              Don’t even need any training. Just get a copy of “cgi for dummies” and you are all set.

      • Gosman 3.2.2

        I know some of these people who have come here on short term contracts for The Hobbit movies. In the prosthetics make up department of around a dozen or so the majority would be from overseas on short term contracts. They work hard and earn good money and then spend it in Wellington. Where’s the problem?

    • burt 3.3

      The Baron

      Yeah, just like the good old days;

      Like C’mon hosted by Peter Sinclair… But this time making covers of popular overseas films for the local market. Hey we could call this place ‘wellywood’ and make a whole new genre with only NZ performers. Would be excellent for union membership numbers.

  3. ad 4

    The smell of thoroughly corporatised politics should begin to permeate through the public’s nostrils, if the opposition and the media – of all types – can repeat and expand consistent messaging.

    Selling land for no extra economic value to the country (the Crafar farms), selling infrastructure assets (the power companies), and selling policy (the Sky City deal), amount to turning the government into a company.

    That means that you only ever have influence over anything if you have money and lots of it.

    The Hobbit fiasco saw citizens can march in the streets, but the law still be sold from under them. The real corrosion to this is at the ballot box, where we see a third of people simply not vote. I bet you a lot of that is confusion and powerlessness as people fail to see stark policy choices until too late, and fail to see that their vote will make a real difference.

    We simply have to remain strong that campaigns will make a difference – which means aggregating members into donors into campaigns, and fighting hard.

    In all of this it’s Mayor Brown that makes me the most melancholic because he really should have been the ebacon of resistance and rationality that he promised to be.

    But today it’s great to see David Cunliffe string coherent sentences together again – this time in the NZHerald. He says “Most kiwis want a lot more ‘can do’ from tnheir government and a credible plan to deliver it. They do not want a negative, cost-driven approach; or one-off deals lacking transparent process. They do not accept that selling off our future – state energy companies for example – is the best way to build one. More than a thousand a week are voting with their feet.”

    It’s an article that I think would find a lot of common ground both with the Greens, and NZFirst, and indeed with a lot of national supporters. It would be great to see a policy debate on this site about what an alternative economic development strategy could look like to the one we don’t have at the moment.

    The wave has to build somewhere.

    • The Baron 4.1

      Oh yes, all those DOZENS of people marching in the streets. While the rest of the country watched in disgust.

      My favourite moment was still that video – you know, when Robyn and that Aussie fella were confronted after noshing it up on the union dime at Matterhorn, yet still couldn’t answer any questions from those fine techie types that they purported to represent. Did you forget that bit?

      • framu 4.1.1

        “While the rest of the country watched in disgust.”

        i (and many others i would guess) would prefer it if you didnt attempt to speak for me

      • ad 4.1.2

        So what kind of country do you want? Spell out how you would get to a country in which people see it worth staying here, worth forming a career here, see it worth voting and engaging like citizens, and makes everyone believe they can get wealthier and stronger? How would you do it?

        • The Baron 4.1.2.1

          One where one of our most talented and acclaimed citizens can make a movie worth hundreds of millions of dollars and employing hundreds of people, without union bullies standing over him trying to shut it down?

          I mean, that’d be a good start. Seems like I’m on the winning team already.

          Oh, but what’s your plan? Union vetoes mean wealth for all eh? Is that the country you want – where you can’t get a job without having your credentials checked by some unelected union bully, who chooses on tenure rather than talent? Is that your plan huh?

          You see, I have got a career here thanks. And I’m pretty happy, healthy and well off – not obscenely so, but I don’t wanna be. NZ ain’t that bad, despite what you morbid lefties think. I vote and I engage plenty as a citizen. In other words, the model isn’t broken as far as I’m concerned, and I see no evidence in Irish’s latest hysterical wee tanty to suggest I need to change my mind. Actually, I see no evidence to purport Irish’s assertions at all.

          Onus on you pal – I’m not the one having a whinge.

          • Bunji 4.1.2.1.1

            unelected union bully
            You really don’t know anything about unions do you Baron? Just been doing my voting for my “unelected bullies” a couple of weeks ago…

          • ad 4.1.2.1.2

            It’s great that you are prosperous and successful. Few in this country are. The policy being debated clearly does not relate to your personal circumstances. What is unnerving and worth debating is how low this government prices the capital of its people, before it opens the employment floodgates to those from overseas. At the very highest end, New Zealand can’t afford marquee names (either as actors or production companies or distributors), so we will for the foreseeable future always need to import them.

            But if your career was in film, we would want to incentivise others like you to stay, to demostrate to producers that apart from that highest value strata we have the expertise and capacity to take on the big jobs, and build individual CV’s and national reputations in an industry.

            It’s wrong to whip labour protections away that benchmark our labour value. We need policy protection for our careers and our professions, in specific industries. Does this kind of legislative action feel like it will achieve that?

            • Gosman 4.1.2.1.2.1

              To get future investment in the film industry all you need to do is show that you can manage to produce world class productions like this. Whether the talent is sourced mainly from Nz or overseas is irrelevant.

              • ad

                Some parts of films we will not be able to create for some time if ever – particularly global distribution companies, global marquee actor names, and really large production companies. Unfortunately they are the core elements of getting a successful film. So New Zealand has to compete without any of those, and still win. That needs policy protection.

                • Gosman

                  I love how you use the term ‘We’ as if the entire country is responsible for this as opposed to a few talented individuals. If you want to hobble these talented individuals by imposing restrictions on who they employ then go ahead and do that. See what these talented individuals do then.

                  • ad

                    From the very beginning to now the Lord of the Rings series was a co-production between an entrepeneur, foreign production companies and the New Zealand government. The collective “we” is represented not only in the taxpayer dollars that has gone into it, but to everyone who contributed directly or indirectly, and everyone who of course benefited. New Zealand is simply too small – in almost any industry – to take on the world without major public sector support. Granted there are exceptions, but very few.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m not sure any Taxpayers money went directly into the LOTR movies. Certainly they received a tax rebate but that was against spending they brought into the country. If they hadn’t made the films here then there would have been no tax to rebate to them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If they hadn’t made the films here then there would have been no tax to rebate to them.

                      More threats from foreign firms, facilitated by Peter Jackson former Kiwi patriot.

                  • bbfloyd

                    i love how little gossamer can argue from total ignorance with such passion and conviction….

                    that’s a pretty gnarly case of denial you got there young fella…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Some parts of films we will not be able to create for some time if ever – particularly global distribution companies, global marquee actor names, and really large production companies.

                  Actually, we could – if we backed them rather than multi-national companies.

                  • Gosman

                    Yeah, you could use some of that ‘magic’ money you will print to fund it. Of course as it will be worthless outside NZ it would make getting top flight talent to appear in the film a tad problematic. But who needs top Hollywood acting talent when we could employ good old NZ talent. We don’t need to sell the film overseas either as 4 million people is more than enough to recoup any ‘magic’ money we conjour up to pay for it.

                    • McFlock

                      Given that any film produced here will be an export product, international actors could be paid out of overseas earnings. And of course a low dollar would boost export earnings and stimulate further productions from overseas.
                              
                      Not a bad idea, gos – devalue the currency through massive public expenditure, and reap the advantages of a resurgent export sector driven by a lower exchange rate.   

                    • Gosman

                      Overseas earning swhich the country wouldn’t have until the film is finished and then sold overseas. I suppose some of them would accept an IOU.

                      But hey, go for this idea. I would so very much like it if a left leaning political party followed your advice and went for this hair brained scheme. It would be so fun to see it being ripped to shreds by people.

                    • McFlock

                      “percentage of the gross”

                    • felix

                      Gosman is this your version of “Ambitious for New Zild”?

                    • North

                      Now you’re being silly Gosman.

              • Hayden

                Of course it’s relevant when the “you” to which you refer is simply itinerant workers who follow productions around. If the NZ film industry was simply a pretty set with a few experienced managers, it wouldn’t be very robust, would it?

                • Gosman

                  I think having flexibility of sourcing skills makes something more robust not less.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Possibly makes it more robust for the multi-national companies – not for the NZers eeking it out on the dole and want a job.

                    • Gosman

                      Is there many skilled film people ekking out an existence on the dole at the moment when they could be working on The Hobbit movies DTB?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No there aren’t. Which is why that industry do not need more subsidies from you and I (especially since most of the profits go to a very few overseas shareholders); other struggling NZ industries do need our help however.

          • Mike 4.1.2.1.3

            Firstly, our most talented and acclaimed citizens are not making a film worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the american production company that’s paying for it is.

            “Union bullies trying to shut it down” – what a load of bollocks. The Hobbit was never ever going to be sent offshore despite what any government spin doctors or any press prattled on about. Have you ever worked in the film and TV industry in this country? You are a full time employee (eg set work times, set hourly pay, timesheets rather than invoices, etc) yet you receive no annual leave, no sick pay, no employment protection and so on and so on. What’s the bet that further down the track the government will try and do the same thing in a different industry in order to attract overseas money. Where does it stop, when all employment rights won over the last few generations are completely eroded???

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        when Robyn and that Aussie fella were confronted after noshing it up on the union dime at Matterhorn

        Got proof that it was the union paying or are you just lying and defaming people?

        • The Baron 4.1.3.1

          Call your lawyer then Draco.

          Regardless, I still have plenty of proof that they ignored the very people they purported to represent. That video was pretty damn shameful really. Got any thoughts on that?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3.1.1

            Ah, typical RWNJ diversion and distraction.

          • PJ 4.1.3.1.2

            The Baron

            Robyn and Simon represent actors. Those abusing them on the street were technicians, represented by the Techies Guild.

            • OneTrack 4.1.3.1.2.1

              Which is why the techies accosted them in the street. They could see that Robyn and the actors union were putting their (the techies) jobs at risk.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The techies jobs weren’t at risk. Their working conditions were though.

  4. John 5

    It’s wrong for Actors Equity to be able to veto Jackson’s hiring overseas actors. They have that in Australia and it has turned many films away from shooting there. He should be free to cast whoever he needs to in order to make his films globally marketable. And if the skills existed here PJ would be using them, he has a vast NZ cast and crew.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      can you point to any films that were going to be shot in australia that shifted locations because of any visa issues?

      you do know that it is standard practice(no relation to the site) for any foreign nationals to have to apply for a visa(work/recreation/etc purposes) unless there are reciprocal arrangements a la nz/aust…

      why would it be an issue for film companies when anyone who isn’t a new zealander that travels to australia has to apply for a visa??

      or are you just blowing it out of your raggedy tory arse?

      • John 5.1.1

        It’s an issue for film companies who work in a multi national environment to be able to cast who they like. They don’t want to argue with a local union who says we have actor X here who is as good as the one you want to bring in. The union doesn’t have anything at stake in making the movie as good as possible, the film company does. And many companies have avoided Australia for this reason. It has way less foreign films (read foreign investment) shooting there because of it, despite the tax incentives, much bigger than ours. And my raggedy independent arse has nothing to do with it. I work in this business and it matters to me.

        • Mike 5.1.1.1

          I don’t believe you work in the industry coz you’re talking through a hole in your arse. I do work in the industry and unions have nothing to do with “many companies avoiding Australia for making their films”. Of course you have no evidence whatsoever to back up this statement which you have obviously just made up based upon what you feel the problem might be regardless of any factual info. If any companies have decided against making their movies in Australia in recent years it is because of the high Australian dollar. Why make a movie in Aussie when you can make it at home in the States for less money? Exchange rate (and tax payer funded subsidies and tax breaks) are far and away the biggest factor in production location decisions.

          Rob Tapert (who has done more for the TV industry in NZ than anyone else) has been producing shows (and now movies) here employing thousands of Kiwi’s for many years and I doubt he has ever had any union issues because he uses Kiwi talent and doesn’t run crying hysterically to the media in order to get his own way. I used to think Peter Jackson was amazing but the Hobbit union bullshit he played up to the media shows he is just another self interested greedy wanker who cares more about his “wonderful move” than the Kiwi workers who make it.

    • Ron 5.2

      .John: “It’s wrong for Actors Equity to be able to veto Jackson’s hiring overseas actors. They have that in Australia and it has turned many films away from shooting there”

      …and yet dozens of multimillion dollar, multi-national films DO get made there and in fact several were made in NZ before Jackson threw his toys.

      “The entire LOTR trilogy was made in NZ, as were other major overseas films such as The Last Samurai, all without any problems. So what is Peter Jackson’s problem now?”

      Jackson’s problem was that he lost a court case. He hated the idea that his workers could have the normal employment protections. Why he hates hs workers being covered by employment law so much I don’t know but as you say everything was fine until he lost that case. perhaps it’s a bit of Jiohn banks syndrome.- ” I puilled myself up by my boot straps so why should anyone else have an easier time of it?.”

      THEN I think Warners got in his ear and said “can you help us make some more moeny out of this by influencing the government?” and Jackson lied saying that the film wouldn’t be made here unless the law was changed. He lied. The emails proved that. Warners were not threatenming to tsake the film off shore.

      The film tech marchers were scabs, sucked in by Jackson’s crocodile tears and an all too willing toady media – Holmes being the prime offender. Even RNZ still opens this story with “law changes designed to prevent the Hobbit being taken off shore.” They were NOT designed for any such thing.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        Ooooooh! That Jackson is sooooooo Evil. Screwing over NZ for his masters in Hollywood. Amazing that he still wants to live and work in NZ for some reason. Perhaps he likes tolaugh at all the poor film workers he has screwed over. What does Robyn Malcolm think of him do you think? She seemed okay back in 2010 http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4268360/Why-would-I-want-to-root-my-industry

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          Hey Gos. When someone criticises a person or some other entity on the basis that their actions are selfish or unfairly disadvantage someone else, that’s not the same as calling them “evil”.

          When you ascribe statements or implications to people that they didn’t make, you lower yourself and discredit everything else you say on the subject.

      • John 5.2.2

        I am a film worker, and I prefer to be an ‘independent contractor’. I worked on LOTR, and we weren’t taken advantage of. The reality is that film workers are freelance operators, working for a variety of companies, and are not employees as such. And how can a production proceed in the uncertainty that a union might decide an actor they want could be replaced by a local!! It costs a lot more to bring in overseas actors / technicians. They have to be accommodated, given extra allowances, travel etc. It only happens when there isn’t a better option already in NZ. The govt got it right on this one.

        • felix 5.2.2.1

          I totally believe you. You seem legit and your phrasing doesn’t come across as amateur astroturfing at all.

          Awesome show great job.

        • RedLogix 5.2.2.2

          I am a film worker, and I prefer to be an ‘independent contractor’.

          Yes. I’ve worked as an ‘independent contractor’ in my own industry too. The reality is that while you are useful to them you get paid; otherwise you are as disposable as toilet paper. As a contractor you effectively have zero employment rights and security. It might work for you while you are young or have no family… and try getting a mortgage unless you can show security of employment.

          And of course the main reason why so many of you prefer contracting is that it means you can claim many of your expenses against your income for tax purposes. That of course is an artifact of New Zealand’s extremely tight employee expense deductions… effectively the tax system biased the playing field towards contracting.

          And that of course is exactly what the employers wanted. All the benefits of having you work for them, but none of the responsibilities.

          • Carol 5.2.2.2.1

            Indeed, RL. Before my accident at the end of last year one of my areas of work was contract work that I did for several years…. and it paid well. I also had a less well-paid permanent part time job. ACC did pay some loss of income for the contract work when I was unable to work.

            However, once I was ready to work again on partial duties, the contract had run out, and it was my permanent job that has seen me through with guaranteed work and income, as well as providing the necessary support to get me back to full duties in that job.

          • John 5.2.2.2.2

            Yes RedLogix I am disposable, at a weeks notice. The flip side is I can walk away too, it works both ways. And I can look after my own rights, I don’t want security. I want to be well paid for my work, which I can negotiate on the merits of my skills. And I have a family, a mortgage etc. I’ve been doing this 20 years with no security, no holiday pay, no sick pay. I’ve been well rewarded, and the films I have worked on have had the benefit of my input. Everyone is happy. We don’t need a union to start calling the shots.

            • Carol 5.2.2.2.2.1

              It all sounds very positive…. a comfortable living…. and yet, and yet…. this prosperity is fragile enough that a threat to it is posed by those asking for a fair deal.

              As I understand it, the biggest beneficiaries of international productions in NZ are technicians. It seems there’s a lot of work for them. But such a cosy existence isn’t so available to people working in other roles in the industry.

              • John

                Being an actor doesn’t entitle you to a ‘cosy existence’. It’s not a lifestyle choice. You shouldn’t be able to force a film to hire you ahead of anyone else, regardless of where you live (NZ vs overseas). A film maker needs to be able to hire whoever they decide will give them the best chance of making a successful film. I worked in Australia on a production that had to hire locals, and it had a decidedly negative impact on that film.

                • John

                  PS if you want a ‘cosy existence’ try another profession. No one has the right to work in a particular field if it doesn’t give the level of remuneration they want. By all means give it a shot if you love the work, but if you don’t make enough money it’s not the fault of the film companies, you need to try something else.

                  • Carol

                    I’m not sure if your “you” is meant generically or is aimed at me personally. For the record, I don’t now and have never worked int he media industry.

                    I do think people wanting to work in any industry deserve fair treatment and a level playing field.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey John, how does it feel to be a sellout to your own community, putting the interests of foreigners and foreign shareholders first?

                    • John

                      Not true CV. My community – NZ film makers, at least a thousand of them – are getting the opportunity to be employed on a prestige, world class film production. They are also earning good money, and are not being abused, despite your hopes that they might be. There is net benefit to the country as a whole too.

        • Frank Macskasy 5.2.2.3

          John;

          “I am a film worker, and I prefer to be an ‘independent contractor’… The govt got it right on this one.”

          I think that’s the issue, John; the government made that determination for you – you had no choice in the matter. Ok, this time their decision coincided with your stated interests.

          What about next time?

          How would you feel if, next time, the government “didn’t get it right”?

          Surely the better option is for NZ actors and technicians to join Actor’s Equity and decide for yourselves that you want to be independent ciontractors. Then you OWN that decision and the government plays no part in deciding your working conditions ot status. Because next time you might not be so fotunate.

          By the way, it’s interesting you say that “the govt got it right on this one”. The the so-called “NZ Actor’s Guild were having a ‘whinge’ about an issue that they took issue with,

          “Key players in the New Zealand film industry have raised concerns over new law changes, which they say could stifle local talent both in front and behind the camera.

          On Friday the government announced that entertainment industry workers entering New Zealand to work for 14 days or less, would no longer have to be approved by a local film industry guild.”

          And then,

          “New Zealand Actors’ Guild secretary Greg Ellis said the changes could see local talent overlooked. “New Zealand may become merely a filming location and the creativity and innovation currently present in our creative sector could be lost.” “

          The irony here is that the NZAG were set up by Greg Ellis in opposition to Actor’s Equity, and took a pro-Jackson stance. Oh, talk about chickens coming home to roost…

          http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/roosting-chickens/

          • John 5.2.2.3.1

            “I think that’s the issue, John; the government made that determination for you – you had no choice in the matter. Ok, this time their decision coincided with your stated interests.

            What about next time?

            How would you feel if, next time, the government “didn’t get it right”?

            You’re missing the point Frank. I don’t expect the govt to get it right all the time. I disagree with their decisions on many things.

            ‘Surely the better option is for NZ actors and technicians to join Actor’s Equity and decide for yourselves that you want to be independent ciontractors. Then you OWN that decision and the government plays no part in deciding your working conditions ot status. Because next time you might not be so fotunate.’

            We have been independent contractors since the birth of the film industry here. We already OWNED that. The Bryson court case got it wrong. Now we’re back to what we had before and are happy with it.

            Why is joining a union the solution to all my problems? I don’t want to join a union. Unions work for unskilled workers who have no bargaining power. This industry is not like that. We all have individual power through the skills we bring to the table. I can negotiate my own fees and conditions, and don’t want any collective agreement.

            Overseas film productions like to use local actors and technicians. Bringing in people costs more – they have to be accommodated, given cars, allowances etc. They only do it when necessary – eg when a name actor is required to improve the marketability of the film, or when there is a key creative relationship with the director. And why shouldn’t they do this? They bring many millions of dollars to our economy – why should we dictate to them who they should employ?

            • Frank Macskasy 5.2.2.3.1.1

              “Unions work for unskilled workers who have no bargaining power.”

              What, like the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists?

              Or the NZEI? Post Primary Teachers’ Association?

              Um, no.

              “You’re missing the point Frank. I don’t expect the govt to get it right all the time. I disagree with their decisions on many things. ”

              That doesn’t answer my question, John.

        • Mike 5.2.2.4

          Rubbish. You don’t “prefer” to be an independent contractor, you have no choice in the matter. You’re correct in that film and TV workers are not employees, but then why do they have to adhere to fulltime employee conditions?

          “And how can a production proceed in the uncertainty that a union might decide an actor they want could be replaced by a local!! ” – What uncertainty??? productions have been going on in NZ for years and still are. NZ TV and film industry crews are very highly regarded in the industry. The hobbit fiasco was just Jackson being a selfish prick.

  5. tsmithfield 6

    Filming has been going on for awhile now as I understand it. So, are you able to put up numbers to back up the theoretical concerns, Irish? That is are you able to ascertain what percentage of employees are currently from overseas vs NZ?

    • IrishBill 6.1

      So the Herald carries a story this morning and you expect me to have all the details behind it, including NZ/foreign employment ratios of private companies, by morning tea? I’m flattered that you have so much respect for my investigative abilities but I have to disappoint you on this one.

      • The Baron 6.1.1

        Not quite that much Irish – that would be unreasonable. But this story is all about actors – pretty clear that we don’t have a spare Orlando Bloom lying around, isn’t it? There is nothing here to back up your claims regarding your union mates at all.

        In other words, I’d expect you to have at least something relevant to back up your hysterical headline. Is that too much to ask?

        • Bunji 6.1.1.1

          How many actors are leads vs how many actors in a film Baron?
          Orlando Bloom is a great straw elf, but he’s not who we’re talking about here…

          This is about whether there’s jobs NZers could do that are being made available…

          • The Baron 6.1.1.1.1

            oh right! but its only foreign actors that the one linked piece of evidence is talking about, isn’t it! And Irish is talking about techies, which aren’t in the story at all.

            Quite happy to have a debate, but seems to me that you and Irish would rather keep moving the goalposts til you find something that matches your pre-decided headline. In other words, still waiting for any evidence then that there was a problem with the actors on the b-list. Seems to me that every other time PJ has made a movie, there’s been plenty of Shortland Street washouts anyway – you have something to indicate that that wasn’t the case this time?

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.2

            They seem to be employing a mix of people from here and overseas to fill the roles available and offering good money. Considering there won’t be the same level of demand for these roles after the project wraps up it seems eminently sensible to emply people from overseas on a short term contract basis.

            • framu 6.1.1.1.2.1

              ” it seems eminently sensible to emply people from overseas on a short term contract basis.”

              why not hire locals for these roles if there are locals to fill them? – theres no legal impediment, no labour market checks, no visa issues to sort out and it helps the skill base and experience levels in the local industry for the next project.

              or are you suggesting that because the work might dry up its better to not bother supporting NZ industry?

              • Gosman

                I’m stating that people should be free to recruit people from where ever they like so long as the pay and condition are comparable with what they off NZ based people.

                If someone wants to employ a person from the UK for a role I see no reason why they should be stopped from doing so by the law or some Union official.

                If you feel so strongly about it why don’t you organise a picket against these dozens of overseas people in Wellington on short term contracts. I’d love to see how that would go down with the general population.

                • framu

                  well at least your sticking to your free market principles :-)

                  But immigration and employment policy does state otherwise

                  “If you feel so strongly about it why don’t you organise a picket”

                  oh dammit – you ruined a perfectly polite discussion – why do you have to bring the snarky comments out?

                  • Gosman

                    Not snarky at all. I really would love to see that as it would go to highlight a fundamental difference between left and right thinking.

                • I’m stating that people should be free to recruit people from where ever they like so long as the pay and condition are comparable with what they off NZ based people.

                  Sorry, Gos – but not when we have 150,000 looking for jobs here in NZ.

                  Local pay their taxes and support their own country. I think it only fair that support be returned.

                  New Zealanders should always be given first priority. If they aren’t trained – train them.

                  Otherwise we’ll see the wholly predictable situation of government and industry washing their hands of training our own people and taking the easy option of hiring from overseas.

                  That will not help our economy one iota.

                  Thankfully, your views are a minority.

                  • John

                    Frank! The Hobbit employs thousands of locals. A few actors have been brought in. You can’t just ‘train’ a few actors to fill in. A film of this budget needs to be able to recruit from the global industry. It’s not an ‘easy option’. And overseas actors are never going to undercut locals – they are more expensive. This is not a situation where cheap offshore labour is being used to cut costs. You are so blinkered you are making a fool of yourself.

                    • Name calling aside, you haven’t addressed the central issue: why should we be employing people from overseas when we have 150,000 here, looking for work?

                      The ChCh rebuild is another example where certain calls have been made to bring in workers such as painters, from Asia.

                      Painters! FFS, we could’ve been training painters for the last year and have them ready for the completed new buildings. But no, certain people want to hire from outside the country?!?!

                      Unacceptable.

                      If it’s “blinkered” to want jobs for unemployed here in NZ – I’ll wear that badge with pride.

                      John – consider yourself fortunate you’re one of the lucky ones. Had your life taken a slightly altered route, you might be one of those 150,000 instead of where you are now.

                      People like you, who appear to show little interest or compassion in our own unemployed, are part of the problem. You have a fatalistic acceptance of a bad situation without any regard to those affected.

        • framu 6.1.1.2

          ” But this story is all about actors”

          umm – no, its not

          and you do realise that big name actors arent the issue here? – why are you persisting in this foolish straw man?

          • The Baron 6.1.1.2.1

            Are we reading the same link? Where is there anything in that story about anything BUT actors?

            • framu 6.1.1.2.1.1

              im reading “Peter Jackson got personal Govt briefings”

              the bit talking about actors is the quotes from brownlee – yes?

              so most of the story is actually about the govt giving briefings to jackson, and theres the same stupid strawman that your repeating asserting that big name actors were/are stopped from working on NZ film productions.

              can you find any big name lead actors who get refused work permits to work on NZ productions, and the hobbit/LOTR in particular?

              • The Baron

                Given that that is EXACTLY what the story was about, then why is the onus on me to prove your argument?

                And where is there anything in this story about techies not getting work? or b-list actors? Where is there any evidence at all for all this hysteria?

                Its not my job to make your argument work.

                • framu

                  your the one claiming that big name actors get vetoed – all based on a quote from brownlee which myself and others are pointing out is a strawman as that never has, or does happen.

                  if your basing your opinion on this one article alone then i can see why you think that its all about big name actors.

                  Im not being hysterical or asking you to prove my argument – im trying to point out to you that YOUR argument doesnt stack up because the situation your describing isnt actually true in the past, present or future

                  • The Baron

                    Its not MY argument at all. I’m reading the story published on Stuff, which is remarkably similar to the one in the Herald too. That one backs up my “strawman narrative” – that jackson was worried about Union vetoes over foreign actors. Sounds like a legitimate concern to me, given how much Actors Equity tried to shut the whole thing down over… um… exactly why was it again?

                    You may think its a strawman or fake – I don’t care. Sounds pretty credible to me. If you think the latter, you need to ring up the press council quick smart.

                    Otherwise, all this other bellyaching hasn’t got any references at all. Where are any stories to back up you and Irish getting your red knickers all bunched up cos techies or b-listers are losing work? Oh thats right, not a single link to a single story, just hearsay to back your argument up.

                    Again, how exactly does any of this show that Peter Jackson has “sold kiwis out again”? I see nothing of the sort, just another employer standing up to idiot union bullies who were trying to shut down his business.

                    I look forward to your links to back up your counter.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Jackson is a member of at least 3 international unions himself and garners all the benefit from that, he’s a fucking capitalist hypocrite.

                    • Gosman

                      That’s right C.V. Get angry at him. When you get around to forming that little group to change society perhaps you can dedicate some of the time to protesting outside his studio. That would go down well in the PR stakes I’d suggest.

                    • framu

                      ” pretty clear that we don’t have a spare Orlando Bloom lying around, isn’t it?”

                      so you didnt say that? thats not your argument at all?

                      “that jackson was worried about Union vetoes over foreign actors”

                      which foreign actors? big name ones as used as the example in the story? bit parts?, or extras?

                      its a strawman because the argument being put forward is that the union tries to veto actors by using big name actors as an example – to ellicit the exact emotional response that your having.

                      “Otherwise, all this other bellyaching hasn’t got any references at all”

                      what bellyaching? – im just responding to you, and all im talking about is that the idea that the actors union vetos big name actors is false

                      it seems your the one getting a bit hysterical and bellyaching – settle down, youll pop a blood vessel (those are red to you know).

                      If you’d settle down just a wee bit you’d realise i havent made any assertion regarding jackson, or who is right and wrong in this at all.

                      For the record i think that the union dropped the ball big time, but i also think we were played for chumps by warner brothers – and as Gossman points out – i still cant figure out what PJ gets out of this (apart from bigger film subsidies of course)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That would go down well in the PR stakes I’d suggest.

                      Fuck the PR mate I’m not trying to get elected here, and once more people realise what a hypocritical asshole Jackson is, HE’S the one with the PR problem.

  6. Blue 7

    The entire LOTR trilogy was made in NZ, as were other major overseas films such as The Last Samurai, all without any problems. So what is Peter Jackson’s problem now?

    I have tried to get my head around why this is all suddenly such a big drama, but I really can’t. Obviously all the lead actors will not have a problem getting into the country for the film. If there is anyone with technical skills it should be easy enough to prove their skills are required.

    As for lesser acting parts, it may be a little annoying to have to prove that you simply couldn’t cast a Kiwi as ‘Hobbit Number Four Hundred’ but needed to import an overseas actor to do it. But frankly, they should have to justify it.

    Peter Jackson’s much-lauded talent for making mountains out of molehills is not so delightful right now.

    • Gosman 7.1

      So what does Peter Jackson get out of this then if it was all much a do about nothing? If you think it was all part of some machiavellian plot to screw the union’s here and make more profits for Warners what was Jackson motivation? If he was only interested in the money he could have decamped to the States years ago and be raking it in over there.

      • Blue 7.1.1

        That’s sort of the million dollar question here, Gosman.

        What does he get out of it? Stuffed if I know, but if anyone could explain it to me it would be much appreciated.

        From what I can see the ‘benefit’ to Peter Jackson out of these massively important and necessary changes is so small as to be not worth arguing about. Out of all the problems that you get when you try to make a movie, this stuff is really, really small beer.

        • Gosman 7.1.1.1

          Perhaps he was genuiniely concerned about having his production being seriously disrupted by the sort of things the Government worked with him on resolving. Now he might have overestimated the chance of these things happening but he may still well of had those concerns. The point is the alternative is that Peter Jackson is a A-hole who just likes to screw over New Zealanders for the sake of multi-national film companies. Do you really think that is the case? If so do you think that Robyn Malcolm and Helen Kelly share this view because that is not what they stated at the time of the dispute.

        • ad 7.1.1.2

          It’s pretty galling to see him complicit in union-busting when in the end it simply wasn’t needed. What equally sucks is that he remains the centre of gravity for the only high-skill export industry growing in Wellington. The Wellington screen production industry is certainly full of more leaders than it used to be, but we are still vulnerable to the few gatekeepers for glamourous international capital that he pulls in.

          • Gosman 7.1.1.2.1

            Exactly, so it doesn’t pay to get on his wrong side. Perhaps if someone else in the film industry makes the same impact as Peter Jackson then you will have more options. Until such a time suck it up.

            • ad 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I would argue the reverse. For those industries New Zealand does well in, such as screen production, dairying, or fisheries, governments should recognise the concentration of power and capital of so few players as a vulnerability, and make deals with them for the sustainability of the industry. But as with The Hobbit or Sky City, those deals should never make them beholden to them or commercialise the legislative process. The trick of good governance is to reign in commercial ego towards the common good. Jackson’s monopoly on success is dissolving, but while we remain vulnerable to him we should build policy that protects the whole industry.

              The alternative to a sustainable industry with diversified leadership is a massive continuous boom-bust cycle as we have seen in Wellington in the past decade.

              • Gosman

                Or perhaps you, or your lefty mates, could create a world class film production industry with associated infrastructure to compete with Peter Jackson. That would solve your problem right there.

                • ad

                  A diversified industry is a safer industry that can sustain careers, and good policy recognises that. Believe it or not, 70% of New Zealand’s screen production industry occurs in Auckland. Auckland Council runs and owns the massive film studio in Henderson to support a still-growing industry. Back in 2006 the Labour gvoernment provided seed funding for the Henderson studio upgrade. Auckland could see the point of clustering industry together to support film entrepeneurs.

                  No laws needed to be commodified, no-one was humiliated. Just good deals for the common good. The industry vulnerability is still there to world screen production demand, but far less so now. That’s good industry policy in action.

                  • Gosman

                    Excellent, then there is no need to force Peter Jackson to only use NZ talent then. If it is available here he will have the opportunity to use it. If he feels he can get better talent somewhere else he can do this as well. Where’s the problem again?

                • Bored

                  As a matter of fact we did…who the hell do you think seed funded Jackson with taxpayers money all those years since?

                • bbfloyd

                  gossamer….that’s already started fool…. just like jackson started as an independant. so are the ones who will supplant him as the point of impetus for nz film making now that jackson has become too big(in his own mind) to stay true to his roots…

                  jackson is rather an obvious sellout now… and can no longer be looked to as any more than a hollywood stooge..

                  • The Baron

                    I’m sure he is really losing sleep about what an anonymous troll like you thinks, bbfloyd.

                    Particularly since this whole jackson beat up was one of the most spectacular own goals I’ve seen a NZ union ever undertake. So incompetent. I really think he will be ok if you and the other dozen members of the rabid NZ left have him off the christmas card list.

                    • Gosman

                      That is exactly why I love this whole situation. The left are on a no-win situation here yet they don’t realise it.

                      If Peter Jackson was importing low cost workers into NZ and not treating them well, or if he was just employing foreigners then they might have a case. As it is even Robyn Malcolm admitted that Peter Jackson treats his workers well and pays above industry rates for the talent.

                      The more the left pushes this the more they look like they just like bashing successful people and think they know best how to do that person’s job (i.e. make a successful movie).

                  • Gosman

                    You keep pushing that ‘Peter Jackson would be nothing without ‘us’ and owes us big time’ line bbfloyd. I think it is the best argument against left wing policies that I know and it is entirely self inflicted. The National party can save Crosby Textor some time thinking up new attack lines.

                    • Bored

                      Jeez you are such a fuckwit Gos…you ask if we could create a film industry and we pointed out that we already have (plus provided factual proof which I note you always demand but never provide other than opinion peices from other RWNJs).

                      Now rather than admit you were wrong you change the context. I dont know if the Sainted Peter would have succeeded without funding, conversely I dont know if he would have failed without it. What I do know is that:
                      1. The holy of holys (The Market) was not fully investing so we the taxpayers did.
                      2. He took the cash and I would note it was a one way transaction with the IRD.

                      So Gos, dont let facts get in the way, troll.

                    • Gosman

                      I never asked for factual proof that there was another film industry here. I did state that if you have a problem build a competing industry and then solve the problem by employing NZ based talent by priority. Just don’t force other people to do so if they would prefer to source the talent from overseas..

                • No it wouldn’t Gosman.

                  The problem – for me, at any rate – is that the government concealed this aspect of the deal from the public (why, if it is so ho-hum?) and also concealed the fact that they knew before proposing this nod-and-a-wink approach to Peter Jackson that a deal to settle the dispute had already been reached.
                  In other words, they pretended that they were making changes (the ones they owned up to in public) to ensure the film would ‘stay in New Zealand’, thus deceiving the New Zealand public, all so that they could pass law changes that would benefit particular corporates.
                  This interview with Helen Kelly on Morning Report pretty much sums up ‘the problem’.

                  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

                  I couldn’t care less about what Sir Peter does. I do care about how my government acts – especially in its (lack of) communications with the public over ‘deals’ with large business concerns.

                  Call me old-fashioned but I don’t appreciate being treated like a mushroom by a government that is meant to be ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. 

                  • Gosman

                    I agree that the Government took advantage of the dispute for political end but so what? I mean the whole dispute was political from the get go. Why was The Hobbit blacklisted in the first place if it wasn’t a political move from the Union to take advantage of a major international production in NZ for maximum effect? It simply backfired on them big time. Deal with the consequences.

                    • PJ

                      In the media it might appear that it backfired.. But actually AE have since spent the past 2 years negotiating a new set of terms and conditions for NZ performers with SPADA, a negotiation that they only got because of The Hobbit dispute. As part of that deal, productions, either local or foreign, have had to abide by The Pink Book (the existing set of voluntary guidelines for contracting performers), in their contracts. These guidelines were regularly flouted before the dispute (a major cause of the dispute). At least 3 productions have tried to get away with T and C’s that didn’t meet The Pink Book guidelines since that negotiation began, and SPADA have, on each occasion, forced them to comply because of the MoU reached as part of the agreement to end the dispute (2 days before the infamous street march). Considering where negotiations were before the dispute that’s a huge win.

                    • Gosman

                      There is no indication that SPADA wouldn’t have negotiated with them without The Hobbit dispute. In fact I seem to remember a SPADA spokeperson claiming that they had approached AE on a couple of occasions prior to The Hobbit dispute to discuss the Pink book but they weren’t responsive.

                    • Gosman

                      The point being was AE had a dispute with SPADA not with The Hobbit. They attempted to use the high profile production for their own end and then you guy’s have the nerve to complain when there is a blow back.

                    • PJ

                      That’s simply untrue. AE had spent 18 months trying to persuade SPADA to negotiate a new agreement.

                    • Gosman

                      Well then SPADA is lying then

                      http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/recent-discussions-between-spada-and-nz-actors039-equity/5/68478

                      “At the meeting SPADA and Equity agreed they would enter a period of discussion and good faith negotiation on the Pink Book. While all matters of form and content relating to the engagement of actors in the screen industry will be discussed, you should be aware that this is no more than what would normally happen in such discussions and that these are the discussions we were trying to have with the union around 18 months ago.”

                    • PJ

                      Yes. They are.

                    • Gosman

                      Wow! Why did the Actors agree to lift the boycott then? I mean Peter Jackson is an A-hole and SPADA is a bunch of lying SOB’s. AE is obviously a bunch of pussies if they allow themselves to be pushed around like this.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      But actually AE have since spent the past 2 years negotiating a new set of terms and conditions for NZ performers with SPADA, a negotiation that they only got because of The Hobbit dispute..

                      AE were forced to negotiate with SPADA because their attack on Jackson was a complete failure. I think it was widely understood at the time how badly AE lost out. I don’t recall claims that they scored some massive victory.

                      As part of that deal, productions, either local or foreign, have had to abide by The Pink Book (the existing set of voluntary guidelines for contracting performers), in their contracts.

                      But that was always the case. That was no new victory. The Pink Book had been previously updated in 2005. Negotiated between AE and SPADA. That formed the basis for actors’ conditions and that was what the industry kept to. What major disputes with actors occured?

                      These guidelines were regularly flouted before the dispute (a major cause of the dispute).

                      Some links? Maybe there were a small number breaches but they was no widespread disregard for the Pink Book and certainly no allegations that Jackson had breached those standards.

                      AE were never claiming that the Pink Book was being ignored, what they were after was a revision of the Pink Book. They may have had some reason to do that but whenever they were asked what they wanted they could never come up with definite answers.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Helen Kelly continues to insist that the boycott was over when it wasn’t, she says:

                      As the transcript shows, at this point both the Jackson camp and Government were continuing to insist publicly that the dispute was still live, the “boycott” was still on,

                      But when the interview occured the boycott was still in place, it was not until later in the day that the US union SAG lifted the blacklist.

                      She’s confusing the agreement of AE to enter into negotiations with SPADA which had happened a few days before, with SAG lifting the boycott – that only happened later.

                      When Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens said the boycott was still on, it was still on. It’s simple enough to search the SAG site for notification that the blacklist was off and that occured later in the day after that interview.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Helen Kelly:

                      From these experiences, [with Outrageous Fortunes]Equity realised that if it were to make progress on its goals, it would need the support of international performers, who are in a stronger bargaining position than NZ performers find themselves and who already enjoy collective conditions of work. The Equity board agreed that it would wait for an international production with unionised workers from abroad to re-launch its campaign.

                      So the plan was to target one type of production whether or not that production had any industrial dispute.

                      But what was the union’s concern over the Hobbit? Helen Kelly again:

                      In May 2010 a contract for the engagement of performers on The Hobbit was sent to Equity and to agents. The contract was silent on a number of conditions in the Pink Book, and no residual payments were included for performers.

                      No residual payments she claims. And yet Jackson had already negotiated residuals for NZ actors, a fisrt for NZ. So not incintact with reality with that one, and quite a big one.

                      So we’re left with “silent on a number of conditions”. Silent on what, nudity conditions? That’s all the they could come up with when asked. And yet they put at risk 100s of other peoples’ jobs for such vagueness. And those people are unionists just as the actors are and do not get residuals like had been negotiated for the actors.

                • PJ

                  “And yet Jackson had already negotiated residuals for NZ actors, a fisrt for NZ.”

                  Link?

                  BTW: Please provide a link by all means. However, I should note that. I was there. I saw the first contracts. There was no residuals clause. Unsurprisingly. NZ performer contracts had not had residuals included for over 20 years. But, this was not the “first”.

      • Mike 7.1.2

        You’re showing remarkable ignorance Gosman. Of course it was about making more profits for the production company, that’s what all movie making is about. Jackson’s motivation would appear to be self interest and of course money.

  7. Carol 8

    Does anyone know the current situation for US productions filmed in Canada?

    I have a feeling that Canada has far stronger protections for getting local workers on these productions. e.g. TV series like Stargate, as far as I know are required to have a high amount of Canadian input:

    http://playbackonline.ca/2004/03/01/stargate-20040301/

    v</blockquote.

    It seems to me, because Canada is used a lot by US productions to lower production costs, they can't be happy with any high requirement for US content. Hence it seems to me they are likely to be looking for other locations for offshore productions when US cast, crew, etc can get more work.

    And it seems to me that NAct are more than happy to roll over and let that happen without building in any insurance for fairly paid work for Kiwis.

    • Carol 8.1

      Ach! Can’t edit

      the quote should be:

      Stargate fulfills Canadian-content requirements for broadcaster CTV and has doubled the core audience for Sci-Fi Channel in the U.S. Wright and Cooper actively hire Canadians for above-the-line jobs – most of the cast is Canadian, while the high-profile jobs go to mostly Canadians such as director Martin Wood. While they say it’s more for novelty than nationalism, one of the main characters in Stargate: Atlantis is Canadian. The cast features Canadians Torri Higginson in the lead along with Rachel Ruttrell and former MuchMusic VJ Rainbow Sun Francs.

    • Gosman 8.2

      Are you implying Kiwi film workers aren’t getting a fair chance on The Hobbit? If so do you have any evidence to support this view?

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        Seemed to me that the point was that Canada protects its actors’ rights, rather than removing them.

        • Carol 8.2.1.1

          Not just actors, but also screen writers and high level crew/technicians, directors etc.

          • Gosman 8.2.1.1.1

            I’ll repeat my questions.

            Are you implying Kiwi film workers aren’t getting a fair go on The Hobbit?

            If so do you have any evidence to support this view?

            • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1.1

              “I’ll repeat my questions.”

              Gos, you’re an idiot.  Seems to me your questions were answered.

              • Gosman

                Ummmm… the first question was a simple yes or no question. I have yet to see a yes or no answer. The second was predicated on a yes answer to the first. As one wasn’t put forward it was obviously not answered either.

                • McFlock

                  Awwwwwwwww – does widdle gossy no understand big words?
                     
                  If the point of the comment was about the relative rights of performance industry workers between NZ and Canada, then the point was not to “imply” anything about one particular project. Therefore the answer to question 1 is “no”. You fucking idiot. 

                  • Gosman

                    I was asking in relation to this statement which specifically mention NZ film workers.

                    ‘And it seems to me that NAct are more than happy to roll over and let that happen without building in any insurance for fairly paid work for Kiwis.’

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed?
                      Where does it mention current conditions for Hobbit employees?
                          

                      If I say “New Zealand houses are uninsured”, does that “imply” that my specific house is on fire?
                               
                      Take your time. Idiot.

                    • Gosman

                      That is why I asked the question rather than make a bold statement such as ‘You are implying that the workers on The Hobbit are not being paid fairly’.

                    • McFlock

                      lol.
                           
                      Gos you’re a fool.
                         
                      You saw a comment that mentions NZ film workers, so you randomly asked whether the comment was intended to “imply” a demonstrable bias against NZ workers on a specific production. You then failed to understand the answer to that question. 
                         
                      How you manage to maintain your intense narcissim and egotism is beyond comprehension. 

                    • Gosman

                      I must admit it is good to see chivalry alive and well with you presuming to answer for Carol. I mean we can’t just let a woman do this for herself can we McJock as she might get all muddled

                    • taxicab

                      Hey Gosman how much did Jackson pay you to be FIRST TROLL FROM THE RIGHT ??

                    • McFlock

                      Nah – I just like to watch you slither and slide when challenged on your bullshit. Like here, when you get called out for a fundamental lack of reading comprehension, you try and turn it into a gender issue. 
                             
                      Watching you divert, distract, delay, define – it really is fun, like watching a hippopotamus imitate an olympic gymnast.

                    • felix

                      “How you manage to maintain your intense narcissim and egotism is beyond comprehension. “

                      Simple. He’s not smart enough to know that he’s not very smart.

  8. [sorry - you're currently on a 2 week ban. -- r0b]

  9. Speaking Sense to Unions 10

    Anybody know why Jennifer Ward-Lealand chose to target The Hobbit rather than Spartacus?

    The only concern she ever mentioned about actors’ conditions of employment was to do with nudity.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Back under the bridge, troll.

      • Speaking Sense to Unions 10.1.1

        I suppose it is a bit of a leading question. Targetting Spartacus would have been as equally mystifying as targeting The Hobbit. The directors of both had no mandate to re-negotiate The Pink Book – that could only be done through negotiations with SPADA.

        But still, she went for Jackson, not the directors of Spartacus. An odd choice when her main concern was nudity.

        • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1

          The Hobbit was blacklisted by the American Actors’ union because it refused to allow its workers to unionise. I presume the Spartacus TV series producers aren’t as arrogant as Jackson and didn’t refuse to allow its workers their democratic rights.
           
          As for nudity, we’ve only got your word for that, but Spartacus is definitely close to the line in terms of ‘adult themes and situations’, so yeah, I could understand that being an issue. I’m sure you’d agree that no actor should be pressured to do nude scenes and it would be appropriate for their professional organisation to comment on the topic.

          • Speaking Sense to Unions 10.1.1.1.1

            The Hobbit was blacklisted by the American Actors’ union because it refused to allow its workers to unionise.

            The Hobbit was blacklisted by SAG at the request of NZ Actors Equity. NZAE had no particular issue with The Hobbit, they wanted to re-negotiate the Pink Book with Jackson something he, along with any other individual director, had no mandate to do. That could only be done through negotiations with SPADA.

            I think you’ll find that actors on The Hobbit get a better deal than those on Spartacus. Jackson negotiated for NZ actors ot get a percentage of the profit – a first for any foreign funded film.

            Other than that the overall conditions for actors are set by The Pink Book and they’re the same for The Hobbit and Spartacus. No actors are prevented from being in a union.

            So odd that Jennifer Ward-Lealand targetted a film which had no issues with its treatment of actors but did indeed provide better conditions than Spartacus. Without the nudity issues she was concerned about.

            • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1.1.1

              ” No actors are prevented from being in a union.”
               
              But other workers are prevented from joining a union. Which is wrong. And the sneaky removal of Actors Equity’s ability to comment on the importation of foreign labour is not just about actors, its about tradesmen, too. So Key agreed to change two laws, one publicly, the other privately, to stop the union having an influence on both actors and production staff. Does this not sound a bit dodgy to you?

              • Gosman

                How do you change a law privately in a democracy? Surely you need legislation to be published in a public areana at some stage, if only for the judiciary to be aware of it.

              • Speaking Sense to Unions

                But other workers are prevented from joining a union.

                in the film industry? I haven’t heard of that.

                So Key agreed to change two laws, one publicly, the other privately, to stop the union having an influence on both actors and production staff.

                I haven’t heard of any discontent within the ranks of actors or production staff working on The Hobbit. It might haver been better for Equity to pick a fight where there was an actual dispute.

                At present Actors Equity have entered into negotiations with SPADA. If they reach an agreement to modify the industry code then Jackson will, along with all other directors, abide by it. With Jackson however he’s managed to get a better deal already for his actors.

                The actors union have never pointed to any instance where Jackson has breached the industry standard agreed uopon by Equity and SPADA. So taking action against him and not other productions which operate the same rules was all a bit strange.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  “But other workers are prevented from joining a union.
                  in the film industry? I haven’t heard of that.”
                   
                   
                  Yep, that’s what the law change was about. Strange you missed that bit! It reduces workers to the status of contractors and means they cannot act to advance their collective interests.

              • John

                Why should a union be allowed to block the importation of foreign labour? It costs a lot more to bring in overseas actors / technicians. They have to be accommodated, given extra allowances, travel etc. It only happens when there isn’t a better option already in NZ. The govt got it right on this one.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey are those the same nice allowances, expenses and working conditions that NZ crew would like to have but were denied by Peter Jackson and the National Govt?

                  Why should a union be allowed to block the importation of foreign labour?

                  Because when we see foreign labour used in NZ it is to undercut NZ workers and lower pay and standards.

                  For your reference, check the dairy industry, the fishing industry and the building industry.

                  • John

                    ‘Because when we see foreign labour used in NZ it is to undercut NZ workers and lower pay and standards.’

                    Well in the film industry that isn’t the case. Imports are invariably paid more than locals. And competition with overseas film production has lifted pay rates for locals. Isn’t that what we want.

                    CV you don’t know what you’re talking about. You oppose everything this govt does on principle.

            • Mike 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I think you’ll find you’re wrong. The lead cast on hobbit obviously get paid more than the cast on Spartacus, the Hobbit is a US hundreds of millions of dollars production and is a movie (movies) whereas Spartacus is a cable TV series. The extras on Spartacus however I understand get paid more than the extras on Hobbit and have better conditions.

              I would suggest Rob Tapert who produces Spartacus (along with NZ producers and investors) doesn’t have any problems at all (unionwise) with getting his shows made here. He has done way more for the NZ TV industry than anyone else and over the years has employed and is still employing thousands of Kiwi workers.

              Nobody on Spartacus is forced or pressured into nudity or sex scenes. It is a highly professional environment and for the cast and crew nudity is a non issue other than closed sets and extra sensitivity are required.

    • Speaking Sense to Unions 10.2

      Anybody know why Jennifer Ward-Lealand chose to target The Hobbit rather than Spartacus?

      I’ll have a go since no one else has.

      It’s most likely not because Jennifer Ward-Lealand’s husband works on Spartracus. Although it’s hard to tell.

      She decided to target The Hobbit not because there were any concerns about Jackson mistreating actors, rather because after failing to get anywhere using similar tactics with Outrageous Fortune she thought that targeting a more high profile project would be strategically more sucessful.

      It’s worth emphasing that there never any concern about actors being exploited on Outrageous Fortune or The Hobbit, infact why she didn’t get anywhere with OF was due to a lack of support from actors. The other factor was that what they wanted had to be negotiated with SPADA – not with individual producers or directors.

      What they wanted was some form of revision to the Pink Book but whenever asked they could not say what specific changes they wanted, apart from vague concerns about nudity. But at no time did she have any issue with the one production where there is an issue of exploitative nudity – Spartacus.

      So without getting a mandate from their union members, no vote and no consultation occured, Actors Equity engineered a boycott of The Hobbit, a film where there was no dispute in progress, in an attempt to negotiate vague concerns that Jackson could not negotiate unilaterally on and which should have been addressed to SPADA.

      It was bound to be a recipe for disaster and so it turned out to be. It’s hard to pin point where exactly the influence of the Australain union came into play, who may or may not have had any concern for any possible negative effect on the NZ film industry.

  10. joe90 11

    With an investigation under way into whether or not Hollywood bribed officials in China you’d have to wonder about Nationals motives.

    • ad 11.1

      That unfortunately is the dark side National Ministers don’t get. If the electorate doesn’t have the will to hold them to account as a party at elections, then watch out for the regulators going for Ministers as jointly and severally liable. Key could well be in the gun about the Sky City deal if the Auditor-General picks up the Greens request to go through the whole process.

      Watch out also if Sir Michael Fay gets a Court of Appeal hearing on Crafer, and see if that second Investment Office defence really holds up – it’s flimsy as all hell.

      National have built an edifice around him more towering and thin-based than even Clark. He really is the all-seeing eye. I think his overreach this term means he is much more likely to fall, and take the whole tower with him, in one almighty crash.

      • deuto 11.1.1

        And right on cue, a further appeal against the latest Crafer farm decision has been lodged with the High Court

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6817270/Crafar-appeal-confirmed

        The Crafar Farms Purchase Group, led by Sir Michael Fay, this morning said it had lodged a fresh appeal against the sale questioning the business acumen of Chinese investors Shanghai Pengxin.

        The group’s lawyer David Cooper said the latest claim in the High Court was against the Government’s updated decision to re-approve the sale on April 20.

        Much as I have no great respect for, or trust in, Fay, anything that stops or slows them getting away with this one is imo good. And nothing to do with xenophobia.

        • ad 11.1.1.1

          Yes. The debate to build throughout the country on every purchase of foreign capital or land – whether that be for a farm, a business, or indeed an actor – is “why aren’t we doing this here for ourselves – could we – why don’t we”. That really is a presumptive “we” because it is a patriotic “we”.

          It’s making decisions to have that foreign investment tested, as many times as possible. And in case anyone asks what patriotism has to do with the economy here, again I would put it that there is no major sector of the economy that does not rely heavily on public sector help to prosper – and for a small country, that’s the way it should be. We’re strong when we cooperate.

          That’s wresting it away at minimum form foreign corporates to local corporates. That’s only a basic start, but they are at least easier to hold to account both in the media as to regulators.

          • Gosman 11.1.1.1.1

            As I stated put together your own production company and apply for the same level of support that Peter Jackson got and fund your own films under your own rules over where the talent is sourced from. Just don’t attempt to impose your screwed up patriotic nonsense on other people who disagree with you and want to get the best talent available regardless of where it comes from.

            • ad 11.1.1.1.1.1

              We did in Auckland and we’re doing great. Wellington’s boom-bust cycle is a close-to-perfect negative reflection of Auckland’s own screen industry. What I’ve been arguing for is the itnesection of the public and provate spheres; patriotic is shorthand for public sphere in that sense. Sorry to riff on my own rhetoric there. You know how the left get all weepie.

              The real surprise over the last three years, just to argue against myself, is the rise of the gaming industry in Wellington. I wonder what the equivalent of that will be in Auckland – but it will happen.

  11. taxicab 12

    It would seem the only real reason for the change in legislation was to appease Jackson after he lost his court case against the guy who Jackson said was only a contractor but the court disagreed . Warners intervention (if it really existed at all) was to pump Jacksons ego and the Govt happily handed money to Warners to make the sham look real so the Govt could start to hack down the union movement IMO Anyway by all accounts the stupid troll movie is not being well received in the recent advance viewing

  12. felix 13

    Ignoring Gosman’s fantasies for a moment, what was the article about again?

    Oh that’s right, John Key and Gerry Brownlee have been caught out lying to us. Again.

    As you were.

  13. Jim Nald 14

    Deceitful business-as-usual government.

    • Puddleglum 15.1

      Yes, he does.

      This bit nails the main point:

      It should be underlined that we know this stuff about The Hobbit only because RNZ kept on doggedly seeking the evidence via OIA requests and complaints to the Ombudsman in the face of government obstruction. The government has wanted no transparency about its behaviour during this episode and one can readily see why.

  14. burt 16

    Nat’s bend the law – allow private companies to engage non union workers… bends the law…

    Nat’s sell Kiwis out – allow experienced overseas workers a working holiday in NZ – bends the law.

    Then the law is an ass. If the union is so fricken good people will be scrambling to join it and it wouldn’t need to be protected in employment law.

    Or have I just missed something simple, people are free to move around when they have globally transportable skills but they must use the local unions and be paid like a local. Can this ‘solidarity’ thing really be boiled down to just that?

    • OneTrack 16.1

      Changed the law. That’s what governments are elected to do.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      You missed a hell of a lot but that’s to be expected as you’re a moron.

      1.) NZ actors wanted a similar deal as all other actors working on the Hobbit. PJ and WB didn’t want to give them that.
      2.) The law already allowed for actors and others to come to NZ to work.
      3.) PJ wanted the law changed so that people employed as “contractors” but with conditions of a full time employee got shafted as if they were contractors and got that law change. (Contractors actually have to be paid more to make it worthwhile for them but inevitably get paid less).
      4.) The dispute was already over when WB. PJ and the government used that dispute to ram the requested laws through. This is outright lying and no government should be able to get away with it. IMO, every single bloody one of them should be in jail for 20+ years for that alone.

      • OneTrack 16.2.1

        WB and PJ obviously didn’t think it was ”over” and felt the need to make sure “their” production wasn’t at risk.

      • John 16.2.2

        You’re a fantasist Draco.
        1) NZ actors were greedy. They wanted more than they could individually negotiate. They thought they could hold the film to ransom by acting collectively. There is always a variety of deals done on a film, based on an individual’s value to the production.
        2) The existing law gave Actors Equity the right to make a call on whether a foreign actor could be replaced by a local. They shouldn’t have this right. Importing workers is vastly more expensive than employing locals, and it is not done lightly. The Hobbit correctly should be able to make the decision whether or not to bring outsiders in, rather than the actors union, or any other union.
        3 The reality is that film workers are freelance operators, working for a variety of companies, and are not employees as such. The film industry has always operated like this, and both sides have been happy with it. We wouldn’t have a film industry if it we didn’t have a flexible work force. And no, they do not inevitably get paid less.
        4) The timeline? Depends on which side you believe. Judging by your comments you will always look to attack John Key and Co, rather than have an objective point of view. They got it right on this one.

  15. mike e 17

    private enterprise can.t function without massive subsidies from government

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    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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