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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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    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Nats sold 500 rugby fields of land a day offshore
    Under National over one million hectares of land has been approved for overseas sale – 16 times the size of Lake Taupō or the equivalent of five hundred rugby fields a day, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “According to...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one
    Steven Joyce's attempt to attack Labour's positive plan for affordable healthcare will fool no-one. "We knew that National would try to say that we can't afford free GP visits and prescriptions for the New Zealanders who need it. But, as...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Campaign Launch – Ready to Win
    Today I launched Labour's election campaign at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland. Here is the speech I gave....
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour extends free GP visits, free prescriptions
    Nearly 40 per cent of Kiwis – or 1.7 million people – will be eligible for free doctors’ visits and free prescriptions under a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Last year more than half a million New Zealanders...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour promises a fairer ACC for all Kiwis
    Accident compensation for loss of potential earnings will rise under a Labour Government, while people not earning at the time of their accident will also be eligible for compensation, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Releasing Labour’s ACC policy today...
    Labour | 08-08
  • NZ Govt must push for fair play in Fiji elections
    The New Zealand Government needs to do more to push for human rights and media freedom in Fiji as it stages its first election since the 2006 coup, the Green Party said today.Amnesty International has released a report which documents...
    Greens | 07-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Radio NZ are lying about me
    I am getting this all second hand at the moment as I don’t bother listening to Radio NZ (except for that wonderful Wallace Chapman in the weekends) but there is a claim that Suzie Ferguson just insinuated on Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Farrar’s fake claim of being invaded + Slater’s claims of death threats...
    The counter spin to avoid focus on the series allegations made in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics continues. David Farrar’s ridiculous hysterics that he was invaded and his privacy has been blah blah blah has all been reduced from computer hacking to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A shout out to the unsung heroes – our Public Service staff
    Government departments, particularly in the social welfare, education and health areas get a lot of shtick. And it’s not unjustified. We have problems in the way that our government departments treat those in need. And I do not intend to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Who is the source of Hager’s emails?
    Who is the source of Hager’s emails? Kim Dotcom has categorically denied he has anything to do with this and Nicky Hager has categorically denied that Kim was the source of the emails. Whatever you think about Kim (and he...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Dirty Politics – Audio+Text Why It Is Essential Raw Data Be Released Imme...
    MIL OSI – Source: RadioLive – Sunday Panel Analysis Headline: Dirty Politics – Audio Analysis by Selwyn Manning + Rodney Hide + Mark Sainsbury MIL Video: Selwyn Manning, Rodney Hide, and Mark Sainsbury discuss and debate the explosive details revealed...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • TV One and TV3 Political Polls – not such a landslide now
    Before the impact of Dirty Politics has been felt, the National Party high point in the Polls had been reached and their inevitable  drop begins. Despite the mainstream media telling NZers for almost 3 years that John Key would win...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – You will not believe Key’s defence of hackin...
    He actually used a sporting analogy. Can you believe it? John Key, asked on the fact that his staff had entered into a Labour Party computer and downloaded their database, Key replied, “It’s a bit like the Wallabies positing up their...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A brief word on 100 Top political Tweeters
    The NZ Herald has put together a very useful list of top 100 political twtter accounts, what is most interesting from the lists is that the right wing all work hand in glove with each other where as the Left...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Are Whaleoil’s traffic stats a bloated illusion?
    Dim Post has done a critical analysis of just how real Cameron Slater’s traffic stats are. TDB has only been around for a year with a fragment of the digital footprint of the older blogs, yet we have managed to become...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Is Jordan Williams deceptive enough to blackma...
    There are so many issues raised by Nicky Hager’s book, that any one of them would be worthy of total focus on. Let’s chat about the claim in the book that Jordan Williams bragged to Slater and Lusk that he had...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Why ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evi...
    This sign shows how National’s see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil denial isn’t working. National’s response to the book is that there is NOTHING in there that deserves anything more than the most briefest of eye motions. Key won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Roy Morgan Poll August 20
    National (48%) holds its lead over Labour/ Greens (39%) as ‘Dirty Politics’ revelations provide a new challenge for PM John Key’s leadership. NZ First surge to 6.5% - highest support since September 2013....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Glen Scanlon to Head Digital Media at Radio New Zealand
    Radio New Zealand has announced the appointment of Glen Scanlon to the recently created position of head of digital media....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Israel’s Gaza ceasefire violations go unreported
    It seems that it is only ceasefire violations that emanate from the Palestinian side that ever get publicised....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug courier sentenced for importing heroin
    South African drug courier, Laura Elizabeth Cilliers, was sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court to 7 years and 10 months in prison for importing approximately 1.2 kilograms of heroin....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Residential Property Speculators Days Numbered
    Rent heat cools as homes are replaced ... Liz McDonald ... The Press http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/10400851/Rent-heat-cools-as-homes-are-replaced Comment on thread (in moderation) … Christchurch is a “severely unaffordable” City as the Annual Demographia Survey ( www.demographia.com ) illustrates … thanks...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Academic’s study shows need for a Ministry of Public Input
    A book by Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment recommends the creation of a Ministry of Public Input to collect, process and communicate the publics’ ideas to government. The University of Auckland’s political marketing expert says the...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Government inaction killing innocent motorists
    Innocent people are dying due to long delays in installing centre lane barriers on high risk roads, says an outspoken road safety campaigner....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Property revaluations for council rates must be reformed
    Opportunity to bring controls on rating value changes and more equitable level of annual rates increase...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ron Mark Sets the Example
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the pledge by Mayor of Carterton and NZ First candidate Ron Mark who has announced he would relinquish his roles as Mayor and member of two District Health Boards if successfully elected to Parliament. Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election
    MEDIA RELEASE: Angry rural communities want issue of 1080 aerial drops taken to the polls, says party co-leader Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Governor General Gives Direction to Conduct Election
    The Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has given the green light for this year’s General Election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • New Zealand Animal Groups Unite to Help
    WELLINGTON (19 Aug 2014) – The Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ban animal testing of cosmetics in New Zealand just got bigger and stronger, as two leading animal protection groups come on board. Joining forces with Humane Society International which has...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Students Interrupt Steven Joyce at University Event
    A group of 30 students this evening interrupted an event about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce began to speak, students interrupted with a speech of their own....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Caritas among first responders offering relief in Iraq
    As the plight of Iraqis fleeing persecution reaches tragic levels, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged an initial $10,000 to support the work of Caritas in Iraq to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of families affected by the war and...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #31: Nats take hit
    Election race narrows significantly · National party vote now below Labour/Greens · National’s probability of leading next government dips to 72% · Joyce expected to take over as National leader before end of 2015, as Collins’ prospects fall...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Call for applications – Fulbright scholar awards
    Fulbright New Zealand calls for applications to a range of scholar awards for New Zealand academics, artists and professionals to undertake academic and cultural exchanges to the United States of America. A Fulbright exchange provides life-changing opportunities...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • CWS launches appeal for Iraqis on World Humanitarian Day
    Christian World Service is appealing for help for tens of thousands of Iraqis caught up in one of the world’s horrifying conflicts....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Promoting the Voice of the Rangatahi
    Young Māori voters are seen by the Māori Party to have a vital part to play in saving the Māori seats in Parliament says the Māori Party’s youngest candidate, Reverend Te Hira Paenga. “What we’re hearing on the ground is...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Nelson Election Candidates’ Community Forum
    Nelson’s community and volunteer sector has some serious questions to put to the local candidates in the run up to next month’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
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