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Nats & Jackson played us for fools

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, December 21st, 2010 - 129 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, corruption - Tags: , , , ,

The Herald has used the OIA to get hold of emails Peter Jackson sent Gerry Brownlee during the Hobbit shakedown. They show that the Actors’ Equity blacklisting was not a threat to the film staying here – yet Jackson and Brownlee told us it was to justify handing Warners $34 million and rushing through an anti-worker law.

I was never quite sure about Jackson’s role in the Hobbit shakedown.

I knew that Brownlee was exploiting the situation to attack Kiwi workers while Key saw a chance to play the hero, the tough negotiator, and the price tag in taxpayers’ dollars was small beer to them for that reward. I knew Warners was only ever after more money because they were never going to just walk away from the investment they had already made here.

But I wasn’t sure whether Jackson genuinely feared the movie would be moved overseas or if he was in cahoots with the others. Now we know he was playing us too:

“There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit,” he wrote.

“What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.”

The October 18 email also suggests Sir Peter thought the boycott had been lifted, even though he said in television interviews three days later he was unsure if it had been officially ditched.

You’ll remember that October 21 interview where Jackson (sitting in one of the Hobbit sets, which we were to believe was going to be abandoned) said that he couldn’t sleep, that the union boycott was forcing the film overseas, and he had no idea what to tell Warners to convince them to stay. It seemed to me at the time Jackson was engaging in rather amateur dramatics, not speaking from the heart. Now we know for sure it was all an act from a rich man trying to screw more money out of us.

Sir Peter declined to comment through a spokesman yesterday.

Gee, and he was so willing to talk during the shakedown.

Warner Bros eventually agreed to make the films in NZ after the Government said it would change employment laws to ensure that film workers were independent contractors by default.

The agreement also included extra tax breaks worth up to $34 million, on top of the $50 million to $60 million Warner Bros would pocket under existing rules.

So, Key and Brownlee handed Jackson and Warners what they wanted – a weaker labour law specifically for them and a pile of extra money to the extent that the New Zealand taxpayer is now paying 20% of the production costs of two movies that are sure to make hundreds of millions in profits. The movie was never leaving, the subsidies (which Treasury thinks don’t bring any net benefit to the country anyway) were unnecessary. National quite happily rolled over and gave Warners what it wanted because it suited their anti-worker agenda and their Key-as-saviour propaganda.

The only losers in all of this were New Zealand’s taxpayers – me and you. The public/media was cynically worked into a hysteria by the Nats and Warners/Jackson to the point were most were quite happy to hand over the cash.

My challenge to Peter Jackson: remember who you were before you were a rent-seeking multi-millionaire capitalist. Give the people of New Zealand our money back. You could sell that private jet you just got to pay the bill.

129 comments on “Nats & Jackson played us for fools”

  1. Feck

    So Jackson and the Government knew that the Actors Equity boycott would not force filming of the Hobbit overseas.

    Fron the Herald is this interesting quote from an email sent by the good Sir Peter to Gerry Brownlee:

    There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit …

    What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.”

    Obviously slavery is considered to be a stable employment environment and a Government gift of $30m adds to the feeling of security.

    New Zealand you have been had.

    Gosman et al how about an apology.

    Capcha money …

    • g_man 1.1

      I’m trying to work this one out – there seems a contradiction.

      We read “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit …”

      So on the basis of this, Warners are not worried by the blacklist or threats of strikes etc. But then we read:

      “What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.”

      So Warners ARE worried by the blacklist and threats of strikes etc.

      Ummmm …

      • ron 1.1.1

        No, g_man
        Warners were frustrated with the employment law because they’d had their arse kicked by an earlier case. The stability they’re talking aboput is the framework opf the law. The actors action wasn’t their concern. I’ve just lost the link but there is more to that correspondence than that quote.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Actually Jackson was the one frustrated with employment law in a rather obsessive way. He was the one who spent probably hundreds of thousands on a fairly run of the mill employment case.

          I can understand G_man’s confusion however. Nothing about the dispute makes any sense …

          • Bored 1.1.1.1.1

            The Sainted Peter is a mass of contradictions, solid working class background, primed and raised to prominence with state funding and assistance paid by all of our taxes, YET he attacks the very peole who succoured him. Shame.

          • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1.1.2

            Looking forward to the apologies to Helen Kelly from Farrar and the other lickspittles. Waiting, waiting …

            • Anne 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I have a formal submission currently with the Broadcasting Standards Authority over the Q&A Paul Holmes interview with Helen Kelly and John Barnett. TVNZ rejected my claims of bias, unfairness and inaccuracies. I’m not expecting a decision before the end of January, but in light of the new information the outcome could be interesting.

            • toad 1.1.1.1.2.2

              I’ve commented to that effect at Kiwiblog. No apologies forthcoming yet.

              • grumpy

                To be fair, Toad, they seem more keen on informing you that if current polling trends continue, the Greens will be out of parliament…..

            • the pink postman 1.1.1.1.2.3

              And don’t forget the frothing at the mouth by Paul Holmes .He should make a public apology or give up. His outburts against Helen Kelly and the Union movement on Q&A was disgusting. Perhaps he should have a Paul Henry and be sacked..

      • Marty G 1.1.2

        g-man. “stable employment environment” is a reference to whether people engaged as contractors could become employees if their work was actually in the name of employment.

        Remember. Jackson recently lost hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting against that long-established rule. I doubt it mattered much to Warners but he would have happily claimed it did make them view New Zealand’s work environment as ‘unstable’

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.3

        Warners were worried about the ‘contractors vs employees’ issue.

        They were not worried about the ‘blacklist’ which had been resloved and had nothing to do with the issue Warners were worried about.

  2. I recall one of the earlier Standard posts (http://thestandard.org.nz/jacksons-bad-faith-posturing/) that attracted over 500 comments, many of them by gosman, where the RWNJs continuously ran the line that the Trade Union movement had caused the movie to be moved overseas. The left instead said it was politically inspired hysteria and the Hobbit was not going anywhere. It is clear we (lefties) were right and they (RWNJs) were wrong.

    In the spirit of christmas and as an early present to us LWRTs (left wing rational thinkers) I invite them to now in a civilised way to concede that we were right, they were wrong and that Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm in particular should be apologised to.

    And Jackson/Warners should pay the money back.

    • Marty G 2.1

      I think you’ll find that a good alternative name for this post will be “The Silence of the Rightwing Nutjobs”

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      “…It is clear we (lefties) were right and they (RWNJs) were wrong…”

      As the saying goes, reality has a left wing bias.

      • Mac1 2.2.1

        Yep, the left is right and the right is wrong. Not a bias, just….. a fact! Which has just been demonstrated again. ;-)

  3. Carol 3

    And in the interview on Nine-to-Noon with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens on 21st October, the two women say they and Jackson have gone to the media to say that Helen Kelly was lying when she said the boycott had been lifted. They start the interview explicitly attacking Kelly & the unions for their role in the Hobbit affair:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20101021

    It’s all there in the first couple of minutes of the interview.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Key and Jackson and Brownlie are truly scum. What a disgrace what total Fecking sellouts. I wonder if the public understood this or was informed by the media with Headlines like this eg JOHN KEY LIES ABOUT HOBBIT, if he would be so high in the polls. The media are also a disgrace, selling out the NewZealand Tax payer and future generations.

      • So just as wonder boy is caught lying off he goes to Hawaii to live it up.
        I just cannot understand how the NZ public allows this con man to get away with what he does. The countries in a mess financially, caught out on double speaking to the Chinese Lying over the so called Hobbitt affair and dismissing the sleazy Wong affair . Whats wrong with the NZ public ? We should be up in arms at this shocking anti democratic government.

        • pointer 3.1.1.1

          “Chinese Lying”, eh? Is that because you want everyone to know that all Chinese are liars like Key and Pansy Wong? This is why we should never blog while drunk.

          • mcflock 3.1.1.1.1

            “Chinese Lying”, eh? Is that because you want everyone to know that all Chinese are liars like Key and Pansy Wong? This is why we should never blog while drunk.

            Possibly a bit hypersensitive, there? I read it as “caught out on double speaking to the Chinese [,] Lying”…

            Punctuation oversights do not immediately imply racism or intoxication. Although it is a good day for the latter, if not a weeknight.

      • John Drinnan 3.1.2

        Don’t disagree on media coverage. But I’m a NZ Herald journalist – and I think the paper has done a good job.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          The paper and you have done a pathetic job. You’re certainly failing to inform the public.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.2.1.1

            Nah, the Herald hasn’t been too bad on this. Certainly been playing the only real discordant notes in the broader choir’s narrative.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.2

          John, thanks for your comments and hope you keep reading The Standard.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I hope Russell Brown is feeling like a complete dick this morning. His aggressive defense of Jackson is, like his repuation as playa, in complete shreds this morning. Inside playa rocking with the crew? More like just played.

    Brown’s ego meant his eagerness to look like he knew what was REALLY going down caused him to suspend his critical faculties and swallow the tidbits he was fed from the Jackson playbook hook, line and sinker.

    The fraility of simple mammon let him be led up the garden by a manipulative boss class – a salutary lesson for us all.

    • Marty G 4.1

      Russell Brown’s always been an elitist but this episode completely destroyed his leftwing cred.

      • Bright Red 4.2.1

        the man’s a disgrace.

        • Daveo 4.2.1.1

          I know for a fact that Brown had been shown all of these emails at the time the dispute was raging and continued to run the company line. In fact he selectively used details from them to make himself look like an insider while continuing to bash the union.

          He’s scum.

          • tea 4.2.1.1.1

            Seems to be him, Giovanni Tiso and Craig Ranipia hanging out there…I’ve certainly taken his blog off my bookmarks.

            • Tiger Mountain 4.2.1.1.1.1

              ditto re PAS, “nobody know where love goes, but when it’s gone, its gone gone gone…”

              obsequious, passive aggressive splurts from attack poodle Craig assisted, plus his masters voice of course. To get such an issue so thoroughly wrong speaks for itself. Actors Equity are back already, Lord Jacksons reputation sullied forever.

  5. Sookie 5

    Ha, I knew it all along. Peter Jackson, you are a greedy ass and the whole country is beginning to wake up to it. People I argued with back in October about the Hobbit debacle are now found to agree with me grudgingly, the dude has sold out to The Man and has totally played the whole country for his masters. Out of all the things that pissed me off this year in the good ole NZ media, this was the worst. A disgrace from start to finish. Especially Campbell, PJ and Boyens all hunkered down in Bilbo’s house crying wolf. Ugh, I feel used. My fun, geeky LOTR obsession is ruined.

  6. I wonder when the OIAs were lodged. Releasing the information 4 days before Christmas is the oldest media trick in the book.

  7. AndyB 8

    Yes, but the fact still remains that the threat of industrial action contributed to the lack of a “stable employment environment” that Warners wanted. Once again, if it were not for the stink kicked up by the unions none of this would have happened.

    With the money already spent here, it was always a long shot that the movie would have been pulled from NZ. But that being said there was still a possibility if we pissed of the studio enough.

    You are never going to change the public perception that the unions caused this issue no matter how loud you all howl, and in my mind they most definitely did cause the issue.

    captcha: prepares (for the mass onslaught of enraged lwnj’s on the attack)

    • George 8.1

      You are never going to change the public perception that the unions caused this issue no matter how loud you all howl, and in my mind they most definitely did cause the issue.

      That’s a line a few RWNJs are flogging but the media has been very clear on the matter as was summed up by the standard a while back http://thestandard.org.nz/the-dust-settles-on-the-hobbit-fiasco/

    • Pascal's bookie 8.2

      “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit,”

      • AndyB 8.2.1

        “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit”

        But there is THIS connection:

        “What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible”

        It’s just semantics. Blacklist or stable employment environment. you could say that the blacklist was the cause of the unstable employment environment, or you could say that the blacklist had nothing to do with the decision, BUT the unstable employment environment bought about by the blacklist did.

        ho, hum, carry on …

        • felix 8.2.1.1

          “…you could say that the blacklist had nothing to do with the decision, BUT the unstable employment environment bought about by the blacklist did.”

          Well you COULD say that, but not if you wanted to make any sense. If the last part of that were true, then the first part can’t possibly be.

          I suppose it doesn’t matter though as that’s not what Jackson said anyway.

          • AndyB 8.2.1.1.1

            yes felix, but this is what was said:

            “What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible”

            fine, blacklist had nothing to do with it, but the above did. still semantics. the “stable employment environment” was what warners wanted, they surly didn’t get it with the unions kicking up a stink. hence, unions caused the trouble.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.1.1.1

              PJ says that issue was “not connected”.

            • Bright Red 8.2.1.1.1.2

              Andy B. Go cry to Peter Jackson he’s the one you’re arguing against. He’s the one who says:

              “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit”

              Go tell him he’s wrong because he lied to you on national TV and you’re still buying the lie like a chump.

              captcha: ‘accepting’ – you’ve got to start accepting that the boycott had nothing to do with the shakedown.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.2

          well yeah, it’s semantics. Words have meanings, and working out what they mean is semantics.

          PJ said there was no connection between the blacklist and the choice of production base. He also said there was an issue around the stable employment environment though.

          That means that the employment environental issues causing concerns were not to do with the boycott, they were to do with something else.

          “No connection”

          How do you parse that into “brought about by”?

          I don’t think you can, honestly.

          • AndyB 8.2.1.2.1

            yea maybe “brought about by” was not the best choice of words. We have established that the blacklist had nothing much to do with the choice of production base, fine, happy enough with that. In the herald link it mentions warners looking for advice at getting around the boycott anyway.

            anyhooo, i digress;

            so my conclusion is that the Warner’s were most concerned by the lack of a ‘stable employment environment’. Now, in my mind, the lack of a stable employment environment was a direct result of the unions actions and threat of strikes, lawsuits, etc. So the threat of a boycott was more a red herring to the underlying issues.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Not connected /= “nothing much to do ”

              Not connected = nothing to do with.

              That’s the semantics.

              Your twisting and writhing and pretending that ‘not connected’ means ‘connected’ is the sophistry.

            • Bunji 8.2.1.2.1.2

              My conclusion is that Warners were most concerned about how much money they could screw out of us. They were proposing going to Ireland or the UK, which have more worker-friendly employment law (Ireland allows collective bargaining by individual contractors, which is illegal under NZ law, and is what the actors most want), higher wages and more strike days. It hardly tallied with complaints about NZ’s ‘employment environment’

  8. 555 9

    Sanctuary,

    Am I right to wonder if the “bargaining then boycott” was really MEAA’s finest hour? I think Brown called it like he saw it – a union made a right pickle out of an industrial dispute, and were rightly criticised for it. There’s no excuse for union stupidity – members deserve better.

    • grumpy 9.1

      Correct, the union incompetence opened the door for Warners.

      • Bright Red 9.1.1

        Are you saying that workers should not stand up for better pay and conditions because a multi-national corporation and an anti-worker government might exploit the situation for their own ends, and that, if workers, do stand up they are liable for the actions of those other parties?

        btw, Jackson had called for more subsidies months earlier when he did a review of the film industry grants for the government.

        • grumpy 9.1.1.1

          No, I’m not saying that, just that they were incompetent (with an Aussie union FFS)

          • Bright Red 9.1.1.1.1

            So, you’re saying:

            Jackson and Warners engaged in a cynical shakedown of the New Zealand taxpayer, which Key and co went along with to advance their anti-worker agenda and make Key look like a hero. This was enabled by the inept performance of a small union (Actors’ equity NZ) that got in over its head.

            I agree with that.

  9. Ron 10

    I’ve got to disagree with you, JJJ.
    It is certainly true that MEAA got done like a dogs dinner. But was it their negotiating tactics or the Jackson/Warners/Brownlie/Key subterfuge?

    What I saw happen was a union using it’s power quite appropriately and then the powers that be lying about what was going on. The media generally supported the Jackson et al’s version of events and joined in the union bashing. The union was on a hiding to nothing. If the truth had been made public – that what Warners wanted was a change to employment law and that they weren’t particulaly botthered by the union’s actions – and the media had simply reported that then it wouldn’t have been an issue.

    So was the unon to do? NOT stand up for their worker’s rights? Maybe they could have foreseen that their actions were going to be used against them in the way they were but does that mean we just lie back and take it?

    There was no way to say “we’re not taking action because it will be used against us”. There was no way to put their case without the power of the government, a biased media and a hoodwinked public conspiring against thier workers. Kelly appeared resonable and truthful. She simply wasn’t believed. Rock and a hard place, I’d suggest. Stand up and be villified. Lie down and abdicate your repsonsibility.

    • Craig Glen Eden 10.1

      The truth as can now clearly be seen is KEY BROWNLIE JACKSON lied for their own reasons.

      They lied about Helen Kelly, the only mistake Helen made ( IMO) was she didn’t release the private emails she had from Jackson that would have proved this much earlier for confidentiality reasons.

      I however believe she would have been justified in releasing them as Brownlie told NZ she was a liar when in fact it was him who was lying.
      Helen Kelly has shown just how humble she is to take all this shit from those scum is quite unbelievable.
      Helen you have a great Christmas because you bloody deserve to, you are a credit to your family name and the trade union movement.Keep up the good work!

  10. vto 11

    Lying bastards.

    Someone please explain why Key and Jackson will not now be had up for fraud – after all, they secured financial advantage through falsehood.

    Also makes a mockery of knighthoods etc. What a joke Peter Jackson is if this is in fact the situation.

    Blatant lying to the NZ puiblic. And now refuses to explain !?!! Wanker

  11. 555 12

    Agree Ron, once the initial clumsy boycott was in place there wasn’t much to be done but and try and de-escalate the situation. Credit to Kelly for helping MEAA try and keep it together.

  12. Adders 13

    Re: Bright Red @ 9.11—“btw, Jackson had called for more subsidies months earlier when he did a review of the film industry grants for the government.”

    Indeed, ten days ago, Weta Digital gets $7.2 million more in corporate welfare: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10693507 .

  13. Carol 14

    And now Peter Dunne is questioning whether Key & Brownlee mislead him, resulting in Dunne voting for the change in employment law:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/64715/dunne-concerned-by-hobbit-email

    Mr Dunne, who voted for the law change under urgency in October, says it was always made clear to him that the change was linked to the union action.

    He says he will ask for an explanation from Government ministers in the New Year.

    Prime Minister John Key and Gerry Brownlee are on holiday and are not available to comment.

    So even though they might have hoped this would slip under the pre-Xmas radar, it looks like National won’t see the end of this issue for a while.

    • Sean 14.1

      The government ministers will probably just tell Dunne it was all part of the big game they were playing, and if he doesn’t like it he can just take his Ohariu and go home.

      What we need are politicians who are bright enough to know it was a set up in the first place, so next year, support those that voted against the legislation at the time. As I recall, the Greens and Labour opposed the law change in the house.

      Peter Dunne’s “Did Gerry Brownlee lie to me? And John lied too?” statement makes him sound a bit like an idiot.

    • The two faced double dealing slime bag Dunne would sell his Granny to have a bit of power. the Labour Party must put up a good candidate who must be supported by the Greens to beat this blow-hard. He’s kowtowed to all just to stay in power . Lets now show him for what he really is .

      • mickysavage 14.2.1

        the Labour Party must put up a good candidate who must be supported by the Greens to beat this blow-hard

        Labour candidate is Charles Chauvel, one of Labour’s best. Interestingly he was involved in the Bryson case. Talk about full circle …

  14. Wingnuts where are you?

    Apart from AndyB and Grumpy no one has made an appearance and I get the feeling that AndyB and Grumpy are agreeing with Eddie’s analysis.

    To make it easier you can copy and paste the following offered in the spirit of christmas,

    “The left was correct, us wingnuts were wrong, the Hobbit was never going to leave the country, Key Brownlee and Jackson lied through their teeth, and we apologise unreservedly to Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm for the untrue things we said about them.”

    • AndyB 15.1

      Not at all unfortunately Micky, don’t get all cocky now. Jackson himself said on Close Up at the time, that “Unfortunately, lifting the blacklist doesn’t have anything to do with it.” It was all about the industrial relations, and threats of strike actions that forced Warners hand. The facts still remain that the MEAA engaged in its own bad faith conduct by setting the “don’t work” order in motion before even requesting talks. The unions tried to play hardball with Wingnut and Warners, and in turn Warners played hardball back. Unsurprising really that Warners won.

      What would have happened if the unions had decided not to target The Hobbit? I guess we will never know, but I’m guessing everything would have carried on as normal and no requests for extra tax breaks or law changes would have been made. Pre production was well under way without any hassles.

      Which ever way you slice it, it is still the fault of the unions. No amount of spin will change my mind, or the minds of the majority of New Zealanders.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        No amount of spin will change my mind, or the minds of the majority of New Zealanders.

        Classic… Andy’s opinion is so fixed that not even the evidence of Saint Peter himself is enough to change his mind.

        Just curious Andy… but can you think of anything at all that would change your mind? Hypothetically that is.

        • AndyB 15.1.1.1

          care to acknowledge and argue the other points i made? or just pick that bit out and ignore the rest as it makes you look smart and witty?

          what would change my mind? not sure on this issue, but i sure as hell haven’t seen anything that has made me consider changing my opinion as yet. care to show me the light?

          edit: oh and i said no amount on ‘spin’ would change my mind, and you said ‘evidence’. evidence would change my mind, but as yet i don’t see any.

    • ianmac from Prague 15.2

      Micky:……”the Hobbit was never going to leave the country, Key Brownlee and Jackson lied through their teeth, and we apologise unreservedly to Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm for the untrue things we said about them.”

      Well said Micky. The message has to be simple and easily understood. Most people are probably less concerned about detail. Just the basic message.

  15. RedLogix 16

    It has already been explained before on The Standard that the term ‘boycott’ was a very poor word choice for something quite normal and procedural.

    The film industry employs large numbers of people on a .project basis. As does other industries like oil and gas which comes to mind. Very frequently these people are employed as individual contractors (because it matches the short-term nature of the employment, and many of these workers prefer this arrangement. I did this sort of thing myself for many years.)

    However it is also common for these contractors to use a third party agent such as a union (or some other agency) to negotiate collective terms and conditions that will apply to the project. This is often preferred by both the employer and contractors as it gives everyone certainty for the duration of the project. A certainty that according to Saint Peter, Warners were expecially interested in.

    As a matter of normal procedure, the barginning agent, or union, will often issue a “don’t sign” notice during negotiations. This is important as it is quite impossible to set collective terms if random people are short-circuiting things by signing individual contracts in parallel with collective negotiations. This is pure common sense.

    If the negotiations prove sticky or delayed because the employer, or his agents such as SPADA in this case, stall and refuse to progress, then the simple matter of a ‘don’t sign’ notice, takes on another layer of meaning as a bargining tool. Again perfect common sense, because no-one ever signs a contract first and then subsequently attempts to negotiate the terms they want after.

    What I want to know is who first used the perogative term “boycott”? Because it was a manipulative emotive term that left unchallenged caused the union movement a whole power of unjustified grief.

    • James 16.1

      It’s normal procedure for an overseas union to issue a “don’t work” notice on behalf of its NZ members without taking a vote from the membership?

      If it looks like a boycott and smells like a boycott, people will call it a boycott.

      It’s ridiculous advice like this which caused AE to start saying silly stuff like ‘it’s not a boycott’ which got them trounced in the media and destroyed public opinion for them.

      • RedLogix 16.1.1

        If it looks like a boycott and smells like a boycott, people will call it a boycott.

        Would you sign a fixed term contract, or have one signed on your behalf before agreeing to the terms? I think not.

        You comment merely demonstrates that most people formed emotive opinions from positions of complete ignorance. Or rather had them formed for them by people lying through their teeth.

        • James 16.1.1.1

          Thankyou for completely ignoring my point. Weird I still find it even slightly surprising.

          “Would you sign a fixed term contract, or have one signed on your behalf before agreeing to the terms? I think not.”

          Aside from the fact that has nothing to do with the point I was making, all the international actors were getting at least minimum union contracts anyway, so your point makes no sense. They knew what they were getting. The stop work order was on behalf of the NZ actors. Who never asked for it, didn’t vote for it, and was fluffed so badly we got a law changing giving them the exact opposite of what they wanted.

          But anyway, good to see the lessons completely failing to be learned, and instead a quick descent into insults and name calling.

          All in all, business as usual.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            all the international actors were getting at least minimum union contracts anyway, so your point makes no sense. They knew what they were getting. The stop work order was on behalf of the NZ actors. Who never asked for it, didn’t vote for it, and was fluffed so badly

            I think you will find that there is general agreement even on TS that Actors Equity did not do a good job around this incident. Perhaps even a frakin terrible job.

            But the guts of this story is not around how badly AE performed. Its why Peter Jackson and Warners would allow international actors to get better terms and conditions than local actors.

            So why would Peter Jackson and Warners fight against not just giving NZ actors the same terms and conditions as international actors, but also put the boot into any attempts at unionisation?

            In order to pay NZ’ers worse than international actors, at poorer conditions.

            Jackson wanted complete control of local industrial standards and NAT gave it to him. And he didn’t simply want industrial stability for the project, he wanted industrial stability at pay and conditions inferior to international minimum union standards. And NAT gave it to him.

            So why would Peter Jackson want lower pay and conditions for NZ actors compared to international actors?

            Because Peter Jackson, Half Billionaire, gets to pocket the frakin difference himself.

            • James 16.1.1.1.1.1

              But before the stop work order even started, PJ had already given the NZ actors standards which SAG had later described as ‘more than fair’ when they were claiming they’d ‘won’ those standards as a result of their ‘international strike action’.

              He was definately over exagerating the issue to get the government to do what he wanted though.

              But the issue is a bit more complex than ‘peter jackson is a baddie’. If we don’t grasp that properly we’ll never get anywhere. What was happenning was the MEAA was triyng to establish a collective bargaining agreement. It didn’t matter what the hobbit was offering NZ actors, because it was never about the hobbit or peter jackson, or even NZ actors, it was about international unions attempting to excerpt influence over international companies. It was about establishing a beach head for the MEAA into nz production. Incompetently. They caused the damage themselves through that incompetance. The fact that PJ was using that to his own benefit changes nothing, and certainly doesn’t vindicate the incompetence.

              • Colonial Viper

                No ones “vindicating incompetence” here matey. I already told you, AE pretty much sucked.

                But before the stop work order even started, PJ had already given the NZ actors standards which SAG had later described as ‘more than fair’

                WHERE did SAG say this.

                Further, why would you push NZ’ers on to contracts inferior to international actors’ minimums? ANS: Because Peter Jackson, half billionaire, gets to pocket the difference.

                The fact that PJ was using that to his own benefit changes nothing,

                1) Jackson used ‘exaggerations’ for his own benefit (financial and in terms of industrial control).
                2) Jackson got tax breaks and employment laws hurting NZ workers passed for himself.

                This is the real guts of it. A small inexperienced union fumbling the ball – a sideshow.

                But the issue is a bit more complex than ‘peter jackson is a baddie’.

                I dunno, do you think that the words untrustworthy, self-serving, unpatriotic, sell out, have any relevance in filling out the character here a bit more?

                • James

                  ‘where did SAG say this?’

                  A letter SAG sent to AE. You can find it on the AE website.

                  I guess we can agree to disagree on which is the sideshow.

                  • RedLogix

                    So what would YOU have the union do?

                    All very well saying they were out of their depth… put yourself in their shoes for a moment. And consider that these emails now show how they were lined up against the richest and most powerful man in their industry, one of the biggest global studio’s notorious for playing hardball, a govt entirely willing to do their bidding…. happy to indulge in a good ol-round of union bashing for the fun of it… all lying and twisting facts for their own self-interest.

                    Not to mention a howling pack of media pundits baying for your traitorous blood.

                    Ask yourself…. just what would have YOU done that was all that much different?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    SAG never sent a letter saying that pay and working conditions below their own union minimums were fair.

                    • James

                      So you didn’t read the letter then?

                      “Ask yourself…. just what would have YOU done that was all that much different?”

                      1. Got the membership to actually vote either way as is their right, so I actually had a democratic mandate.
                      2. Been clear with membership, fellow unions and the public about what conditions were substandard, and what the demands were.
                      3. Actually understood NZ labour law.

                      Just for a start…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Didn’t read it because it doesn’t exist, you made it up.

  16. randal 17

    its all just a dream babe.
    a vacuum a scheme babe.
    that sucks you into feeling like this.

  17. tc 18

    hear hear MS……the silence is deafening.

    All I want for xmas is for the MSM to start fulfilling it’s charter obligations and strip away the lies and deceptions sideshow john and his dealing room keep getting away with and maybe start re-producing some of their 08 campaign billboards to refresh the punters memory about what they actually promised.

    On an unrealted matter seeing that other dealer Bennett getting some free column space in the herald today whatever happenened with her breach of privacy matter ? seems an eon ago now.

  18. Colonial Viper 19

    I think we should give half billionaires like Peter Jackson bigger tax cuts.

    With the ability to con the whole country into giving him and his companies a personalised tax cut rushed through under Parliamentary urgency no less, the Charity for Peter Jackson Tax Cut 2010, the man truly deserves a second Jetstream.

  19. Francisco Hernandez 20

    I was misled by Peter Jackson and admit my foolishness in buying the Company PR

  20. Daz 21

    But company PR is all you are ever going to hear in New Zealand media when it comes to Jackson and Weta’s companies.

    Every journalist fears being left off their Christmas card lists – the invites to set tours, premieres, star interviews etc would all dry up, and what would our media find to talk about then? Consequently all media outlets put PJ’s side consistently, and this is music to a right wing government’s ears. MPs want their own invites to keep coming too – no surprises there. Key probably resurrected the shoddy titles system with this very eventuality partly in mind.

    Knighthood through falsehood.

  21. Irascible 22

    Isn’t this the sort of material for a breach of privilege decision in Parliament – deliberately misleading the House is unacceptable under standing orders isn’t it?
    On this evidence both Key & Brownlee are guilty of such a breach.
    Could make for interesting debates in the new term.

    • Anne 22.1

      Mallard has already said Labour will be looking “very carefully” at what ministers said in the House. I see at least one breach of privilege coming up. I hope the Greens join them.

  22. …and whats likely to have happened if Key and co had called Jackson and the studios bluff and told em to go fuck themselves cos they wouldn’t be getting a law change or a bigger tax break ?

    would the film have got canned or set up somewhere else ?…canned is my pick

    I knew Warners was only ever after more money because they were never going to just walk away from the investment they had already made here.

    Had Warners invested anything or was it just PJ stumping up his own cash to keep the ball rolling after all the delays (and Del Toro pulling out) hoping to convince Warners to front up with the rest ?

    Seems like Jackson was gonna do and did anything to protect HIS investment. Meanwhile, despite the fact PJ’s gonna come off a lot richer than before (probably), so will a lot of film talent be employed for a couple more years..

    How much more are they gonna pay in tax that wouldn’t have existed if the project got shelved…more than the 34 mil in tax breaks ?

    …and isn’t NZ still going to reap the benefit of having a major movie shot here by it’s own wunderkind director ?

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Bottom line for me is that our country needs an actual, broad based NZ film industry. Not a Peter Jackson’s Film Industry, occasionally located in NZ.

      And no way should we let PJ get away with suppressing NZ workers pay and conditions cf foreign crews and actors that he uses.

      • pollywog 23.1.1

        …and probably nowhere in any other broad based NZ film would actors be paid as much as they do by Peter Jackson.

        if you’re gonna apply standards across the board, then chances are it would cripple small local production to offer parity with hollywood union rates

        as contractors, film workers have the option of saying ‘nah stuff it i’m worth more than that’ or ‘sweet, i’ll take one for the team’.

        as far as i’m aware there is nothing stopping contractors from forming a guild of sorts to negotiate collectively

        so Jackson and co are liars and exploited a position to their own advantage but we as a country will still come out with a win…

        sometimes the end justifies the means

        • Carol 23.1.1.1

          Jackson and friends lied in a way that smeared the whole union movement at a key moment. He smeared CTU & its president, calling Kelly a liar – but she wasn’t lying, Jackson was. This has a much bigger impact on workers in many industries, not just those working in film. It will take me a long time to forgive Jackson and his team for that smear at a key moment in union history. (eg immediately after many of us had been on one of the most successful union demos in a long time.)

          And the figures I’ve read don’t show much value for NZ generally from Jackson’s films – it’ll most likely line PJ’s pockets more than anyone else.

          • pollywog 23.1.1.1.1

            Well there’s a lesson for the ozzy union in trying to strongarm the production company from the outset with a boycott…they started the shit fight and it wasn’t the whole union movement that got smeared just the incompetent Actors Equity NZ.

            Helen Kelly was already on a hiding to nothing by the time she entered the ring. Sadly she was collateral damage but her stock would have improved markedly from these latest revelations and so has her profile…win/win ?

            I reckon Jackson had to smear and lie to keep the production in NZ from being shelved. He had to show Warners it was worth sinking money in NZ and himself and show them he could get the gov’t to roll over and that all they had to do was turn up and rub Key’s tummy to get a sweeter deal.

            If not there’d be a whole lot of unemployed film workers moping around having a shit time over christmas….would you rather have been happier with that ?

            you seem more pissed off that PJ stole the wider union movements thunder ?…i say harden up and get over it. Next time fight smarter and don’t misunderestimate your opponent. :)

            • James 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Yup. Well said pollywog.

            • Anne 23.1.1.1.1.2

              Carol said:
              “Jackson and friends lied in a way that smeared the whole union movement at a key moment. He smeared CTU & its president, calling Kelly a liar – but she wasn’t lying, Jackson was.”

              Peter Jackson will never be “Sir” Peter Jackson to me again. He lied and he cheated. Simple as that!

              The end never justifies the means pollywog.

            • RedLogix 23.1.1.1.1.3

              Next time fight smarter and don’t misunderestimate your opponent.

              You mean lie and smear like Peter Jackson?

              Nah… you’re just full of it Polly. What I’m reading from you is that it’s ok for big powerful wealthy people do do whatever it takes to win… but if a union so much as looked a millimeter or two out of line you’d be the first in line to dump all over them.

              Amazing how many apologists for Jackson’s behaviour suddenly crawling about.

              • pollywog

                Its not about big powerful wealthy people doing whatever they like, it’s about motive and intent to provide the maximum benefit for the most amount of people….cracking eggs to make omelettes and keeping your eye on the bigger prize

                motive and intent, thats where the end sometimes justifies the means. Jacksons motive and intent was to get these movies made HERE in NZ by any means neccessary.

                in terms of winners. NZ gets to make a couple of big budget films that will provide income/tax for NZers and the losers are who exactly ?…would you still rather a lot of unemployed but principled film workers moping around just to show up Jackson for being a liar and Key for being a soft touch to a corporate shakedown ?…great so now you know.

                Now counterfactualise a different scenario where NZ still came out a winner if Goff were in charge ? What would he have done ?..side with the foreign unions and the whole movie would have disappeared ?

                Seems everyone is a liar or hypocrite and i couldn’t give 2 shits if a union were to do the same if it was in the wider benefit of its memebers and neither would i dump on them for it.

            • Tiger Mountain 23.1.1.1.1.4

              You’re double bagging Wog, in my view. Many of our dear shaggy haired Guildsters don’t have a real understanding of modern unionism that even approaches the organising model, the solidarity model, or the empathy with other workers model.

              “we’re different , you dont’t understand” its all about ME!

              Sometimes it is almost interesting to know the identities of the “aide de poofters” like you that run defence for the likes of Lord Jackson and Barnett.

              • pollywog

                Double bagging ?..dunno how that applies in this instance.

                Film workers are ignorant of employment law and are in it for themselves…yeah and ?

                BTW I’m just an internet nobody with an opinion, it matters little who i am.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Now counterfactualise a different scenario where NZ still came out a winner if Goff were in charge ? What would he have done ?..side with the foreign unions and the whole movie would have disappeared ?

                  You’re still buying the line that the movie would have been goneburger from NZ shores if we hadn’t capitulated to the Hollywood movie studio’s new demands. Would Jackson really have wanted to film in an Irish winter? Or lived in eastern Europe for the next two years?

                  Remember they were going to make the movie here anyway before the union stoush.

                  It was then Jackson ran the line that things had now changed because of the boycott. We know from the emails that they hadn’t actually.

                  We gave them more to do what they were going to do in the first place. Not quite a pass in negotiating 101 methinks.

                  in terms of winners. NZ gets to make a couple of big budget films that will provide income/tax for NZers and the losers are who exactly ?…would you still rather a lot of unemployed but principled film workers moping around just to show up Jackson for being a liar and Key for being a soft touch to a corporate shakedown ?…

                  NZ workers, and NZ as a country, must never allow itself to be placed in a position where it has to stomach a “take it or leave it” deal for a foreign corporate. In other words we need a broad based NZ film industry with great sources of local funding and several international projects on the go at once. If Warners yanks a project, big deal, that’s business, move on to the next.

                  What we have now is a NZ film industry concentrated on Peter Jackson and his companies. Unhealthy, to say the least.

                  And what are we going to do the next time half billionaire Jackson demands bigger tax breaks, and reduced working conditions for his staff?

                  • pollywog

                    You’re still buying the line that the movie would have been goneburger from NZ shores if we hadn’t capitulated to the Hollywood movie studio’s new demands.

                    nah..i’ve been consistently of the line that Jackson had invested too much of his own dosh in NZ that if was going to be made, it was here or not at all.

                    Jackson ran the line that things had now changed because of the boycott. We know from the emails that they hadn’t actually.

                    we know Warners were getting the jitters about it being made in NZ, if at all, as they hadn’t committed any significant funding to it. Let alone there being anything to show they would have committed to it if eastern Europe or Ireland had tendered for it.

                    What we have now is a NZ film industry concentrated on Peter Jackson and his companies. Unhealthy, to say the least.

                    And what are we going to do the next time half billionaire Jackson demands bigger tax breaks, and reduced working conditions for his staff?

                    at least we have an international film industry at all, unlike those ozzys who did play hardball with the studios and lost heaps and it’s not like we can hold eastern Europe or Ireland up as shining lights of honesty and transparency when it comes to not kowtowing to big foreign money

                    next time Jackson demands bigger taxbreaks and continues to provide better working conditions than most other local indy productions we should once again look at the bigger picture of maximum beneift for the most people and question his intent and motive more robustly.

  23. James 24

    In reply to the comment far above (because the sub-thread has apparently reached it’s maxiumum amount of comments):

    “Didn’t read it because it doesn’t exist, you made it up”

    Can only reply with LOL. It’s there. If you can’t be bothered looking for it, it ain’t my problem.

    [lprent: yeah ten levels is the max. Otherwise it gets scrunched up too much at the right (like most things are) ]

    • RedLogix 24.1

      Do you mean this letter James?

      September 28, 2010

      Jennifer Ward Lealand
      President
      New Zealand Actors Equity
      195 Ponsonby Rd
      Ponsonby, Auckland
      1011
      New Zealand

      Dear President Lealand:

      Screen Actors Guild is proud to support New Zealand Actors Equity in seeking union protections for all performers on The Hobbit. We applaud your efforts to make sure that our performer-colleagues working on this production receive a fair and equitable contract.

      Be assured that our view is unchanged. We steadfastly hold the position that actors working on The Hobbit must have the protections of a union contract, no matter where the production may move.

      Thank you for your leadership and your willingness to serve this just cause. Screen Actors Guild, as a union and as a member of the international community of actors and performers, stands with you.

      In solidarity,

      Ken Howard
      National President

      Linkylove

    • mcflock 24.2

      “It’s there. If you can’t be bothered looking for it, it ain’t my problem.”

      Ah, the old “my evidence is so powerful I don’t need to present it” gambit. Successful in all occasions.

      Especially when web addresses are so difficult to cut and paste…

  24. richard 25

    I am rather shocked to see how little (as in fuck all) attention these revelations are getting in the main stream media. When the Hobbit saga originally blew up, you couldn’t avoid it. Saturation coverage, and everyone had an opinion. Even Peter Dunne reckons this stinks. Are our media not allowed to thoroughly question issues like this just cos John Key is on holiday?
    As an aside, wouldn’t it be great if our PM and Minister of Tourism could show the struggling tourism industry a bit of solidarity and take a domestic holiday for a change. Where is his bach? Maui? Is that on the Coromandel or something?

    • Carol 25.1

      National and Key must think it stinks too, otherwise why delay releasing the emails till everybody’s busy getting ready for Xmas & their hols? They obviously are not proud of what they (and Jackson) did.

      Ditto for the other stuff they released today – the moves towards privatising ACC – can’t be particularly proud of that move, and must not think it’ll be that popular – otherwise they’d have make the statement at a time when it’d get more attention.

  25. ianmac from Prague 26

    Trying to catch up I have developed this belief that they knew that the OIA would release the info about now.
    Key Brownlie, and Jackson would have had discussions and decide that silence is golden.
    The MSM will not deal with it.
    Without comment from Jackson or the Nats the issue will die.
    Unless…..unless perhaps in Feb an issue could be created?

    • Anne 26.1

      ianmac, it’s up to Labour and the Greens to not let it die! They have control (effectively) over question-time in the House. All they have to do is another Wong offensive in February. It can wait until then. The hysteria whipped up over the Hobbit debacle will mean the public won’t have forgotten. Of course, it depends on whether the Labour and Green hierarchy will have the nous. With a few notable exceptions, it is something they both have lacked these past two years.

      You’re dead right about the tactic adopted. My guess is: K, B and J were told to skidaddle as far away from the Beehive as was possible before the OIA’d documents were released! And the MSM will have taken their cue from that…

  26. Mrhappy 27

    … has Peter Jackson actually made anything worth watching since “Braindead”?

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Yeah, he has made…money. About half a billion dollars worth. But he’s still out happily suppressing wages and conditions for NZ workers.

      • Mrhappy 27.1.1

        Sorry mate, not being a banker I don\’t find the sight of banknotes stacked high in a vault as entertaining as a decent plot driven movie with something to say. :)

        • tea 27.1.1.1

          I still admire Jackson, but despair of the New Zealand public and the media that fawns over him.

          I mean come on he pals around with James Cameron. They make some movies, but ask Cameron’s ex-wives if he’s a good guy!

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    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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