web analytics
The Standard

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

          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

            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

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

            • Anne

              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

              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

              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:


    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

          “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

            “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

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

          • Pascal's bookie

            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

          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

          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

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

            • Tiger Mountain

              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

          “…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

            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

              PJ says that issue was “not connected”.

            • Bright Red

              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

          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

            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

              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

              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


    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

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

          • Bright Red

            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:


    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

          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

          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

            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

              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

          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

            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

              Yup. Well said pollywog.

            • Anne

              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

              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

              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
      New Zealand Actors Equity
      195 Ponsonby Rd
      Ponsonby, Auckland
      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


    • 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

          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!

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • *That* Herald story on polls
    I have just submitted a formal complaint to the New Zealand Herald about its reporting of its last preselection poll on 19 September. Here is what I said: COMPLAINT - NOT FOR PUBLICATION Dear Editor, I write to complain about...
    Polity | 23-09
  • ACT are rorters
    ACT, the party "standing on your own two feet" and opposing rorts is to be offered a Ministerial role explicitly to give it more resources for party business:The Prime Minister was today is talking up the possibility of making the...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Give Away!
    Film distributors Madman Entertainment have kindly sent us four DVDs of the BBC documentary on the London Underground: The Underground: Narrated by Julian Barrett of Mighty Boosh fame, each of the six episodes is an incredibly in-depth and unblinking look...
    Transport Blog | 23-09
  • The problem with Labour
    And as night follows day, post-election we have another toxic round of Labour bloodletting. Obviously there needs to be accountability in the wake of an electoral thrashing, and a leadership vote is part of that. But there are good ways...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Rebecca Mclean – Hero of the Week
    I sometimes wonder about my fellow New Zealanders and why they would support political parties that seem determined to increase the wealth divide between rich and poor. How could they possibly not care about impoverishment, and instead appear to only...
    The Jackal | 23-09
  • “Something Hugely Dramatic”: The 2014 General Election
    Three In A Row! Defying political gravity, Prime Minister John Key wins a third term with a higher percentage of the votes cast than he received in 2008 and 2011. In the words of Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury, National now enjoys...
    Bowalley Road | 22-09
  • “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”
    This is just a quick note about an event on tomorrow night. Our good friend Dr Sudhvir Singh from Generation Zero is speaking at the Sir John Logan Campbell Annual Lecture on “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”. Details are...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • What Labour forgot: You’ve got to earn it
    Labour MPs travelling to Wellington today for their first post-election caucus will have their heads crammed full of theories, accusations and advice from all and sundry. But here's the message for them to keep front and centre whichever direction they...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Key’s victory no mandate for dirty energy
    “What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in" -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.” – Howard Zinn.The opportunity to create genuine transformation in society often...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-09
  • Time for a Bluegreen Party
    Congratulations to the National Party. To increase your majority in your third term indicates solidly, reflects public confidence in the leadership team and an endorsement that one’s policies are more attuned to the preferences of voters than those offered up...
    Gareth’s World | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Where to now for transport in Auckland?
    In some respects Saturday night’s election result changes nothing from a transport perspective. It seems as though the government that will be formed over the next three years will be remarkably similar to that we’ve had for the past three...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The strategic dimension to a third term
    Government is always a balancing act. For this term the balance is between an urge in the National party for business-friendly action and staying in touch with the wider public. It doesn’t matter for that balancing act whether National keeps...
    Colin James | 22-09
  • The rebuild
    Morgan Godfery has described his sense of alienation in the days preceding last Saturday’s election – when poll after poll painted an ever-more-accurate picture of the scale of National’s eventual victory – as being akin to ‘a full-scale culture shock’....
    Bat bean beam | 22-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the troubled aftermath of Scotland’s vote
    Column – Gordon Campbell A week can be a very long time in Scotland’s 300 year struggle for independence. The “ No” vote last week that seemed to end the cause of Scottish independence for a generation, has turned out...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-09
  • Deranged
    Saturday's result was a shock for the left. And for some, it was apparently so shocking that it can only have been the result of fraud. So they're petitioning the head of the Electoral Commission for a recount. Naturally, they...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • The Wall Street Journal downplays global warming risks once again
    As has become the norm for media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, just before a half million people participated in the People’s Climate March around the world, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece downplaying the risks and threats...
    Skeptical Science | 22-09
  • Kiwis concerned about the TPPA: Day of Action
    Saturday.November 8 . 1.00 pmAuckland ~> Aotea Square Facebook EventHamilton ~> Garden PlaceFacebook EventWellington ~> The Bucket Fountain Facebook EventChristchurch ~> tbc Facebook EventTimaru ~> Bay Hill Piazza Facebook Event...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 22-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #30 Small is Beautiful
    30: Small is Beautiful What if we decided small can be beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder sees beauty through the lens of what they hold dear. When it comes to lifestyle beauty relates...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate chan...
    Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced...
    Hot Topic | 22-09
  • Some acting experience an advantage but not required.
    If David Cunliffe were an actor, his preferred acting style might best be described as Shakespearean – declamatory, expansive, grand in tone and gesture, rich in soliloquy. It is a style suited to the stage but unfortunately totally unsuited to...
    Brian Edwards | 22-09
  • Labour and Greens voters are more alike than different
    Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever, to discuss the National-Labour divide without mentioning the Greens is almost pointless. (I’ll...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • The truth about our ‘rockstar economy’
    There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early. He told us it was because there were various international gatherings that the prime minister had to attend. But...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Post-election blues
    Frank Macskasy has written an interesting piece on the Daily Blog about things Labour needs to take away from this election.Some people picked him up on his claim that National has not increased its vote over 2011, pointing out that the special...
    Te Whare Whero | 22-09
  • The minor parties – some thoughts & questions
    The Greens They ran a blinder of a campaign. Their polling numbers were looking great, as they closed on 15% in some polls. Then they got just 10.02% on the night (although their vote share is likely to rise by...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • The threshold has to go
    Another election, and once again we've been reminded of the unfairness the two major parties built into MMP in an effort to stack it for themselves and prevent competition. ACT got 14,510 votes and one seat in Parliament, while the...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • Was Scotland’s referendum rigged?
    Things haven't gone well in Scotland after their historic referendum to choose whether they became independent from Britain or not.As it turns out, an apparent majority of 55.3% chose to stay with mother England.However, there has been a growing disquiet...
    The Jackal | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now
    People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a...
    Public Address | 22-09
  • New Fisk
    John Kerry’s rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives
    Amongst the post-election entrail reading, I've seen a couple of people suggest that one of the reasons labour lost was due to a lack of tactical voting by Greens. If only Green supporters had held their nose and voted tactically...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • On a wave of mutilation : where to now for Labour?
    2014 was a disaster. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaster has now been surpassed. The party will be beginning (another) process of determining what went wrong, and what can be done to fix things. I hope they don’t throw all of...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • O’Connell St officially opened, time to close it again?
    On Friday evening the new O’Connell St shared space was officially opened. The street is by far the best shared space created in Auckland to date thanks in large part to the historic buildings in the area which feel like they’ve been...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The issues that matter
    I'm not bitter and twisted. No, really, I'm not. Much....
    Imperator Fish | 22-09
  • Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
    In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Where to from here for National?
    If John Key wants to have a stab at a fourth term as Prime Minister, there’ll be no one in the party to stop him. He’s weathered the Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth storms, and come out the other...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing governm...
    Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little...
    Hot Topic | 21-09
  • Semi-diamonds in the very rough
    In the midst of the Labour soul-searching (which may be ongoing for some time) I want to give some praise for three especially good Labour performers in the election: The first is Stuart Nash. Stuart has worked his butt off...
    Polity | 21-09
  • A failure to properly report on Climate Change
    I'm not sure if you've noticed the mainstream media, after a grueling 2014 general election, are too engrossed with their continued promotion of brand Key to bother properly reporting on matters of more importance like Climate Change events.While the international...
    The Jackal | 21-09
  • Maritimes magazine Spring 2014 edition online now
    The latest news and views for maritime workers...
    MUNZ | 21-09
  • The deconstruction – what went down
    So, in the end it wasn’t even close. Unless the special votes are dramatically out of kilter with the votes counted on election night, National has the numbers to govern alone. The worse-case scenario now for National is that they...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Reality-adjacent
    John Key and David Cunliffe both spent much of the election campaign talking about the dreaded “things that New Zealanders really care about”. But Key, under direct attack, was much more disciplined about sticking to those things. The metacampaign, Dirty...
    Kiwipolitico | 21-09
  • The lurch to the right begins
    John Key is busily constructing the smokescreen for his third term, and the key phrase is going to be “centre ground“. “Obviously there are some things we want to do; RMA (Resource Management Act) reform, employment law reform, but they’d...
    Boots Theory | 21-09
  • Who’s to blame for National
    After the huge number of advance votes placed in the lead-up to election day, the overall turnout was shockingly low. It’s easy to imagine that this would follow pre-existing trends in favouring the right. National actually got fewer votes than...
    The little pakeha | 21-09
  • This is not an election advertisement
    The laws we have around Election Day are just a bit silly. Yesterday everyone’s Twitter feeds were a bit like this: um…er…ahh….ummm….dum de do………ahem…….18 hours 53 minutes to go………nice weather we've been having?……….um……. — Election Satire (@2014satire) September 19, 2014...
    Boots Theory | 21-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-09
  • The best result John Key could have got
    John Key got his best result: a majority on his own or with young David Seymour if National’s vote drops on the special votes as much as the half per cent it dropped in 2011. He didn’t need the Conservatives...
    Colin James | 21-09
  • Economics and the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry
    The final decision from the Board of Inquiry confirming the Puhoi to Warkworth toll road was published on 12th September but, what with one thing and another, I’m only now getting round to writing about it. The final report is largely unchanged from the...
    Transport Blog | 21-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
Public service advertisements by The Standard