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Q&A on The Hobbit

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 28th, 2010 - 83 comments
Categories: business, tax, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Q. What were the actors asking for?

A. Actors in NZ are usually employed as independent contractors. They have a set of guidelines (The Pink Book) which set out the standard conditions for the employment of actors, but this is a guideline only and not enforceable.

Actor’s Equity have outlined the following areas as causes of concern: minimum fees, conditions of engagement, professional protections and residuals.

In lay terms, there is no minimum that you can pay a NZ actor and no minimum working conditions. A contract can be terminated at any time with no obligation to pay out the contract. ‘Residuals’ are a bit like royalties – they are payments to someone for their work when it is used again after the original showing (such as releasing a movie on DVD).

For the most part, the Kiwi industry is made up of low-budget, no-budget and modest-budget productions, so these conventions have worked for actors for some time. But things are changing. Big budget international productions have been filming more and more in NZ – examples being LOTR, The Last Samurai, Spartacus and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It’s not so acceptable for these large budget productions to play by the same rules as a modest-budget Kiwi production. Especially when they employ international actors on much better conditions to do similar work on the same production.

Actor’s Equity wanted to address these issues with the makers of The Hobbit. The producers came out saying that the union was not registered in NZ and that contractors can’t bargain collectively. That didn’t need to be an obstacle however.

From Actor’s Equity on 1 October 2010 below:

“Advice we have received today from Miriam Dean QC, a senior barrister specialising in competition law, confirms our views that:
•       “There’s no legal impediment to negotiating fair wages and terms for actors taken on as employees.
•       “Nothing in the Act prohibits us from having some meaningful engagement with the producers on non-price terms for actors taken on as independent contractors, such as rolling credits to acknowledge New Zealand actors’ input into the movie.
•       “Nor does the Act prohibit us from discussing pricing in general terms with the producers to enable us to help our independent contractor members in their individual negotiations with producers.  The Union accepts that these could only be recommended prices – nothing more.”

The union accepted that there would be no formal collective agreement bargained by the union. As they point out, there is nothing in the law to stop the union having a meeting with the producers to argue their piece and have the producers voluntarily offer improved conditions to the actors.

Q. How did it all go so wrong?

A. The first approaches to the producers appear to have been through FIA (The International Federation of Actors) an international collective of actor’s collectives from around the world. The letters they sent to the production company do demand a union-negotiated collective agreement or a blacklist will apply. These demands don’t sit easily with NZ’s situation, where most actors are contractors and are not allowed to bargain collectively. What FIA was asking for seems to have been nothing short of bringing NZ fully into line with the situation in other countries, where film industry work is highly unionized.

However, if the producers had discussed the situation with the union, then the issues could have been clarified and worked through a lot earlier.

Q. Was the dispute ever a credible threat to the production going ahead?

A. In the early stages, yes. The support of international unions including the US Screen Actors Guild for the blacklisting meant that the dispute could have halted the production of The Hobbit.

However, the international blacklist has been lifted. Actor’s Equity have resolved their dispute and have guaranteed that no further industrial action will disrupt The Hobbit.

There seemed to be an agreement between Warner Bros and Actor’s Equity that it was all settled, until Peter Jackson announced that the studio was thinking of moving the production overseas due to the now-settled dispute.

Q. How scared could Warner Bros really be of a small Kiwi union?

A. Warner Bros has been engaged in industrial action with much bigger, scarier unions than NZ. The most recent major action being the Writer’s Guild strike in America in 2008, which was also about residuals.

These are some of the other major strikes engaged in by the US film industry:
•  2000 Commercial actors strike, almost six months.
•  1988 Writers Guild of America strike, 22 weeks.
•  1987 Directors strike, 3 hours and 5 minutes.
•  1985 Writers strike, two weeks.
•  1981 Writers Guild of America strike, three months.
•  1980 Actors strike, three months.
•  1960 Actors strike, led by SAG President Ronald Reagan, six weeks.
•  1952 Actors strike, two and a half months.
•  1945 Set decorators Hollywood Black Friday strike, six months.
•  1942–44 Musicians’ strike, thirteen months plus.
•  1941 Disney animators’ strike, five weeks.

During the Writer’s Guild strike, the financial impact on the studios of accepting the writer’s demands was assessed as ‘negligible’ and that the studios were afraid that a settlement would ‘embolden directors and actors in their coming renegotiations’.

The American alliance of producers, AMPTP used the following strategy:

“Fabiani & Lehane’s strategy appeared to be to try to weaken the WGA membership’s resolve and foment resentment and doubt regarding WGA leadership within its ranks and in the film industry at large, especially with below-the-line workers [technical crew], by framing the strike as “havoc… wreaked… by the WGA’s actions” (paraphrased) and by blaming the WGA for “start[ing] this strike”.”

A major difference in the WGA strike appears to be that the public actually supported the writers, rather than the studios:

“One national survey conducted by Pepperdine University from November 7 to November 9 found that…nearly two-thirds of the sample sided with the writers, one third was unsure, and only four percent sympathized with the AMPTP (1,000 American adults participated). A second regional poll conducted by SurveyUSA on November 11 of Los Angeles residents indicated that eight percent supported the studios with sixty-nine percent supporting the writers (550 American adults participated, with 482 identifying themselves as being familiar with the strike).”

Q. Was the Warner Bros decision to consider other locations the result of the NZ actor’s industrial action?

A. The issues that Warner Bros took to the NZ Govt appear to have been the following:

* Clarification over the Bryson case – where a contractor successfully claimed to have actually been an employee and entitled to the protections given to employees.
* The appreciation of the NZ dollar against the US dollar, which makes it more expensive to film in NZ
* The size of the tax breaks given by the Government to big budget film productions.

The first point is only tangentially relevant to the Actor’s Equity dispute, and the other two points are completely unrelated.

Q. Did the actor’s industrial dispute give Warner Bros an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have had to renegotiate tax breaks?

A. Warner Bros could already have been agitating behind the scenes for increased tax breaks, but the actor’s industrial dispute unquestionably gave them the opportunity to increase their leverage by threatening to leave NZ if they didn’t get what they wanted.

However, the actors cannot be blamed for this. Warner Bros exploiting them to gain an advantage is not their fault.

- Blue

83 comments on “Q&A on The Hobbit”

  1. Sufi Safari 1

    I disagree with you on the final point. Perhaps not the actors, but NZAE and MEAA should absolutely be blamed for giving Warner Bros an opportunity to improve their position. It was clear from day one of the boycott hitting the front pages that it was a bad option, and if NZAE and MEAA had been at all competent it should have been pretty clear to them that it was a bad option before they took it.

    I have no love for exploitative industry, but at the same time as decrying Warner Bros we should be holding NZAE and MEAA to account for their amateur hour approach to playing hard ball with a major studio. With any luck they’ll learn their lesson from the debacle and will end up better equipped to negotiate with SPADA, lobby the Government and Opposition and be an effective voice for their members.

  2. smhead 2

    New game for today: Let’s count how many times a leftie calls it an “already settled labour dispute”.

    You guys need to hire Crosby Textor. If you are going to use blatant propaganda like that at least get the experts in to finesse it a little.

    • SMhead.

      Guest post presents a reasoned analysis backed by considerable factual information and you brand it as “blatant propaganda”.

      Is there a chance that you could indicate which facts are not admitted and why an alternative analysis is appropriate?

      Or are you just trolling?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      It was all about tax breaks and breaking the union. Nothing more, nothing less.

      NZ workers deserve the same rights to negotiate as workers in successful, established film making countries like Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland.

      Instead we got ourselves a sell out corporately complicit Government.

      • Joe Bloggs 2.2.1

        what a complete misrepresentation Wormtongue – disingenuous mischievous nonsense – and typical of a species that spends its whole life crawling on its belly.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland have successful longstanding film industries.

          Our workers deserve the same rights to negotiate as workers in those countries, if not more.

          Perhaps you should back your fellow NZ workers for a change instead of backing the foreign money.

          • Joe Bloggs 2.2.1.1.1

            Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland have successful longstanding film industries.

            Colonial Viper’s raised this smokescreen a few times now – successful, longstanding film industries.

            Take a moment to look at each in turn:

            Canada, a country of 33.3m people produces around C$3.3bn in film and television programmes. That’s around NZ$130 a year for every man, woman and child. The Canadian industry faces huge financing problems and the output of productions has dropped by nearly 50% in the past 50 years. The CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival believes the industry is financially unviable

            UK value their industry at 4.3bn stg – including revenues, merchandising and tourism. That’s NZ$149 per man, woman and child – but includes the value of merchandising and tourism on top of production revenues. According to the UK Film Council the industry is underfinanced, under-resourced, suffers from poor quality outputs and doesn’t investment in new talent.

            The Irish industry is worth 550m euros and is the only country from CV’s list that remotely approaches NZ’s industry. The Irish industry generates NZ$230 a year per capita. This is the only significant success story of the Western European film industries.

            The much-vaunted Australian industry is in a crisis. It generates A$2bn a year in revenues, less than NZ$125 a year per capita. SPAA notes that the industry is devoid of artistic merit in its productions, significantly underfinanced, and suffers from a destabilised workforce.

            At $2.9bn in 2009, the NZ industry generates $675 per man, woman and child in NZ. In the group singled out by CV NZ stands, head, shoulders, and chest above the rest.

            That’s why I back the foreign money – because it brings a shitload more to NZ than to other countries – and that’s why I support the workers who benefit from filming continuing to be based in NZ – because the workers benefit.

            And that’s why I think the unions have behaved like a large bunch of burst arseholes throughout this fiasco – because they seriously jeopardised the successful, longstanding local industry with their ideological brain-fart of a boycott.

            captcha: owed – an apology from Simon “Washed my hands of the whole sordid affair and scuttled back to Australia” Whipp

            • The Baron 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Joe for adding to the relatively impartial analysis above with some real hard facts, instead of the vacant fanboyism of Gleg and CV.

              Really guys, just cos a Union said it, doesn’t meant its true.

              And as for this “supporting NZ workers” meme of yours, CV – I’m supporting the 1,500 non union members that the 80 member Actors Equity wouldn’t side with. Looks like you support the team more than the players – bit of a shame your such a hypocrite really.

        • Jim Nald 2.2.1.2

          Yup, agree that Wormtongue reference sums up the current prime ministership.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.3

      Yeah, CT are the experts all right, Smeggy. They’re that good they managed to lose John Howard not only an election, but his own blue ribbon seat. Blue has done a great summary of the situation, have you got anything intelligent to say about the post or are just into public self abuse?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Only two words for the unions on this one.

    Own Goal.

    • Joe Bloggs 3.1

      and three words for the next elections:

      Remember The Hobbit

    • And one word for Warners/Jackson

      Caching

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      I guess thats what you get when Jackson blackmails his own country for more taxpayers money, and Key sees an opportunity to break down our employment law for foreign interests. The meeting of like minds.

      As if Warners was ever going to film the Hobbit in the middle of a frigid Irish winter, instead of in in NZ brilliant summer light. We got sold down the river.

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    SPADA’s illuminating email on MEAA – Liars, damned liars and Simon Whipp:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/the-price-of-our-hysteria/#comment-264668

    now this makes for illuminating reading – a comprehensive 11 point arsehole ripping of the MEAA’s inflamatory actions and barefaced lies. Should be obligatory reading for those who seek to defend the MEAA.

    Hattip to Infused

  5. Speaking Sense to Unions 5

    “As if Warners was ever going to film the Hobbit in the middle of a frigid Irish winter, instead of in in NZ brilliant summer light.”

    I think even in the Northern Hemisphere summer follows winter and if you knew anything about film making you might know that NZ’s ever-changing light makes shooting here quite challenging.

    There’s also things called “studios” and “green screens”, they probably have them in Ireland.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Great link Joe. Just shows exactly why Warners had justifiable reasons not to want to deal with these people.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    Thanks for the summary, Blue, it’s a good read. I was struck by the similarity of the bosses response to the ’88 writers strike to the response here. Undermine the union, lie about the facts. Add to that breaching good faith agreements, publicly dissing your bargaining partners, and, particularly, exaggerate the threat to the economy from the workers actions, even though you are the group making the threat. Add in a compliant Government and it’s an effective industrial coup. It’s classic stuff really.

    Out of all of this, I can’t help thinking that if the Actors had gone to a more mature and thinking union for advice and support, they would not have been done over like this. At the very least, a union like the EPMU would have had a bailout strategy for the possibility of the dispute going off the rails. And I don’t think they would have straight to the strike option without mounting a more engaging campaign first, both within the industry and with the wider public..

    • Anne 7.1

      @TvoR
      “… I can’t help thinking that if the Actors had gone to a more mature and thinking union for advice and support, they would not have been done over like this.”

      Andrew Little and Co. from the EPMU would never have fallen into the same trap. I hope it’s a big lesson for the Actors – and other related groups.

      It’s time another of the current establishment players was ‘done over’. I refer to John Barnett. Heard him on Nat Radio this morning describing AE as “those bloody actors who caused the whole thing”. What an arrogant bastard. They’re all coming out of the woodwork under NAct!

      • SHG 7.1.1

        AE did cause the whole thing. AE, through its representative Simon Whipp, called an international boycott on the Hobbit before requesting an illegal meeting.

  8. TightyRighty 8

    Sorry blue, who are you? and what the hell do you know? this isn’t a reputable post, this is just pro-union anti-employer spin. Why won’t you just accept the fact the unions and their puppets got smashed in the face with the big stick the unions usually like to wield? no one sees the unions or the actors represnting them as the victims in this, except of course the actors and unions the unions they represent.

  9. I see are studiously avoiding commenting on the contents of Blue’s post.

    Much easier to have a stab at ill informed and unmeasured “public perception” and rely on that.

  10. SHG 10

    The letters they sent to the production company do demand a union-negotiated collective agreement or a blacklist will apply

    Incorrect. The letters stated that A BLACKLIST WAS ALREADY IN EFFECT.

    Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical film The Hobbit until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

    Resolution to impose boycott: fail

    Requirement for illegal collective bargaining: fail

    Requirement to deal with an unregistered union (MEAA) with no legal right to negotiate: fail

    • The Baron 10.1

      Yup, why keep going when there’s a lie right up front. is that enough analysis for you Greg?

      • Richard 10.1.1

        If the unions were relevant to the negotiation they would have been at the negotiation table.

        The important negotiation was that between Warners and the government. The fact that the unions were not invited goes to show that they had sod all to do with it. The union was just a pretext.

  11. Bart 11

    Colonial viper, you idiot, do you really think natural light is what a movie\’s location is based on, or are all those lighting credits at the end of a movie just made up, like the unions arguements about this whole sorry saga!

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Bart, you work in a cartoon, and as such I don’t expect you to know anything about natural light, or filming in fog/snow/winter storms in Ireland/UK as compared to the brilliant long summer hours of NZ daylight.

      • Speaking Sense to Unions 11.1.1

        CV, which movies have you done lighting on?

        You might be surprised to find they do actually make films in Ireland. A lot of the exterior material for Saving Private Ryan was shot there. I suppose Speilberg did make a huge mistake.

        Dealing with weather is not a new problem for the film industry and you might find that after winter comes summer plus on rain days they have back-up studio shoots.

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          That was because a large portion of the scenes required dull and overcast weather. After all that is what most of the weather was like just after d-day.

          Why bother making such an silly statement? It is pretty nonsensical.

          • Speaking Sense to Unions 11.1.1.1.1

            you might find that they can shoot films in Ireland with sunshine as well. The sun does shine there. But how many films have you and CV done lighting on?

            Quick question – what sort of day is easier to shoot on, overcast or bright sunlight?

            • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Much easier to shoot on an overcast day. It’s easier to add light than remove it.

              And Ireland/UK have some of the biggest and best sound stages available.

          • luva 11.1.1.1.2

            lprent…what makes you think The Hobbit will need bright sunshine as opposed to D-day type conditions

            • lprent 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Because it is easier to put filters on than it is to setup lights. That leaves more shooting time. The cameras themselves tend to capture less light than is available (pretty obvious if you think of the mechanics). When you get to post you can only fiddle with the recorded detail on the images. The more detail on the images you have, the easier it is to manipulate to what is required.

              Especially when you are going through those tedious transcriptions to all of the various formats with all of the various frame rates and colour transforms. Lyn has (from memory) about 8 different formats flying around the world to festivals based on what they can display. Each is a nightmare in it’s own right..

              Basically no one who has been near a edit suite or transcribing from masters wants anything less than the best light available. Articifical light is good, and really good at highlighting shadow features. But full on natural sunlight is cheap and usually more powerful here for overall lighting.

              Incidentially, in my personal view, directors are obsessional and producers are almost as bad (usually about the director)

              Besides, have you read the hobbit? There are some dark sections, but a lot is in sunlight.

  12. James 12

    “However, if the producers had discussed the situation with the union, then the issues could have been clarified and worked through a lot earlier.”

    This is incorrect. The VERY FIRST request for a meeting with Peter Jackson was made on the 17th August AFTER the boycott had already been enacted.

    This has been confirmed, in writing on the MEAA’s own ‘hobbit factsheet’ which is on their website.

    How could they work through the situation before that when no one had EVER actually asked for a meeting first?

    The Union never bothered working through the legal issues, they just charged right out and did it.

    It’s crazy. And that’s why this whole horrible mess happened.

    If you want to blame anyone, the Actor’s Union deserves a VERY large portion of it.

    Oh, and from the MEAA’s latest email to their members, they seem to be lying to their members about it as well.

    Nice.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      This has been confirmed, in writing on the MEAA’s own ‘hobbit factsheet’ which is on their website.

      No link, no truth. Please point us the way good James.

      • James 12.1.1

        http://www.alliance.org.au/documents/100922_hobbit_factsheet.pdf

        Read the August 17 letter VERY CAREFULLY. The boycott was in effect, before the first letter on August 17th.

        There are emails out in the public between Frances Walsh of AE and Peter Jackson confirming that the August 17th letter was their first communication with Peter Jackson or his company. It is also confirmed in a letter from the MEAA/AE to its members that was leaked 2 days ago:

        http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2769,hard-news-anatomy-of-a-shambles.sm?p=187587#post187587

        This email has been confirmed to be legitimate. You can probably request a copy if you want to try. I know SPADA have one, but you might be able to get it direct from Actor’s Equity.

        The emails between Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh of Actor’s Equity were first leaked here:

        http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2769,hard-news-anatomy-of-a-shambles.sm?p=187715#post187715

        FW is indicating in the ‘over a month ago’ line confirms the first letter was 17th August.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          I don’t quite get your time line here. It clashes with many reports which say the boycott was activated by the SAG and other unions on Sept 24, essentially 5 weeks *after* your claim of a pre Aug 17 activation e.g.:

          Variety magazine says the boycott was initiated Sept 24.
          http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118026048.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2562

          This Sept 26 Reuters article announces the boycott as new news.
          http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68Q03820100927

          The LA Times writes on Sept 27 that an industrial dispute has ‘erupted’
          http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/09/labor-dispute-erupts-over-the-hobbit.html

          Basically the union was stonewalled for at least 5 weeks by the studios and/or Jackson before the global boycott actually came into effect.

          Read the August 17 letter VERY CAREFULLY. The boycott was in effect, before the first letter on August 17th.

          In conclusion, no it wasn’t, you are wrong.

          • SHG 12.1.1.1.1

            DATE: 17 August 2010
            TO: Directors, 3 Foot 7 Limited
            FROM: International Federation of Actors
            (…)
            Recently, The International Federation of Actors (FIA) became aware that the production of “The Hobbit” intends to hire performers under non-union contracts.

            For this reason FIA, at its most recent meeting, unanimously passed the following motion: “Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical feature film “The Hobbit” until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance for production in New Zealand providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the production”.

            FIA therefore encourages you to meet immediately with representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in order to reach an agreement covering all performers engaged on this production.

            In the first instance could you please make contact with Simon Whipp of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance on 612 9333 0999 or via email: simon.whipp@alliance.org.au
            (…)

            Full text: http://www.scribd.com/doc/40284396/FIA-17-VIII-10-en

            That’s the union saying on August 17 that at its previous meeting it passed a boycott resolution. A meeting some time before August 17.

            • Speaking Sense to Unions 12.1.1.1.1.1

              don’t distract them with more facts, they’re still pondering whether or not the northern hemisphere has a summer.

              • lprent

                The northern hemisphere does have a summer.

                But the quality of light here is far more intense than it is in any continental or near continental climate. There is less airborne dust. It is the same reason why the sunburn times here are a *lot* shorter than anywhere near a continental area.

                Before you start being stupid and going off into the usual irrelevant fallacies. The ozone hole has no appreciable effect anywhere above the lower south island and lets through more UV with little difference to visible light. Tropical areas have a lot of moisture in the air which adsorbs a lot of UV and some visible light.

                The vast ocean around NZ makes the light here a lot sharper and clearer on film. It means quite a lot of difference when you’re shooting.

                Perhaps you should actually understand what you’re talking about before sprouting your nonsense.

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  how many films have you done lighting on?

                  you’re arguing that Warners would never shift the film to Ireland because of the weather, I’m curious about what you base that on.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Being intelligent? Not just having a brain but using it too?

                    you’re arguing that Warners would never shift the film to Ireland

                    Not never, just not in the next 6-8 months during the Irish winter, sleet, snow, storms, short murky daylight,…

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      you know that a studio often has a roof?

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      ok, you’ve got a brain

                      you’re on set and you’ve got 60 sec to make this decision:

                      it’s an interior day location shoot. Overcast skies and about to roll but the director now wants a shaft of sunlight.

                      The genny’s down, do you call for a diva, a source 4 or a 10k. The director also wants even exposure over a large room. How do you respond?

                  • lprent

                    None. But I have a degree in earth sciences so I understand climate factors. Of course my partner is a filmmaker who spends a large chunk of her time behind a camera.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      so your argument that Warner’s couldn’t relocate in time is based on knowldge of the film indusrty and that is what exactly? You haven’t said.

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  “…and lets through more UV with little difference to visible light.”

                  so you wouldn’t factor in UV light for a scenic long shot?

                  • lprent

                    The equipment doesn’t have UV capabilities. For some reason if we can’t see it then the film makers don’t think it is worth recording.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      film is actually sensitve to UV. If you want less haze you use a UV filter. If you want more you don’t.

                      we can’t see IR either but it is something film makers have to consider, hence hot mirrors.

                      So your argument is…?

                    • lprent []

                      As I said, filmmakers aren’t interested in shooting uv. Their equipment is designed to exclude it. Especially from film

                      So your point is? More nonsense from an fool trying sidetrack using antiqitated troll techniques from ACToid central as far as I can see…do you actually have anything substantive to say, or should I just ignore you as being too stupid to debate with?

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      “As I said, filmmakers aren’t interested in shooting uv. Their equipment is designed to exclude it.’

                      well you actually said -

                      “The equipment doesn’t have UV capabilities.”

                      which is quite different.

                      The “equipment” does have UV “capabilities” because film is sensitive to UV. A film maker can decide to make an aesthetic choice of using the UV or not using it. It makes a significant differnce on how some scenic wide and long shots look.

                      some filters are designed exclude UV, cameras and lens are not and some film makers will use UV to give a certain quality to some shots.

                      If you have some argument that for logistical and/or aesthtic lighting reasons Warners could not reloacte in time then put it forward. So far you have shown no understanding of any of this.

                    • lprent []

                      I was referring to digital camera equipment. I haven’t seen anyone shoot on film for a quite a while. I notice you ignored my rather pointed reference to that and didn’t quote it? Why was that?

                      You haven’t shown yourself to be a person worth debating at this point. But consider this. One of the crucial features to getting a workable shooting schedule is to know before the start of the project where and when you are likely to be shooting. That takes time, and the pre has probably been going on here for quite some time. Quite a lot of it is required from what i understand for a feature film. As I understand it they haven’t started doing more than starting to look outside nz, and shooting is meant to be starting mere months away.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      digital equipment is also sensituve to UV, they have to have UV filters if you don’t want it.

                      Film making – “film”. Yes more is done on digital but still a lot is done on film and in both cases film makers have to make allowances for UV. In the case of digital they also have to make allowances for IR.

                      your quote -

                      “For some reason if we can’t see it then the film makers don’t think it is worth recording.”

                      completely wrong. Not just landscapes but flowers and clothing – with both film and digital equipment.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Ok, so you don’t know very much about film lighting, camera equipment etc so now your agument is not about light but about organisational logistics and all it amounts to is your assertion that it couldn’t possibly be done.

                      Film is all about planning. Planning for the unexpected, weather, location changes. It’s all part of what film people do everyday. Large numbers of people are paid very well to make sure things happen on time. However you think you can make a judgement call on the basis of wild speculation.

                      Much like Helen Kelly you don’t know much about the film industry and that lack of knowledge had contributed to this disaster for the unions.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Film is all about planning. Planning for the unexpected, weather, location changes.

                    Jackson was never going to film The Hobbit in wintery, freezing Europe. Neither was Warner going to agree to a 6-8 month delay in shooting. As a country we were had, even if you argue that Jackson would have happily planned to film in Irish sleet as opposed to a brilliant clear NZ summer, in scenary which is a perfect match to the LOTR.

                    Much like Helen Kelly you don’t know much about the film industry and that lack of knowledge had contributed to this disaster for the unions.

                    Uh, just because its possible to technically overcome filming in snow or fog, does not mean that it is desirable.

                    Fact of the matter is we were had, and Jackson and Key double teamed the tax payer who got screwed proper.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      I’ll take you through things slowly.

                      In Europe you have winter, followed by spring followed by summer. In Ireland they have what are called in the film industry “studios”. A lot of the production will be done in studios and they will orgainise their shooting schedule so that when they can’t get the exterior locations they want they’ll shoot indoors.

                      When they need to shoot scenes that demand summer – not all of The Hobbit is set in summer – then they will shoot that in the European summer.

                      If they want specific NZ scenery they’ll use a B unit. No big deal.

                      NZ has a special quality of light but talk to some DOPs and they will tell you it can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you want. It’s often dust in the atmosphere that they want to give an extra glow to sunsets.

                      And they’ll be using a DOP who has spent their career dealing with such issues, they get paid the big bucks to deal with light.

                      Where do you get this 6-8 months from?

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  Any advice for Andrew Lesnie on hot mirrors?

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey yeah it does, if Jackson and Warner Bros want to push back the release of their blockbuster by 6-8 months :P

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  ?

                  They just reschedule if they have to. Shoot more location in the summer and more studio in the winter. They would have to do that in NZ. There’s always plans for poor weather on any movie with locations.

                  Working around the weather is not a new skill in the film industry and in NZ it is a particular problem because of the 4 seasons in 1 day nature of a lot of our weather.

                  Where do you get the 6-8 months from? Have you seen their shooting schedule?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    LOLz mate yeah ‘reschedule’ on a mmovie late already they would make it more late by 6-8 months?

                    I guess they could shoot indoors in Ireland through the whole of the european winter but *shrug* it was never on the cards except to blackmail the NZ tax payer.

                    Give up the brilliant long NZ summer light, and settings exactly the same as LOTR for an Irish fog which looks nothing like it? Never was gonna happen.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Where do you get this 6-8 months from?

                      Are you aware of what portion of the film will be shot on location and what in studio? Are you aware that Ireland does have a summer when they can shoot the exterior location scenes?

                      And I presume you do know that quite a bit of what appears to be an exterior location actually isn’t or that if it is a lot of it has CGI.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Hahaha urges a boycott != a boycott.

              Boycott did not occur for another 5 weeks during which time Jackson et al proved intractable in their corporate brinksmanship.

          • James 12.1.1.1.2

            You absolutely MUST be kidding. The letter on the MEAA website, sent by the MEAA on the 17 August says they’s instited the boycott, and you still won’t accept it.

            That’s just… you’re insane, right? You do realise that. IT’S RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU.

            And now we’re talking about the fucking weather in Ireland now, almost as if avoiding the issue. That’s all just… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

            If people like you have anything to do with the Union movement, no wonder it’s f***ed.

            • IrishBill 12.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you need to take a couple of deep breaths there Jimmy.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.2.2

              No boycott occurred until Sept 24. The letter is posturing to try and get Jackson to listen.

              Good frakin luck with that as we foubnd out.

              • James

                I’m sorry, but you’re wrong and you know it. It’s right there in black and white. You should be ashamed of yourself.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sept 24th is the earliest entertainment media announcement of the global boycott having gone into actual effect.

                  As opposed to having been bandied around as a negotiation tactic.

                  You should be ashamed of yourself.

                  Meh, what does the self-moralising Right know?

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  James, it’s honestly not worth the effort. Most people have give up on The Standard as some sort of honest and intelligent Left-wing discusion forum. I only mess with them coz its morbidly funny.

                  Go over to Public Address and save your sanity.

                  If you’re Left-wing you’ll cheer up by mixing with nicer and brighter people, if you’re Right-wing you’ll actually debate people who appreciate facts.

      • The Baron 12.1.2

        Backing down now, CV? Or can you still spin this to suit your beloved Union, even though there were more real workers protesting against that Union than they have members?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          Oh, and you are wrong too.

          • The Baron 12.1.2.1.1

            Tally ho – am I also wrong about you supporting an 80 member union over 1,500 real workers – then claiming that you’re the one who is pro worker?

            No, you haven’t addressed that yet, have you. Sounds to me like your support for hard working kiwis really means support for lazy union bosses, who like to nosh it up at expensive restaurants and not actually respond to the people they purport to represent.

            Pigs in a trough, ruining jobs and lives. And that’s who you back over the real working men and women. Shame CV, shame.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1.1.1

              Good to see you backing foreign corporates and hundred millionaires over basic workers’ rights Baron. Nothing if not consistent.

              Equity an 80 member union? Meeep! Wrong AGAIN. This time only by a factor of 7, mind you.

              Last night, NZ Actors’ Equity, which has about 600 members, cancelled its Auckland meetings for safety reasons

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682244

              Pigs in a trough, ruining jobs and lives.

              My friend, are you referring to the true fat NAT cats? Because a union organiser is a pretty averagely paid job and most of them do it because they are passionate about helping ordinary workers through difficult disadvantaged situations.

              And before I forget – gosh darn it, you are WRONG again.

  13. The bill is out and there is a major bug as identified by Charles Chauvel. He was incidentally one of the counsel involved in the Bryson case.

    Clause 4(2) of the bill says that the deeming provision (that film workers are contractors) does not apply “if the person is a party to, or covered by an employment agreement that provides that person is an enmployee”.

    So you still need to analyse the contract to see if it is an employment contract or not and if it is an employment then the amendment does not apply.

    If this argument holds the bill is toothless and does no more than reflect current law.

    The trouble is that when you rush things you invariably stuff it up.

    • The Baron 13.1

      Quick Greg, get on the wires – you and Charles have a scoop! Hell, if you ever get into the big house you could even pat him on the back for his good work, then go back to sitting on Goff’s lap like a good little dog.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        TB

        Before your lot trash parliamentary custom and muck around with employment law and use urgency again when it is not warranted you should at least make sure that what you are doing actually achieves what you intend to do.

        This is why the select committee process is so important. The problems could be sorted out.

        But this tory born to rule we know better stuff is a recipe for disaster.

        Watch lawyers rub their hands as a new avenue for litigation is opened up.

        And BTW you could address the points rather than engage in personal abuse.

        • ianmac 13.1.1.1

          Yes Micky. The abuse from some is in inverse proportion to the discussion of the issues. Must be important for the political game to have so many visitors here. Wonder why?

          • Jim Nald 13.1.1.1.1

            The tory spin machine is in overdrive to try to counteract the emerging true facts. The polls are telling them that Jonkey is looking shakey.

            • wtl 13.1.1.1.1.1

              And they continue do go on about how everyone in NZ supports the move by the government, even though opt-in polls, that are usually right-leaning, suggest people are very split on this issue. Perhaps they think that if they keep repeating to themselves that it is a clear win, it will come true.

            • Armchair Critic 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Ultimately this National government will come unstuck on its own contradictions, which are really starting to accumulate.

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    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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