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The Good and the Bad: NZ screen industry

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, December 16th, 2013 - 77 comments
Categories: colonialism, employment, film, national, overseas investment, tourism, trade, tv, workers' rights - Tags:

The NZ government have just announced some changes to their ways of supporting NZ’s screen industry.  It’s a mixed bag.

Government Press Release on Screen Industry Incentives.

The Government today announced changes to the structure and level of support for overseas and New Zealand film and television productions to ensure the further development of New Zealand’s screen industry.

The new changes are designed to encourage the growth of mid-sized New Zealand-based productions that can compete successfully on the world stage; while also increasing the competitiveness of our incentives for international productions in the short to medium term.

My bold.

The Good:

The part in bold in the quote above is part of The Good.

Medium-sized productions (between $15 million and $50 million) which feature New Zealand content and significant local creative control will qualify for more support than previously, in order to harness and grow the benefits from local intellectual property.

[…}

·For New Zealand productions, a two tier system will be created. ‘New Zealand productions’ means productions with very high New Zealand content, such as a New Zealand story and a high level of New Zealand creative control

For New Zealand film and television productions of up to $15 million, it will be necessary to gain a certain number of points on the New Zealand content points test to gain the 40 per cent rebate, payable as a grant.

For New Zealand film and television productions in excess of $15 million and up to a maximum of $50 million, support will be provided as an equity share as opposed to a grant payment and be subject to scoring a certain number of points on a points test relating to business as well as cultural factors.

[…]

“The Government will be consulting on these changes with the local screen industry early next year particularly how the new points system will be implemented.”

A Mixed Bag:

“These changes will help ensure a screen industry that is more sustainable, brings greater long-term economic benefits to New Zealand, and avoids the peaks and troughs that are solely dependent on large international productions,” Mr Joyce says.

“New Zealand is recognised internationally for our world-class expertise in making quality film and television. Our screen industry has grown significantly over the 15 years and is an important contributor to our economy and to our international profile.

“New Zealand has a lot to offer with a skilled and capable workforce, flexible employment laws, proven expertise in post-production, natural scenery and competitive labour costs.

My bold indicates the especially bad bit for Kiwi workers – it’s a recipe for exploitation.

On the other hand we do have a great screen industry workforce and post production expertise. Operation 8 is a great example of what can be done in NZ.

Operation-8_15075_posterpiclarge

Some of the past contributions to our economy have been dubious in the way they were brought about, and the long term impact on NZ workers: e.g. The Hobbit financial incentives and law changes to benefit Hollywood corporates.

All international movies made or filmed in NZ are not equal in their long term contributions to NZ’s economy.

This:

“It is intended that Ministers will keep reviewing these incentives over time, with the overall aim of encouraging more New Zealand-sourced creative intellectual property which is less dependent on competing with other countries’ international incentive schemes.”

It all depends on how it’s done, and opens the possibilities of uncertainties and instability.

The Bad

Talking up NZ’s “flexible” and low cost workforce is a biggie.

The continuation of some dubious international projects in NZ.  It seems the alleged protections to NZ’s screen industry, is not fully thought out – i.e. their needs to be further consultation with the industry.  key’s government does not have a good track record on how they respond when under pressure from powerful Hollywood corporates.

So it looks like a rushed effort, a bit of a sop to the local industry, in order to be able to announce this: Tom Hunt on Stuff reports,

Prime Minister John Key has announced that the next three Avatar movies will be made in New Zealand.

At least $500m will be spent in New Zealand making the films, Key said.

Key made the announcement of a memorandum of understanding with Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox alongside Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Arts Minister Christopher Finlayson.

Also present were Avatar director James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and Paul Hanneman of Twentieth Century Fox.

Joyce said the sequels would provide “hundreds of jobs and thousands of hours of work directly in the screen sector as well as jobs right across the economy.”

The deal means New Zealand will host at least one red carpet premiere and a “featurette” on New Zealand would be included on DVDs and Blu Rays.

Finlayson said: “The filming of the Avatar films will be of substantial benefit to New Zealand economically and culturally.”

Culturally? As Morgan Godfery Tweeted:

Neo-colonial movie with massive white saviour complex to be made in New Zealand. Again. Boo colonialism. Yay jobs. But still boo #avatar

Avatar colonialsm

We need a government that is truly committed to ensuring the future of a sustainable NZ screen industry that also supports democratic NZ cultural values; one that just isn’t a film industry to support and reinforce, neocolonial, “neoliberal” values.

77 comments on “The Good and the Bad: NZ screen industry”

  1. shorts 1

    It might be mean spirited of me but the Avatar movie deal sounds like a subsidy to Weta workshops plus Cameron – ie Jackson again!

    According to wiki the first movie had 31 days of filming… so this particular deal gets those thousands of extras etc about 3 months of work (not including the team involved in pre and post production)

    Still I am glad to see at least some easing of tax rebates to attract more work here – now to not just take the money and run and to invest in a sustainable film industry

    • framu 1.1

      thats kind of the problem – while you need the big players it doesnt help if all the legislation and grants are structured to help them and (deliberately or otherwise) hinder those trying to move up.

      A really big problem for many NZ productions isnt attracting the off shore interest or co-production partners. Its getting the money locally to fund your share thats the hard bit.

      Its a fact that all too often you need to reach some big turnover numbers to get the grants – but you cant get there without the grant in the first place

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Did a journalist ask Key how much the subsidy to Cameron will cost? They say it depends on the cost of the movies. Which means a blank cheque from the taxpayer. 25% of whatever it costs. Imagine if Labour announced a policy and said they’ve no idea how much it will cost. The media would go into meltdown. Cue the anti-left rhetoric …

    • If it’s a tax rebate, then yes, the dollar amount of the rebate depends on the amount of tax owed, which in turn depends on the cost of the movies. However, such a “subsidy” consists of accepting a smaller cheque from 20th Century Fox, not the writing of a cheque ourselves. The question of whether it’s morally superior to reject the business outright rather than accept a smaller cheque for it is one that could be argued extensively, to approximately the same productive effect as the one about whether infinity angels could dance on a pinhead.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Actually, if the government was after the best deal for NZ they would have just coffed up the $500m to make the movies and distribute them. All the returns then would have gone to the government and they would have been a hell of a lot higher than the taxes.

    • Paul 2.2

      The MSM…journalists… You’re having me on!

  3. Fuck me.

    Seriously guys this is great news.

    • shorts 3.1

      I can’t recall seeing anywhere where Cameron had said he may not to use Weta Digital / NZ for the Avatar sequels – so it could be suggested that this is simply in the case of these particular movies an increased subsidy for activity that would have happened anyways. Please note I’m not against the subsidies nor increase per se

      You could say I am very hesitant to be over the moon about this announcement as I don’t trust this govt to be doing anything that doesn’t simply benefit a small number of people not the industry as a whole and in this case give them more for what they’d be doing/spending anyways

  4. Macro 4

    “At least $500m will be spent in New Zealand making the films, Key said.”

    You can bet the majority of that won’t find its way into the pockets of NZers, but whisked straight back off shore or into the pockets of the already well healed.

    Just like the hype around V8 Car racing – or Americas Cup, or world cup this or great event that – the talk of barrels of money descending into the NZ economy is just simply that – “Talk”,and almost all of it bullshit.

    If Key doesn’t know this, then he is an even greater fool than I give him credit. But of course he does, and is an even bigger liar to be repeating it.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      +1

    • shorts 4.2

      if $500 million is spent here thats about half the current estimated budget of the three films and I’d suggest a huge chunk of that will stop at weta digital and stone street studios (ie stay here and repeat the process of the original) – the digital work alone is a very cost intensive part of the movies

      there are many actual real benefits in this deal/policy for local companies and kiwis – if the rebates are justified or if one agrees with them is debatable

    • infused 4.3

      Have you seen the DVD promos? They are pretty epic. Everyone sees them. They are included as part of this deal.

      • Macro 4.3.1

        No, and I have no intention to do so.

        • infused 4.3.1.1

          Then stfu.

          • Naki Man 4.3.1.1.1

            infused these fucken moron’s are hard work
            no wonder they are so concerned about poverty, no one would employ them and they certainly wouldn’t have clue how to be self employed

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.1.1.1

              The only people in this thread that have shown massive ignorance happens to be you.

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Hey naki man

              I hope you are competitive with US$2.50/hr labour in China. Or prison labour which is free. Because that is the way every western country is now being pushed.

              No one remains under the illusions that you are. Corporations are not great, they are merely systems of consumption and destruction. Employers are not great, they are merely human.

              And being ‘self employed’ means you die at the bottom of some corporation’s corner cutting mine, and get sealed in there forever.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        That doesn’t make the deal worthwhile.

      • idlegus 4.3.3

        ‘everyone sees them’ ha! – source?

      • David H 4.3.4

        And I am sorry to say this. But how many people do you know, who actually look at anything on the extra’s disc/chapters. And they know this. So it costs them an extra 2-3 bucks to add the extra DVD into the package. And it’ll be NZ pays to make the NZ Demo programme, so another hole in the 500m to make that. Even treasury is not saying nice things about this.

        • Tracey 4.3.4.1

          I dont know if people do or dont. Are tolkien fans like trekkies and other science fiction fans who do pilgrimages etc?

          I read that following the rugby world cup it was discovered that we didnt have more visitors, we just had different visitors. So, those who would have come, didnt cos of the rugby, and the rugby people who wouldn’t have come normally came.

          I suspect it is different with a “pilgrimage” type scenario.

    • Naki Man 4.4

      As for the V8’s it lost money in Hamilton because it wasn’t run well . Street race’s are expensive to run. You can blame the council for that.
      The America’s cup created a lot of boat building jobs

      • Macro 4.4.1

        LOL Auckalnders saw thru that Bullshit – that’s why the street race never happened there. AND having actually run street races in the past, (Motorcycle admittedly) I can say quite categorically that you have no idea what you are talking about.
        The boat building jobs existed long before the Americas cup (NZ has been building boats for home and overseas for over 150 years)- but now they are being exported overseas. My friend’s brother used to build catamarans in NZ – now they are built under license in China.

        • Naki Man 4.4.1.1

          Well actually I do know what I am talking about. Motor bike racing is different to car racing
          and is expensive to race on the street you need a lot more than a few hay bales to stop a V8.
          The V8,s can be a success but at Pukekohe or Hampton downs rather than on the street.
          I know boats were built here before the Americas cup but now there are more jobs for boat builders, now those rich prick capitalists from overseas are paying millions for us to build their luxury boats.

      • Tracey 4.4.2

        NZ was already number one in boat design and boat building. And despite not holding the cup for some time, we are still number one…

        Do you and infused consider yourselves educated men? I ask because you seem to simply accept as truth anything your preferred party utters. There are plenty of those on the other side too which is why the country is such a self interested mess. You guys, and those like you who support other parties (Labour Greens etc) are simply vessels for propaganda. You hear something you like, and you disseminate it widely, true or not.

        Oh how the 1% must laugh at how easy you and others make it to perpetuate their lies and thereby maintain and build on their wealth and yours and everyone else’s expense.

  5. Tracey 5

    October 25 2013

    The softening up which borrowed the script from The Hobbitt.

    Co-starring, Stephen joyce

    “Star Sam Worthington revealed this week that the long-awaited films are due to begin shooting in October 2014. It had been expected that Cameron would return to New Zealand, where special effects company Weta Digital are based. But public-owned broadcaster TVNZ has revealed Twentieth Century Fox may be considering other options for cost reasons.

    New Zealand currently offers a 15 per cent tax rebate to foreign studios, but the UK and Australia are now offering 25 per cent for major productions. The disparity has reportedly fuelled a downturn for the country’s film industry, with thousands out of work, and the loss of Avatar could prove crippling.

    New Zealand economic development minister Steven Joyce told TVNZ’s ONE News the nation was keen to hold on to the high-profile sequels. “Obviously New Zealand’s very keen to do it because there’s a strong association with James Cameron, also a strong association with Weta Digital,” he said. “So yes, we’re keen to. But also, it can’t be done at any price.

    “There’s still, I think, discussions going on, and there’s no doubt about that,” Joyce added. “Film Commission and Film New Zealand are working with the producers and the director and are keeping me informed as to how things are progressing.”

    • Tracey 5.1

      “There’s still, I think, discussions going on, and there’s no doubt about that” Which is it, you think there there are discussions going on, or there’s no doubt discussions are going on?

  6. Philj 6

    Xox
    More corporate subsidies. What happened to letting the market decide and keeping government out of business? Not quite Nanny State, but getting there.

    • Naki Man 6.1

      More high paying jobs for kiwi’s.You bitch and moan that there are no jobs
      then bitch again when a foreign company wants to spend $500 million here.
      NZ made millions from tourism from the last promo movie deal and it will happen again
      This is fantastic news for lots of people. Don’t be so negative

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        What part of that $500M will be disbursed as wages and workers incomes, Naki?

        Come on, you’re so positive, tell us.

        • Naki Man 6.1.1.1

          I don’t know the answer to that but in the past the wage rates have been very generous and the tourism industry did very well from the last promo movie.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Any more laws passed fucking NZ workers, as part of this deal?

            • karol 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Too late. Already done.

            • Naki Man 6.1.1.1.1.2

              The only people that fuck NZ workers are unions and lame actor’s that have to higher opinion of them selves. Heard of Holden in Aussie that’s what greed does prices you out of a job. No sympathy for them.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, no, the people who fuck NZ workers are National, Act and UF with a helping hand from the Māori Party.

                Heard of Holden in Aussie that’s what greed does prices you out of a job.

                Yeah, because workers having enough to live on is just too expensive for the greedy sociopaths at the top of the Ponzi Scheme.

              • Colonial Viper

                Naki Man.

                Do you have no economic sense whatsoever?

                Do you think that you can compete against Chinese or US prison (slave) labour?

                Are you willing to work for US$2.50/hr to be “competitive” (while the corporations siphon off billions – funny that you aren’t calling them “greedy” are you? Why is that?)

                • Wayne

                  CV,

                  News to me that film workers in Wellington are essentially on the same conditions as “US prison (slave) labour”. Care to provide at least a skerrit of evidence.

                  Now I have been to the Weta Digital buildings. I didn’t see that many people in prison orange, but maybe they were all out back. I guess they don’t drive the BMW’s that were everywhere in the carpark. But maybe they have to push them to work.

                  • Tracey

                    skerrick.

                    How many BMW’s did you see?

                  • karol

                    More importantly, how will this contribute to a sustainable NZ screen industry? The incentives to Hobbits and Ring Lords hasn’t achieved that so far.

                    Is boom and bust good for providing a secure income (as well as living wages) for NZ workers in the industry?

                    • Wayne

                      Well I do think the the industry in Wellington is sustainable in the sense that there is a fully developed specialist work force with great expertise, who despite CV’s skepticism are very well paid.

                      However, clearly the industry needs to have comparable incentives as occur in other developed nations (UK, Australia, Europe, various US states). Effectively it means the industry has a lower corporate tax rate. But without it there would be no industry, and therefore no tax paid at all.

                      Of course it can be argued that there should be no tax preferences for any industry category. That is OK for non-mobile industries, but clearly does not work for highly mobile industries. You either give the preference and have the industry or you don’t, but then do not have the industry.

                      Labour had exactly the same dilemma when in Govt.

                      Now the Nats will also add employment law flexibility, which Labour does not. That is a clear philisopical difference. Labour would sooner loose the industry than shift on that. Fair enough, it is a choice you can make, but not one that the Nats would make.

                      The voters get to decide which approach they prefer.

                    • KJT

                      If they are such good employers, why did they need the changes to employment law?

                    • karol

                      Wayne, Wellington & Jackson’s stuff are the show pieces of the screen industry. But a lot of the bread & butter work is in Auckland. And it is the Auckland industry that has noticeably hit a major trough.

                      The basis of Auckland’s on-going screen work has been in TV series. They offer more certainly of work over time, than the one off (or 2-3 off) movies. Such work enables various teams (from lighting to stunts etc) to build up the necessary equipment and buildings.

                      Think Shortland Street, Spartacus, Power Rangers etc. The facilities then are also available for small to medium budget movies, both NZ produced and international.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Dr. Mapp says if you elect a Labour government the sky will fall on your head, economically speaking, but he knows his own party’s economic track record is worse by every single measure.

                      A Tory lecturing the left on economics has zero credibility.

                      In this case I think the National Party took money to do this deal, and has eyes on a few directorships to hand out as rewards to its shills ex-MPs, as detailed by Simon Lusk.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Effectively it means the industry has a lower corporate tax rate. But without it there would be no industry, and therefore no tax paid at all.

                      You either give the preference and have the industry or you don’t, but then do not have the industry.

                      Oh, BS Wayne.

                      We really don’t need foreign companies coming in here to make films. We could do it all ourselves. As I say above, just have the government spend the money directly into the industry and keep the IP – the returns from the sales of the films around the world would far exceed the minor tax take from having foreign firms here and we’d still have the full rate taxes as well.

                      Labour had exactly the same dilemma when in Govt.

                      That’s because they’re following the same failed ideology, the belief that we have to have foreign firms come into NZ to do anything rather than supporting NZ doing it itself.

                      Now the Nats will also add employment law flexibility make employment laws weaker as they’ve already done.

                      FTFY

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Trans-national companies make sovereign nations bottom of the barrel beggars.

              • Tracey

                Are you sure its greed?

                “The global car-maker recently announced its third-quarter result for the 2012-13 financial year, reporting a $US700 million profit, well down on the $US1.5 billion it had earned in the previous year.

                Part of that downward spiral in income was attributed to a pre-tax earnings drop for CIO – down to $US300 million ($A330 million) from $US800 million for the same period last year. ”

                The car maker’s parent company, General Motors, cited the strong Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and competitive global auto market as factors for the decision.

                • KJT

                  Don’t forget that the USA still has tariffs on car imports.

                  And subsidies.

                  Makes Aussie even more uncompetitive when the USA continues industry support, when Australia removes it.

          • Tracey 6.1.1.1.2

            “but in the past the wage rates have been very generous”

            Fair enough. Which jobs and how much did they pay?

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        “More high paying jobs for kiwi’s.”

        Is that your hope, your belief, or a verifiable fact? Given the warners changes to legislation, prima facie, the jobs will not be high paying jobs.

      • David H 6.1.3

        What high paying jobs????

        FFS RWNJ special today only. 2 for 1

  7. infused 7

    if (party == “Labour”)
    {
    writeLine(“Awesome news. Labour are so great xoxoxo”);
    }
    else
    {
    writeLine(“This is bullshit. Corp sellouts, fuking JK!!”);
    }

    • karol 7.1

      Nope. If you check you will see I disagreed with Labour (Parker’s) latest announcements on raising the retirement age. I have also been critical of Labour’s lack of policies on social security and in support of struggling beneficiaries, etc, etc. And I still say I will continue to party vote Green.

      Also I didn’t say the government’s announcement on the screen industry incentives wa all bad – I said it’s a mixed bag.

      Now do you have anything of substance to say about the content of the post, or the government’s announcements about the screen industry today?

      • infused 7.1.1

        There is virtually no reason to have an alternative view on this blog, or at-least a right view. You either get flamed to shit, or banned.

        Only topics I will actively engage on are the tech based ones.

        Other topics get my $0.05c (waits for the flame…)

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          And yet karol seems to manage.

        • karol 7.1.1.2

          So we should just cheer Key and Joyce for raising incentives, especially for securing Avatar to be made in NZ?

          yet it wasn’t so long ago that Joyce was rejecting doing just that, saying he didn’t want to get into a race to the bottom, and that there was limited benefit from it for NZ…?

          Oh, and look…. today’s NZ Herald editorial (the column usually so supportive of Team key, has come out against yesterday’s announcements.

          What is it about Hollywood that causes the Government to go weak at the knees? To ensure the next three Avatar movies are filmed in this country, it has now offered the sort of concessions that might be expected of the most star-struck of teenagers. An initial disinclination to provide more generous incentives to film-makers has given way to a virtual capitulation. Not for nothing was 20th Century Fox’s Paul Hanneman yesterday referring to New Zealand’s “unparalleled support to films of this scale”. The cost of that backing will be measured in millions of lost revenue dollars and an industry which, unlike almost any other, continues to believe it will be subsidised to survive.

          Not so long ago, the Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce, was adamant the industry must stand on its own feet, and that increasing incentives to match those of other countries represented an ultimately fruitless race to the bottom. Support for that view came from an in-depth review by the Treasury, the Ministry for Building, Innovation and Employment and the Film Commission.

          It recommended the rebate for major film and television production should remain at 15 per cent.

          ha! They called it with Key’s “star-struck teenager” MO!

          And even the Herald editorial writer is not convinced of the alleged benefits that will follow for NZ:

          >It also pointed to 90 per cent of the live action crew being New Zealanders. But the memorandum of understanding for the three films falls some way short of committing James Cameron, the director, to these. They will be fulfilled only if this country has the “capacity and capability” to meet the production requirements. Mr Cameron has the wriggle room to take shooting and visual effects and post-production work overseas if he wishes.

          […]
          The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies at least provided an obvious tourism benefit in terms of this country’s image. Even then, it is hard to quantify this, and it was certainly not worth the incentives and changes to the workplace law that were required to retain the filming of the Hobbit here. Seeking to link the Avatar movies to this country’s image offers even less, given that it is already ingrained by Sir Peter Jackson’s films. In all this, there is more than a whiff of the Government’s similarly ill-judged $30 million subsidy to keep the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter open.

          Maybe some righties here should just try to improve their arguments/analysis, rather than blaming moderators and others at TS for their (said righties) own poorly presented arguments and/or inadequate analysis?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            The Herald was just fine with the LOTR crony deal for Peter Jackson.

            Which says to me that this editorial is as much a pro-Peter Jackson piece (a “who the hell is this Canadian interloper” piece) as anything else.

            • karol 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, there is that, CV.

              Though there is this sentence in the editorial:

              One definite plus, however, is that Cameron’s presence means the local industry depends less on Sir Peter.

              I actually think the turn against the Avatar deal by the NZ Herald, and The Dominion Post, at least partly indicates that Jackson is a very slick spin doctor and media manipulator. The MSM thus finding it difficult to criticise him and his initiatives.

              I would also prefer that the MSM journalists spent more time looking critically at the proposals to build a more sustainable NZ film industry, focused on NZ productions and stories.

          • David H 7.1.1.2.2

            @Karol You can imagine Keys face upon reading that. Lemon’s anybody?

        • Tracey 7.1.1.3

          Do you post at WO or kiwiblog? If you do, do you defend those from the left who post there and get flamed, and in the case of the former blog, with quite repulsive vernacular?

    • Paul 7.2

      Good point, infused.
      Can you name some National Party policies you don’t support slavishly?

  8. KJT 8

    In case you haven’t noticed, many of us on here are not at all happy with either of the main parties.

    Especially the continuation of worker and welfare bashing policies pursued by the rabid right wing, in both.

    I for one, am generally in favor of leveling the playing field so that New Zealand industry, and workers, get a leg up in international competition.
    Especially after successive NZ Governments have, blindly and ideologically, tilted it so far and fast in favour of foreign corporations. Hoping, mostly in vain, that other countries would be silly enough to follow suit.
    I am not in favour of a leg up to, only, the few companies that fund National. Like trucking to the exclusion of other transport modes. To name one.

    Some things should not be for sale, however, including workers, human rights!

  9. karol 9

    Sickening sycophant. John Key, doing all he can for the NZ Screen industry, and NZ culture.

    3 news video on the Avatar sequels to be made here (apart from Joyce’s Uturn from when he said there wasn’t a lot of benefit from the “race to the bottom” to get big Hollywood productions to NZ).

    Check Key out at about 2 mins 26. Where he does a big suck-up turn to Cameron et al, saying he really enjoyed watching the Avatar movie in Hawaii….. then sucks in his breath.

    Why is he PM of NZ again?

    • Paul 9.1

      Merrill Lynch sent him and they’re very happy with the job he’s doing.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        +1

        • Paul 9.1.1.1

          For some reason a lot of posters frame their comments on the assumption that Key cares about us. He doesn’t.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.2

        Merrill Lynch doesnt exist more

      • Will@Welly 9.1.3

        Thanks karol. That’s what stood out for me. He watched the movie elsewhere. He can’t even support the local cinema’s. Too bloody precious.
        And Cameroon’s attitude really was one of take it or leave it. He was going to make the movies, whether it was here or wherever. Still, this time next week, dear leader will be sunning himself on the beach, being briefed what to do next year to free the New Zealand economy of more taxpayers dollars. Now there’s a million dollar movie just waiting to be made.

        • Tracey 9.1.3.1

          he probably got a free DVD signed by the cast with a lovely thank you card from PJ and Warners.

  10. vto 10

    $500 million.

    What a load of horseshit.

    How much of that includes bank and funding structures based in New York?
    How much of that includes payments to the US-based workers?
    How much of that includes payments to distributors, etc, all foreign?
    and how much of that leftover spend is not cash spend but exchanges in kind?

    Just like when people spouted $750 million or whatever the bullshit number was for Lord of the ring……. about one-third of that is the true amount spent in NZ.

    The hoodwink is right there.

    And guess what – they get $125million of our money – given to them – IN CASH FOR FUCKS SAKE.

    Deal’s done for these arseholes. Money is made. Right there. Next deal mr key…

  11. tricledrown 11

    Merril Lynch is a subsidiary of Bank of America Now.
    Lord of the Rings hobbit was a story about the rise of Facsism.

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  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    3 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    3 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    3 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    3 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    3 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    4 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    4 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    4 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    5 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    6 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    6 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    7 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    7 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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