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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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    11 hours ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    12 hours ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    14 hours ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    16 hours ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    1 day ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 day ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 day ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    2 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    6 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    7 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    7 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    2 weeks ago

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