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The Hobbit episode II… continues…

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, November 27th, 2012 - 103 comments
Categories: brand key, Environment, film, greens, labour, slippery, tourism, workers' rights - Tags:

One the eve of The Hobbit premier the employment dispute is revived, exposing gaps between principle and practice. In a Stuff article Jackson is still claiming there was a very real threat of the filming being done in the UK; some of the Labour’s ABC club make headlines by deciding to attend the premier even though Labour criticised the government’s handling of the dispute; and John Key-speak weaves a curious path of nonsense through contradictory, populist references to linking The Hobbit movie, NZ as 100% Pure and 100%  Middle-earth and Macdonald’s branding (meanwhile obscuring the significance of the TPP).

In an earlier post I argued that

 Both the government and Jackson manipulated the dispute and its coverage in the MSM to their advantage.

I referred to Nigel Haworth’s excellent article on the dispute, in which he concluded:

Thus, analytically, the New Zealand state simultaneously conceded, financially and legislatively, to the global film sector whilst taking the opportunity to further its ER liberalisation and attack the domestic trade union movement.

In the Stuff article this morning Jackson defends his role in The Hobbit employment dispute:

Speaking on the political and legal wrangling which marred the beginning of filming, Jackson said the argument centred around a misunderstanding over collective bargaining.

“Which as I understand it, wasn’t allowed in this country. It was being driven by an Australian union who were then getting the support of the American and British unions who didn’t understand the laws here.”

He said the whole thing felt “dubious” in that it was driven by a group of people who did not understand New Zealand law.

Despite that, he said The Hobbit still came very close to not being filmed in New Zealand.

In my earlier post linked above, I outlined how Key’s submission to Hollywood corporates linked in with the TPP, and attempts by US corporates to impose intellectual copyright laws on NZ in their interests. There are problems for our culture, employment laws and sovereignty with letting Hollywood dominate our film industry. There is also evidence that an attempt to revive NZ’s flagging tourism industry, resulted in Warners controlling Tourism NZ’s rebranding of NZ as 100% Middle-earth, piggy-backing on the 100% Pure branding.

Today Bunji exposed some of the clownish nonsense being peddled by Key, when he defended NZ’s tarnished 100% Pure branding by comparing it to Macdonald’s “lovin’ it” slogan.  This was on  top of the nonsensical populist statements Key made about The Hobbit on Sunday, in which he manages to be patronisingly dismissive of avid Hobbit/LOTR fans:

Prime Minister John Key is excitedly looking forward to the premiere of the first of the Hobbit movies but admits he has never read the book the movie is based on….

I’ll watch the movie, I’ll be fine.”

He also admitted to seeing only the first of the three movies based on Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the sequel to the Hobbit story.

“It was good, I enjoyed it,” Key said.

“People that are into it are really into it, and they just can’t get enough of it.

“It’s one of those things where if it’s your big thing they just have an insatiable appetite for this stuff,” he said.

“In its own world, in its own way, it’s a franchise like a James Bond thing. Those people just love it.”…

About 3000 people had worked on the movie, with brilliant post-production work done by Weta.

“Isn’t this our time just to stand up for once and say, ‘hey we’re pretty cool … we’re a neat little country and we’ve produced these great movies’.”

There is no doubt that Weta is a classy outfit that, along with many NZ actors, has done a lot of excellent work.  But, Key is ignoring the poor conditions many NZ actors have experienced as a consequence of the ‘Hobbit Law’.

Good on Green MPs for standing by their principles,  as reported by Claire Trevett in the above linked NZ Herald article on the MPs attending The Hobbit premier:

The Green Party also criticised National at the time and a spokeswoman said none of its MPs were going.

It’s always important to closely observe the consistency of MPs and their parties in putting their principles into practice.  In John Key’s case, there seem to be no principles other than selling (out) NZ to powerful corporate interests, at home and abroad, while masking his true intentions with nonsensical populist language.

[Update] US lawyer, Jonathan Handel, disputes Hobbit movies at risk of being shot in UK. (h/t mickysavage)

103 comments on “The Hobbit episode II… continues…”

  1. Wayne 1

    Give it up, you are going nowhere with this.

    • karol 1.1

      And yet Bomber (Peter Jackson tries to re-edit history), Gordon Campbell (on John Key and the Hobbit)and Chris Trotter (Welcome to Middle-earth) all have published posts on this today.

      But I’m sure Key, Jackson and their fan clubs would like all the dodgy issues diversions, and contradictions to be swept under the carpet. 

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        I think what Wayne means, is that he’s ok with the lies as long as the lovely film is released.

      • Wayne 1.1.2

        Karol, I would say the same to them as well. Who do you beleive, Peter Jackson who actually had to deal with the producers, or the entertainment lawyer who didn’t.

        Now, I know each political party has to have its pet hates, but really, is this the right one for Labour and the Left.

        If you knew there would be no more large scale movie productions, would you still repeal the law? I guess I know the answer, because ideological purity is more important to you than doing what works. But it is not as if the Hobbitt set was notorious for its slave labour conditions.

        One of the skills of Tony Blair was working out what Labour should accept of the Thatcher reforms, just as John Key did with the changes bought about by the Helen Clark government. I don’t see too much of that in Labour yet, but it is an essential part of being in Opposition. Actually DS is likely to work it out.

        A new government has to be less about whinging about the past, and more about a new programme for the future.

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          Wayne, I’ve been a movie lover all my life.  I enjoy watching well-made movies from wherever.  Some Hollywood movies are great.  There’s also been brilliant movies made in other countries.

          I want to see the NZ movie industry thrive, especially with making stories that represent NZ/Aotearoa more accurately than the Hobbit/LOTR, which Chris Trotter aptly describes thus:

          Tolkein’s writings may be fictional but they possess a cultural power that is very real. And thanks to the cinematographic skills of Sir Peter Jackson and the digital magic of Weta Workshops, Pakeha New Zealanders have been given reference points that owe nothing to their country’s indigenous culture. In our post-modern world, where reality has taken on an alarmingly subjective quality, “Middle Earth” is a much more comfortable fit than “Aotearoa”.
           
          More comfortable, too, for dwellers in a “West” beset with economic, political, environmental and cultural challenges. A West in whose eyes New Zealand stands as a refuge every bit as wholesome and protected as “The Shire”. New Zealanders’ desire for cultural reassurance and comfort is thus reinforced by an international audience desperate to escape the daunting challenges of multiculturalism and austerity. 

          I prefer movies that help us face our challenges rather than escape them.

          And I want to see all NZ actors and other workers getting a fair shake at working with the same pay and conditions as overseas people.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.1.1

            We are talking about a global industry, not making movies with primarily a local appeal. For instance Whale Rider was a great movie but it was not a global blockbuster.

            It is a global scale industry that Peter Jackson has created, and it has provided thousands of jobs. He has done at least eight movies in the last decade that have had global success.

            NZ has precious few global industries, this is one of them. There must be at least 2,000 high paid permanent jobs in Wellington and elsewhere directly related to this business.

            That is why the Govt worked hard to keep it here.

            • karol 1.1.2.1.1.1

              More continuous work in the industry has been provided by international TV productions in NZ, but without so much of the fanfare. e.g. Power Rangers, Spartacus.

              There’s also been a lot of work put into developing treaties to enable co-productions with other countries closer to NZ.

              What’s the big deal about Hollywood “global productions”?

              Whale Rider was a better movie than Jackson’s Hollywood stuff, and more relevant to NZ/Aotearoa, IMO. But, also, if was a bit Disney-ish compared with the book.  It was pretty well-received overseas, though. 

              • Beryl_Streep

                Whale Rider came out a decade ago, there’s been a ton of great kiwi movies since then.

                All of them were made while Hollywood blockbusters such as King Kong, Avatar and The Hobbit were also being made in NZ. One industry doesn’t cancel out the other.

                Have you seen Boy, No. 2, Sione’s Wedding I & II, Two Little Boys, Eagle vs Shark, Matariki, Secondhand Wedding and the dozens of other great NZ movies that were made after 2003, which was apparently the last time you saw a New Zealand movie (i.e. Whale Rider)

                Despite your negativity, the NZ movie industry is going great guns. Maybe as a “movie lover” you should go out and see more movies. 

                • karol

                  Beryl, yes I agree those movies you mention are excellent ones, and I have seen most of them.  I only referred to Whale Rider because Wayne mentioned it – it was a response to him.

                  Where was I being negative about the NZ movie industry?  I am just negative about the LOTR & Hobbit movies. 

                  But I would also like to see our PM put as much (or more) effort into promoting NZ productions as he is into his Hobbit-backing & manipulations.

                • Wayne

                  Actually I have seen most of these movies. But they are essentially local.

                  The large scale movies generate much higher levels of income, support a much larger infrastructure and have many more high skilled jobs. CGI is a complete high tech industry in itself, would it have happened without the push of Peter Jackson?

                  Yes I know it seems vulnerable to have a global scale industry essentially initiated by one person, but a whole movie eco system has grown up, with other directors and producers coming to the fore.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Jackson should not still be receiving massive amounts of government subsidies now he is by far the strongest player in NZ.

                    That money needs to go to small start up directors and talent.

                    And why is he preventing NZers from receiving the same union protections he himself benefits from?

            • Mel 1.1.2.1.1.2

              The trouble with the jobs created by the Hollywood movie industry is that most are short term and only last for the length of the movie. Those other jobs that have been created rely on Govt (tax payer) subsidies towards the Hollywood movie industry.

              Additonally, there is no loyalty towards NZ from Hollywood. It is all about the dollar and profits. The industry expects major ‘social welfare’ benefits from countries who are used as locations and NZ is offering Hollywood those benefits.

              Any country that offers more benefits could be the next location.

          • Populuxe1 1.1.2.1.2

            Hollywood’s values are commercial, not aesthetic. Deal with it.
            http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?type=&id=1178&fulltext=1&media= 

        • felix 1.1.2.2

          After listening to Jackson on the radio this morning I wouldn’t put too much weight on his understanding of the business.

          He said the thing that made him so certain that Warners were about to send the production overseas was that they sent him a box full of pictures of location shots taken in the UK.

          Here’s the punchline: When asked if he considered that this was just a bit of brinksmanship from Warners he said, straight up, that they MUST have been serious because there’s no way they would have sent someone out to scout locations and take photos for 3 or 4 weeks if they weren’t.

          Sorry my dear little hobbits, but that’s fucking retarded. Talented he may be, but he’s obviously none too smart about negotiation.

          (Or he’s being disingenuous of course, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt).

          • vto 1.1.2.2.1

            ha ha, yep noticed that too.

            ffs, oldest trick in the book.

            funny that key and jackson fell for it…. talk about hopeless negotiating.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2.2

            Here’s the punchline: When asked if he considered that this was just a bit of brinksmanship from Warners he said, straight up, that they MUST have been serious because there’s no way they would have sent someone out to scout locations and take photos for 3 or 4 weeks if they weren’t.

            Probably grabbed them off iStockphoto or similar.

            • felix 1.1.2.2.2.1

              Nah, it’s nothing for a company at that level to send people around the world scouting locations. They spend more on “fruit & flowers” for the head office.

              And as v says, it’s the oldest trick in the book to do it as a negotiating tactic.

          • Fisiani 1.1.2.2.3

            Felix -your partisan comments based on sheer prejudice show why Labour rightly earned the name Hobbit Haters. It was part of the reason that Labour came third in Wellington Central.

            • mickysavage 1.1.2.2.3.1

              And that is why Grant Robertson lost the electorate vote as well.

              Oh wait … 

              • Fisiani

                Grant (He…) Robertson lied through his teeth and tried to claim in 2011 that he was not a Hobbit Hater. Just shows that you can fool some of the people some of the time. Labour still came a humiliating third.

            • felix 1.1.2.2.3.2

              What partisan comments, fisi?

              Did you even listen to the interview? If you did then you’ll know I’m simply reporting what Jackson said, without exaggeration, and what he said was really fucking dumb.

              Nothing to do with his films. Nothing to do with Hobbits. Just a dumb comment from an apparently very naive man.

              ps no-one says “hobbit-haters” except John Key, a man who hasn’t even watched the LOTR films.

              • Fisiani

                Read your partisan comments again and your further disgusting and insincere denigration of Sir Peter Jackson who fought with John Key and they saved 3,000 jobs. How can you claim to care about employment when your team was prepared to sacrifice 3000 in the film industry and is still holding up work for West Coasters and fighting every inch of progress on Transmission Gully and the RONS?

                • felix

                  Please point out the comments you keep referring to. I’m just reporting what Jackson himself said.

                  Then we’ll try to figure out who my “team” is.

                  • McFlock

                    lol
                    maybe he used up his cut&paste quota for the day. 

                  • fisiani

                    here you are felix.

                    He said the thing that made him so certain that Warners were about to send the production overseas was that they sent him a box full of pictures of location shots taken in the UK.

                    Here’s the punchline: When asked if he considered that this was just a bit of brinksmanship from Warners he said, straight up, that they MUST have been serious because there’s no way they would have sent someone out to scout locations and take photos for 3 or 4 weeks if they weren’t.

                    Sorry my dear little hobbits, but that’s fucking retarded. Talented he may be, but he’s obviously none too smart about negotiation.

                    You obviously do not know what happened in the lead up to the emergency discussions that saved the NZ film industry and will bring in 500 million in tourism revenue as stated by the tourism head on TVNZ this morning.
                    Your team btw is the Hobbit Haters.
                    3 of your scabs will strut the red carpet today

                    • felix

                      “You obviously do not know what happened in the lead up to the emergency discussions “

                      fisi you moron, I’m going by what Jackson says happened in the lead up.

                      Are you calling Lord Peter Jackson a liar now fisi you ungrateful peasant?

                • Colonial Viper

                  3000 jobs were never at risk…Jackson was never going to live in Estonia for 3 years to film there.

                  • Fisiani

                    It is incredible that the Left are oblivious to the work of Sir Peter and NZ’s greatest ever Prime Minister in securing 3000 jobs. The cynical scorched earth nihilistic always say no to progress attitudes displayed here are truly breathtaking. Even worse the activists here will soon be able to choose a leader NOT supported by caucus before an election AND choose a leader NOT supported by the voters after an election.

                    [RL: You’ve been warned comprehensively about the creepy sickening sycophancy before. Two week ban.]

        • Jared 1.1.2.3

          I completely agree that Jackson would’ve known what was going on. In fact, I’m sure he was right when he said to John Key that “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit” (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695662). Considering it was at the time it was happening rather than a couple of years down the track, I’m going to take his word then not now.

        • Tracey 1.1.2.4

          Are you saying you believe there was a risk The Hobbitt would be filmed overseas??

        • Galeandra 1.1.2.5

          But it is not as if the Hobbitt set was notorious for its slave labour conditions.

          Geez Wayne, there were a number of serious criticisms made in the media recently, including shooting days without breaks and the forced sharing of coloured contact lenses by actors.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.5.1

            These criticisms you have raised were not about the Hobbit – must have been some other film, or TV series.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.1.2.5.1.1

              Really? Says who?

              “There is no connection between the blacklist [and its eventual retraction], and the choice of production base for The Hobbit.” Peter Jackson.

              “That is why the Govt worked hard to keep it here.” Wayne.

              Can you see why people might think you have fuck-all credibility on this issue or any other?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.6

          Who do you beleive, Peter Jackson who actually had to deal with the producers, or the entertainment lawyer who didn’t.

          Who to believe??? PJ who got caught lying about the Hobbit fiasco or a lowly lawyer…

          I think I’ll go with the lawyer.

          If you knew there would be no more large scale movie productions, would you still repeal the law?

          But that’s just it – there would still be large scale movie productions. They’d just be made by us rather than be made by a mega-rich multi-national corporation subsidised by us.

  2. marsman 2

    Radio NZ news at midday had a US entertainment lawyer refuting Peter Jackson’s claim that The Hobbit filming was in danger of being moved overseas. In the same newscast was John Key saying no to even bigger tax incentives for big movies in reply to demands by Jackson.

  3. Good stuff Karol.  I wonder why, if it was a case of some foreigners not understanding New Zealand law, there was such an urgent need to change it.

    The whole situation was a manufactured crisis that ultimately led to an increased public subsidy to a foreign corporation to avert something that was not going to happen anyway.

    The justification has been shot to pieces by comments from US entertainment lawyer Jonathan Handel.  He has recently written a book on the subject and says the movies were never at risk of being shot elsewhere because the cost of moving and the impact on the film’s schedule would have been too great.

    “They had a release date set and these schedules are very tight, the amount of work to be done on a huge movie like this is a lot – those (factors) really mitigate against any possibility of moving the film.”

    • karol 3.1

      Thanks, micky – I’ve updated the post to include that link.
      Cheers. 

    • tc 3.2

      The sets were pretty much built at that stage (y’know Hobbiton aka matamata) and the locations already scouted based largely on LOTR locations, the book rights set a hard expiry date that was a non negotiable milestone.

      It was never ever going anywhere else, they knew that but you always need some sort of shonky reason to give your US mates more taxpayer money and a compliant MSM to demonise the likes of Helen Kelly/Robyn Malcolm and plenty of gullable and ill informed punters.

      Those pesky POA workers are next !

  4. burt 4

    It’s just not fair when unions can’t control everything in the best interests of extracting union fees from low paid workers so fat cat union bosses can enjoy better quality Chardonnay.

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      What’s unfair is the low intelligence dished out to conservatives at birth.

    • framu 4.2

      what? no retrospective? c’mon burt, your slipping

    • Tracey 4.3

      far better that wages get driven lower so that fat cat bosses can siphon more money offshore and out of the economy aye burt?

      Foreign currency trader goo. Union bad.

      Life’s so simple when you’re rich.

      • tc 4.3.1

        And there’s plenty of holidays and golf courses also Tracey.

      • OneTrack 4.3.2

        We should just held our ground and if they took the movie offshore well too bad. Oh. Wait……

        Good plan guys. Keep doing your best to piss-off the guy who works hard to bring these movies here. Really good encouragement for him to keep coming back. “But the US lawyer said…”. And the Kiwi director said …. And, you guys want to believe the American! Who isn’t even Obama! This must be a first. But keep that confirmation bias going. I do. And it tells me that JK was forced into a situation that he had to react to. And take action he did. And the movie was made here.

        The alternative scenario some of you are presenting here simply doesn’t have that benefit.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1

          We should just held our ground and if they took the movie offshore well too bad.

          Yes, that’s exactly what we should have done because there was no fucken chance of the movie being made elsewhere.

        • felix 4.3.2.2

          Not just a clever name, is it?

          • OneTrack 4.3.2.2.1

            Is that some strange version of lefty 101 – play the man and not the ball? Where does this “nasty” meme keep coming from. Is it because your argument is so completely indefensible so name calling is all that’s left. Yep, I think that’s probably it.

    • marsman 4.4

      Yes burt it’s not fair when the Business Roundtable Union wants to control everything and extract everything for their own enrichment.

      • burt 4.4.1

        Correct… But for some reason partisan hacks carrying a blue flag think it is – just like partisan hacks carrying a red flag think it’s fine for the unions.

        It’s good however that you seem to recognise they are the same thing in pointing out the similarity as you have done.

        • Tracey 4.4.1.1

          Except IF the unions are evil, their evil raises working conditions and pay for those at the lowest end of the wage scale… the evil business supports lowering wages and their own tax rate. See the subtle difference?

          • burt 4.4.1.1.1

            Yes I see the difference between our opinions on unions. If unions were as good as they think they are they would have made themselves redundant 50 years ago… Sadly it’s in the union bosses interests to always be fighting the man never quite getting the workers out of poverty – this is the problem….

            • One Tāne Huna 4.4.1.1.1.1

              That must be why union members get paid more than non-union members – to keep them in poverty.

              Fish, meet barrel.

              • burt

                Yes… yes … Most top tax bracket people are union members …. All pigs are feed and ready to fly but I fear you won’t see them take off against the pink sky in your world.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  :roll:

                  Got a substantive argument there Burty?

                • RedLogix

                  Most top tax bracket people are union members

                  Doctors, lawyers, dentists, real-estate agents, stockbrokers, accountants, auditors, engineers … most high-paid professionals are indeed members of ‘unions’.

                  • burt

                    Doctors

                    PSA card carrying public sector Dr’s compared to private practice Dr’s (accepting they probably both belong to the same medical professional associations) – how is the ‘union’ looking now?

                    Lawyers

                    PSA card carrying public sector Lawyers compared to private practice Lawyers (accepting they probably both belong to the same legal professional associations) – how is the ‘union’ looking now?

                    Dentists, real-estate agents, stockbrokers, accountants, auditors, engineers

                    Never know them to have a strike, is their a union or a professional association for the best interests of their patients/clients and professional standards rather than practitioner pay rates ? I do however accept that some of these people may operate under a union collective but would once again question their pay rates compared to private practice expectations.

                    Auckland Wharf workers though… If you average their pay over the last 12 months what effect do the strikes have on their effective pay rates compared to less unionised ports ?

                    • RedLogix

                      Professional associations usually promote the interests of their members in different ways to unions. Typically they ensure that there are fairly high barriers to entry into the profession, restricting the labour supply available and thus ensuring high professional fees can be maintained.

                      And this is note wholly a bad thing because it works partly in the interests of their clientele by providing some minimum reassurance of standards and competency … albeit at the cost of having to pay higher fees.

                      Working class people don’t get the same privilege of being able to control their labour market, as individuals they’re almost always price takers, so for this reason unions have to use other tactics, such as solidarity and strikes to obtain the same ends.

                      But in ultimately while they may look a little different from the outside, at heart workers unions and professional associations perform the identical function … the protection of the value of their members’ labour.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Typically they ensure that there are fairly high barriers to entry into the profession, restricting the labour supply available and thus ensuring high professional fees can be maintained.

                      Which is why the guilds were destroyed and free-market principals implemented brining about huge amounts of poverty and disassociation. It’s the same reason that today’s businesses attack unions.

            • Populuxe1 4.4.1.1.1.2

              Probably because the bosses and their cronies on the right reverse all the progress as soon as a right wing party comes into power.

  5. muzza 5

    Again what people need to understand about Peter Jackson is, as soon as he became “big” he became the property of Hollywood, the studio owners, and those who fund/own them, that is the reality.

    PJ is only about PJ, and those who fund/back him – Sure he was talented in his own right to get on the track, but without that “hollywood” backing he would not even be close to where he is now.

    His owners care nothing about NZ, its people/animals or the workers, and as such this is what PJ speaks/works on behalf of, regardless of what he believes at heart.

    Its called selling out!

    Hollywoods owners are the same people looking currently looking to drill/mine the heck out of NZ, and the same who we repatriate billions of dollars to every year, both in interest/debt servicing, and profit gauging of the goods and services we buy/use!

    • Beryl_Streep 5.1

      Oh my god, he sold out! Wake up sheeple!

      Yep, I was a clueless adolescent once too. Thanks for the memories.

    • OneTrack 5.2

      But, of course, as bad as they are (eating babies, etc., like all neolibs) they wouldn’t think of moving the whole movie to eastern europe if somebody, say a union, starting screwing around with their expensive production, literally days before shooting was meant to start. No, of course not. They are pussycats really.

  6. marsman 6

    We, the NZ taxpayer, should be funding NZ Films. NOT Hollywood films. Let the Hollywood film industry get it’s own funding AND pay a FEE to film in NZ.
    Films like Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit should pay a percentage of the profits to NZ as a return to NZ for funding the films, just like any other backer.

  7. Tracey 7

    LOTR made a big profit. The Hobbit probably will too. So explain to me again why they need a leg up, when say putting together rail carriages in Dunedin did not??

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Because giving the multi-nationals more of our money so that they can buy us out quicker is Nationals sole reason to be. Actually helping NZ to become better is off the table.

      • burt 7.1.1

        Draco

        What would you suggest were Labour’s reasons for doing the same with LOTR as National did with The Hobbit ?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          But they didn’t did they? Labour didn’t re-write the laws and give special tax breaks for one multi-national corporation. They gave general tax breaks to all the multi-national corporations and didn’t re-write the laws.

          And, no, I don’t agree with any government giving tax discounts to multi-nationals. I would rather the same amount be given directly to NZ companies to produce NZ stories in NZ. We’d be far better off for it.

          • burt 7.1.1.1.1

            see: Key defends Hobbit tax deal

            The National Government’s Hobbit tax deal is understood to be worth $75m to Warner Bros across two movies.

            Mr Key indicated Labour’s Warner Bros deal was worth in excess of $100m per movie for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

            I think you missed a memo.

            But Mr Mallard says a tax loophole created by National in the 1990s opened the door for the $200m subsidy.

            But it’s National’s fault even after 9 years of Labour govt … and probably usage of … the loop hole…

        • mike e 7.1.1.2

          Burt the govt was already funding the the hobbit they just asked for more Dickensian idiotJust like a bad parent key” caved in”.

  8. Populuxe1 8

    Because making railway carriages is just a sop to employment rather than anything actually useful to the economy. Unless it’s high end luxury manufacturing, it’s absolutely no good to us because we can never compete with China and India.

    • burt 8.1

      A subsidised work scheme… A crowning achievement of socialism at it’s finest.

      Using other peoples money to keep an entire industry, operation, service or department sheltered from the fact it’s inefficient and uncompetitive. Dressed up as ‘helping’ the sheeple miss the real point that everyone pays more than required so a few don’t need to retrain.

      In a constantly changing world that’s always going to fail – but try telling that to committed flag followers!

  9. One Tāne Huna 9

    “Wingnut” Films. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

    I enjoyed LOTR, but I’m expecting The Hobbit(s) to be a creative (if not box-office) flop. I’ll be delighted to be proved wrong.

  10. Rich 10

    I think it’s all about our politicians getting to party with Famous Movie Actors. Isn’t that worth $100 million and a few law changes?

  11. CJ 11

    I wonder if it’s really “illegal” for the actors, as independent contractors, to collectively bargain for minimum terms and conditions in NZ why there already were collectively bargained minimum terms & conditions for actors (“The Pink Book”)?

    This dispute, between Actors Equity (a Kiwi union btw) and the Screen Production and Development Association, was about updating these – *not* about putting them in place at all.

    Added to that, the agreement between SPADA and NZ Equity concluded on 13 October 2010 (which led to the grey listing of the production being lifted by the FIA (International Federation of Actors on or before 17 October) was to begin bargaining on that very update.

    So the film production industry body in NZ has agreed to enter illegal collective bargaining with the union?

    Really?

    Colour me sceptical but anyone who continues to peddle this line is mis-representing the facts – whether wilfully or mistakenly.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      I wonder if it’s really “illegal” for the actors, as independent contractors, to collectively bargain for minimum terms and conditions in NZ why there already were collectively bargained minimum terms & conditions for actors (“The Pink Book”)?

      It is and it’s been that way for centuries and the Pink Book is a set of guidelines not an actual binding agreement.

  12. OneTrack 12

    Did Labour decide at their conference that they are actually going to ditch the hobbit law. If not, why not. If so, will be interesting to see how many more movies will be made in NZ. With some of the comments here it looks like poor PJ might even be banned from working in NZ at all.

    • McFlock 12.1

      good question. Stupid hypothesis of a relationship between that and the movie industry, though. At least this time you were an intellectual rollercoaster, rather than your usual brick impersonation.

  13. Mike 13

    I remember the whole bullshit “movie going offshore” crap from Jackson got me into an interesting email argument with the editor at the Herald, who will no longer publish my letters. This is the txt of the original email I sent to the paper… (I may have put this up before in another thread so apologies if I have, but it just goes to show how much it got on my wick..hehehe)

    Letter to the herald regarding Time Warner and The Hobbit.

    Sir

    I find it extraordinary that one media corporation, namely Time Warner has enough power not only to get millions in concessions from our government, but to be able to actually force a law change in our country. 1.4 million New Zealanders recently asked for a law change through referendum and were ignored. But one American corporation which exists only to maximise profit for its foreign owners requests a law change and our Prime Minister pushes through a new law in less than a day! This shows John Key’s true colours, always profit before people just like in his days working on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Those criticizing the actors and CTU should remember that for centuries our ancestors have fought and sometimes sacrificed their lives fighting for the human rights we enjoy today. However small a particular right may be, to flippantly suggest that someone should give up that right to a foreign corporation is hugely disrespectful to those ancestors. Wake up New Zealand. Your government clearly views the profiteering demands of a foreign corporation as more important than those of the New Zealand people. We must be a laughing stock in Hollywood.

    ********

    Reply from Kevin Hart, Letters Editor

    Dear reader. John Key never worked for the Federal Reserve. If you wish your letter to be considered for publication, you might amend it so it is factually correct. Regards.
    Kevin Hart.
    NZ Herald.

    ********

    My reply back to Kevin

    Hi Kevin

    Below taken from wiki and from John Key’s own website. My understanding is that the New York Fed is the main branch of the United States Federal Reserve. (A privately owned run for profit central bank) I have amended the letter to reflect (see below). Hope that suits

    regards
    Mike

    In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill’s global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates. Some co-workers called him “the smiling assassin” for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis.[4][8] He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.[9]

    ********

    Kevin’s reply back to me
    Mike. The Federal Reserve is the US equivalent of our Reserve Bank. To repeat, John Key had had nothing to do with it. Regards.
    Kevin Hart.
    NZ Herald.

    ********

    My reply back again to Kevin

    Hi Kevin

    Thank you for your reply. Being a journalist, your research skills are no doubt a good deal better than mine; so I’d be grateful if you could point me in the right direction in the hope I can get the correct information now and in the future? I’m trying to find a summary of John Key’s work history prior to him becoming an MP in NZ. The links below are some of the sources I have used to gather my information. But they all state Key’s involvement with the New York Federal Reserve, an organisation you’re telling me that “John Key had had nothing to do with”

    So I’m confused, as the sources I’ve listed would appear to be reliable, including an article from your own New Zealand Herald. I would really appreciate your help in finding the true facts regarding this matter, which I’m assuming you must get from a non-mainstream, non-widely regarded, perhaps even non-even heard of, secret journalist source?

    thanks in advance and regards
    Mike
    http://www.newyorkfed.org/fxc/members/members_past.html
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10412660
    http://www.ny.frb.org/fxc/members/members_past.html
    http://www.johnkey.co.nz/pages/bio.html
    http://www.national.org.nz/bio.aspx?id=28
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article5119885.ece
    http://www.nyse.com/press/1253528968415.html
    http://www.thecommonwealth.org/YearbookInternal/172036/head_of_government/

    ********

    Received no further correspondence

    • Gosman 13.1

      Technically both of you are correct as he never worked for the Federal Reserve but was a member of the Foreign Exchange committee that came under their auspices.

      The FXC sounds like it is more an industry advisory group than any direct report arm of the Federal Reserve. It would be similar to someone being made a member of a government board in NZ. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are a member of Government or support the views of the current government of the day.

      I’m not sure what your problem with this is exactly. John Key was a top Foreign exchange trader. This body was set up to advise the Federal Reserve on matters relating to that sector. Surely it is a good thing that his advice was sought.

      • One Tāne Huna 13.1.1

        The natural suspicion that arises, given the timing, is that the rotten lowlife had something to do with the repeal of Glass/Steagel.

        • Gosman 13.1.1.1

          This should be realitively easy to find out. The minutes of the FXC and any recommendations they made are likely to be available to read. EDIT: in fact they are. Here is a link to their work in 2000 when John Key was involved.

          http://www.newyorkfed.org/fxc/annualreports/ar2000/fxcar00.html

          However I suggest it is unlikely the FXC would be recommending the repeal of Glass/Steagal. It made little difference to the Foreign exchange markets whether Retail and Merchant banking were kept separate. It did make a big difference to the Bond markets though.

        • Gosman 13.1.1.2

          Here are the highlights of the areas they were involved with in that year

          -e-commerce and its expected impact on prevailing best practices and procedures, -the expected operation of the CLS (Continuous Linked Settlement) Bank and how the CLS will affect different institutions,
          – ring-fencing1 and possible ways to avert industry disruptions,
          – possible solutions to the problems caused by unscheduled holidays
          – ways to improve the operations of the barrier options market.

          How insidious. I can see why you lefties are up in arms. How dare these evil people think up ways of solving the problem of unscheduled holidays. Prison is too good for this lot.

          • One Tāne Huna 13.1.1.2.1

            Thanks for the link Gos. I doubt you’ve had time to trawl through the whole lot (shall we leave that to Penny?), so your opinion is faith based at best. Points duly noted however.

            • Gosman 13.1.1.2.1.1

              I’d suggest it is a little more than faith based. I have been involved with the finance industry for the past 16 years and have worked for a number of investment banks. Funnily enough they aren’t staffed entirely with Hell demons intent on enslaving the rest of humanity. That’s just Goldman Sachs.

              I am surprised that someone like Mike hasn’t taken the time to find this out for himself though. It took me little more than 5 minutes to find this information. Actually strike that. I’m not surprised at all. People like Mike aren’t interested in the mundane reality of business. They much prefer to see evil conspiracies behind everything they don’t fully understand.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Hell demons? I thought they were vampire squid :)

              • felix

                Gos, you really ought to drop all the conspiracy stuff. It makes you look paranoid.

                The finance industry is full of ideologues intent on enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else. That’s uncontroversial.

                Why do you always have to turn it into “hell demons” and “evil” and “enslavement”?

                ps The editor isn’t “technically right”, he says “To repeat, John Key had had nothing to do with it.”

                Mike is “technically right” but not entirely accurate, as you’ve pointed out, but the editor is 100% wrong in that statement.

                • Gosman

                  I was meaning the editor was correct when he stated that John Key never worked for the Federal Reserve. This is an accurate statement.

                  As for your views on the Finance industry, I suspect you have never worked for a major investment bank so base your opinions on secondhand information.

                  There are people working in banks that match your criteria just as I am sure I can find similar types of people in any organisation, including charities. My mother used to be a member of the Pacific Institute of Resource Management in the early 1990’s and that was run by a complete sociopath.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I was meaning the editor was correct when he stated that John Key never worked for the Federal Reserve. This is an accurate statement.

                    Key was a member on the foreign exchange committee of one of the Federal Reserve’s most important constituent members: the Federal Reserve of New York.

                    So he was a relatively senior player in the Federal Reserve system.

                    • Gosman

                      No he wasn’t. He was a member of an industry advisory group. He had no managerial authority within the Federal Reserve system at all.

                    • felix

                      lol Gos, I’m just gonna put the goalposts back now, k?

                      Mike. The Federal Reserve is the US equivalent of our Reserve Bank. To repeat, John Key had had nothing to do with it. Regards.
                      Kevin Hart.

                      Kick away.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No he wasn’t. He was a member of an industry advisory group. He had no managerial authority within the Federal Reserve system at all.

                      Key was a member of a NY Fed committee responsibile for GOVERNANCE.

                      Your bullshit use of the phrase “managerial authority” neatly and accurately sidesteps this fact, but in the final analysis is nothing more than obfuscation.

                  • felix

                    “I was meaning the editor was correct when he stated that John Key never worked for the Federal Reserve. This is an accurate statement. “

                    Ok Gos, try this one. It’s the same as (parallel to) what the editor wrote:

                    The cat is not a dog, the cat is not a mammal.

                    To be consistent you’ll have to say that I’m being technically correct. Which I’m definitely not.

                    ps That’s no way to talk about your Mum.

                    • Gosman

                      Given my mother did not run the organisation I think I’m safe from any charge of insulting her.

                    • felix

                      Please answer the first part of the comment rather than the silly bit at the end, Gos.

                      Am I technically correct or not?

      • Mike 13.1.2

        “Technically both of you are correct as he never worked for the Federal Reserve but was a member of the Foreign Exchange committee that came under their auspices. ”

        You’re missing the point. In my letter, I didn’t say he worked for the Fed, as per the letter above, I wrote – “just like in his days working on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.”

        The editor stated that Key had had nothing to do with the Fed, which is clearly incorrect. Regardless, if the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Fed isn’t working for the Fed then who is it working for?

        I’m not interested in the function of the committee or what they do, I was simply alerting people to Key’s connection with the Fed, a dodgy corporation at best.

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    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
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