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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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    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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