web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • October ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: A Pretty Healthy Life PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is still playing up but far fewer blogs are effected. I have done a manual work around but it was still impossible to get the stats for a the blogs that I list below....
    Open Parachute | 01-11
  • Repost: Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (Originally posted at On The Left.) I was not an angelic child. My mother has retconned her memory of my early years since I became an adult, and my grandmother delicately phrases it as “you were a little troubled”. The...
    Boots Theory | 01-11
  • Hard workers have nothing to fear from Ebola
    A guest post from TV and radio current affairs host Mike Hosking...
    Imperator Fish | 31-10
  • The problem with our economy is too many tea breaks?
    ...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task For Progressive New Zealand.
    "For mercy has a human heart, pity a human face" - William Blake MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty...
    Bowalley Road | 31-10
  • Campbell Live on Trains and Motorway tolls
    Campbell Live have been doing some great stories on transport and urban issues in the last few years and have easily been one of the best media organisations on the subjects. This week contained quite a few transport segments including...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • Thieving Bastards Steal Big Red Umbrella! Read All About It!
    View from the bach at Leigh Our house in Herne Bay was burgled some years ago. We were woken in the middle of the night by crashing sounds from downstairs.  It requires a really brave person to investigate strange noises...
    Brian Edwards | 31-10
  • Saturday playlist: songs about work
    Every Saturday we’re going to post a couple of music videos, probably on a particular theme, unless we run out of ideas and it just turns into Stephanie spamming us with professional wrestling soundtracks and Nicki Minaj. So, in that...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    Frankly Speaking | 31-10
  • The Greens are wacky?
    It is a bit like a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the National Government and their supporters are desperately attempting to stick the wacky label on the Greens again, but it is becoming harder to make it...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #44B
    5 ideas for protecting New York from the next Sandy Climate scientists aren’t too alarmist. They’re too conservative Direct Action is like a dodgy laundry powder that never gets the climate clean Emissions trading will be back in the game...
    Skeptical Science | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere