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Bending over for Warner Brothers

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 26th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: capitalism, film, john key, law, Media, tax, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , ,

Otago Law Professor Paul Roth says possible law changes by the Key Government to provide more tax-payer funded charity to corporate giants Warner Bros Entertainment is ‘Third-World’ lawmaking and a ‘race to the bottom’ in an attempt to compete against developing nations with little or no labour rights.

Roth says if we ‘lie back and prostitute ourselves to get more employment into this country’, we’ll only be setting a precedent for other transnationals that want our labour rights diminished, or taxpayer sponsorship, to compensate them for international competition.

This is the thin edge of the wedge and another step closer to Key’s dream of a low-wage, low-labour rights economy, where soon all New Zealanders can be – as the American film makers call their kiwi crew – Mexicans with cellphones.

27 comments on “Bending over for Warner Brothers”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Capital has it both ways in projects such as the “Hobbit”, employing both Globalisation and nationalism. Globalisation allows the US film industry to roam around seeking the lowest costs with least restrictions, while nationalism helps corporations whip up a compliant workforce with the assistance of the usual local suspects.

    The faux patriotism has truly put me off Hobbits for some time. In an economic sense film is not special. It is a cultural product. Like whiteware is a product. Where were the self righteous rallies when F&P buggered off to Mexico with hundreds of jobs lost?

    It is ‘our’ film while being made, but the box office take soon heads back to the US and the producers bank accounts. Another Sopwith Camel Sir Jackson?

    • Tigger 1.1

      Nice point tm.

    • jbanks 1.2

      Voters will appreciate John Key doing his best to save the production and the huge benefit to our economy that comes with it.

      Let’s ask Roy Morgan and Colmar Brunton.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Usual Key stunt. All the credit, none of the work.

        Let’s see how good voters feel when their pocket books continue to empty, their relatives and kids keep leaving for Australia, and prices keep climbing. Now, does Key have a plan for that beyond hiring Orcs?

        Fight fight fight

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        Only if they’re gullible idiots who don’t know what *actually* happened. Oh – wait…
        Deb

    • marsman 1.3

      Why do we pay a multimillion dollar profit corporation to film in NZ? Why doesn’t that corporation pay us ?

  2. Rijab 2

    When politics becomes such as art form, you can only sit back and gaze in awe at how this situation has played out. Despite how shockingly abhorrent the situation has become, and how vastly out of line it is with reality; it has to be said, some of the interested parties have done an amazing job for themselves.

    Peter Jackson has painted a mona lisa, and only he knows why she smiles!

    Luckily, I believe English has ruled out labour changes already (don’t have a link handy?).

  3. walt 3

    I heard Key on the radio say something like he had been talking to a mate at Warners, that’s how he knew the possibility of going overseas was 50/50, as Paul Holmes would say:

    Question: What is John Key’s relationship with this person at Warners?
    Question: When exactly did John begin talking with this mate about the situation?

    Do you have to be a complete cynic to think that JK and Warners had stitched up a union for a PR coup for the PM, and a big fat thank-you ($) to an offshore interest.

    • infused 3.1

      “Do you have to be a complete cynic to think that JK and Warners had stitched up a union for a PR coup for the PM, and a big fat thank-you ($) to an offshore interest.”

      Really? Really? Are you really going to go there? Jesus…

      Do go there. Shows how desperate you lot are.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        For tens of millions of dollars of tax payer giveaways, the studio and Jackson have already been and gone.

    • jbanks 3.2

      Not a complete cynic, just a complete head in the sand idiot.

    • Bored 3.3

      Walt, Infused and JBanks seem to think it impossible, idiot status: myself I would say unlikely, but not improbable. Only an idiot would suggest that Nact would not pull this stunt given half a chance.

      In this case however I suggest that the Nact flunkeys played a predictable scenario to their best advantage. And as I suggest elsewhere Labour missed an opportunity to pre-empt the Warners larcenous tactics by predicting publically that they would grab our colective balls for a “tax” subsidy.

      • Carol 3.3.1

        You could be right, Bored, but IMO, that’d be a 50-50 call. It got so messy earlier on, with the MSM playing up the union issue, such a call may have been marginalised or distorted Labour’s message. Mallard pretty much indicated in his ‘Hobbit not simple” post about a week ago, the direction he is now taking with his Nat Rad comments and questions to Brownlee today in question time.

    • Joe Bloggs 3.4

      questioning Walt:

      Trev The Muss was grandstanding on RedAlert only a couple of days ago about his annual pilgramages to Hollywood to woo the studios.

      Question: what was Trev’s relationship with Warners?
      Question: how did Trev jack this up with Warners in to subvert The Hobbit under National’s watch?
      Question: does the fact that Trev had to go to Hollywood, but Hollywood comes to John Key, have anything to do with Goff’s use of Trev to strawman Labours position on the Hobbit?
      Question: with so much collective wisdom on the Left being displayed on these blogs, why did the unions fuck up so badly in the first place?

  4. randal 4

    this ‘event’ has severley compromised the nutters in our society who would like to villify robin malcolm but cant do it because she is appearing somewhere else on teev at the moment.
    cultural schizophrenia if you will.
    however what this thing really illustrates is that the nz film industry is totally dependent on outside stories for its employment.
    the same nutters going off at the moment are the same ones who think every film ever made in new zealand is a tour de force of the cinematogrpahers art.
    yeah right.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Every other leader in the Western world must envy John Key. Imagine how much easier life would be for Obama and Gillard and Sarkozy and the rest, if only their media would just stop asking questions and challenging their governments and being … well, journalists.

    Key says: 50-50.

    NZ Media repeats: 50-50!

    Journalism 101: It’s not a fact, it’s not a piece of evidence, it’s a number invented by his PR team to make him look good. Because that’s their job.

    A journalist’s job is to point this out. Have we got any?

    • gingercrush 5.1

      It’d certainly make a difference if as in the United States, France and Australia, New Zealand had a decent opposition party. They don’t. Nothing to do with the media, absolutely everything to do with Labour and Greens.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Nice place is it, living inside your own head?

        • Chris Bull 5.1.1.1

          he’s not wrong. labour have been gutless on this because of the union involvement. the greens get less from the unions, where have they been?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Since when has it been the job of political parties to interfere in private sector employment disputes?

            • Chris Bull 5.1.1.1.1.1

              it’s not, until the govt. gets involved, then it is the role of the opposition to at least point out the govt.s folly

  6. tc 6

    Gobsmacked hit many nails on the head there.

    If we had some real journalists rather than the employees of TVNZ/TV3/APN etc then wider NZ would be seeing the govt in a whole different way.

    Imagine Tolley/Ryall/Collins/Smith/Brownlee/Heatley/Hide/Sharples/Turia not to mention the dynamic duo of Blinglish/sideshow withstanding unrelenting questioining over time about any single issue let alone the mayriad of issues each of these presided over.

    They live a charmed stress free life without a 4th estate unwilling to fulfill it’s historical obligation to inform and report impartially…..I’ve seen lesser pollys go for minor indiscretions with a press pack that behave like rabid dogs……whereas here we’ve a bunch of fluff puppets being carried around in their owners handbags .

  7. Irascible 7

    The international news reports, BBC TV news, presents NZ as a quaint third world country strangely fixated by an emotional attachment with a British story financed by an American global industry. Jackson & Taylor are shown manipulating the story with Taylor’s grandstanding at a flash mob rally in Wellington and Jackson sounding insincere as he cries foul at the prospect of the film heading for bigger tax breaks in the UK and blames the Actors for asking to negotiate a standard employment contract for its members.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    New Zealand 2010: From Down Under to Bend Over

    New Zealand 2011: Reclaiming Integrity, Sovereignty and Fairness

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