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The last piece of the Hobbit story

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, March 1st, 2013 - 103 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , ,

On the 20th of October 2010 Sir Peter Jackson went public with claims the Hobbit was endangered by a union do-not-work notice he described as “blacklisting”. The resulting fracas and the final deal done between the Government and Warners are now all too well known.

This Tuesday we saw the release of emails showing that Peter Jackson and Gerry Brownlee were aware that the do not work notice was lifted by the time the Sir Peter went public. Back in 2010, Brownlee called me a liar when I put these facts forward, even though he knew them to be true and was at the table when they were agreed. Indeed Brownlee continues to obfuscate about the circumstances surrounding the deal.

I have now decided to release the emails between Warners and the US Screen Actors Guild showing that everyone knew the dispute was over and the ban lifted. Normally in a settlement this type of correspondence would be kept confidential, but Warners have not played straight and the public deserve better.

These emails show that all parties to the negotiations were aware that the do not work notice had been lifted two days before Sir Peter went public and that the unions and Warners were in the process of drafting agreed press releases to announce it. The emails also show the union had agreed to hold its release until Warners was ready. This is made clear from the email sent by senior Warners executive, Stephen Carroll on the 18th of October:

Warners email

Looking back on what happened in 2010, I think there were three fundamental elements of this dispute:

A small organisation with limited resources and a vulnerable workforce, sought to enjoy what other workers in their industry enjoy worldwide – the international right to collectively bargain.

A major international corporation combined with a powerful NZ film company, and an anti- worker Government, to ensure there would not be union bargaining in the growing NZ film industry.

In a deal was struck without basis and against our international legal obligations, that removed even the most basic of work rights from the entire workforce (minimum wage protections, Holidays Act, protection from unfair dismissal).

The Government and others lied to the people of New Zealand in an effort to retain the perception of a crisis in order to gain legitimacy for its actions. It was a shameful moment in New Zealand’s political history.

103 comments on “The last piece of the Hobbit story”

  1. Wow …

    So Jackson and Walsh knew the deal had been done all along and were the ones holding it all up. The phrase about having to talk him down off the wall was very funny. If only we could show that Brownlee had seen this email.

    A question for Helen. I am aware that NZPA were shown the emails and there was an article about them and I can understand the need to keep things civilised and to try and improve relations after the stoush but there must have been a huge temptation to dump these in the media at the time. It would have helped stop all of the nonsense that some have engaged in.

    Was consideration given to doing this?

    I also look forward to how Epping Road and Gosman and others are going to spin this. Although an apology is in order …

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      We also need to consider the role of the MSM and the Gallery in this matter. They routinely put their blind faith in John Key ahead of even basis rational throught and analysis, despite time and again Key being shown to have feet of clay and to be little more than a slippery chancer. It must be more than simply that they are cut from the same cloth, all self-absorbed narcissistic power-junkies together?

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        No. Its not blind faith. When I arrived in Auckland and of course as you do buy the main press, I was astonished how right wing it was. Its not blind faith, the Herald is nothing more than the most bizarre biased piece of media distortion in the history of any nation. Oozing neo-liberalism.
        The free press requires media to be anti-government, critical, for the smooth functioning of a democracy. Nope, not the Herald, for balance it chooses far right nonsense, and weedy left wing comebacks. Key, the supposed business guru’s guru, actively thought that the Hobbit movie going public would love to have the Hobbit movie associated with anti-union bashing, at the height of the GFC when the financial crisis was forcing many to rethink how thankful they are in a union.
        How much more depraved and stupid, how bigger a missed scoop, than to paint the PM into a ideological corner. But no the silence was defending. And now, even this morning, the agricultural sector is bemoaning the smiling assassination of border bio-security, while the farming union is silent about the issue that has wipe billions off their industry. And where is our supposed free press, our number one broadsheet headlining the issues, desperate to go soft on Key, and protect us all from the natural inclination of kiwis to live and breath democracy. Undistorted. Heaven forbid that a revolutionary conservative be lampooned for utter stupidity, even when the cohort is so large and so menacing to our future wealth, health and prosperity.

  2. karol 2

    Helen, thanks for this, and posting the emails on the Standard.

    Why was Team Jackson not happy with Whipp’s use of the phrase “good faith”? Because they wanted to continue to smear MEAA & Whipp as the bad guys that were coming from Aussie to destabilise the NZ industry?

    Jackson wanted to add details to the public announcement that gave him tight control over the named unions, and that characterised the Hobbitt producer’s and the US companies as being very fair and the actors’ unions as causing instability (bottom email).

  3. IrishBill 3

    It’s not every day you get access to this level of discussion in a major dispute. What I find interesting is the way even Warner’s VP talks about Jackson like he’s a bit crazy.

    • burt 3.1

      Of course he’s a bit crazy, he’s a highly creative type. The type who proves one size fits all is never the case. The type that actually achieves amazing things rather than lining up for collective mediocrity living some fantasy notion that the objective of life is to fight some imaginary enemy via supporting fat cat union bosses.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Too bad he doesn’t know right from wrong, when it comes down to looking after his own workers.

        Oddly enough, Jackson’s excess creativity was no barrier to him choosing a rational path which raked in tens of millions more tax payer dollars for himself and his Hollywood mogul employers.

      • framu 3.1.2

        keep peddling those myths about creative people burt – whats next according to the stereotype? PJ cutting off his ear?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        burt, PJackson is the fat cat. The union bosses are doing about as well as the other people in the union.

      • Roy 3.1.4

        Too bad he’s too creative to tell the truth.

      • Mel 3.1.5

        Such humour in your post burt.

        The REAL fat cats were Jackson and Warner Brothers who made millions.

    • newsense 3.2

      duuude, have you seen his films???

      they are aaaawesome crazy

  4. geoff 4

    Excellent work, Helen. Gerry Brownlee looks really bad after looking at that video. Big Fat Liar.
    His life’s work seems to be to stomp on people’s throats…..and eat pies.

    • Jackson is not too flash on the video either. He talks all around the place but he left me with the impression that he thought the union was delaying when it is clear from the emails that he was the cause of the delay.

      And Jackson’s claim that Warners do not want extra subsidies is palpably incorrect.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Yes, both Brownlee and Jackson are following the line that Warners don’t trust the unions, especially the Aussie union. The emails show nothing of that alleged distrust.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Funny that Hollywood is built on the Actors, Directors and Screenwriters unions isn’t it. Just seems like Hollywood and Jackson enjoyed playing their game of Colonial Masters over here in little ol NZ.

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.2

        Jackson comes across as slimy and dishonest as his mate Key. Bugger him, playing the small Kiwi nationalist anti-Aussie card on behalf of a major American company. What a creep.

  5. tc 5

    What complete muppets the NZ public got played for by Slippery and co when will they wake up to the biggest conman they’re likely to ever see.

    Once were a proud nation that stood up to foreign powers and protected our soverign rights, now just lackeys cowering in the corner.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    [deleted]

    [lprent: banned two weeks for thread jacking. ]

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Well done Helen, you copped a lot personally over this one, from that dirty filthy Paul Holmes to Brownlee and the rest. Enjoy the sunshine.

    It is a slow burner in some ways and maybe the digital warriors at Weta that were shamefully incited into that Labour Day demo by “Cur” Richard Taylor will get it when their screen time is done in India or somewhere else.

    The torys are definitely on the ropes when Burt has to make an appearance.

    • + 1 I agree with TM and I’d also say thank you to you Helen for the personal attacks you had to endure – you handled it well at the time with dignity and now that the liars are out in the sunshine I hope things get even better for you and your work. Your mana has been enhanced by this whole sorry episode because you have integrity. Kia kaha!

      • Rosie 7.1.1

        + 1 at Tiger Mountain and Marty Mars. As well as having to endure a govt and media anti Union campaign over the Hobbit fiasco, Helen Kelly personally and the Union movement in general have been sidelined and demonised in other industrial issues.
        Pike River springs to mind as does Ports of Auckland
        Union voices have been drowned out by a squawking pro business -at -any- cost media over the last few years at a time when workers need certainty more than ever, and have been denied it.
        On behalf of all workers (including the unemployed workers amongst us!)Thanks to the CTU, public and private sector Unions and most importantly the members and the delegates of those Unions who keep the faith and keep the momentum going. Its your energy and efforts that raise us all up. Kia Kaha.

      • saarbo 7.1.2

        +1

      • redbaron77 7.1.3

        +1

  8. karol 8

    So, to recap: The emails of the Oct 17 & 18 2010 show that Team Jackson, and Warners knew the Do Not Work notice had been recinded byt Whipp and the unions, and were waiting on Team Jackson to agree on the wording.

    On the morning of 21st October, Fran Walsh (Jackson’s partner) & Phillipa Boyens went on Nine-to-Noon and claimed the notice had not been lifted:

    Fran Walsh:

    Let’s be clear. The boycott has not been lifted and this is one of the reasons why we wrote that statement, because that has not been lifted. And Helen Kelly, no matter how much she said it, it’s not true. If anybody goes to the Screen Actors Guild website, if they look up under hot news they will see that we are blacklisted. So that’s just frankly again, more misinformation.

    (Transcriptase Note: At the time of the interview the SAG website blacklist was still in place – at 4:26pm the NZAE website had posted a lifting of the boycott)

    Continue interview:

    Fran Walsh:

    I don’t want to get upset but this is part of the problem. We have been told every day for a month that the Blacklist is coming off. Every day, we have waited for news of it to be lifted. It has not been lifted. They’re toying with us, and now we are beyond caring whether they do this because the damage is done and the Studio is making their own moves with the film now and it’s rapidly out of our hands.</blockquote.

    By the evening, Jackson is on Close Up agreeing that the "boycott" had been lifted, but now it was too late anyway because the filming was being taken from NZ (as linked by Kelly). He is basically claiming that the situation has been totally destabilised by the nasty Aussie union so Warners still want to take the filming elsewhere. But the tone of the Warners emails doesn't support that claim by Jackson.

    So this was all a manipulation to shift the focus to negotiating with Warners, and using the anti (Aussie) union smear as a reason for changing the law to suit Warners.
    .

    • karol 8.1

      Edit:

      Fran Walsh:

      Let’s be clear. The boycott has not been lifted and this is one of the reasons why we wrote that statement, because that has not been lifted. And Helen Kelly, no matter how much she said it, it’s not true. If anybody goes to the Screen Actors Guild website, if they look up under hot news they will see that we are blacklisted. So that’s just frankly again, more misinformation.

      (Transcriptase Note: At the time of the interview the SAG website blacklist was still in place – at 4:26pm the NZAE website had posted a lifting of the boycott)

      Continue interview:

      Fran Walsh:

      I don’t want to get upset but this is part of the problem. We have been told every day for a month that the Blacklist is coming off. Every day, we have waited for news of it to be lifted. It has not been lifted. They’re toying with us, and now we are beyond caring whether they do this because the damage is done and the Studio is making their own moves with the film now and it’s rapidly out of our hands.

      By the evening, Jackson is on Close Up agreeing that the “boycott” had been lifted, but now it was too late anyway because the filming was being taken from NZ (as linked by Kelly). He is basically claiming that the situation has been totally destabilised by the nasty Aussie union so Warners still want to take the filming elsewhere. But the tone of the Warners emails doesn’t support that claim by Jackson.

      So this was all a manipulation to shift the focus to negotiating with Warners, and using the anti (Aussie) union smear as a reason for changing the law to suit Warners.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Both Boyens and Walsh have come out of this looking like liars and disappointments. So much for a NZ espirit de corps. The only thing which matters to these egomaniacs is getting their own way ahead of everyone elses. And putting out lies in the national media is just another road ahead for them.

      • mickysavage 8.1.2

        Even the law change was weird. There are thousands upon thousands of valid contractor contracts in NZ’s film industry that are robust and have the desired result.

        The Government mucked up the drafting and it was arguable that the originally proposed change had no effect.

        Charles Chauvel intervened and very helpfully suggested some changes which the Government enacted.

        But it was not necessary.

        And Warners then held out their hand for $35 mil more although I expect the Government was happy to pay the money so that it then bash the unions a bit more.

        The whole episode involved some good old union bashing, some hysteria from Peter Jackson and so gold old fashioned greed by Warners.

        Shameful really.

      • Roy 8.1.3

        So liar Jackson has a partner who also lies. Birds of a feather, and all that.

  9. vto 9

    Gerry Brownlee

    John Key

    Peter Jackson

    Liars liars
    liars

    liars lying lying lying bastards.

    They must never be trusted again.

    Stand up Jackson you bloody coward. Answer the issue. How have you not lied to me, as a taxpayer and member of the NZ public? Explain yourself.

  10. ianmac 10

    Compare and Contrast.

    NZ Government and the People stands up on Principle and declares NZ to be Nuclear Free in defiance of the USA.

    2010. A different Government with very different principles caves in to a USA film studio at the expense of Taxpayers and in spite of International Legal obligations. Key players duck and hide and deny.

  11. muzza 11

    It should come as no surprise that NZ continues to be ripped of by our so called *kiwi compatriots*.

    This country has been taken over, hollowed out, and the vultures are picking over the bones.

    The Brownlees, Keys, Jacksons of this world , are not kiwis, its debatable whether they are even human beings with the way they treat people.

    These so called kiwis, are nothing of the sort, and they need to be called out for the puppets they are!

    Where will it all end up!

    • burt 11.1

      The hollowing out might have started with LOTR .., but I guess the red team did that so it was a good thing for government to do.

  12. Skinny 12

    With all due respect Helen it’s called ‘first strike.’

    1. You must have been  aware Jackass Jackson had been submitting & lobbying for employment law changes since ( and probably before) the 6ft scrap? 

    2. Judas Key the money trader & Pork chop  Brownlee are free marketeers and pesky Unions cramp their ability to make more of a buck, anti Union is an understatement.

    So why didn’t you arrange 
    with Whipp a press conference to announce an end to the do not work -blacklist. You would have come out as the voice of reason, instead you got played and the fallout ( spin) was ugly.

    IrishBill I agree Warners would be thinking Jackson was a bit crazy because Jackson/Warners / Key wouldn’t have a shit show in hell of pulling off such a stunt like this in the States.

    What was f****** disturbing 
    was the amount of chicken little Kiwi’s that came out of the woodwork in support of Jackson & Key. Law changes to suit a foreign Corporate, over night, & under urgency was a black day in our history. Not to mention the windfall of taxpayers cash Keys cousins the Warner brothers got.

  13. framu 13

    Just where is Epping Road?

  14. marsman 14

    Will Peter Jackson now ensure that Warner Bros pays back the $35 million they rorted from the NZ taxpayer?

    Great work Helen!

  15. Sanctuary 15

    Did John Drinnan have a dig at Russell Brown in this morning’s Herald?

    “…Bloggers with buddies in the self-employed industry were outraged that organised labour might be allowed in…”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10868478

    • veutoviper 15.1

      I also wondered whether that was an oblique reference to Russell Brown. Drinnan was less oblique re Wellington media including the Dom Post; however, he doesn’t appear to have caught up with Helen’s latest release of emails.

      But it is good to now see the media not letting this die quietly. Radio NZ National covered it in its overnight news broadcasts and Morning Report.

      Tim Watkin also has a post over at Pundit which includes comments on and a link to the emails released by Helen Kelly – “The Hobbit Time for answers John, Peter & Richard”

      http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-hobbit-time-for-answers-john-peter-richard

      Good on you Helen!

      • uke 15.1.1

        10:45am: and nothing yet on the Stuff website about the new emails.

        Must be hard getting the pro-government spin worked out this morning…

    • Tiger Mountain 15.2

      Definitely not Rusty’s finest moment, “The Chev” and the “Lynn” was all a flutter for a week or two, where has his attack poodle Craig gone lately…

  16. New Zealanders love their heroes and love to share their successes with them but give a Kiwi a sniff that that wealth was earned in an underhand way and we become feral.

    It is usually those who do not want the means of acquiring that wealth looked into call it “The Tall Poppy Syndrome” in an effort to close the subject down. “Nasty, envious people they say”, But who has been the nasty’s here?

  17. Michael Morris 17

    The Hobbit was also tarnished with accusations of animal abuse, and when the wrangler brought this up, the Jackson mob, together with the SPCA, which does not care about animals other than cats and dogs, responded in time honoured fashion – by discrediting the whistleblower.

    • Roy 17.1

      …despite the fact that LOTR was also tarnished with accounts of abuse of horses. Getting to be a pattern.

  18. quartz 18

    Where all the righties at?

  19. hellonearthis 19

    The Govt didn’t do a good job on blacking out those email addresses in the PDF doc, with zooming in and contrast adjusting, most are able to be read.
    Govt fails on peoples privacy again.

  20. Interesting that in Australia not too long beforehand Warners threatened to take the Green Lantern movie away because of difficulties caused by currency fluctuations. Instead they negotiated for a further $25 million out of the State Government. I am not sure if they succeeded.

    It appears that the MPAA and scary Aussie Trade Unionists do not appear to have been a factor in Aussie being chosen as a base for that or any other movie.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/film/green-lantern-may-fly-from-sydney/2009/08/26/1251001943980.html

  21. xtasy 22

    I heard National Radio’s Focus on Politics tonight, that was enough to convince me of the whole dealings by Key and Jackson and consorts to have been manipulative and rotten to the core.

    Brownlee doged questions he should have been able to answer, but Slippery tried to talk his way out of it.

    What really makes me furious is the government’s handling of OIA requests. There is a lot of scandalous dodging going on by leading government agencies and departments, they delay responses, do not respond and unjustifiable refuse to respond.

    What the hell was the OIA, introduced under a Nat led government by the way, really mean to do. It is being betrayed and treated as crap by this government as it never has been before.

    I am by the way waiting with some requesters for info from WINZ and so, and they are simply NOT RESPONDING.

    NZ is more or less run like a corrupt dictatorship of sorts now. Disgusting this is.

    • Agora 22.1

      According to a PricewaterhouseCooper survey in in 2011 NZ had the 4th highest level of fraud out of 78 countries surveyed.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_New_Zealand

      Things have changed.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      NZ is more or less run like a corrupt dictatorship of sorts now. Disgusting this is.

      Yep, been that way for awhile. In fact, that was what the OIA was originally for – to break the idea that we were a dictatorship but no government has ever liked being held to account by it.

  22. Kay 23

    In the book, “The Hobbit” by J R R Tolkein Bilbo is offered a job with terms spelled out in a two paragraph letter. It reads: Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all travelling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

    The first film of “The Hobbit” trilogy saw Bilbo being presented with a lengthy contract with many clauses, no doubt inserted by Peter Jackson as a dig at the union. I’m pretty sure though that most film workers would have been happier with the original employment agreement of an equal share of the profits. But even in the book, greed over hoarded gold is shown as leading to bitter endings.

  23. Kay 24

    In the book, “The Hobbit” by J R R Tolkein, Bilbo is offered a job with terms spelled out in a two paragraph letter. It reads: Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all travelling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

    The first film of “The Hobbit” trilogy saw Bilbo being presented with a lengthy contract with many clauses, no doubt inserted by Peter Jackson as a dig at the union. I’m pretty sure though that most film workers would have been happier with the original employment agreement of an equal share of the profits. But even in the book, greed over hoarded gold is shown as leading to bitter endings.

    • Agora 24.1

      Double post, methinks. Easily done at 1.10 AM.

      lprent; .. a bit of judicious and ethical editing ?

  24. vto 25

    Those of us who go about our business are subject to the Fair Trading Act which bans “misleading and deceptive conduct in trade”.

    I also know that taking court action under the Fair Trading Act is easy.

    Hobbit is trade. There was misleading and deceptive conduct. Take the action.

    • vto 25.1

      The liars of Key and Brownlee, and the lies of Jackson, refuse to be answered by these weak men. There is only one place where a ruling can be made and which cannot be ignore and that is the High Court.

      There would be no escape.

  25. irascible 26

    So the Herald crows about KeY’s PR spin to escape scrutiny for his double dealings and shonkey behaviour then says there should be more public scrutiny of the Hobbit, Sky City and Asset sales activity and involvement by Key by responsible media and opposition.
    Bizarre……

  26. Phil 27

    A story which seems to be getting almost no press, how unusual in NZ eh?
    Tolkien own words in a letter to his son;
    .. it is distressing to see the press grovelling in the gutter

  27. aerobubble 28

    So Key didn’t raise GST to pay for the Hobbit movie kickbacks?

  28. jim 29

    So what is new.It has and will always be a battle for the workers to get a fair deal.Ok Gerry (the builder)and his crony capitalist mates have been sprung with their hands in the till of untruths and slurs against those workers and their organization!s that oppose capitals profit exploitation of their members.

    Crying over spilt milk will not resolve it.Those who care about workers rights and the dally battle that, that entails, will learn from it, as those battlers have in the past.

    Aside from a apology from Gerry (builder)for the slur made about the integrity of the President of the C.T.U.nothing.A apology only a egit would hold their breath for.

  29. A bit of history?

    ‘Open Letter’ to NZ Prime Minister John Key -remember National’s 2008 industrial relations’ policy?

    27 October 2010

    ‘Open Letter’ to NZ Prime Minister John Key
    - remember National’s 2008 industrial relations’ policy?

    Dear Prime Minister,

    May I respectfully suggest that you should refresh your memory on what YOU stated was National’s 2008: Employment & Workplace Relations Policy?

    Or is this yet again – another broken promise from the National Government YOU lead?

    Also – now you have seemingly become the ‘Minister for Industrial Relations’, may I respectfully suggest that perhaps you get a firmer grasp on the underpinning principles of ‘good faith bargaining’?

    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28271

    2008: Employment & Workplace Relations Policy

    by Rt Hon John Key, Labour & Industrial Relations

    24 July 2008

    EXPANDING JOB OPPORTUNITIES, LETTING BUSINESSES GROW

    National believes employment law should treat all parties fairly.
    …………………….

    • Protect employees and employers.
    ……………………….
    • Continue to support the social partnership with Business NZ and the CTU. …………………”

    In order to assist – I have taken the liberty of ‘cutting and pasting’ some of the underpinning basic requirements of ‘good faith bargaining’:

    http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/bargaining/good_faith.html

    “The Employment Relations Act 2000 sets out some basic requirements for good faith bargaining.
    In summary, employers and unions involved in collective bargaining must:

    * use their best endeavours to agree to an effective bargaining process

    * meet and consider and respond to proposals made by each other

    ………………
    * not do anything to undermine the bargaining process or the authority of the other’s representative.”

    The duty of good faith also means that an employer must not advise an employee or seek to induce them not to be covered by collective bargaining or a collective agreement.

    An employer is also prohibited from passing on conditions in a collective agreement to an employee not covered by the collective bargaining terms where the effect of passing on would undermine the bargaining or intends doing so.

    If the pass on occurs with the agreement of the union concerned, it is not a breach of good faith.”

    Code of Good Faith in Collective Bargaining:

    (May I respectfully suggest that you make some time to get up to speed with this as well – if you are going to play such a major role in NZ ‘industrial relations’?)

    http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/goodfaith/code.html

    “Text of the code of good faith

    Section 1 Introduction

    1.1. The purpose of this generic code is to give guidance to employers and unions (‘the parties’) on their duty to act in good faith when bargaining for a collective agreement or variation to a collective agreement under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (‘the Act’).

    1.2. This code is not a substitute for the Act.
    However, the Employment Relations Authority (‘the Authority’) or the Employment Court (‘the Court’) may have regard to it in determining whether or not the parties have dealt with each other in good faith in bargaining for a collective agreement.

    1.3. Good faith under the Act requires the parties to an employment relationship to be active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a productive employment relationship.

    This includes a requirement that the parties are responsive and communicative and do not do anything likely to mislead or deceive each other.
    ………………………… ……”

    How is it ‘fair’ for you as NZ Prime Minister John Key, to be so openly biased towards film industry employers in this Hobbit matter?

    The NZ Companies Office – provides the evidence that Peter Jackson is both a shareholder and Director of Wingnut Films – which has already publicly advertised for acting staff for the Hobbit.

    Richard Taylor is a Director of Weta Ltd – which has already carried out work for the Hobbit.

    So – both have a direct pecuniary interest in the Hobbit on the side of film industry ‘employers’.

    With all due respect Prime Minister, it is my considered opinion that the attacks on Actors Equity, MEAA and those advocating on behalf of their members by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and yourself, have been a disgrace.

    To help close the wages gap with Australia – I respectfully suggest that as Prime Minister, you should be helping to implement legislative change which encourages unions’ ability to achieve collective bargaining and collective agreements.

    Unless of course ‘closing the wages gap with Australia’ is yet another hollow, broken National Party promise?

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION WHICH PROVES AUSTRALIAN WORKERS ARE BETTER OFF IN UNIONS WITH REGISTERED COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS:

    “Australian Bureau of Statistics figures published in March 2005 show that hourly wages of workers on AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements) were two percent lower than the hourly wages of workers on registered collective agreements, mostly negotiated by unions.[3]

    [ 3. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. ABS Statistics show a two percent disparity in wages between AWAs and collective agreements - Page 11.]

    For women, AWAs paid 11 % less per hour than collective agreements.[4]

    [ 4. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. Women's earnings 11% less under AWAs on Page 11.]
    ______________________________________________

    Australian workplace agreements (AWAs) were formalised individual agreements negotiated by the boss and employee.

    Employers could offer “take it or leave it” AWAs as a condition of employment.

    They were registered by the employment advocate and did not require a dispute resolution procedure.

    These agreements operate only at the federal level. AWAs were individual written agreements on terms and conditions of employment between an employer and employee in Australia, under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. An AWA could override employment conditions in state or territory laws except for occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation or training arrangements.

    An AWA was required to meet only the most minimal Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard. Agreements were not require to include effective dispute resolution procedure, and could not include prohibited content. Agreements were for a maximum of five years; approved, promoted and registered by the Workplace Authority; operate to the exclusion of any award; and prohibit industrial action regarding details in the agreement for the life of the agreement.

    The introduction of the Australian Workplace Agreements was a controversial industrial relations issue in Australia.

    During a Senate Estimates hearing on May 29, 2006, Peter McIlwain, Head of the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) detailed that from a sample of 4 per cent, or 250, of the total 6,263 AWAs lodged during April 2006 after WorkChoices was introduced, that:

    100% of AWAs removed at least one protected Award condition;

    64% of AWAs have removed annual leave loadings;

    63% of AWAs have stripped out penalty rates;

    52% of AWAs have cut out shift loadings;

    40% of AWAs have dropped gazetted public holidays; and 16% of AWAs, have slashed all award conditions and only the Government’s five minimum conditions are satisfied.[6]

    [6. ^ Percentage of Union and Non-union Certified Agreements in the Federal Public Service from Union gets ready for hostile Senate by Verona Burgess, Australian Financial Review, 8 April 2005, as published in CPSU bulletin April 2005 ] ”

    Arguably, the best way to help close the ‘wage gap’ between Australia and New Zealand, is for NZ to emulate effective Australian unionism, and legislation which enables and protects union organisation and collective bargaining?

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

  30. jim 31

    Voluntary unionism is the only way for those to seek a fair deal in the Labour market without to much stress.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      I agree. Every work place should be required to give their workers union membership forms on the first day of employment.

  31. Mike S 32

    I’ve come to think that a large proportion of New Zealanders don’t mind being lied to. The number of times this government has outright lied is huge yet Key is still hugely popular in polls. (Although polls are hardly scientific)

  32. vto 33

    I have seen anything yet …. does anyone know if either Peter Jackson has explained the lie or apologised yet?

    Or does the knighthooded one just try and stay quiet and hope it all goes away like some spindly coward.

    • Arfamo 33.1

      The latter I suspect. It’ll be a successful strategy too. There will be countless other distractions in the months ahead. Did anyone take back Michael Fay’s knighthood?

  33. Ugly Truth 34

    “The Government and others lied to the people of New Zealand in an effort to retain the perception of a crisis in order to gain legitimacy for its actions.”

    The perception of crisis drives the perception of need, and need is the basis of lawlessness.

    “That which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity” – Bracton’s maxim.

    So what has Warner Brothers got to do with lawlessness? Have a look at Mike Mozart’s video, which points out that the same corporations behind SOPA actually distributed the file sharing software that is used to distribute copyrighted material. Warner, one of the supporters of SOPA, distributed file sharing software like BitTorrent & Kazaa via AOL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc

    NZ’s civil system was founded on lawlessness:

    VICTORIA … has deemed it necessary … to establish a settled form of Civil Government … with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike …

  34. Rob 35

    Despicable behaviour from Jackson and his cronies. What a bunch of two faced, brown nosing, money hungry, manipulative tools.

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    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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