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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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    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
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 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
  • 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
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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