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Community Service

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, February 9th, 2013 - 69 comments

Greenpeace activists were fined and ordered to do Community Service – for serving the global community by protesting about Climate Change & the oil industry.  Others get honours like knighthoods for services that are damaging for the majority in the community.  Misplaced values? [update] RNZ interview with Lucy Lawless.

Apocalypse Now

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, December 21st, 2012 - 56 comments

Humans have a paranoid fascination with our own demise, as seen in doomsday movies.  They portray our fears, hopes, politics and delusions.  Children of Men: the demise of capitalism; Day after Tomorrow: climate collapse.  Is today a Mayan prediction of the end or a new beginning?

The Hobbit episode II… continues…

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, November 27th, 2012 - 103 comments

Today The Hobbit  employment dispute is revived, exposing gaps between principle and practice.  Jackson defends his role; some of Labour’s ABC club will attend the premier; John Key-speak weaves a contradictory path of  populist nonsense, linking the movie, 100%Pure, 100% Middle-earth and Macdonald’s.

In other news, selling NZ: TPP, Hobbit rulz …

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, November 20th, 2012 - 57 comments

John Key is steaming ahead in selling NZ.  He is Obama’s wing-man to extend the TPP into the Asia-Pacific region.  Meanwhile, the “Hobbit Law” is taking a heavy toll on many NZ actors.  And there are claims that the Hobbit production has been harming animals.

Selling New Zealand: 100% Muddle-Urf

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments

Why is John Key backing the flagging tourist industry as a major export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was partly about using the Hobbit to promote NZ as a tourist destination. Why is the government so fixated on attracting more US tourists?

Hollywood Rules

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, October 8th, 2012 - 76 comments

In another slippery John Key u-turn, after his mission to Hollywood ‘sweeteners’ are now on the table. Key is bending over to let US-based conglomerates extend their dominance in NZ, in support of their own interests and values.

Of Hollywood, Hobbits & NZ-US politics: Episode II

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, October 4th, 2012 - 65 comments

As Key heads off to the US to promote the NZ film industry, I look back at the Hobbit union-busting case and the issues it raised. Will Key’s latest mission to Hollywood, boost the economy, increase jobs and provide benefits to the NZ film industry? Or will it actually undermine the NZ’s economy and democracy, further Americanising NZ’s culture along with it?

Woka Woka Wharfie Fundraiser – Akl tonight

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, April 3rd, 2012 - 10 comments

Something to do in Auckland tonight: What:  Special screening of The Muppets Where:  Hoyts Sylvia Park, Mt Wellington When:  Tonight, April 3rd, 6.10pm to 8.30pm Don’t let those muppets at the Ports of Auckland get you down, come laugh at the real Muppets instead! Some door sales will be available, or you can email julie.fairey@gmail.com […]

“There Once was an Island” in theatres this week

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, June 21st, 2011 - 14 comments

My producer partner Lyn is back from Eire and has a theatrical release of their documentary underway in NZ. Director Briar March and producer Lyn Collie, along with two Australasian earth scientists specializing in oceanography and geomorphology looked at the effects of a rising sea levels and changing climate patterns are having on the people of the small Polynesian atoll Takuu in Papua New Guinea. Well worth watching on the big screen while you can.

Operation 8 documentary

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, May 27th, 2011 - 17 comments

I have been bemoaning that I’d missed the Operation 8 documentary. But there are more screenings around the country. Catch a showing near you because by the sound of the current state of the court case, this will not be resolved until next year at the earliest. It has been over three and half years […]

Operation 8: Deep in the Forest

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, April 19th, 2011 - 15 comments

Last night walking into the film screening in Auckland I was a bit apprehensive about how it would all be put together. Fortunately my fears were unfounded and the film did justice to the complex issues involved.

Brownlee in gun for misleading the House

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, January 20th, 2011 - 14 comments

Mallard has laid a Privileges complaint over Brownlee’s Hobbit lies. Good. Brownlee and Key deserved to be hammered for their part in the Warners/Jackson shake-down that cost just $34m and work rights. Lockwood won’t uphold the complaint though. He hates Brownlee. Not enough to severely embarrass his party in election year though.

1951

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, January 19th, 2011 - 73 comments

In 1951, New Zealand temporarily became a police state. Civil liberties were curtailed, freedom of speech denied, and the Government used force against its own citizens. This film tells the story of the infamous lockout of waterside workers and the nationwide strike which followed. The film won Best Documentary and John Bates was named Best Director, Documentary, at the 2002 New Zealand Television Awards.

Clipshow – Jackson’s bad faith posturing

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 29th, 2010 - 12 comments

From the ‘I told you so’ file comes IrishBill’s first post on the Hobbit dispute after Jackson suddenly announced that a settled dispute with a small union was forcing Warner Bros to abandon a $100m investment and move overseas. We now know Jackson was lying to extort more money and a law change but Irish called it at the time, resulting in 516 comments – a record.

Jackson statement worsens Hobbit fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 78 comments

Peter Jackson yesterday did what the government has refused to do and commented on the revelation that he told Gerry Brownlee the Actors’ Equity blacklist was no threat to the Hobbit movies being filmed here. Unfortunately, Jackson has just further sullied his reputation by revealing the true motives for the Hobbit Enabling Act.

Key, Brownlee & McCully have questions to answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 44 comments

It seems we don’t have a government at the moment. John Key is incommunicado in Hawaii. The Acting PM, Bill English, and Key’s press people refuse to speak for him. Someone needs to front up because serious questions are emerging about the honesty of statements Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully made in Parliament and to the New Zealand people.

$6K bill for Key’s kowtowing to Warners

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 10th, 2010 - 17 comments

OIA papers show how the Nats prostrated themselves for Warners. $6K was spent treating the movie execs like foreign dignitaries – ministerial cars, customs ‘facilitation’. Nats wanted to “present an image of an effective government that is worth working with“. All they showed was they had fallen for Warners’ hollow threats. Cost us $33 million.

Treasury warned on risk of Hobbit hustle

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 2nd, 2010 - 11 comments

Remember how Peter Jackson and Warner Bros pulled the old Hollywood shakedown on us? By making a hollow threat to film elsewhere they got an extra $30 million and a law passed just for them. This was supposedly necessary to save a vital economy gain for the country but the Government knew that was bollocks all along.

Made in Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, November 3rd, 2010 - 31 comments

I went to see Made in Dagenham last night. The parallels between the dispute, that began when female workers at a Ford plant in the UK struck for better pay, and then equal pay with men, and the Hobbit fiasco were striking. But it’s the dissimilarties in the outcomes that I was left pondering. Let’s take a look at the two events:

Death threats and dud deals

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, October 29th, 2010 - 77 comments

Today we learn just how extreme some of the anti-union nutters in our country are, with news of death threats to unionists and actors involved in The Hobbit fiasco.  I hope we hear soon of a sustained police effort to track down the perpetrators.  Or are we as a country going to effectively condone these actions by ignoring them?

Campbell on Key’s sell out

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, October 28th, 2010 - 18 comments

Scoop’s Gordon Campbell has written a long piece on the Hobbit settlement and its implications.  Key said that we couldn’t match the tax deals offered by other countries, but according to Campbell’s calculations that’s exactly what we have done. Campbell also has harsh words to say about Key’s “skill” as a negotiator, and advice about strengthening the film industry in NZ.

Caption Contest

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, October 28th, 2010 - 24 comments

  There was some expenditure that didn’t qualify under the old scheme…We’ve looked to broaden that out. John Key on Warner Brothers, 27 Oct 2010

The price of our hysteria

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, October 27th, 2010 - 178 comments

The Government will give the Hobbit producers an extra $33 million to stay in New Zealand and it’s going to use this ‘crisis’ as an excuse to slam through more anti-worker laws. New Zealand has been played like naive hicks. The Hobbit was never leaving. We let Jackson and his Hollywood mates whip us into a frenzy of fear – now we’re paying the cost.

Key’s announcement

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 pm, October 27th, 2010 - 178 comments

John Key will be making an announcement on The Hobbit this evening, with a press conference due to be held at 7.20pm. Will update this post after the announcement.

Update: Predictably, the movies are staying in NZ, with a sell out of our employment law, and further tax sweeteners for the studios.

An invitation to Warner Brothers to be up front

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, October 27th, 2010 - 7 comments

Wallace Chapman has a thoughtful Open Letter to the visiting Warner Brothers executives on his blog, inviting them to front up to the New Zealand public: We have a small segment called “Soapbox” and we’d just love you to come over and join us and speak your mind to camera for 60 seconds. We know […]

Lord of the tax breaks: A history of capital flight threats

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 27th, 2010 - 87 comments

The Hobbit ‘crisis’ is just the latest in a series of capital flight threats from Jackson and Hollywood. We’ll end up paying more to stave off the threat of capital flight because the wider economic benefit makes it worthwhile. Key is trying to talk down how much we can pay but he bears responsibility for talking up the ‘crisis’ to put the boot into unions.

Bending over for Warner Brothers

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 26th, 2010 - 27 comments

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

Win win for Key

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, October 26th, 2010 - 155 comments

Lucky John Key – he’s going to have a great week!  It’s hard to see how he can lose.  He’ll either be the man who single-handedly saved The Hobbit, or he’ll be handed a big stick to beat the evil unions with forever.  In reality, however, the decision to keep the movies here is probably already made.  Key’s ego will be just another tool used against him in negotiations as the studios go for the best deal they can get…

The sea-change on the left

Written By: - Date published: 1:59 pm, October 25th, 2010 - 40 comments

One of the strange things about helping to run a left blog like this is looking at the varied opinions of those on the left of the political spectrum, and then looking at the monolithic opinions that the right seem to have of the left. I was musing on this while reading Matt McCarten’s excellent Saturday article. Now you have to understand that Matt and myself are almost at the ends of the spectrum when it comes to politics on the left….

Key the real target of Hobbit producers’ game

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, October 24th, 2010 - 70 comments

The Hobbit ‘crisis’ is all about money. It’s about the producers of this long-troubled production, who are in financial difficulty, wanting to minimise their up-front costs. The mark in the con is the only one with cash to offer on the scale they need – the Prime Minister. He’s the one with the most to lose and the most ability to pay.

Caption Contest

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, October 22nd, 2010 - 59 comments

It was not until last night that we received confirmation of the retraction from SAG, NZ Equity and AFTRA through press reports.

New Line Cinema

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