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Death threats and dud deals

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, October 29th, 2010 - 77 comments
Categories: business, film, Media - Tags: , ,

Much like the ongoing earthquake aftershocks in Canterbury, the rumblings following on from the tumultuous Hobbit wrangling are going to echo on for some time yet. Today we learn just how extreme some of the anti-union nutters in our country are:

Death threats fly over Hobbit

Actresses and unionists have received threats, including some against their lives, during the heated row over The Hobbit movie. Police have been called and private security arranged for some of those targeted.

The worst threats appear to have been aimed at Australian union boss Simon Whipp and Actors’ Equity organiser Frances Walsh, although actresses Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Robyn Malcolm have also been abused. The threats have become so bad the union has hired a guard for its Auckland office.

The people making such threats are dangerous. They need to be found, and brought before the courts. 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?

In other news — I’ve been surprised at some of the media coverage of the Hobbit deal. I was expecting a one way Key love-fest, with little consideration of how the PM’s incompetence has sold us down the river. In fact there is much more balance than I was expecting. Today’s Herald editorial was particularly stinging:

Editorial: Price to keep Hobbit in NZ is extortionate

At some point during the negotiations over The Hobbit, someone should have stepped back and asked how much it was actually worth to this country to keep the filming here.

The hyperbole and hysteria of recent weeks might have led to the assumption that it was a matter of vital importance. Significant enough for Government ministers to be talking to executives of Warner Bros, the project’s financial backer.

And important enough for New Zealand to jettison part of its workplace law and compromise its economic principles. The hyperbole was misplaced. These were places the Government should not have gone in order to secure two films whose benefits are more in the realm of the imponderable than the imposing. …

There was no question of The Hobbit being shot elsewhere before an industrial boycott – lifted before the negotiations began – involving actors wanting to bargain collectively. Warner Bros simply seized the chance to apply pressure on unrelated issues. In both instances, it should have been resisted. The Prime Minister, however, always seemed relaxed about amending the law to provide “clarity” in the film sector. …

At the start of the talks, Mr Key had seemed opposed to providing bigger tax breaks. Unfortunately, his resistance went only so far. Warner Bros should not have got a cent more than was already on the table. …

In any event, the image is already ingrained, and the extra boost that The Hobbit might provide did not justify a greater outlay of taxpayer funds or a workplace law change. Warner Bros is used to playing hard ball. The allure of Hollywood goes far in most corners of the world. It should not have gone so far here. Confirmation that The Hobbit will be shot in this country is welcome. But the cost should not have been anywhere near so extortionate.

As ever, a picture (Emmerson, from The Herald) is worth a thousand words:

Emmerson has pretty much nailed it – though for the last panel I’d have gone with a different Disney character. I’d have gone with Mickey Mouse.

77 comments on “Death threats and dud deals”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Let us not forget the Trades Hall Bombing was suspected to be aimed at a unionist.

    • Marty G 1.1

      nearly all the political violence in NZ’s history has been the right attacking left – Fredrick John Evans murdered by the police, massey’s cossacks, the special constables, Holland’s ‘state of war’ in 1951, the red squad, trade’s hall.

      violence and poverty – it’s how the elite keep the people down.

      • Daveosaurus 1.1.1

        Don’t forget the murder of Fernando Pereira in 1985 or the murder of Christine Clarke in 1999.

  2. Carol 2

    Yes, that Herald editorial was read from in the House debate this morning by a Labour Party member (Sue Moroney I think), and Hipkins and Grant Robertson. So it’s getting some mileage.

    The Labour Party has proposed an amendment for a sunset clause in the law (to expire on Nov 8). Meteria Turei has said the Greens will vote for the amendment. Turei said that ACT wants to extend the law to all workers. She also asked why the Maori Party is supporting the proposed law and spoke about the way the law will particularly hurt less well-off workers, especially Maori. She talked about how a film like Boy gave opportunities for young Maori actors who had few opportunities generally before that.

    Moroney talked about how other industries, that provide longer term employment than 2 films, could do with the money ($33mill?) . Among the examples whe gave was the racing industry. I’m not sure why she singled out this industry?

    Oh, Beaumont is saying the proposed Labour Amendment for a sunset clause on Nov 8, is appropriate because the NAct change to employment law is a Mickey Mouse one. And she read out & held up the Emerson cartoon with Key as Mickey Mouse.

    • millsy 2.1

      “..Turei said that ACT wants to extend the law to all workers..”.

      One wonders, Carol, if this could be the ultamite goal of this government – to turn every worker into an indenpendent contractor – dont have to sorry about overtime, ACC, sick pay, wages, payroll, even PAYE. Everything is outsourced to the worker. ECA on steriods. Not even Thatcher and Reagan went that far. This can totally do away with collective bargaining and unions. The Hobbit hysteria has certainly created a mood against the unions, and now this leglisation gives National an oppurtunity to smash the unions once and for all.

      The question is, would Key if he wins a second term, have the guts to extend this legislation to all workers. I think he might just have a go.

      Capcha: Bid.

  3. zimmer 3

    I am sure it will be investigated better than the Brash emails.
    I wonder in the old days were scabs threatened at all? I was in March/April 1985 while I worked in a hotel in Queenstown.

    • Gerorge 3.1

      You were probably threatened for being an arse. I see nothing’s changed.

      • zimmer 3.1.1

        no free choice in a union ah, follow the herd, [settle down — r0b].

        • NickS 3.1.1.1

          Well, you did have a choice not to break the picket line and find work elsewhere. As for the threats, definitely not acceptable, but not unexpected given that strikers are the ones putting their arses on the line for decent pay and working conditions, and are going to be fucked off to see others undoing their work.

          And personally, if I took a job off student job search etc, and found out I was going to be breaking a strike line, I’d probably tell the person hiring me to get fucked.

    • Marty G 3.2

      We all know who got the Hollow Men papers and gave them to Hager.

      He’s the Deputy PM.

      • luva 3.2.1

        Source Please……….?????????????????????

        • luva 3.2.1.1

          Your blog you can do what you like but lprent has written below

          [lprent: That is utter bullshit as far as I can see – like so many claims about the unions and unionists that I’ve seen recently.

          Provide a link to something credible (ie a quote from Kelly) where “Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn” or withdraw it or face a ban for a unsubstantiated assertion of fact. ]

          Now where is something credible that says it was the Deputy PM….

          Over to you Marty G

      • lprent 3.2.2

        I’d have to agree with luva.

        I’ve never seen any definitive evidence that he was the culprit. He does appear to be the most likely source bearing in mind his motive and opportunity however.

        Nicky is probably the only person who could be definite about it, and he isn’t exactly willing to reveal sources.

  4. duh 4

    having seen the you tube footage of the ‘needed a police escort from the restaurant because of an angry mob’ – and it turning out to be just a couple of people politely (but repeatability) asking a simple question and no police in sight – it does make me wonder if this is just another lie trying to get sympathy for Robyn Malcom etc.

    IF its true – then I hope they catch the people – but as anything she says seems to be lies I really want to see proof first.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      but as anything she says seems to be lies I really want to see proof first.

      Oh so you’re part of the campaign of personal intimidation and abuse then.

      Shall we get her to forward the faeces mail to your home?

      • duh 4.1.1

        “Oh so you’re part of the campaign of personal intimidation and abuse then.”

        No Clare – thats a bit of a jump. IF it was true I would feel sorry for her and do not for a second support any idiot who would make death threats.

        BUT – like chicken little – you lie enough people stop believing you. And she holds very little weight about being honest.

        As for the “faeces mail” – she stirred shit – so I guess there is some irony in there somewhere.

        • Vicky32 4.1.1.1

          “As for the “faeces mail” – she stirred shit – so I guess there is some irony in there somewhere.”
          That comment makes you a completely offensive jerk. No argument.

        • Frank Macskasy 4.1.1.2

          It seems there is no bounds to the hysteria and vilification on this issue.

          Of course, “Duh”, it’s easy for you to be blase about hate mail, threats, faecal matter, etc, being sent to various people. Those people have stood up publicly to make their voices heard.

          Those who send offensive letters and material, or tacitly accept such cowardly behaviour, usually do so from the safety of anonymity.

    • Joe Bloggs 4.2

      I feel sorry for Malcolm and Jennifer Ward-Lealand in a strange way.

      Both of them have been pushed to the front where they’ve been hung out to dry by the unions.

      Naivety on their parts, maybe, although Malcolm has chosen to become more prominant of late as she eyes up a place on the Green Party list.

      But to get death threats for acting as glove-puppets for Simon Whipp and Helen Kelly? That’s over the top….

      …unless of course these death threats are yet more spin from the MEAA and CTU. The timing for turning villains into victims is awfully convenient. Who’s to know until we see the evidence.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Honour to Malcolm and Ward-Lealand for standing tall and strong. They’ve been in the industry long enough to know the cause they are fighting for, even if the Right dismiss the concerns of workers out of hand.

        • Joe Bloggs 4.2.1.1

          You may laud Malcom and Ward-Lealand CV for standing tall and strong.

          But that’s what glove puppets do when the puppeteers have their hands in action. Take away the puppeteers and they return to being limp socks.

          • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.1.1

            And ironically enough, those who support Warner Bros/Jackson/Key themselves seemed to have been stampeded by mass hysteria. Jackson lamented that we might lose “The Hobbit”, and a segment of society immediatly reacted with moral panic and outrage.

            As someone said, we’ve been “played like chumps”. And some New Zealanders still refuse to see the manipulation that was brought to play against us.

        • SHG 4.2.1.2

          I didn’t see Ward-Lealand standing strong and calling for a boycott on her HUSBAND’s production – the TV show Spartacus, a non-union shoot with conditions for employees far worse than those originally offered by the producers of The Hobbit.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.1

            I give them respect for standing up to the big dollar boys from the US. They didn’t do well against them but they stood tall and firm and good on them for doing so.

          • Joe Bloggs 4.2.1.2.2

            that’s right – she didn’t… ‘nother one of those observations that have emerged about the nasty, backstabbing efforts of the unions to selectively destabilise the industry.

            OK, I call back feeling sorry for Ward-Lealand.

          • Bob Stanforth 4.2.1.2.3

            Ouch careful, those fact things really bite 😉

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.3.1

              No, just plenty of shonky Righty arguments. For starters SHG knows that most workers on both sets aren’t EMPLOYEES, which is a large part of the problem.

              Inconvenient facts huh.

              • Bob Stanforth

                And its a problem, because? Standard industry practice around the world, on any project based work – be it a film, or a large specialised IT project – lots of contract resource, some employees. And they all work side by side, quite happily.

                Well, until some idiot unionist institutes a black listing, and then claims all he wanted was to talk. Tui ad.

                And yet another very good summary of the inconvenient truths…

                http://dylanreeve.posterous.com/our-hobbit-overlords

                • Colonial Viper

                  Standard industry practice around the world, on any project based work – be it a film,

                  This is such an overgeneralisation it makes your statement untrue, BS.

                  Specifically, in successful first world film making countries (Australia, US, Canada, UK, Ireland), workers have much stronger union representation than in NZ. In those countries actors have much better access to collectively negotiated minimum terms and conditions.

                  And they don’t have producers who can simply get out of meeting and negotiating with the actors unions, SAG etc.

                  • Bob Stanforth

                    Did I say actors – you did, not me, doofus. The vast majority of people who work on films are contract resource, not union employees. Period. I see your BS, and raise you one talking arse. Which appears to be yours.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The vast majority of people who work on films are contract resource, not union employees.

                      Ah but in those first world countries I mentioned, many are unionised even if they are not employees (don’t know where you got your figures from) and will have the protection of collectively negotiated minimum terms and conditions.

                      By the way, its not just actors who have unions in the industry – its many others including writers, film technicians; Jackson is a member of several himself.

                      I see your BS, and raise you one talking arse. Which appears to be yours.

                      Apologies I was just using your initials Bob, didn’t mean anything by it.

                      doofus.

                      I lol’d

    • Carol 4.3

      Doesn’t John Key have a hoard of minders escorting him everywhere so that no-one can get too close with a camera crew to ask him questions he doesn’t want to answer? At least Malcolm has appeared on a range of media lately to be interviewed and asked some tough questions.

      • SHG 4.3.1

        Yes, who can forget Malcolm’s awesome performance on Close Up.

        “There was never any boycott! And anyway, it was lifted over the weekend!”

    • ianmac 4.4

      I think you will find that two policemen on foot patrol happened to be walking past and walked with them to their car.

    • mcflock 4.5

      that video was the biggest load of crap I’ve seen in ages – the only audio of any level was the voice of the guy holding the camera, and it waggled between shoulders, sky and footpath.

      “No police in sight”? There could have been a gaoddamn ELEPHANT in the street and there’s only 50/50 that it would be identifiably in shot.

      • Lanthanide 4.5.1

        The guy sounded like a moron too, and it went on way too long and crossed the line from ‘making a point’ to harassment.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    hey rob

    agree that micKey would have been a better choice.

    whatta mighty mouse our Key proved to be! a chest-pounding tough-talking one.

    they played him and he danced to their looney tunes indeed.

    our shrewd wheeler dealer leader proved simply inept in the negotiations.

    failure to call their bluff and not using time that was on our side sealed the higher price we’ve paid.

    more tellingly, earlier and further upstream in the events, the government failed to keep an eagle eye on how things were unravelling, then tango-ed into the tangle, and now looks for scapegoat to distract and deflect.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The Herald took the piss out of John Key’s ‘relaxed’ meme. Frakkin amazing.

    Re: the death threats, abuse and intimidation. NZ is a much much nastier and red neck place in real life than many people imagine.

  7. Olwyn 7

    @Carol: I can see the sense in singling out the racing industry – there are NZers who are very good at breeding and rearing racehorses. This is an industry that involves specialist skills and attracts overseas buyers, so is well worth nurturing. Furthermore it is real, productive and ongoing.

    @ Jim Nald: while Mickey has the “key” factor, along with the pejorative “mickey mouse outfit,” etc, Mighty has the best and most apt slogan, “Here I come to save the day.”

    Overall: All this union-bashing in a low-wage, high cost country makes no sense.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Racing horses is a productive industry? Seems more like gambling to me and in the end doesn’t produce anything of enduring worth or value for society.

      • Olwyn 7.1.1

        It is not just gambling – non-New Zealanders buy our thoroughbred horses at yearling sales, and our horse breeders are highly regarded in Australia at least, and probably elsewhere.

      • Roflcopter 7.1.2

        Exactly, and when it can bring in $2b+ in overseas revenue, and keep 000’s gainfully employed, then they have a reason to come talking.

    • Jim Nald 7.2

      “Here I come to save the day” – out of Key’s mouth, that is false might.
      Doublespeak, double-tongue assurance.
      At best, cartoonesque.

  8. the tactics employed by the Govt, Jackson, Warners and other associated parties throughout this sorry saga have been both sobering and disgraceful.

    it’s a useful reminder to the left that our opponents are well capable of extreme tactics and willing to do whatever it takes, at any cost, to get their way.

    prepare for a vicious fight in 2011.

    • KJT 8.1

      “Why is everyone so up in arms about a, possibly, 200 mil benefit to NZ going after they happily waved goodbye to billions in employment and manufacturing over the last 30 years”.

      Where was the public outrage, to keep Skellerup, Firestone, Fisher and Paykel, boat building, coastal shipping, rail way and marine engineering, shoe making and all the other industries, as successive Governments did their best to remove employment and productive business from NZ.”

      Parnell could not have taken industrial action for an 8 hour day now, because industrial action of that kind is already illegal in NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This country is falling apart.

        Our high tech industries are worth $4.9B in exports per year and employ 24,000 people yet Cabinet spends a week on this foreign led debacle over a couple of hundred mill.

        • Jim Nald 8.1.1.1

          You raise memory of Yeat’s poem … (I’ll let others here google for it)

          Turning and turning in the widening gyre
          The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.

          (harks back to Chinua Achebe’s book as well)

    • KJT 8.2

      Expecting truth and honesty from politicians is totally naive. Big business are totally unprincipled.

      Labour has now threatened the whole gravy train for the right.

      Expect the same sort of unprincipled, well financed and vicious opposition that every left leaning Government has had.

      We may not be invaded or have a forced Government change like Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia or Chile as we are WASP’s also, but expect every sort of dirty dealing short of that.

  9. Nick C 9

    I’m sure these claims of death threats are about as credible as Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmzSlCY7_s

    [lprent: That is utter bullshit as far as I can see – like so many claims about the unions and unionists that I’ve seen recently.

    Provide a link to something credible (ie a quote from Kelly) where “Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn” or withdraw it or face a ban for a unsubstantiated assertion of fact. ]

    • ianmac 9.1

      Nick. With such a pathetic case to present, you could get a job as fantasist in some obscure backroom. “Nick C Arrested for Drunken/drugged Raving on Blogsite.”
      It was reported that he was dragged away sobbing, “Nobody loves me!”

    • vidiot 9.2

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4261379/We-may-as-well-not-live-in-NZ

      “Actors including Outrageous Fortune star Robyn Malcolm were accosted by film workers riled up over The Hobbit stoush as they left Wellington’s Matterhorn restaurant.

      Malcolm, an Actors’ Equity committee member, was one of several actors dining with Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly and other union members on Wednesday night.

      Technical workers who had taken part in Wednesday’s Save the Hobbit march were also at the restaurant.

      It is understood the technical workers approached Matterhorn staff and asked if they could approach the group and interview them. They were told they could do so outside and were warned against jostling or threatening the group.

      The union delegates left to take part in a TV interview, leaving the actors behind. When they emerged later in the evening, they were surrounded by the angry film workers.

      CTU president Helen Kelly said a message went up on a Facebook page encouraging people to head down to the Matterhorn to “abuse Robyn and throw eggs at her”.

      Ms Kelly said the actors were “hassled and bustled” as they left the restaurant. “

      • Joe Bloggs 9.2.1

        I see the moderators have let your evil observations slide past so let me do the dirty:

        ‘hassled and bustled’ and ‘accosted’ do not equate “attacked”. The words are even spelled differently

        [Charged with Utter Bullshit – guilty as charged – banned for a week for an unsubstantiated assertion of fact that is completely and utterly different to all of the unsubstantiated assertions of fact coming from the Left – take the prisoner down]

        [lprent: I caught this morning… (eventually). Thanks for your attempted assistance. ]

    • Nick C 9.3

      My appologies: It was in fact the technical film workers led by Sir Richard Taylor who she labeled ‘in a lynch mob mood’

      But Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the crowd was “in a lynch-mob mood thanks to Richard Taylor, who has obviously wound them up like springs” and actors had to call the meeting off. “It was too dangerous.”: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4255536/Jackson-hits-back

      She merely claimed that she was abused and needed a police escort outside the matterhorn, as vidiot indicates below.

      Of course, neither of her claims is true.

      [I will assume for now that this satisfies lprent and remove the moderation – of course he might have a contrary view when he gets back to this – but for now good to go. — r0b]

      [lprent: Yep. I don’t mind opinion, but assertions of fact are different. In this case it was conflating two separate incidents together to come up with something completely different to anything that happened. Sounds like Whale bullshit. ]

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Got any proof that neither of her claims were true?

        • Nick C 9.3.1.1

          Proof that Matterhorn police escort claim is not true: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmzSlCY7_s

          Whether or not the film technicians were a lynch mob is subjective, however here is a video of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoqviKGAoJQ , it looks like a regular protest to me.

          Of course, it really should be up to her to prove her claims true than me to prove them false.

          • mcflock 9.3.1.1.1

            again, that clip is proof of nothing, given that most of the time it shows neither Malcolm nor Kelly.

            Heck, by your logic Hinkley never shot Reagan, and it’s doubtful Reagan was shot by anybody: it wasn’t in the footage so it didn’t happen.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1.2

            Well, the first one proves that they were, as a matter of fact, hounded and probably proof of the lynch mob mentality as well. It doesn’t show any police but the focus was so tight it doesn’t actually show anything except the guys face so, no proof either way. I do note that there was some disturbance out of view. You can hear it briefly at one point.

            The second shows the protest march but doesn’t show the bit where they went to stand outside where the “Actors’ Equity members were to discuss their priorities for negotiations”. In other words, it doesn’t show the bit she was actually talking about.

  10. Anne 10

    When you have a govt. (and Prime Minister) who consistently panders to the lowest common denominator, then it isn’t surprising that the sick, the nasty and bigoted members of our society come out of the woodwork. I remember the Muldoon-led govt of the 1970s and the same thing happened. To give the old bastard his due, at least Muldoon didn’t present himself as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ like the present incumbent!

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      Indeed, and it was an insult to many a pig that their poor heads were carried on sticks at various marches protesting the squat gin swilling bully.

  11. Rob M 11

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10683889

    “Sequels to James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar look set to be shot in Wellington, with the acclaimed director in talks with Weta Digital.”

    Coincidence?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Jackson knew that he was going to be making a shed load of new money with Avatar coming in, but wanted to screw the NZ tax payer for another $30M anyways.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        I don’t think the $30M is going to Jackson…

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Might not go into his pocket personally although it will definitely go into his equation for the next round of contract negotiations with the studio, so he’ll get financial acknowledgement from the studio for it one way or another.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Got a lot of time for Chris Trotter. Labour need to be faster on their feet, and more ferocious. The Battle for 2011 is real. We have to take the fight to them!

  12. gobsmacked 13

    Quick heads-up –

    TVNZ One News is running trailers saying they have a story on the death threats, at 6 pm.

    • gobsmacked 13.1

      And no surprise. Turns out abusive e-mails were sent by a couple of Pillars of Society, male and right-wing.

      But they weren’t named and shamed. Got off lightly, thanks to Helen Kelly’s generosity. She’s a lot classier than they are.

  13. BLiP 14

    Wouldn’t be too impressed with the New Zealand Fox News Herald – it waited until “game over” before saying anything. Where are the “Democracy Under Attack” banner headlines and astro-turf swast1ka carrying protesters with this one, eh?

  14. Carol 15

    So the Warners deal brokered by John Key includes an extra subsidy or tax break for actors and other Hobbit workers, if the films are successful:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4288988/Extra-Hobbit-subsidy-will-be-staff-tax-break

    And would that have been part of the deal if there hadn’t been the internationally-supported action by AE? And …. maybe it’s a little early in the morning for me, but….why is the government paying it, not Warners?

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    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    4 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    4 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    4 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    5 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    5 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    5 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    5 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    5 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    5 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    6 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    6 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    6 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    1 week ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago