web analytics

Hobbit producers caught in a lie?

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 pm, October 22nd, 2010 - 132 comments
Categories: employment - Tags: ,

The Herald is reporting that Warner brothers and SAG had settled the Hobbit dispute on Monday (US time):

…a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute from as early as Monday, US time.

That’s two days before Peter Jackson launched a broadside attack on the union.

I figure this means one of two things:

Either the communication between Jackson and Warners is really poor (like communicating by courier pigeon poor).

Or the attack on the union was a straight up act of bad faith.

If it’s the former we have to ask how urgent the situation really is if the big players are taking days to talk to each other but if it’s the latter then we have to ask why the hell was a settled dispute reignited so aggressively by Jackson?

I think it’s the latter but, given the claims that the issue endangering the Hobbit is supposed to be stable industrial relations it seems counter-intuitive that the producers would deliberately destabilise a done deal.

Which leads me to think that the claim this whole new blow-up is about pressuring the government is quite plausible (interestingly Finance Minister Bill English is certainly not discounting this theory).

I also note that, faced with this proof, Jackson claimed that the action wasn’t lifted early enough but that begs the further question of what were Warners doing at the negotiating table and preparing a media statement if it was too late? We’re they doing it just for kicks? I don’t think so.

This isn’t a story that’s going away and I get the feeling that we’ll see a more detail come out over time. I also get the feeling that the actors’ action will turn out to be peripheral to the real story behind this fiasco.

Update: just seen on TVNZ that “Key is taking advice on New Zealand labour laws to see if they can be softened to accommodate the studio. And the government is even looking at whether there is any room to move the tax rebate for film companies from 15% to try to sweeten the deal.”

If it’s workforce instability and not tax breaks that are at issue (as Jackson claims) then the result of this advice will make that clear. My money is on a small temporary change to employment law to save face and a tax break to actually do the business.

Update 2: Fran O’Sullivan is predicting tax breaks will be the answer:

Key will try to pull off a solution. It will inevitably be a commercial one that could result in New Zealand taxpayers giving Warner Bros an even better tax break to keep The Hobbit here.

The actors would get to stay in work and New Zealand would forgo some tax revenue. Not the brightest of results, really. But Key and co can’t afford to keep on giving in to Malcolm and her fairweather friends.

Fran’s generally got the inside running on the Nat’s spin so it looks like they’ll try to pass the tax-breaks off as a solution to the (settled) dispute. I’ll be very interested to see how they try to link the two and whether the media buy it.

132 comments on “Hobbit producers caught in a lie?”

  1. Carol 1

    Well, yesterday, Peter Jackson admitted knowing that the union action was called off, but said it didn’t matter because the union had already done the damage. Today it was reported on Nat Rad in one of their bulletins, that PJ said Warners didn’t say the action was over because they were waiting for SAG to appologise for supporting the boycott. (say what?) So that seems to be an excuse for Warners saying they knew nothing about the boycott being called off, and maybe also for PJ starting scaremongering on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, about the union dispute putting the NZ location for the Hobbit under threat.

    It all just doesn’t add up, and really looks like PJ has been deliberately stirring it up by going public when he did.

    There’s been people online doing their best to bag Helen Kelly. But as far as I can see, she hasn’t tried to lie or distort the truth. She comes across as quite genuine to me. And everything she said has now been proved with the release of the emails. Before that, a load of people were trying to say she is the liar. She could have handled some things better, but she seems to have been doing her best to help resolve the dispute.

  2. KJT 2

    Betcha this does not make the news.

  3. Cnr Joe 3

    truth will out Irish,
    loving the worlds of conjecture in the mean whilst

    captcha – establishes

  4. wasi 4

    looking for this on kiwiblog…nothing yet…

  5. wtl 5

    More detail to come out? The next play is already in progress: ‘the damage has already been done’ meaning that the union was to blame as soon as they announced the boycott, regardless of what happened next. If PJ and WB manage the shift the media onto that point, the argument will move on and the truth will never come out – which would seem to be the plan at this stage.

    • Cnr Joe 5.1

      nice

    • IrishBill 5.2

      There’s too much interest in the story for the lies to be sustainable. But I figure that by the middle of next week the deal for tax breaks will be done, the film will be staying here (although film is an international product so I’m sure some of the work will be done elsewhere, even if it’s just the PR) and everyone will be wondering what the fuss was all about. The sad thing is the union will have made bugger all gains.

      But they didn’t go into this with a decent strategy and they didn’t talk to the CTU until it was too late to save so I guess that’s a lesson learned.

      A crying shame if you ask me, if anyone in this country needs an effective union it’s film workers. As we’ve seen in the last few days they’re up against a well organised and brutal bunch of employers who don’t seem to feel bound by good faith.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        I think WB are used to dealing with the unions and guilds in the US, and were clearly no match for little old AE-NZ.

      • jacinda 5.2.2

        And if there are no additional tax breaks (as is 99% likely) are you willing to admit you were completely wrong on almost every detail?

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.2.1

          Well if there are tax breaks and other Government concessions, are you willing to admit that you were completely wrong on almost every other detail?

  6. bobo 6

    The movie Studio & Jackson will keep moving the goalposts what ever comes to light.

  7. Jim MacDonald 7

    Might the Kiwi Hobbits have been set up for a beat-up ?

  8. jaymam 8

    The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union seem to have no idea what they are talking about, and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies.
    The people to blame are those who threatened a boycott. They should never again be in a position of power.
    The thousands of actors in NZ should create a new union and vote for some sensible people to be in charge of it.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union seem to have no idea what they are talking about,

      Everything Helen Kelly has said has turned out to be true. Jackson can’t say the same.

      and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies.

      The same reason an american production company is calling the shots? Film is an international product made by international companies. Why should unions act internationally too?

      The people to blame are those who threatened a boycott. They should never again be in a position of power.

      So the people who blew up the situation even though the boycott was off aren’t to blame at all? In a funny way the boycott was kept in place by the producers for the last half of last week.

      The thousands of actors in NZ should create a new union and vote for some sensible people to be in charge of it.

      Bloody good idea. I’ll never argue against having more union members. I’d be keen to see if they’ll get a better reaction from Jackson.

      • wasi 8.1.1

        “and why is an Australian union involved at all? The Aussies are jealous as hell about NZ’s success in movie making, and will do what they can derail future NZ movies”

        they could be acting as proxies for the yanks…whip across the ditch…crank it up and then keep your head down…the aussies stuff us and uncle sam gets what he wants…which is…all our money and the subsequent destruction of little ol` NZ`s film industry…

    • Carol 8.2

      The NZ union has been too small to be effective. They weren’t getting very far in drawing up basic job standards. It was part of the NZ distribution union (or sommat like that) for a while, but the others in that union didn’t really understand the actors’ issues. Then they asked to be affiliated to the Aussie MEA. So NZ AE is an independent branch of MEA, though I guess they get to share resources. The AE doesn’t have fulltime officials, so the head of MEA helps them out. No conspiracy, just a practical solution to being a small industry.

    • NickS 8.3

      The bunch of women in charge of the NZ union…

      The misogyny is strong with this one.

      And before you get a chance to shout ZOMG! UR bEing 2 PC!!11111!!!!11!, the problem with that opener is simply that if it was guys in charge you wouldn’t even bother mentioning they were guys, combine that with the rest of your post, and it’s easy to see you’re placing the blame firmly on them just because they’re women.

      Which is very much a definition of misogyny.

      (cue mansplaining in 5, 4, 3…)

      And this on top of your blatantly moronic failure to actually read, because otherwise you would have noticed that the work conditions and pay issues have effectively already been sorted before Jackson’s pathetic outbursts, per the dropping of SAG’s blockade on the film. Which coupled with the higher corporate welfare payments being offered by other countries, is not a problematic inference to assume that Jackson’s recent outburst and the studio’s statements are aimed at hiding getting better welfare payments out of the NZ government, while providing a handy distraction and a scape goat.

      But hey, given the state of even uni-grads abilities to critically think, your stupidity is completely expected.

      • QoT 8.3.1

        I love this comment and wish to be joined with it in an egalitarian non-heteronormative ceremony bestowing tax benefits and legal recognition.

        • NickS 8.3.1.1

          lawl, alas however, the law is yet to reach such a halcyon state of recognising the rights of a human to join with a blog comment 🙁

          It also would have been snarkier, but 40mg of Citalopram a day make Nick a much nicer person*. At least at the start…

          *and much less depressed!

          [Edit]
          Gah, just noticed errors in that post. Oh for longer editing time windows.

  9. wasi 9

    has anyone had a really close look at peter jacksons movies?

    take king kong for instance…bad acting (jack black for gods sake)…poor production values and crappy CGI effects…all obviously done on the cheap…so where`s all the money going?

    Bones bombed and lost big at the box office…how many millions of NZ taxpayer funds went into that lemon?

    same goes for the Rings movies…i`ve heard many complaints from punters about the tacky special effects and threadbare production values…but hey, its made in little old NZ…so its gotta be good for you…and the flow of NZ tax dollars via peter jackson to overseas corporate Warner brothers can`t be bad can it?

    • Nick K 9.1

      Yes, they’re total crap.

      Fortunately he’s never received any Oscars for any of them.

      Oh hang on…………..

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        So you’re saying they’re at least as good as “Dances with Wolves” or “Forrest Gump”?

      • wasi 9.1.2

        who knows why peter jacksons movies got so many oscars?

        perhaps the main beneficiaries of NZ taxpayer generosity at warner brothers and new line cinemas know the answer to that question….

        • Carol 9.1.2.1

          Weta is more the reason for the Oscars, than the rest of the content of the movies. Weta is the real hero here, PJ only in as much as he enables it to flourish.

          • jacinda 9.1.2.1.1

            Absolute pap sorry. He is responsible for organising the whole shebang. In fact he achieved something never done before in history, simultaneously shooting a trilogy, and releasing all 3 films within 2 years.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about if you claim he is not responsible for the success of them.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Peter Jackson is extremely capable and talented, yes. Principled and forthright in the way he deals with ordinary workers? No.

            • M.A.B. 9.1.2.1.1.2

              Jacinda, I’m on your side, but come on. Weta has more than a bit to do with PJ’s success! Peter Jackson’s accomplished incredible things, but it’s important to acknowledge that there’s an entire extended family of highly talented and motivated creatives who came up with him, and his success is THEIR success as well.

              That’s kind of the whole point being made down here right now in NZ. We’re a community, we’re all in this together, and we want it stay that way.

    • QoT 9.2

      Oh God wasi do no start me on King Kong. I want those three hours of my life back.

  10. bobo 10

    I think Peter Jackson’s super computer is pulling the strings here. First its anti-unions next anti-people.. mark my words..

    Supercomputer for hire
    http://www.ngi-nz.co.nz/news/nz/nr1094780978.html

  11. Tammy Gordon 11

    Certainly the union communication hasn’t done their cause any great favours; they’ve been hard put to spell out clearly exactly what the issues are and that’s made it harder for other people to come to their defense.

    And yes the email trail looks vindicating for Helen and Actors Equity, it’s a pity they waited a whole news cycle to release them. Dry facts are exactly what’s needed in such a highly charged dispute.

    Some people wondered at the timing of Richard Taylor’s ‘impromptu’ march to Parliament on Wednesday, just hours after 4000 union members held a fairness at work rally there and on the same day as around 20,000 union workers turned out around the country. Was it a coincidence? I shouldn’t think so but I also don’t think that’s worth getting worked up about. It’s called campaigning – they do it, we do it. Let’s not ascribe evil intent to basic organising. The fact is the unions have taken a whooping over this and it looks like HK and Actors Equity were seriously outplayed by some very serious players.

    With any luck though the frenzy has peaked and now we all wait to see what the Warners’ meetings generate. The only sure bet is that John Key gets a win no matter what.

    • Roflcopter 11.1

      “With any luck though the frenzy has peaked and now we all wait to see what the Warners’ meetings generate.”

      Well, with Irishbill now heading into conspiracy theory la-la land, he’s making damn sure it stays as current as possible! Not a peep out of the Labour Party… why not? They’re in it up to their necks and they know it.

      Go IB!!! Thousands of union members about to lose their jobs because of you and your mates’ greed… solidarity for the win!

      • IrishBill 11.1.1

        It’s pretty clear the deal was done last week. Warners were happy enough with it to prepare a joint release on Monday/Tuesday of this week. The threat to leave was made at the end of this week. Well after the dispute was settled. Could you please explain to me how the union is to blame because unless it involves some kind of time-travel it doesn’t seem possible.

        • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1

          Because some of your brothers-in-arms unions overseas had still not removed the “do not sign” flags even as late as this morning.

          The decision by Warners to come over was announced to the media yesterday, the actual decision to come over probably sooner, based on your union brothers not removing notices in a timely manner.

          You continually go on about PJ not bargaining on good-faith. Explain good-faith on behalf of the union, who’s very first action was to blacklist and then demand terms and conditions.

          • IrishBill 11.1.1.1.1

            What? From their websites? I’m sure they also had some fliers lying around their offices too. The deal was struck last week. That’s the point of contract and Warners (and quite likely Jackson) knew that.

            If you sign an unconditional contract to buy a business it’s legally binding from the moment it’s signed. If it takes you a few days to transfer the cash and take the business over you wouldn’t expect the seller to start abusing you in public for not having bought the business.

            I would have thought a rightie would understand the good faith that underpins the contracts that, in turn, underpin our capitalist society.

            • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Explain good-faith on behalf of the union, who’s very first action was to blacklist and then demand terms and conditions.

              • IrishBill

                That’s business. I’ve seen enough companies using brute leverage over workers and other businesses to know that. I don’t think it was the right way to go about it but I also know from personal experience (on both sides of the table) that it’s not outside the norm in the business world.

                • Roflcopter

                  Oh I see, it’s OK when unions do it.

                  • IrishBill

                    No it’s business. In any business deal you play your game at the table as hard and as smart as you can but once the ink is on the paper it’s over. Getting the deal done and then running an attack campaign is just bad faith. And bloody unprofessional, especially if you’re claiming you want a stable business environment.

                • jacinda

                  Whoops – snap!

      • bbfloyd 11.1.2

        Rolf…do yourself a favor, and take your thumb out of there.. it’s starting to freak the neighbours out.

    • Carol 11.2

      I don’t know. There are some pluses here. Helen kelly has become a bit of a household name. In spite of her missteps, she has been shown so far, to be telling the truth, while Warners & Team Jackson have distorted, stirred and prevarricated. It hasn’t been taken on board by many. But I see some of PJ’s tinsel has warn off. Some are seeing him now as having over-egged the situation.

      And the actors now will probably go on to get a properly organised union, and maybe a better deal. Brownlee has made some suggestions of law changes, that have many people scratching their heads. And many lefties and unionists generally have become more resolute.

      John Key continues to show he has nothing much to offer as PM, except photo ops with celebrities, whatever way he manages to manufacture them into existence.

    • IrishBill 11.3

      I’m not sure Key will get a clear win from this. It’s looking increasingly clear that either the Hobbit will go and he’ll have to try to blame the union (which is looking like a thinner and thinner ploy) or the Hobbit will stay at the cost of grater tax breaks (which I don’t disagree with giving out but many voters will see as a bit sus).

      • Roflcopter 11.3.1

        Have you been advised by higher up to soften your stance? The Labour Party has been very quiet, are they issuing instructions?

        [lprent: Of all the authors here I think that Irish would be the least likely to obey anyone from the Labour hierarchy. He is pretty well known for his rather ummmmm unsympathetic stance to my favorite political party, his rather public advice to them about how disappointed he is in them, and above all for his advice to them about how to suck eggs correctly.

        But in any case suggest it again and you’ll rediscover how vindictive and nasty (by policy) I get when I ban people for attacking authors independence. ]

        • Carol 11.3.1.1

          The Labour Party don’t usually intervene in specific industrial disputes, or take sides. National is being a bit sus by doing that. It certainly breaks with protocol. Also, Nat & Key are clearly intervening to get themselves some kudos – or else why do it so publicly? Such things are often best arbitrated away from the public eye.

          So the REAL question to ask here is, why have Key et al chosen to break with protocol and, not only intervene, but more crucially, taken sides? And why do it so publicly?

          • Roflcopter 11.3.1.1.1

            So the REAL question to ask here is, why have Key et al chosen to break with protocol and, not only intervene, but more crucially, taken sides? And why do it so publicly

            $2.8b/year worth of reasons Carol, and the livelihood of 1000’s of unionised workers set to lose their jobs because of the actions of one of their own. For a government to do anything less would be remiss.

            [lprent: Looks like I’ll have to tone down the css on the cite tag. Too noisy.. ]

          • KJT 11.3.1.1.2

            They have also brought out the Muldoon era Union bashing phase book.

            That was the last time I saw politicians getting directly into private sector disputes.

            • Roflcopter 11.3.1.1.2.1

              Good, there’s some unions that need a good bashing around the ears at the moment…. 1,000’s of their members at risk of losing their jobs because of their actions.

              • KJT

                Step back and read what is coming to light Rof. It was a jack-up. The dispute was settled by the CTU and Warners 2 days before the beat up. Either bad communication between PJ and Warners or extremely bad faith.

                Now watch NACT give them another 20 million for helping them with bashing people who just wanted to discuss their terms of employment.

                • Roflcopter

                  $20 million huh?

                  Let’s conservatively spread that across 2,000 workers who have their jobs saved for the next 3 years. A better investment than the dole.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    $20 million huh?

                    Let’s conservatively spread that across 2,000 workers who

                    Are you slow on the uptake?

                    That’s exactly the point. Jackson and the US corporates aren’t spreading the wealth across anybody

                    That’s why they decided to frak the union over a few hundred grand worth of minimum terms and conditions, make them the PR scapegoats, even as they reached for the $20-30M Government payout.

                    And as I said: none of those tax breaks are going to anyone except Jackson, his inner circle, and Warner. The rich get richer and the workers get frakked.

      • Tammy Gordon 11.3.2

        yeah it’s not often you get to do Pollyanna. I hope you’re right. I guess it’ll depend on whether the MSM has got the balls to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  12. the sprout 12

    I don’t think the question mark on the headline is necessary 😉
    Jackson and Warner Bros.’ dishonesty is unravelling nicely.

  13. I hate to sound cynical but it is clear what happened, Warners thought they would have a go at the Trade Unions and Jackson bet it up as much as he could.

    They told porkies and the left told the truth.

    And now Warners will meet with Key and demand further tax breaks to cover the “risk” that these terrible militant unions like Actors Equity pose and Key will agree and become the saviour of the Hobbit.

    And there will be the heated exchange of views from RWNJs and the left and the RWNJs will hope that by being heated enough they will win the debate no matter what the truth is.

    And the swinging voters will think that the awful left Labour Trade Unionists almost cost us Hobbitsville.

    AND the good news from the Labour Conference and the Industrial day of action has been decimated.

    Am I being cynical?

    • IrishBill 13.1

      It’s up to the union to make sure the truth comes out. That’s a hard job but they’ll have to do it.

      • Roflcopter 13.1.1

        Well with Robyn Malcolm saying “there was no boycott”, and then getting called out to explain why all the unions had been advised to “lift the boycott” if there wasn’t one, the union has lost any semblance of integrity it had…. she totally floundered for the country to see, and revealed the union’s true duplicitous nature.

        • IrishBill 13.1.1.1

          I think she revealed she’s an actor, not an industrial relations expert. That’s the reason they’ve been played so well by the producers (or rather the producers’ consultants, there’s no way this has been done by amateurs).

          • Roflcopter 13.1.1.1.1

            I suggest you go and watch the Close-Up interview, she specifically states it was she and others who have done all this.

            Why is she protecting Simon Whipp?

            • IrishBill 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Um because he’s not driving this,

              • Roflcopter

                hehehe, so he’s like a hit-and-run driver…. with the same results… doesn’t give a toss about the consequences.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sheeesh is this amateur hour with the unions, can they please do a proper post mortem once this is all settled and get their comms programme sorted out before the next big stoush.

                Lots of media training and no more ad lib in front of the cameras, OK?

        • jaymam 13.1.1.2

          “Well with Robyn Malcolm saying “there was no boycott”, and then getting called out to explain why all the unions had been advised to “lift the boycott” ”
          Basically that’s the most important point. Robyn Malcolm is a liar and the others in both unions are all incompetent. I want to see proof that ALL members in the NZ union were polled as to what the union should do. And the Australian union can go away forever.
          I do believe in unions, but they have to be run properly.

          • IrishBill 13.1.1.2.1

            To be fair to them they still managed to get a deal of sorts by the end of last week. And even the best unions would have been taken off guard by the post-settlement attack Jackson ran.

    • pollywog 13.2

      here’s my pick…

      By the time warner bros get here, the kerfuffle will be over, the films will have been unequivocally decided to be shot here in NZ and everyone will see through the charade of ‘smile and wave’ pretending to have saved the day.

      Bill English wont be bringing out the cheque book to write off more tax for warners cos it’ll cost wayyy to much to move production of shore by now and there’ll be no need to bribe them.

      If anything the whole project will get canned before it ever gets shot anywhere else and the producers will write off the loss.

      Kingdom come, kingdom go…

    • jacinda 13.3

      For once your predicted outcomes are true Micky, well done! Its just the reasoning behind it is completely wrong from where I stand 🙂

      I want to know, when Warners start filming here, and no further tax cuts have been given, will you admit that you were completely wrong, or be a bad sport?

  14. wasi 14

    this is the nub of the matter…

    “a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute from as early as Monday, US time.

    Yet this morning, New Line Cinema said in a statement that reports the boycott of The Hobbit was lifted by unions a number of days ago and that Warner Bros asked to delay this announcement were false.”

    …the fact is helen kelly was telling the truth…peter jackson`s american backers Warner Brothers and New Line Cinemas have been caught red handed telling porkies…how can we believe anything that they say now?

  15. tea 16

    Where is the mainstream reporting on this?

    Peter Jackson- fuck you. We took the risks for LOTR with our tax base. Now we get this shit.

  16. tea 17

    And the government is even looking at whether there is any room to move the tax rebate for film companies from 15% to try to sweeten the deal.”

    This shit cracks me up Irish- fuck this is complete class and generation warfare. Really is. THe noose around the neck shit and this. Fukn unbelievable.

    Does someone want to drop Russell Brown this line? I’m confused, he makes it sound as if the unions have fucked it up.

    • IrishBill 17.1

      AE fucked up the game but they’re not in the wrong. Russell has decided that because they didn’t play their game well they don’t deserve his support. That might be a legit position to take in football but it’s pretty cold when it’s a few actors versus a powerful and well resourced employer.

      • Roflcopter 17.1.1

        It was engineered and delivered by Simon Whipp. The same guy who decimated the Australian film and advertising industry. It’s a shame your unions allowed him to potentially be responsible for the 1,000’s of unionised NZ workers losing their jobs.

        The unions have failed the NZ working class and NZ as a whole, the Labour Party know this and that’s why they aren’t saying anything.

        It will all come and haunt you next year, and UNITE will be there to keep it fresh in our memories.

        • IrishBill 17.1.1.1

          Whatever.

        • NickS 17.1.1.2

          I guess all those safe work-places and raises in the minimum wage, let alone the idea of paid breaks, sick leave and ye olde 40hr working week sprung entirely from teh bosses and the business owners…

          Ignoring all that history jazz of course, especially recent history.

          Because otherwise it would clear that unions have played key roles in workers rights and other issues. Despite the odd fuckup.

          • IrishBill 17.1.1.2.1

            I think rofl should make sure he goes to work this Monday as a protest against all that union stuff.

        • The Voice of Reason 17.1.1.3

          Where are these thousands of unionised jobs, Rofl?

          • Roflcopter 17.1.1.3.1

            Shall I start at the film workers themselves, then move through all the outside businesses that feed into the film industry, and then the ones that supply the suppliers? How big a can of worms you want opened?

            • The Voice of Reason 17.1.1.3.1.1

              Off you go then. Where exactly are these thousands of unionised jobs?

              • Joe Bloggs

                I don’t know about the thousands of unionised jobs but here’s the voice of one of the workers who the MEAA/AE should have conasidered when they called for a global boycott as their opening gambit to good faith bargaining:

                Among the Wellington marchers was production co-ordinator Danielle Prestige, who said keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand was pivotal to the future of its film industry.

                “We’ve just had two years of recession where a lot of colleagues have lost their jobs or had jobs at risk, films have fallen over. Everyone’s on the edge.

                “[The Hobbit] is pivotal. It’s the one film that will revitalise it to the point it was like with Avatar and give people the longevity of work. That’s why we decided to march. We don’t want our livelihoods threatened.”

                As for whether the boycott was lifted on day 20 or day 21, or who told what to whom: that’s a nice sideshow for the LWNJ conspiracy theorists but it’s just that – a sideshow.

                The damage was done when the MEAA/AE called for a global boycott as their opening gambit to good faith bargaining. IB describes this as doing the business. I describe it as fucking the industry – that boycott lit up this whole fiasco and for the unions to say that the threat has been withdrawn and everything’s cool is breathtakingly naive and completely disingenuous. When will the unions learn that you can’t undo an act of vandalism.

                The unions have so overplayed their hands that they’ve effectively labelled themselves as fools and fuckwits of the first degree.

                Incidentally we are still waiting for Simon Whipp to front up to the public and to the rest of the industry. Instead we get every man and his dog speaking on Whipp’s behalf, from Hater and Wrecker Kelly through to Outrageous Malcolm.

                • IrishBill

                  Funny thing is we only heard from Jackson on Thursday and we’ve not heard from anyone from Warners at all. I take it you’re just as upset about them not fronting?

      • Carol 17.1.2

        RB also seems to have bought into the line about the nasty Aussie union pulling the strings – at least, that’s what I got from hearing him on Nat Rad Panel this arvo

        • Roflcopter 17.1.2.1

          The Aussie union were the first cab off the rank in all of this. They right royally screwed it by blacklisting, then trying to force terms and conditions in a manner illegal in this country.

          If Warners are behind this, then Simon Whipp must be a plant by them… well he is a plant, the vegetable type.

          • The Voice of Reason 17.1.2.1.1

            Except it’s not illegal. Other than that, you’re doing fine. Carry on …

            • Roflcopter 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Collective bargaining for a group of contractors is illegal. Attorney General’s ruling trumps your imagination any day of the week.

              • Colonial Viper

                Technicality with plenty of ways around it.

                And thats ignoring the fact that a lot of those contractors should actually be *employees* because they are expected to perform as such.

                Which by the way happens to be one of the basic issues Equity and the unions want to address.

              • IrishBill

                Nope. There are plenty of legal workarounds including the legal fiction of having the union act as an independent third party provider. That’s the thing with contract law, it’s very very flexible (unless you ask a narrow interpretive question like the AG did). Otherwise most courier, taxi and franchise agreements would be illegal. In fact if you had a look at most of the contracts Jackson’s company had with its workers I suspect you’d find they were eerily similar.

                But as tvor says, carry on, it’s certainly entertaining.

              • The Voice of Reason

                It’s not my imagination, it’s a fact of everyday life. Tens of thousands of independent contractors have contracts that are, in a legally enforceable sense, identical to those of their colleagues. Cabbies, couriers, etc etc. They can be, and often are, collectively negotiated.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why is it that these supposed Right Wingnuts are so bad at employment and contract law? And SME development? And macroeconomics? And…

  17. bbfloyd 18

    my feeling is that NZ’ers should boycott the movie when it comes out here…. i don’t say this lightly, as i was really looking forward to seeing on film, a book that captivated my ten year old imagination as no other book did until the lord of the rings a year later, and papillon a year after that.. the papillon movie was shite compared to the book, but the lord of the rings trilogy was great.

    i couldn’t enjoy it though, knowing that pj had allowed the movie to become part of a nasty little political game designed to do no more than perpetrate the abuse of democracy that we are undergoing now… thanks peter, for sullying precious childhood memories for me… you can bugger off, and never come back as far as i’m concerned…

  18. ianmac 19

    Have you all considered that even in the Age of Rapid Communication there is just a mess of mis-communication? What Jackson said was so true. So was Robin Malcolm. So was Kelly. So was Warners. So was the Media and so on. The possibility that the right people were not hearing the right message at the right time has lead to conspiracy theories, the blame-game, mis-information, and opportunism from politicians.

    But what everyone seems to want is the Hobbit to be produced in NZ. Have the heavily biased opinions expressed here helping or hindering?

  19. Heres hoping the Hobbit wont move offshore, its going to be a huge project.

  20. wasi 21

    hellen kelly has done well against enormous pressure from the yanks and NZ`s govt and socially conservative rednecks and so-called mainstreamers…who don`t think that a woman should be doing politics any way….and she has been vindicated by the emergence of these latest emails…she is a credit to her name….she just needs to relax and hold the line….meanwhile our erstwhile PM john key is doing deals and offering bigger taxbreaks to peter jacksons barefaced liars and financial backers..this will come back to bite him in the arse. Rumour has it that peter jackson owes bigtime for the “Bones” fiasco…he looked a bit sweaty and desperate on the TV to me.

  21. Key is taking advice on New Zealand labour laws to see if they can be softened to accommodate the studio.

    Isn’t that what the actors want? A change in the laws forbidding them from collectivising while independent contractors?

    • IrishBill 22.1

      To be fair giving single employee contractors access to the ERA on the same terms as employees have would create a stable workforce. I wouldn’t be laying money on ipredict that that’s gonna be the outcome though.

      • Nick K 22.1.1

        To be fair giving single employee contractors access to the ERA on the same terms as employees…

        What’s an employee contractor?

        • IrishBill 22.1.1.1

          Hmm, perhaps I should have added a hyphen. “Single-employee contractor” as in a contractor who has just one employee (ie the contractor themselves). Otherwise you’d end up making real contractors with their own staff defacto employees.

  22. Adrian 23

    AUD= USD stuffed the Aussie industry same as NZD.75=USD does here. The funniest thing was Jackson saying “Warners have been honourable in this”. Another first for PJ, the first time in history the words “honourable” and a Hollywood studio have ever been used in the same sentence. Studio execs are the worlds greatest arseholes, when those bastards go surfing the fucking sharks get out of the water.

  23. Francisco Hernandez 24

    To be honest – this is far too late. The PR damage has been done.

    • IrishBill 24.1

      Yeah but what can you do? Jackson blindsided the union after the deal was done and the only option they have now is to fight back. Frankly I think he’s made a mistake by trying to back Helen Kelly into a corner like this as it’s a tactic you only use when you know you can completely break your opponent and the union movement has been around too long to be broken by a little film dispute – they’ll be pushing their side of this story for as long as it takes. The left can bear grudges in geological time-frames.

      There’s also about five days left in this story as headline news which is a lot of time for the story to turn. A week is a long time in politics but it can be an eternity in industrial relations.

      • Joe Bloggs 24.1.1

        The left can bear grudges in geological time-frames.

        at last! Someone on the left speaks with integrity – praise the Lord!

  24. Colonial Viper 25

    I really really wish the union would come forward with simple clear details of what they were seeking from Jackson for their members.

    One of the problem the PR has worked against them is that no one could understand in concrete terms what the union was actually asking for.

    It was therefore very easy to make the union look like they were causing a fight for frak-all of importance.

    Jeeez i hope Equity is getting some real clarity on this, and getting some good advice locally and internationally.

  25. Irascible 26

    Watch out for the crosby-textor spin that Key is the great negotiator, the svengali of brokering a deal with the saviours of the NZ economy – \”Wingnut-Warners\” and thus demonstrating that he, single-handedly, can undo the damage done by the evil, vicious, self interested communistic Unions. This spin will allow NACT the excuse to introduce legislation to attack the Unions that are now showing the public the true nature of the NACT legislative programme and how bad the Key – Dipton management of the economy is.

  26. James 27

    So wait, now you’re all FINALLY seeing this was a massive screw up that’s actually f***ed up Unions and given the Right a public mandate to screw us all royally? Are we all going to go to now go buy Russell Brown buy him a drink for making that exact same goddamn point right from the start, and every fricking step along the way?

    Or is he still an enemy of the people for daring to question whether AE was actually acting competently or not?

    I’m guessing probably still the later…

    • wtl 27.1

      I’m not sure I’m reading the same set of comments as you, because I’m not sure they can be seen to be supporting RB’s view. Most posters have always openly accepted that the union could have handled things better but the other side was acting and continues to act in bad faith. If you think that means the blame lies solely with the union, good for you.

    • Colonial Viper 27.2

      You did say that you were a very serious Lefty, correct? One which regularly sides with the big money corporates?

      Yes the unions got played by Jackson, Warner, and their millionaire PR boys. Yes the unions could have handled the situation differently and not assumed good faith on the part of the employers. Yes Equity is a new and amateur organisation who got totally run around by the big boys.

      But the bottom line remains: the corporates were flat out refusing to deal with workers getting organised around *minimum terms and conditions* and they are using the workers as leverage to get more tax payer handouts.

      And not only that, don’t forget that Jackson and co. are blatantly blackmailing the entire country to get those handouts.

    • pollywog 27.3

      Russell’s all about the free drinks.

    • KJT 27.4

      So are you going to tell unions they should no longer ask for a better deal for their members. Because what we have seen in the last few days will be standard RW OP whenever a union asks for anything between now and the election.

      They are already demonising the teachers and health workers for asking for an adequate wage which goes a little further towards paying them properly for their contribution to NZ.

  27. ak 28

    Headlines we’re liable to see:

    ODDSPOT: ANTIPODEAN ANGST OVER KIWI KIDDIE FANTASY FLIX

    Thanks, sir NACTson, laughing stock again.

  28. ak 29

    (and hats off to you, sir Irish Bill, for your relentless defence of the facts – as someone once said, Truth will out. And it always does. Kia kaha son, you’re an inspiration)

    • comedy 29.1

      comedy gold

      • RedLogix 29.1.1

        A tiny union of your fellow New Zealanders is monstered by one of the biggest US studios with immensely greater clout and resource… and comedy here has been consistently barracking for the big ugly thugs.

        One of the most common features of bullying is the mob of sociopaths who’ll join in and ‘mob’ the victim when they feel it’s safe to do so.

        In a mobbing situation, the ringleader incites supporters, cohorts, copycats and unenlightened, inexperienced, immature or emotionally needy individuals with poor values to engage in adversarial interaction with the selected target.

        http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/mobbing.htm

        • comedy 29.1.1.1

          “In a mobbing situation, the ringleader incites supporters, cohorts, copycats and unenlightened, inexperienced, immature or emotionally needy individuals with poor values to engage in adversarial interaction with the selected target.”

          Straight out of the union manual wot.

          If you want sociopaths best you look at this blog and those from the right and look at those that go with the mob.

          The tiny union is so tiny it’s australian and appears to be made up of well paid luurvies such as dear jenni and robyn who are prepared to take a dump on their fellow workers who are just trying to put bread on the table. Reality is those with the cash can spend it in NZ or not and this stupid fucks have made it a shite load easier for them to take it offshore and/or secure better tax breaks.

          now fuckoff and look after your multiple properties you chardonnay swilling fuckhole

  29. Blue Boy 30

    Peter Jackson = Knighthood
    Unions = Evil

  30. Anthony C 31

    I’m still trying to find an actual timeline for this, did Peter Jackson start his media campaign against the NZEA before or after the Boycott/Do not sign memo?

    • IrishBill 31.1

      After. As I understand it the deal was done late last week, the memo and release were being worked on with Jackson’s input on Sunday/Monday (US time) and Jackson launched his media campaign on Thursday (Wednesday US time).

    • Lazy Susan 31.2

      It was after, and that timeline tells you more about what’s behind this than all the other stuff which is just distracting noise.

      (i)Agreement had been reached to lift the boycott last Monday. This has been confirmed by a series of emails between Warners and the Screen Actors Guild that have been shown to the NZPA.

      (ii) Warners requested that the announcement of the boycott be delayed to “sort out the wording of the press release”.

      (iii) 2 days later (Wednesday) a protest march by technicians condemning Actors Equity is organised in Wellington and led by Peter Taylor – manager of Weta Worshop (Jackson’s post effects/post production company)

      (iv) The following morning (Thursday) Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films go public condemning Actors Equiy and threatening that the production will move overseas. Warners execs are “on the way to make arrangements to move the production”

      (v)4 days later (Friday) Key, Brownlee and English make noises about relaxing employment law, tax breaks and meeting the Warners execs when they arrive next week.

      So by the Friday Actors Equity and Helen Kelly had been demonised and the NZ governement were talking about more favourable conditions for Warners.

      It beggars belief that Jackson and Wingnut were not aware at the beginning of the week that the boycott had been lifted. The question remains why, having been quiet for so long, did Jackson decide this was the time to go public and why did Warners need to delay the press release?

  31. James 32

    It’s lifted when the announcement happens. If AE and SAG held off the announcement it’s their own stupid faults. What, you have to get frigging PERMISSION from the studios before you make your announcement? That’s ridiculous.

    The top question by the way, is not asking what you answered. To answer: the boycott was initiated a long time before Peter Jackson went public with it. I’m not sure whether the SAG botcott was made public first or PJ went public first from SAG. The first accounts I’ve seen were in Variety and came out about the same time as PJ’s statement. Really hard to tell because of the time differences with the states. Should be easy enough to research though. Quite how long, AE expected the boycott of the Hobbit to remain out of the press is anyone’s guess. It would obviously be somewhat naive to think that it wouldn’t.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      It’s lifted when the announcement happens.

      Not necessarily. When an All Black gets dropped and replaced by someone else has the decision already been taken internally and in effect internally? Or is it only effective from when Henry gets in front of the cameras to announce it on the 6pm news? I would argue that the effective date of the action can have nothing to do with the timing of the press event.

      Obviously a global boycott is not going to remain outside of the entertainment press long. Yes it is a public signal and unavoidable if that step has to be taken.

      However that is still quite different from making public statements designed to sway the court of public opinion and trying to frame negotiating points and assertions in the press.

      • James 32.1.1

        “I would argue that the effective date of the action can have nothing to do with the timing of the press event.”

        I’m not talking about a press event, I’m talking about SAG actually, physically taking down their stop work order. That is: actually telling their members it was alright to work on the Hobbit now. That hadn’t happened until after the crew march. The union promising to isn’t the same as actually doing it, I’m sorry. If they got held up because the studio wanted to change the wording… well… again, since when do the SAG take orders from the studio about how they phrase their stop work orders?

        “However that is still quite different from making public statements designed to sway the court of public opinion and trying to frame negotiating points and assertions in the press.”

        There’s nothing wrong with that though. Problem is AE just did a really terrible job. PJ didn’t do an especially great job either.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    13 hours ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    19 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    22 hours ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    24 hours ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 day ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    2 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    20 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago