John Key Selling (out) New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, November 11th, 2012 - 56 comments
Categories: business, culture, democracy under attack, Environment, Minister for Overseas Holidays, tourism, workers' rights - Tags:

In the latest installment of saga of John Key selling out NZ to Hollywood, we can see just how low our PM is prepared to go. He’s undermined New Zealand workers’ rights in order to sell NZ’s identity and tourist industry to Warners, the TPP and beyond.  John Key has no shame: he is strongly aligning his role as NZ minister of tourism, with this ill-fated Hobbit saga. This seems to be promoting John Key’s reputation with the US corporates and government over the best interests of NZ.

Today, a Stuff article shows exactly how much John Key has sold NZ to Warners.

Tourism NZ sought approval from Warner Bros for every aspect of its $10 million “Middle-earth” marketing campaign – even checking with the film studio over issues that did not directly concern it, official papers show.

The documents, released under the Official Information Act, reveal the extent of the company’s sway over the government agency’s “100% Pure Middle-earth” marketing strategy, as well as the influence of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films.

In an earlier post I showed how the Hobbit actors union dispute resulted in NZ workers’ rights being undermined.  As I quoted in that post, Nigel Haworth (2011) made this excellent summing up the outcomes of the dispute.

Thus, analytically, the New Zealand state simultaneously conceded, financially and legislatively, to the global film sector whilst taking the opportunity to further its ER liberalisation and attack the domestic trade union movement.

In a later post, I argued that the massive promotion of the Hobbit involved piggy-backing the branding of New Zealand as 100% Middle-earth on the earlier branding as 100% Pure, all to please Hollywood.  Statistical evidence shows this is not the best way to promote NZ as a tourist destination.  The focus on attracting US tourists is misplaced, and only shows how much John Key is in awe of, and a lackey for US corporates, especially the razzle-dazzle of the Hollywood industry.

Others agree that this extensive selling out of NZ, is not likely to provide the benefits promised.  In an op ed piece in Stuff today, Tony Wall asks, Isn’t it time we kicked the Hobbit?

Tourism NZ is relying on hobbits to boost a flagging industry, promising that the coming Peter Jackson films will be bigger than the Rugby World Cup. But some experts warn it’s a risky strategy and not a true reflection of who we are.

It’s not enough that Key’s government has turned NZ’s 100% Pure image into a farce with the withdrawal from Kyoto2, but this intensive selling of NZ to Hollywood is becoming cringe-worthy, as Wall reports:

Simon Milne, director of the New Zealand Tourism Research institute, says the approach could be counter-productive with the “high-yield, experienced, knowledgeable traveller”, who could see the Middle-earth comparison as “naff”. …

Milne believes the 100% Pure campaign has reached its use-by date, with international media already pointing out the hypocrisy.

“We have to be careful about branding ourselves Middle-earth. It’s not who we are, it’s a film set. We need to do more than that, we have to go deeper than that. If we look at global trends in tourism, there’s a real focus on authenticity.”

Milne says the films might provide a short-term benefit, but does not believe they will lead to a sustained increase in visitors.

In The Guardian in October, Toby Manhire was also not entirely convinced by the shift to 100% Middle-earth branding.  And he makes a wry comment about how far this is from Tolkien’s vision of Middle-earth from 1930s Oxfordshire. He reports how the 100% Middle-earth branding has engulfed TVNZ, Air NZ, commemorative stamps and coins, and Wellington Council.  This relies on NZ’s highly skilled crews and digital animators, but is now being undermined by the high NZ dollar.

It’s not enough that this government is destroying our economy and culture, increasing unemployment, and demonising those struggling most to survive on low incomes, but it is selling out our government and democracy to US corporates.

56 comments on “John Key Selling (out) New Zealand ”

  1. marsman 1

    John Key is an insult to NZ. He is beyond a joke, a nasty joke at that.
    I feel ashamed that Wellington, a cultural city, is being cheapened by the whole Middle Earth farce.
    Compliments on your post KAROL.

  2. infused 2

    ‘Middle Earth’ isn’t that Warners IP? If you actually read the entire thing, not just the shitty story Stuff put up, you’d realise that was the reason for sign off.

    Your blog post is just as bad as the Stuff article.

    Kyoto is shit. No one wants it. Lets pay millions of dollars to someone else for no reason. Sounds good to me.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      1) ‘Middle Earth’ in direct relation to trademarks and images of the films is owned by Warners. NZ however, is NOT owned by Warners. You would think.

      2) “Kyoto is shit”. Kyoto was a highly detailed, very well balanced, widely accepted international agreement. But who cares; universal laws remain and the human race will reap what it sows.

    • We’ll be paying for climate change either way. Better to pay now and prevent as much of the problem as we can, rather than pay to adapt to the change later.

  3. BM 3

    As the article that you linked to says:

    Tourism NZ’s spokesman Chris Roberts said Warner held the rights for The Hobbit so any direct or indirect references had to be cleared with the company, but he admitted some of the matters raised did not require Warner’s approval.

    “Considering how much value is in this ‘brand’, they have been very generous. So, in terms of maintaining good relationships, we have tended to share with them aspects of our campaign that might not strictly require their sign-off.”

    Roberts said Warner did not veto any aspect of the campaign. “They loved it.” He said Tourism NZ had worked with Warner to identify the best media outlets to “meet their needs to promote the movie and our need to promote NZ”.

    I don’t see what the issue is.

    Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going, this will be a big lose for him and the Labour party in the eyes of the NZ voter.
    Really dumb politics.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      This is absolute double talk. Who cares about the “VALUE” in Warner’s branding and IP, the true IP value is NEW ZEALAND.

      THEY should be checking with US as to whether or not they are representing our country correctly.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Warners own the IP rights to the film, we’re going to use the hobbit to promote NZ.

        Of course Warners should get to yay or nay any proposal put forward that may effect the Hobbit brand, bizarre to even think that they shouldn’t.

        For me the main point I took away from that story was the negativity of David Shearer and the Labour party.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Bullshit. You’re still back to front. NZ should get a yay or nay to any proposal Warners puts forward that may affect the NZ brand. Bizarre to even think that they shouldn’t.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going,

      This isn’t about getting NZ’s economy going because, quite frankly, it won’t. What this does is get Warner Bros’ economy going at our expense.

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        This is a typical Left delusion, still can’t get over that the Hobbit is made here. You would sooner have a wholly NZ cottage film industry, rather than a much larger industry that is globally connected through the one place that really counts in this industry – Hollywood.

        Of course Warner Bros benefits, but so does NZ and especially Wellington.

        I bet Grant Robertson goes to the opening, assuming he has an invite, or is Labour going to boycott it, with a demo outside.

        • karol 3.2.1.1

          This is as much about NZ’s tourist industry, as it is about The Hobbit. I’m happy for anyone to make movies here if it benefits NZ.

          But Wayne, there’s not a lot in this promotion for NZ. Even many in the NZ tourist industry see this.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          This is a typical Left delusion, still can’t get over that the Hobbit is made here.

          Could have made The Hobbit here without Warner Bros or Hollywood.

          You would sooner have a wholly NZ cottage film industry

          You mean that world class industry that produced LoTR, Avatar and numerous other movies?

          …through the one place that really counts in this industry – Hollywood.

          1.) There’s this nice little idea called competition, perhaps you’ve heard of it.
          2.) There’s also an entire world outside of the USA.

          We really don’t have to compete with Hollywood for the US market. Watch A Lonely Place to Die to get an idea as to what I’m talking about.

          WTF should I, or anybody, be concerned if Grant Robertson is going to watch a movie?

        • lprent 3.2.1.3

          I bet Grant Robertson goes to the opening, assuming he has an invite, or is Labour going to boycott it, with a demo outside.

          Why are you asking Draco? He doesn’t support the NZLP and from memory he probably never has.

          Read the about. The labour movement is somewhat wider than the NZLP and this blogsite frequently has people from well outside even that broad group.

          However in my view labour should boycott it. I’m afraid that the sight of National cravenly changing labour laws at a whim from Warner’s went well beyond anything that Labour or any other party in NZ should support.

          • Fisiani 3.2.1.3.1

            We will thus soon see whether Grant ( ) Robertson is truly an acolyte of the Laft and boycotts the movie premiere and protests or whether he sits in the comfy seats with the capitalists. Problem is that he has been denying being a Hobbit hater. Images of him protesting would sully his image. Robertson must thus face trial by Hobbit.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.4

          Shame that Jackson, belonging to at least 3 unions himself, and happy to get the benefits associated with belonging to those unions, worked against NZ actors getting union protections and benefits.

          The Hollywood kowtowing hypocrite.

          • Frank Macskasy 3.2.1.4.1

            On top of which, CV – not many folk know this – but Jackson needed funding from the QE2 Arts Council to finish his first project, “Bad Taste” (the final scenes involving the Alien House taking off like a rocket).

            Had it not been for taxpayer funding (which I don’t begrudge), “Bad Taste” would never have been finished; his career in movie-making might never have taken off; anbd we’d be living in an alternative timeline where he never produced movies, and LoTR nver happened…

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.4.1.1

              anbd we’d be living in an alternative timeline where he never produced movies, and LoTR nver happened…

              We can always dream…

              😈

        • Tracey 3.2.1.5

          Are you still buying that already proven false line, that the Hobbitt was going to be made somewhere else???

    • BM, the issue here is twofold;

      1. Subsidies to big business. I thought subsidies were a no-no in our Neo-liberal Nirvana?

      And if Warner Bro’s can get subsidies, why not our own local industries? Key doesn’t seem to like subsidising our own enterprises, according to his statements.

      2. In bowing to Warner Bro’s pressure, Key used government power to unilaterally change the status of workers from employees to contractors. This wasn’t “nanny statism” – this was all out Big Brother at work, interferuing in the lives of employees. (More here, in a blogpost on National’s track record on raising wages in NZ: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/john-keys-track-record-on-raising-wages-preface/ )

      If Labour had pulled a stunt like that, you and your fellow National supporters would be livid with rage.

      “Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going…”

      Rubbish.

      In case you hadn’t noticed, National has been in power for the last 4 years. Why is it that you right wingers demand responsibility from the unemployed, solo-mums, etc, but you’ree willing to turmn a blind eye to your own Party?! The right wing are big on others taking responsibility – but you don’t apply the same expectation to yourselves.

      Why is that?

  4. LynW 4

    Totally agree Karol, excellent summary of the situation! I read that article and felt so angry and dismayed! We are a country not a corporation and we have our own identity! I lost respect for Peter Jackson after his involvement with Key in undermining workers’ rights and made a personal decision to shun the Hobbit. I note the Hobbit has also crept into Air New Zealand’s marketing! I guess you can’t expect much less from a leader whose background involved selling to the highest bidder and wheeling and dealing! My heart aches for New Zealand.

  5. Bill 5

    Imagined conversation.

    “We’re willing to incorporate your movie into our branding. Now, let’s sit down and negotiate how much you will pay us for what would otherwise be quite long term free publicity for your commercial venture.”

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    It’s not enough that this government is destroying our economy and culture, increasing unemployment, and demonising those struggling most to survive on low incomes, but it is selling out our government and democracy to US corporates.

    That, from what I can make out, is this governments sole purpose for being.

  7. felix 7

    The film industry isn’t promoting tourism. It’s the other way around.

    We are spending our tourism budget to promote a movie.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Thing is, everything this government does is to promote/prop-up the private sector at the taxpayers expense up to and including dropping those same taxpayers into poverty.

    • LynW 7.2

      +1, and the film industry acting like they’re doing NZ a favour!

      • Tigger 7.2.1

        +1. It’s smart to leverage off a major movie to sell some tourism. It’s dumb to tie your entire tourism brand to that movie.

  8. bbfloyd 8

    THe conclusion is rather stark…Johnny sparkles (nee Key) is a DISGRACE!!

    It will take New Zealand, and it’s people years, possibly decades to live down the embarrasment that he is to each, and every one of us…..

    Not to speak of the possibly permanent damage to our reputation, and ability to make our own way in economic terms alone…..

    How long before we do an “aussie”, as in tell people we are australians while overseas, simply to avoid the stigma?

  9. Richard Christie 9

    I’m with Milne. 100% naff.
    As an aside, I’m hoping Jackson does better with the screenplay and character development this time around, last effort 10/10 for visuals, sets etc, 1/10 for it’s really pathetically poor screenplay which reduced the books to a comic-strip equivalent, but his using the same scriptwriters is not cause for confidence.

  10. Barry 10

    The “news” report seems to be a lot of noise about very little.

    The interesting point is that it is published at all. This is similar to the sort of rubbish that was published about Labour 5 or so years ago. It seems that the News media have fallen “somewhat” out of love with National and are prepared to criticize them randomly to fill their columns.

    • karol 10.1

      are prepared to criticize them randomly to fill their columns.


      You mean as opposed to the way the MSM usually fills its columns, with news of stuff crucial to large numbers of Kiwis – like the latest car crash (I’m sure it’s crucial to those affected), or news of Lindsay Lohan’s latest run-in with the law, John Key’s latest mincing photo op, something the (non)sensible sentencing trust said, queues to buy the latest over-priced Apple product…. etc, etc?
       
      Yet the selling of NZ in ways that will further undermine NZ’s economy, workers’ rights and our democratic independence, are just “noise about very little”….

    • Barry, you would’ve loved my parent’s homeland. The media was Party-controlled and published only pro-government stories.

      There’s still Nth Korea and Cuba, I guess.No “falling out of love” in those countries.

  11. Johnm 11

    Key is Corporate Man, Kiwi ordinary people and true democracy simply don’t register for him, he’s blissfully happy that way, selling of our assets is like asking a Jew or Christian “Do you believe in God”? The Free market cult has enriched him: it’s his religion, people are mere market fodder. 🙁

  12. Shorts 12

    I see where this is going…. Middle Earth to be replaced by the Hunger Games (sequels)… Winners get a trip to planet key

    Golf on warners, golf on

  13. I think this “Middle Earth” branding is even worse than this article relays.
    I believe it is about taking NZ away from 100% Pure in order to set us up for the big-boy-big-money mining and drilling interests.
    This aim has nothing to do with the interests of NZers and everything to do with big money interests.

    • We have an opportunity to be a clean, green country and pursue income generating activities that will only create increasingly desirable products, services and applications and would generate interest for tourism too, or we can go down the same old filthy road of “drill it, mine it, sell it.”

      One only needs to see the political and physically aggressive quagmire, such countries who’ve followed this “D.I.M.I.S.I.” paradigm, are embroiled in and view how morally or practically bankrupt (or both) they are, to see that, with present world conditions, inviting foreign oil interests into this country is fool-hardy and not in the best interests of New Zealanders.

  14. Rich 14

    It’s mostly nothing about helping the local or national economy and everything about getting an invite to parties with movie stars. Especially for an operation like Wellington Airport, which is basically a glorified bus station whose management, in normal circumstances, would draw a salary in the high five figures and an invite to the Fulton Hogan party with a bunch of roading contractors.

  15. xtasy 15

    “100 per cent pure middle-earth”, wow!

    NZ will in years to come be known as “Little Hobbiton”, “Middle Earth Land”, or something along those lines, if this gets out of control.

    Coins, t-shirts, brochures, figurines, items and insignia representing copies of such used in the films, tourist play-grounds, fairs and what else there may come, is this “New Zealand”, or will it not rather be some kind of “Disneyland” type country in future, where tourists come to see and experience “play stuff” out of fantasy land and movies.

    Of course there is a place for it, but it could have adverse effects.

    And what is it all based on? The films were made based on a book, by whom again? He was Russian by the way. Maybe next the Russians will get envious and come with intellectual property claims?

    “Clean and green” and “100 per cent pure” are certainly gone as credible labeling, since the government will not even bother participating in working out and agreeing to a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol.

  16. Hmmmm… interesting…

    None of National’s apologists have come up with the usual excuse for kowtowing to the Wide Boys from Warner Bro’s…

    Wait for it…

    Wait for it…

  17. Tracey 17

    I don’t think this is off thread, but accept it should be deleted if it is.

    A few days ago a trial began in Sydney of a man who had defrauded about $8.5m. He was never asked about his company, the dozen or so investors never did due diligence. These people were not dupes as such, apparently bright successful people in careers and business. How were they duped? By the lure of celebrity it seems. The ybased their investment in his music label on his photos of himself rubbing shoulders with celebrities…

    So why is this relevant tot his thread??? Because I can see our PM doing this. He seems so blinded by the bright lights of celebrity that he almost loses control of his thinking side… Is it this kind of non-thinking that leads to Warner Bros having to be consulted before we market our county? For those who say they vetoed nothing, that’s not the point, they have the option and can’t be left out of the process.

    Apparently bright and successful people doing silly things to get a chance to stand beside a celebrity???

    http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/news/local-news/224660/court-case-begins-85-million-aussie-record-label-fraud.htm

  18. Not more Middle Earth and 100% Pure. *starts being sick* What about things like Maori culture, artwork, society, food and how New Zealanders actually live? Rather than just focusing on exclusive resorts, golf courses, elves and hobbits. xD

  19. Tracey 19

    Case in point… Mr Key will have an idea what we are paying for the royals to come here to celebrate their mother’s 60 year reign…. but wont say until they are gone…

    ” The New Zealand Government is paying for the costs associated with their six-day visit, including the Duchess’ hairdresser, who is paid to travel with the royal entourage.

    “The reality is it costs quite a lot but I think that is realistic when you think about how far they’re coming and the number of people they bring, the size of the operation. The size is significant,” Key told Newstalk ZB.

    He said the staff requirements were appropriate, given the number of functions the royals would be attending.

    While Key said the cost of the tour wouldn’t be released until after the visit, “

  20. JonL 20

    ” He seems so blinded by the bright lights of celebrity that he almost loses control of his thinking side”

    What do you mean, “almost”………

  21. tracey 21

    Those who support him in polls must think so.

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    Hi,As someone generous enough to pay for Webworm — literally allowing this thing to exist — I always want to give you extra stuff (next week a story I’ve been wanting to tell for about eight years) and make myself available to answer any questions.Hence these AMAs, which I really ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9 2024
    Open access notables Rockfall from an increasingly unstable mountain slope driven by climate warming, Stoffel et al., Nature Geoscience: Rockfall in high-mountain regions is thought to be changing due to accelerating climate warming and permafrost degradation, possibly resulting in enhanced activity and larger volumes involved in individual falls. Yet the systematic lack ...
    4 days ago
  • Newshub awaits a miracle – but in the meantime its Mātauranga Māori debate has spurred Jerry Coy...
    Emeritus Professor Jerry Coyne, from his base in the United States, may well be oblivious to the furore raised about the state of  the news media in New Zealand – and the implications for our democracy – after TV3’s American owners announced Newshub’s fate.  The news service will be shut ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Correction
    Sorry!!! Today’s edition has the wrong damn link for Chlöe Swarbrick’s excellent speech.This is the right one. Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Correction
    Sorry!!! Today’s edition has the wrong damn link for Chlöe Swarbrick’s excellent speech.This is the right one. Read more ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A speech and a beer, both delivered perfectly
    So, what can we do about these deplorable people and the appalling things they are doing?Every time Chlöe Swarbrick gets to her feet or leans into a mic, she offers a very good  answer. Clear, plain, compelling words. Clear, plain, compelling thinking.Guys, she tells new MPs who have just given maiden ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A speech and a beer, both delivered perfectly
    So, what can we do about these deplorable people and the appalling things they are doing?Every time Chlöe Swarbrick gets to her feet or leans into a mic, she offers a very good  answer. Clear, plain, compelling words. Clear, plain, compelling thinking.Guys, she tells new MPs who have just given maiden ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • 2024 Reading Summary: February (+ Writing Update)
    Completed reads for February: Tarzan of the Apes, by E.R. Burroughs The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Poison Belt, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures, by Heinrich Hoffman The Moon Hoax, by Richard Adams Locke The Strange Voyage and Adventures of ...
    4 days ago
  • Aoteraoa, Ukraine, and Gaza
    Today the government designated the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist entity, making supporting them a criminal offence. I honestly don't know much about Hamas' organisation, or how involved its politicians were in planning its crimes in October last year, but when Israel is actively carrying out a genocide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • ETS review will be good news (we think) for the forest sector but govt gets tough with Hamas and Isr...
    Buzz from the Beehive When the Luxon government took office last year, forest owners and investors were among the myriads of interest groups who pressed incoming ministers with pleadings, urgings and advice – typically self-serving –  for change. The forestry bunch hoped the new government would give clearer direction on ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Tougher Love.
    "Ullo, ullo, ullo, what's coming off here then?" Mark Mitchell’s Gang Laws are separating the Liberal Sheep from the Authoritarian Goats.  THE INTENSIFYING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY over the Coalition Government’s policy on gangs promises to be one of those sheep-from-goats moments. While the Left will veer instinctively towards the sociological, the Right ...
    4 days ago
  • The Clue Is In The Name.
    Truth In Advertising? The Nats do best when they take the “National” part of their name seriously, WHEN ITS FOUNDERS christened New Zealand’s newest anti-socialist party “National”, they had two objectives. The first was largely cosmetic. The second, and much more important objective, was ideological.In 1936, the year in which ...
    4 days ago
  • Another forced break.
    Well, the time has come yet again for my son to go back into Starship for another major surgery (the fourth in five months). The mass in his chest is growing and has enveloped his left carotid artery as well … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS:  How Wellington City Council got captured by vested interests
    Bryce Edwards writes – Wellington City has become a great case study for those that are suspicious that both local and central government politicians have become enthralled by property developers, the “professional managerial class”, and other vested interests. Politicians from parties of both left and right are increasingly ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Newshub/Smokefree twin fiascos
    H</spanere’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on ...
    4 days ago
  • RBNZ's dovish pivot revives rate cut hopes
    The question now is which hint banks will take: the one from Orr that they pass on rate cuts, or the one from Assistant Governor Karen Silk saying they have some leeway to continue not passing them on. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Reserve Bank held the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • That was Then, This is Now #32 – What's the difference between aluminium and democracy?
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.That was then…Rio Tinto will not reimburse the $30 million Government subsidy it received to keep Tiwai Point open, in spite of posting a $3.7 billion 2013 profit.[…]…if Rio Tinto had closed straightaway and ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Market Model for Intercity Rail
    The North Island Main Trunk rail line between Auckland and Wellington is 680km long, mostly electrified, and low speed for intercity rail (80-100kph). It’s a major public asset, but woefully underutilised. How can we work this asset harder, to deliver way more benefits for our country and our people? This ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Redundancies Bite.
    We all knew this government meant redundancies - lots of them. National highlighted they’d be taking a scalpel to government departments, cutting them to the bone. ACT fantasized about going deeper.Thousands losing their jobs in a sector that won’t be hiring any time soon. I could make a joke here ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Tough choices on climate change for new government
    Slowly but inexorably, the country is getting to the point where it is going to have to make some tough choices about actually lowering greenhouse gas emissions rather than planting or buying its way out of them. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, at the weekend, removed any last hope that climate ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • That was Then, This is Now #31 – Urgent for me, but not for thee?
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.That was then…“In Parliament today, Labour was pushed to justify their use of urgency to rush through a Bill to get rid of a public veto on Māori wards, and they couldn’t,” National’s Local ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Rattus Supermarketicus: Countdown Reopens
    So my infamously rat-infested local supermarket was finally able to re-open today, after spending a good two and a half weeks closed. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/510363/countdown-dunedin-south-reopens-after-rat-infestation I went in for a look this evening, having heard that they were offering chocolates earlier in the day. I was disappointed. No chocolates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Clearly still no adults in this Chaos Cabinet, aiming to sell Aotearoa off to the highest bidders…
    Grant Roberston has left the Labour team in Parliament, Efeso Collins tragically died at the outset of what was surely to be a stellar career as an MP… a heavy result last year, losses and a tragedy to start this year. That overall sense of tragedy is not limited ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Productivity Commission gone tomorrow, Māori Health Authority gone in June – so what should we do...
    The Productivity Commission will cease operations tomorrow, to make way for the new Ministry for Regulation. On the same day, the Waitangi Tribunal will begin an urgent inquiry into the government’s proposal to disestablish the Māori Health Authority. But legislation passed under urgency by Parliament will result in the authority being ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • QUESTIONNAIRE NEW ZEALAND
    So you want to be a member of this exciting new government, eh? Good thinking! There’s obviously no future in journalism. We’re not just hiring any old comms person though. We want someone with the right attitude and MOJO. So grab a pen and fill out this questionnaire will you? ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Another secret OIA “consultation”
    When the previous government decided in 2018 to review the OIA, the Ministry of Justice decided to do the entire thing in secret, planning a "targeted consultation" with a secret, hand-picked group of lawyers, bloggers and commentators. Because obviously, wider civil society has no interest in the operation of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Puff! And before you can get through a packet of 20, Parliament will have stubbed out parts of Labo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Health dominated the government’s announcements over the past 24 hour or so, at the same time as Parliament was debating legislation to abolish the Maori Health Authority and repeal parts of the previous government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. Health Minister Shane Reti brandished a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Journalism in New Zealand Is Collapsing
    Hi,I was not intending to send out a Webworm today, and I hate that I am having to write about this.After nearly 35 years of broadcasting, the TV newsroom in New Zealand that was my home for about a decade is set to close in June.Some of my closest and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • A revolting breach of Te Tiriti
    In 2019, the Waitangi Tribunal released a preliminary report in the Wai 2575 inquiry, finding pervasive inequities in the New Zealand health system which systematically disadvantaged Māori, in breach of Ti Tiriti O Waitangi. It recommended the creation of an independent Māori Health Authority as one way of remedying these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bishop wants house prices to halve vs income
    TL;DR: Housing, Infrastructure and RMA Reform minister Minister Chris Bishop gave the new Government’s most important and ambitious speech of its first 100 days yesterday, pledging to flood cities with land for homes and help give councils new revenue to pay for the water and transport infrastructure needed to build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Lyin' Luxon
    All we want is a touch of truthnot cue-card words for the polling booththis ballhead man and his MacDonalds wisdomselling soap or a new tax systemSo begin the lyrics for the new single, Lyin’ Luxon (and his tobacco goons)”, from Darren Watson - released just this morning. You can check ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Albo gives Luxon a big invite
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon gets his first big foreign affairs opportunity next week when he travels to Melbourne for the 50th Anniversary of Australia’s partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has invited the heads of all ten members for a special summit. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Of Mining Interests and the West Coast-Tasman Result: Look at the Split Vote
    The various New Zealand election donations have been disclosed, and one Jonathan Milne has noticed the role of mining interests in backing an independent candidate on the West Coast: https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/23/big-coal-company-bought-west-coast-election-campaign/ The article goes on to suggest that the independent candidate’s performance – garnering some 5903 votes – was key ...
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Is Greenland gaining or losing ice?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Dark money has entered the New Zealand electoral scene at unprecedented levels
    Radio NZ’s Farah Hancock has analysed the Electoral Commission returns of money paid to influence the 2023 NZ General Election. Her article $2m surge in election campaign spending by third-party groups (RNZ) shows that as well as the huge donations-directly-to-the-parties imbalance, previously reported, a large amount of untraceable dark money ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • I remember better days
    The school property system is BORDERING ON CRISIS according to the Prime Minister and his Education Minister.Same old crisis panic button. God only knows what they’ll press when they get a real one.The self-serving agenda here is pretty transparent: Find ourselves an out for not delivering what people expect us ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • No, it isn’t a surprise – the government is disestablishing the Māori Health Authority (just a...
    Latest from the Beehive The mainstream news media have been grimly auguring this news for  the past few days under headings such as… Axing Māori Health Authority before hearing ‘disrespectful’ — expert (One News); Coalition Government to forge ahead with repeal of smokefree laws, Māori Health Authority this week ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS: NZ elections are being Americanised with “dark money” flowing into campaign grou...
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Elections in the United States are dominated by big money. But what isn’t commonly understood is that most of it is raised and spent, not by the political parties and candidates for office, but by special interest groups who run their own election campaigns to ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • More dishonesty from Costello
    When Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media and to Parliament about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry, her explanation was to blame "confusion arising from my understanding of the differentiation between seeking specific advice and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Child poverty – complex or simple?
    Question: Do you understand how the child poverty statistics are derived? Clearly some people do not. Last week the latest child poverty statistics were all over the media. But there are a number of misunderstandings that need addressing. Like this one from NewstalkZB’s John MacDonald who wrote: Living in households ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Tougher love
    Mark Mitchell’s gang laws will separate the liberal sheep from the authoritarian goats Chris Trotter writes – THE INTENSIFYING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY over the Coalition Government’s policy on gangs promises to be one of those sheep-from-goats moments. While the Left will veer instinctively towards the sociological, the Right ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 @ 10 am 'pick 'n' mix' for Feb 27
    A mega-documentary about the influence of China’s Communist Party in our political system that remains stuck inside Stuff’s editorial system. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāHere’s my top ten links to news, papers and reports elsewhere as at 10 am on Tuesday February 27:Today’s must-read: Whatever happened to Stuff Circuit’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The day our infrastructure deficits came home to roost
    Ugly moments of infrastructure deficit truth are popping up all over, including the revelation that Wellington’s train service will be disrupted for up to 15 years. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: National and Labour are bickering over who is to blame for ‘mismanagement’ of infrastructure spending on rail and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • It’s March Madness Time again
    We may still be in February but yesterday marked the start of March Madness, typically the busiest time of the year for transport of all modes. That’s due to a number of factors, such as: The summer holiday period is over meaning All schools and now University’s being ...
    6 days ago
  • What do you think about Christopher Luxon?
    As some of you might know Darren Watson's new track "Lyin' Luxon" will be out tomorrow.I'm going to write about that subject today so if there's anything you'd like to say about Luxon, his government, policies, his partners and investors, or what he's doing to our country then please feel ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A TV Hero Goes Down the Wormhole
    Note: This story includes feedback from a central character in this story — I’ve included that at the end in its entirety.Hi,When I started Webworm four years ago, it seemed like a novelty to write about people getting sucked into beliefs like QAnon. As Kiwi lingerie makers opened their third ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). The food industry is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. So how are our diets causing disaster? Some people ...
    7 days ago
  • Funding announced for landfill improvements and farmers – but the headline grabber is news of a cr...
    Buzz from the Beehive The government has been dishing out sums of money in much the same way as the Ardern-Hipkins government has done. Four historic landfill sites will benefit from the granting of $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites And the coalition Government is  providing support for ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago

  • Remand prisoners to receive rehabilitation support
    The coalition Government has taken the first steps to ensure prisoners on remand can access the rehabilitation and reintegration support they need to turn their lives around, says Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell.   “The number of people on remand has increased by 146 per cent over the past 10 years. With ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ongoing security plan will help keep hospital EDs safe
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says a continuation of increased security measures at eight key hospitals around New Zealand reflects the Government’s ongoing commitment to the safety of healthcare staff, and patients. “I’m very pleased Health NZ – Te Whatu Ora have been able to confirm that additional security support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports safer digital transactions
    The Government supports the recommendations of the Finance and Expenditure Committee reports on bank scam processes, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Scams are becoming more sophisticated and causing a growing number of vulnerable Kiwis significant emotional harm and financial loss. “Altogether, nearly $200 million was lost to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government congratulates JPs on centenary
    Associate Minister of Justice Nicole McKee has extended her congratulations to the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations on its centenary this year. The occasion is being celebrated at the Federation’s annual AGM and Conference, which opens in Wellington today.  “Justices of the Peace (JPs) play a vital role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government going after gangs’ guns with FPOs
    The Government is continuing its work to restore law and order, announcing new measures that will enable police to crack down on gangs through Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs).  “Firearms are being illegally used by gangs to intimidate, to commit violent crime in support of their profit making, and to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Open ocean salmon farm a win for the economy
    The final approval of New Zealand King Salmon’s Blue Endeavour open ocean aquaculture project is a significant step for New Zealand’s aquaculture, and a win for the economy, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says.  “Blue Endeavour will be the first open ocean aquaculture salmon farm in New Zealand. It’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ – UAE trade agreement consultation begins
    Following a meeting with UAE Trade Minister Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, Trade Minister Todd McClay has launched public consultation for a trade agreement between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   “The UAE is a top-20 export market for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister thanks Public Service Commissioner
    Public Service Minister Nicola Willis has thanked retiring Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes for his 43 years of service. Mr Hughes retires today, after serving eight years as Public Service Commissioner.  “Peter Hughes is an outstanding public servant who has served many governments, regardless of their political leaning, with professionalism and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tourism data shows determination of sector
    New tourism data out today shows the continued importance of tourism to the New Zealand economy as tourism steps up to become our second-biggest export earner, Tourism Minister Matt Doocey says. “The Tourism Satellite Account shows how strongly tourism rebounded post-pandemic with total tourism expenditure in New Zealand of $37.7b ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Housing Minister thanks outgoing Kāinga Ora Chair
    Housing Minister Chris Bishop has today thanked outgoing Kāinga Ora – Homes & Communities Chair Vui Mark Gosche for his many years of public service. “Mr Gosche tendered his resignation as Chair yesterday evening. He will remain a member of the Board until the end of March,” says Housing Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New sanctions package against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced a new package of sanctions as part of the ongoing international sanction response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.   The new sanctions are:   Implementation of the G7-plus price cap on Russian-origin oil; making explicit the prohibition on exporting restricted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Travel bans on extremist Israeli settlers
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced travel bans on a number of extremist Israeli settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.   “New Zealand is seriously concerned by the significant increase in extremist violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian populations in recent months. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ designates entirety of Hamas as terrorist entity
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced today the designation of Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist entity.   “The terrorist attacks by Hamas in October 2023 were brutal and we have unequivocally condemned them,” Mr Luxon says.    Following these attacks, then Prime Minister Chris Hipkins commissioned advice from officials about designating the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces independent review of forestry ETS costs
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay has today announced an independent review into the forestry component of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Register to ensure it is efficient and cost-effective. “Up and down the country forestry owners have been raising concerns about the excessive costs that have been imposed upon them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Access barriers to PET-CT scans removed
    New Zealanders now have the same access to PET-CT scans no matter where they live, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora has approved funding an updated national set of criteria that will allow for about 1,000 more PET-CT scans a year to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ alliance extended
    Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey announced today that the Government has extended Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ strategic alliance for another five years. “Reauthorising this strategic partnership means that passengers flying in and out of New Zealand will continue to have access to a wide range of flights and destinations,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system reforms need further action
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says the latest report into New Zealand’s health reforms shows a few benefits, but overall once again demonstrates a lack of leadership by the previous Labour government.  The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) report released today was commissioned by the previous government to provide an independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parallel assessment means new medicines assessed sooner
    Pharmac is changing its process so it can assess a funding application at the same time Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval. This means that medicines will be able to be considered for funding sooner in New Zealand. “Access to medicines is a crucial part of many Kiwis’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Smokefree Amendment Bill Introduced
    The Government has today introduced an Amendment Bill that will repeal three parts of the previous Government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. “The Coalition Government is committed to the Smokefree 2025 goal, but we are taking a different regulatory approach to reducing smoking rates and the harm from smoking,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Targeted support for young people
    Recently allocated Ministry of Youth Development funding will support more than 6700 young people to receive targeted youth development support to remain in education or transition to further training or employment and improve their wellbeing, Youth Minister Matt Doocey says.  Funding of $10.69 million will be allocated to 34 community-based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reshaping the health system to bring Māori health closer to home
    Legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health says Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti.  “We have said we will bring healthcare for all New Zealanders closer to the home and closer to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Acknowledgements Good morning. Can I start by acknowledging Simon and the team at the Chamber. Thanks for the invitation to be here today. Introduction In October last year New Zealanders voted for change. The Coalition government was elected with a clear mandate to rebuild the economy and reduce the cost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australia and Brazil to agreements
    New Zealand has welcomed Australia to the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and Australia and Brazil to the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) Minister for Trade Todd McClay says.  As the current chair of ITAG and GTAGA, Minister McClay hosted the signing ceremony and issued the Abu Dhabi Joint ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry announced into school property
    The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable. “The coalition Government has inherited a school property system bordering on crisis,” Education Minister Erica Stanford says. “There have been a number of cost escalations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
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