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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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  • Gordon Campbell on extending the fuel/public transport subsidies
    As PM Chris Hipkins says, it’s a “no brainer” to extend the fuel tax cut, half price public subsidy and the cut to the road user levy until mid-year. A no braoner if the prime purpose is to ease the burden on people struggling to cope with the cost of ...
    3 days ago
  • U-turn on fuel taxes could pump up poll support for Hipkins and Co but the poor – perhaps – won...
    Buzz from the Beehive Cost-of-living pressures loomed large in Beehive announcements over the past 24 hours. The PM was obviously keen to announce further measures to keep those costs in check and demonstrate he means business when he talks of focusing his government on bread-and-butter issues. His statement was headed ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Mike’s Cracked Record
    Poor Mike Hosking. He has revealed himself in his most recent diatribe to be one of those public figures who is defined, not by who he is, but by who he isn’t, or at least not by what he is for, but by what he is against. Jacinda’s departure has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Chris Hipkins hires a lobbyist to run the Beehive
    New Zealand is the second least corrupt country on earth according to the latest Corruption Perception Index published yesterday by Transparency International. But how much does this reflect reality? The problem with being continually feted for world-leading political integrity – which the Beehive and government departments love to boast about ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Government confirms a light rail rethink possible
    Transport Minister and now also Minister for Auckland, Michael Wood has confirmed that the light rail project is part of the government’s policy refocus. Wood said the light rail project was under review as part of a ministerial refocus on key Government projects. “We are undertaking a stocktake about how ...
    4 days ago
  • Why Nicola Willis is door-knocking in Johnsonville
    Sometime before the new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced that this year would be about “bread and butter issues”, National’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis decided to move from Wellington Central and stand for Ohariu, which spreads across north Wellington from the central city to Johnsonville and Tawa. It’s an ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • “With great power comes great responsibility”: we’ve all heard that, but stepping up to it is ...
    They say a week is a long time in politics. For Mayor Wayne Brown, turns out 24 hours was long enough for many of us to see, quite obviously, “something isn’t right here…”. That in fact, a lot was going wrong. Very wrong indeed. Mainly because it turns ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • The escalator rises again
    One of the most effective, and successful, graphics developed by Skeptical Science is the escalator.  The escalator shows how global surface temperature anomalies vary with time, and illustrates how "contrarians" tend to cherry-pick short time intervals so as to argue that there has been no recent warming, while "realists" recognise ...
    4 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • We never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups
    Tomorrow we have a funeral, and thank you all of you for your very kind words and thoughts — flowers, even.Our friend Michèle messaged: we never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups, and oh boy is that ever the truth. Tomorrow we have the funeral, and ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Garrick Tremain’s view…
    ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Much excitement as Hipkins gets down to business – but can he defeat inflation with his devotion t...
    A  new Prime Minister, a revitalised Cabinet, and possibly  revised priorities – but is the political and, importantly, economic landscape  much different? Certainly  some within the news  media  were excited by the changes which Chris Hipkins announced yesterday or – before the announcement – by the prospect of changes in ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • E-bike incentives work
    Currently the government's strategy for reducing transport emissions hinges on boosting vehicle fuel-efficiency, via the clean car standard and clean car discount, and some improvements to public transport. The former has been hugely successful, and has clearly set us on the right path, but its also not enough, and will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins’ need to strengthen focus on “bread and butter” issues suggests the Ardern team was lo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Before he announced his Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced he would be flying to Australia next week to meet that country’s Prime Minister. And before Kieran McAnulty had time to say “Three Waters” after his promotion to the Local Government portfolio, he was dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • 24,000 employed under Labour
    The quarterly labour market statistics were released this morning, showing that unemployment has risen slightly to 3.4%. There are now 99,000 people unemployed - 24,000 fewer than when Labour took office. So, I guess the Reserve Bank's plan to throw people out of work to stop wage rises "inflation", and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • February Stars.
    Another night of heavy rain, flooding, damage to homes, and people worried about where the hell all this water is going to go as we enter day twenty two of rain this year.Honestly if the government can’t sell Three Waters on the back of what has happened with storm water ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    * Dr Bryce Edwards writes – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular reforms in water and DHB centralisation ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • The Neverending Curse of MLMs
    Hi,It’s weird to me that in 2023 we still have people falling for multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs for short). There are Netflix documentaries about them, countless articles, and last year we did an Armchaired and Dangerous episode on them.Then you check a ticketing website like EventBrite and see this shit ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • We just need the Wayne to stop
    Shortly, the absolute state of Wayne Brown. But before that, something I wrote four years ago for the council’s own media machine. It was a day-in-the-life profile of their many and varied and quite possibly unnoticed vital services. We went all over Auckland in 48 hours for the story, the ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: January (+ Old Phuul Update)
    Completed reads for January Lilith, by George MacDonald The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Christabel (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, by Anonymous The Lay of Kraka (poem), by Anonymous 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is Britain doomed (again)?
    Pity the poor Brits.  They just can’t catch a break. After years of reporting of lying Boris Johnson, a change to a less colourful PM in Rishi Sunak has resulted in a smooth media pivot to an end-of-empire narrative.  The New York Times, no less, amplifies suggestions that Blighty ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • After The Deluge.
    On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.Genesis 6:11-12THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for i...
    Buzz from the Beehive There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • The other ‘big one’: How a megaflood could swamp California’s Central Valley
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters When early settlers came to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers before the California Gold Rush, Indigenous people warned them that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when great winter rains came. The storytellers described water filling the ...
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The gamechanger PM and polls
    Dr Bryce Edwards writes –  Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Gamechanger PM and polls
    Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins has changed everything, and Labour is back ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • After the deluge – initial thoughts on the Auckland floods
    Over the last few years, it’s seemed like city after city around the world has become subject to extreme flooding events that have been made worse by impacts from climate change. We’ve highlighted many of them in our Weekly Roundup series. Sadly, over the last few days it’s been Auckland’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Ever Get the Feeling You've Been Cheated?
    And so the first month of the year draws to a close. It rained in Auckland on 21 out of the 31 days in January. Feels like summer never really happened this year. It’s actually hard to believe there were 10 days that it didn’t rain. Was it any better where ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Ani O’Brien: Luxon can’t afford to continue ‘small target’ politics
    A ‘small target’ strategy is not going to cut it anymore if National want to win the upcoming election. The game has changed and the game plan needs to change as well. Jacinda Ardern’s abrupt departure from the 9th floor has the potential to derail what looked to be an ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Shaking up science
    When Grant Robertson talks about how the economy might change post-covid, one of the things he talks about is what he calls an unsung but interesting white paper on science. “It’s really important,” he says. The Minister in charge of the White Paper —  Te Ara Paerangi, Future Pathways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How we get a new Prime Minister – it’s a simple matter of vice-regal appointment without a swear...
    The news media were at one ceremony by the looks of things. The Governor-General, the  Prime Minister and his deputy were at another. The news  media were at a swearing-in ceremony. The country’s leaders were at an appointment ceremony. The New Zealand Gazette record of what transpired says: Appointment of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago

  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago