web analytics

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

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 27th, 2010 - 90 comments
Categories: capitalism, film, tax - Tags: , , ,

Anyone who thinks that the Actors’ Equity dispute matters is a rube. Hollywood deals with unions all the time, and the Irish and UK film industries are more highly unionised than here. The truth is that this is just the same old trick of the international film industry threatening us with tax breaks if they don’t get what they want.

The 1990s National Government abolished tax breaks for films. But it post-dated the implementation until 2000 and grandfathered the breaks for the Lord of the Rings when Peter Jackson and the producers threatened to take production elsewhere. LOTR got about $200 million in tax breaks.

In 2002, Richard Taylor (Peter Jackson’s Weta co-founder), threatened the government with capital flight if the tax breaks weren’t brought back in:

“Double Oscar winner Richard Taylor says New Zealand might lose out as a film location if the Government refuses to reinstate tax incentives for visiting film productions.”

Michael Cullen wasn’t keen on the taxpayer shelling out, at gunpoint, to one industry but what’s a government to do when a genuinely international industry threatens capital flight? The Large Budget Screen Production Grant was introduced in 2003. The government has paid out about $200 million under this grant, including $45 million for Avatar.

In 2009, Peter Jackson got himself appointed to review the tax break legislation. In July this year, he recommended that big films (ie. his projects) get more tax breaks. Bill English said no.

A couple of months later, a tiny, settled union dispute suddenly becomes a huge ‘crisis’ and Jackson’s latest project stands to get more tax breaks.

Funny that.

This is what the Hollywood does. An international industry, truly global capital, playing us off against other countries.

What are we to do? Ultimately, the way to stop international capital forcing countries into a race to the bottom is to agree international rules between countries. Obviously, that’s not an immediate option. So, we’ll end up paying more to stave off the threat of capital flight because the wider economic benefit makes it worthwhile.

John Key is now desperately trying to talk down how much we can pay and trying to act blase about whether or not the filming happens here. He resembles a middle ages traveler trying to nonchalantly hide some of his jewels from the highwayman. But Key bears responsibility for talking up the ‘crisis’ as an opportunity to cynically put the boot into unions.

It is Key’s responsibility to keep the Hobbit in New Zealand at as little cost as possible, and certainly without some tin-pot dictatorship-style change to employment law.

PS. Funny to see Key, after the meeting, admitting that one of the reasons Warner Bros wants more money from us is the high NZD/USD exchange rate. Key had earlier dismissed that idea when Trevor Mallard raised it. Who’s the money market expert now?

90 comments on “Lord of the tax breaks: A history of capital flight threats ”

  1. Adrian 1

    Spot on, Marty. If only paid “journalists” could be as concise. I have noticed this morning questions are starting to be asked about “kowtowing” and dancing to multi-nationals tune. About time.

    • Marty G 1.1

      I think once this issue is done, the msm journos will need to sit down and ask themselves, once again, if they are too quick to accept the word of authority figures like Jackson and the PM. I doubt it will happen.

      The only independent analysis that hasn’t taken any players’ word for granted that I’ve seen has been here (mostly Irish’s excellent pieces) and Gordon Campbell.

      The way the soft-left liberal elitists like Russell Brown, Lew, and (if he’s feeling left today) Danyl have automatically sided with Jackson because they admire him as an artist just shows that kind of person is not the future of the Left.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Russell Brown is more of a producer himself these days. No wonder he threw journalism out of the window.

        • rich 1.1.1.1

          It’s the geek agenda. They’re all very liberal unless it conflicts with their comfortable consumer desires.

          So China is a democracy full of empowered workers churning out Apple kit and flatscreen tellies, etc, etc.

          Employee rights are nothing against the imperative to have a big budget NZ movie that will make Americans respect us on Twitter.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        The only independent analysis that hasn’t taken any players’ word for granted that I’ve seen has been here (mostly Irish’s excellent pieces)

        Marty, how about you guys set up a media syndication company, and allow your pieces to be picked up under license by both foreign media and local newspapers. For free or for some minimal charge.

        And they will pick it up, even as a space filler, and The Standard will be represented in the otherwise shite MSM.

        Especially since what goes up on The Standard gives a far more complete NZ context and history to current events than any other media pieces ever do.

      • bobo 1.1.3

        As they say never meet your heroes…

  2. IrishBill 2

    The LA times announced the work ban was lifted on the 20th. That’s the 19th our time. The day before it all blew up again: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/10/sag-ends-boycott-of-the-hobbit.html

    (just in case anyone still thought the dispute was live at the time)

    • AndyB 2.1

      wouldn’t that be the 21st our time?
      the US are behind us, not ahead.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Yes 21st our time. They are a day behind us. That’s how we get to have movie premiers and iPads first – sometimes.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      At the bottom of the latest stuff article on the whole thing, PJ says that it was the unions that shot first:

      ” Meanwhile, Sir Peter Jackson today released a letter which he said proved the actors’ unions had already decided to blacklist The Hobbit before requesting a conversation with him.

      The letter, from The International Federation of Actors, was sent to the US directors of production company 3 Foot 7 Ltd on August 17, warning that the federation had instructed its members no to act in the film until the producers had entered into bargaining with the union.

      Sir Peter said that letter was the first time he had been made aware of the issue.

      “It was the first time a meeting was ever requested and it was clear from the letter they had already voted to blacklist us, before even asking for one conversation with me,” he said.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4275149/Hobbit-used-to-push-through-law-changes-CTU

      • Blighty 2.3.1

        Lan. For the last time, this is not about some little union, whose dispute is already over.

        You need your head read if you think that a $670 million project that has already spent $100 million here would move over something like that.

        Incidentally, whatever happened the The Dambusters? This isn’t the only Jackson (or ‘PJ’, as Lan lovingly calls him) project that has money woes.

        • Lanthanide 2.3.1.1

          In my opinion, the whole thing was *started* by the union. I agree that it does look like the studio is taking the opportunity to extort extra money out of us, but that doesn’t absolve the union of any blame.

          Also your use of $670M NZ instead of $500M US is telling – the exchange rate really isn’t in our favour at the moment.

          Finally, I wrote “PJ” as a shorthand to save time, not because I have any great affection for the man.

          • Blighty 2.3.1.1.1

            wait, it this all the union’s fault or is it the exchange rate?

            Or are we looking at history of behaviour from Hollywood with the union ‘issue’ just an excuse to try to screw more money from us?

            If you want it to be the union’s fault you have to show causation – how a now settled dispute with a small union could cause a $670 million production to write-off $100 million of investment and move elsewhere.

            • mcflock 2.3.1.1.1.1

              “sorry I mugged you, mate, but they got me so riled up by being reasonable. So actually THEY’RE the ones who mugged you”.

            • Lanthanide 2.3.1.1.1.2

              It’s called “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

              • Colonial Viper

                Jackson’s mishandling of industrial relations in NZ to the extent a boycott was called pissed his US handlers off, and I suggest the fact that they had to become involved to firefight was what ‘broke the camels back’.

                • Lanthanide

                  From my post 2.3, quote of Jackson:

                  “It was the first time a meeting was ever requested and it was clear from the letter they had already voted to blacklist us, before even asking for one conversation with me,” he said.”

                  Yeah, he really mishandled those industrial relations by somehow not reading the unions mind that they wanted a meeting before they started the boycott…

                  • Zorr

                    As has already been pointed out many times Lanth, this industrial spat between actors and producers has been many years in the brewing. Jackson could have always sidestepped any issues by being aware of the employment issues in his native country where he likes to make his films and making sure to engage rather than just react.

                    At the moment though it has boiled down to a “he said, she said argument”. However, the unions have shared their emails, would love to see PJs inbox so that he could verify that his recounting of events is accurate. So far he has only been shown as, at best, an incompetent manager or, at worst, a vicious minion of the American film industry.

          • wtl 2.3.1.1.2

            The flaw in this reasoning is no one knows what REALLY would have happened if the union had not done anything. It is very easy for WB to say, “oh, we would have filmed in NZ if it wasn’t for the boycott in the first place”, but given their record of being misleading (at best), can you really count on this being the truth? I’m betting they would have found some other issue to make a fuss about if it wasn’t for the boycott. Sure, perhaps it would have been more difficult for them get the NZ public on their side but I’m betting that their PR team could have twisted things their way, regardless.

        • William 2.3.1.2

          “Incidentally, whatever happened the The Dambusters?”

          That’s a good question. It’s been confirmed since at least 2006.

          And as an example of their desire to create work for NZers, this story is interesting
          Takeoff looms for Dambusters “It took a large crew a week to put together the replica, which is one of 10 designed by Weta Workshop and built in China out of fibreglass and steel.” Given the NZ expertise in yacht construction with composite materials there must be some special reason they had them built in China. Money perhaps?

  3. Bored 3

    Truly splendid Marty!

    Judge: “Defendant at the Bar: you have been found not guilty of the charges of Treason brought against you and Union members and are free to leave this place”.

    Council for Defense: “What about costs m’lord?”

    Judge: ” $1 and dont come before me again or I wont be this lenient……..”

  4. burt 4

    Michael Cullen wasn’t keen on the taxpayer shelling out, at gunpoint, to one industry but what’s a government to do when a genuinely international industry threatens capital flight?

    Yes nothing has changed since 2003, just the red team don’t clap and cheer the decision because it wasn’t the red team making it.

    • Marty G 4.1

      no. nothing has changed. The logic of Labour reintroducing the tax breaks and National being forced to extend them now is the same – a country with the gun of capital flight to its head.

      I’m not criticising National for looking at extending the tax breaks.

      I am criticising them for trying to use this issue to bash the unions and, in doing so, make the ‘crisis’ worse, which will ultimately increase the cost to us.

      • burt 4.1.1

        The employment terms and conditions that the LOTR movies were made under were obviously acceptable to the unions at the time but clearly something has changed. Other than having a blue team in govt, what makes the unions so determined to change the terms and conditions this time?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Because the NZ industry is maturing in its complexity and diversity.

          The actors want to be treated on a par with their colleagues in more established, successful, first world filming countries like Australia, US, Canada, UK, Ireland in terms of having industry agreed minimum terms and conditions. Whereas Jackson and the studios want the industrial relations situation in this country to stay the same as it was 10 years ago.

        • Blighty 4.1.1.2

          I’m impressed by burt’s inability to argue in a straight line. He accuses marty of hypocrisy on tax breaks, has it pointed out that there is no hypocrisy because marty’s position is the same, and so he starts going on about the irrelevant union issue.

          the idea that workers demand better pay and conditions merely to embarrass a rightwing government is laughable.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.3

          The legal ruling by the supreme court that said even though a contract says you are a ‘contractor’, if you’re actually working as an employee you’re really an employee. That’s what has changed (amongst other things).

          • Adders 4.1.1.3.1

            There’s been case law that has established that for decades, long before the now often cited example from 2005 involving a worker on LOTR. Nothing has changed in that regard.

            • Lanthanide 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Except now it is more obviously visible, and with a supreme court ruling it is more of a precedent.

              Visibility obviously doesn’t change the law, but it does mean Joe Bloggs who is sick of slaving away suddenly thinks “hey, why can’t I sue my employer under breach of employment law” whereas previously they might’ve just resigned.

            • Blighty 4.1.1.3.1.2

              yeah, not sure why that case is being regarded as something new, apart from that it applies directly to the film industry.

              It has always been the case that if you are in fact working as an employee it doesn’t matter if your contract claims you are a contractor

          • Irascible 4.1.1.3.2

            Isn’t this the reason ShonKey told the Herald was the real reason for Warners and Jackson threatening to go elsewhere. The root cause being the Employment court case against Weta which was decided in favour of the employee whose “contractor” status was regarded as a fiction under NZ law. Warners doesn’t like the NZ law so have pressured “Scuttle & Run Key” to change the law in their favour. Bang goes our independence as a Nation.

  5. vto 5

    I would like to produce some goods for selling overseas too. I need a foreign investor to pay for the production of these goods. It will emply many many and be around for a lot longer than one silly movie. Can I get the same tax breaks? If not, why not?

    • Blighty 5.1

      because you can’t take your $670 million investment to another country that will offer better breaks if you don’t get them here.

      international capitalism, baby, you’ve got to love it.

  6. tc 6

    The stage is set for Sideshow to enhance his position, bash some unions, claim he saved the Hobbitt movies and associate it with his minister of tourism mandate….all it’ll cost is a few hundred million taxpayers dollars….jeez just like he’s dealing again, someone else’s money and he can’t lose.

    Wonder how teachers and others feel about this when they can’t even get CPI, maybe they should form a film company and try a different approach.

  7. ianmac 7

    A comment on Morning Report was that many overseas employers admired the NZ way that “a painter could also handle a screw-driver, or change a light bulb.” (A soldier I know did a stint at the American Antarctic base. He said they wowed the Americans because the Kiwis could handle a range of jobs where the Americans were specialists.) This may be a factor in the mix of desirability of the Hobbits here?

    • Carol 7.1

      I thought such comparisons betwen NZ screen industry workers and US ones, had to do with the unionisation of the industry in the US. With the unions came a strong job demarcation ruling in the US. Consequently kiwi crews doing a range of jobs is due to their relative lack of unionisation. eg for US crews, a sfx person can’t lift lighting equipment.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    “Hobbit folk grovel to feudal movie lords

    “The Hobbit is about a bunch of peasants living simple feudal lives. The way we’re behaving, where else but New Zealand could it be filmed?”

    This is a classic from Rudman in the New Zealand Herald.

    • M 8.1

      CV, an excellent piece by Brian especially his descrptions of Campbell and Holmes. Saw Q+A and wondered which exterminator had sprayed Holmes because he really was crazier than a sprayed roach.

      It’s hard to know who is the better actor Key or Jackson or should that be catamite?

      • Tigger 8.1.1

        “he really was crazier than a sprayed roach” – superb description M. And accurate.

  9. Joe Bloggs 9

    spot on Marty! Great post!

    You’ve adopted an approach that my 7 year old would be proud of. Caught red-handed with the shattered vase “it wasn’t me! It blew off the mantleshelf! There was an earthquake! It overheated and spontaneously shattered!”

    Ever think that the unions maybe, just maybe, fucked up big time and created this situation when they started their collective bargaining by detonating their boycott neutron bomb?

    And bullshit to the colonial asps, lootas, and leftards who claim “but the boycott was called off” – have you ever tried undetonating a neutron bomb?

    • Bright Red 9.1

      Warners, according to Key, are demanding two things:

      1) that contractors can’t become employees, which relates to the 2005 case of a Weta contractor/employee

      2) more tax breaks

      nothing to do with the union.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Evidence the actors union has been telling porkies

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      meh. I’m waiting for an independent investigation instead of responding to Jackson’s spinmeister’s timed drips and dribbles.

      • Roflcopter 10.1.1

        Didn’t stop you spouting rubbish for the past week or so, based on the lies of the MEAA, AE and CTU.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Oh, lies like the NZPA and The Hollywood Reporter saying that they had seen emails discussing an agreement between all the parties days *before* Jackson came out with his PR broadsides?

    • Blighty 10.2

      who gives a crap about the union? This is all about the producers wanting more tax breaks.

    • ianmac 10.3

      Or that the operation was disjointed. With so many factions it would be possible for the message sent not being received by the right people. Stuff-ups rather than deception or conspiracy.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    So, we’ll end up paying more to stave off the threat of capital flight because the wider economic benefit makes it worthwhile.

    No, really, it doesn’t. We don’t need the capital as we have enough in NZ already to produce films.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And we’d be better off developing our own contacts in independent film distribution etc, instead of being the third world cocoa bean grower who gets ripped off by the corporates simply because the corporates have the distribution and retail networks.

  12. Bright Red 12

    can’t help but notice the Right has gone a lot quieter. 500+ comments when it was all the union’s fault. Now the truth is out and they’re embarrassed into silence.

    • James 12.1

      Either that or they got sick of arguing with idiots.

    • AndyB 12.2

      oh it’s still the unions fault alright. if the global boycott wasn’t made as a threat to the film none of this would be happening. i suspect that the right are just sick of arguing with blinkered union hacks.

      • Blighty 12.2.1

        rubbish. Jackson was calling for higher tax breaks in July. read the post.

        • AndyB 12.2.1.1

          bollocks …. that has nothing to do with why warners are here now. The threat of moving the movie off shore had nothing at all to do with what you are talking about. It is a DIRECT result of the global boycott.

          boycott lifted, boycott not lifted, lifted on this date, lifted on that date … makes no difference. it is a direct result of the boycott being actioned in the first place.

          • wtl 12.2.1.1.1

            The boycott is the excuse they are using. No one knows for sure what would have happened if there had been no boycott. See 2.3.1.1.2

    • Joe Bloggs 12.3

      can’t help but notice the Right has gone a lot quieter. 500+ comments when it was all the union’s fault. Now the truth is out and they’re embarrassed into silence.

      Nup, it is still the union’s fault – we’re just sick and tired of banging our heads against brick walls over here…

      So why is it the union’s fault? Because they instigated their neutron bomb call for a global boycott on the same day (August 17th) that they first made their request to meet with the producers to discussthe conditions under which performers would be engaged. That’s the truth that Helen Kelly’s been so frugal with.

      All the other talk of conspiracy theories is intellectually bankrupt – signs of a Left in total disarray.

  13. James 13

    Well, on KB, all the idiots usually agree with each other.

  14. Carol 14

    Brent Edwards pointed out, on one of this morning’s Nat Rad news bulletins, that the emails show Warners was pretty happy to accept the unions decision to end actions. BE said the emails show it was Jackson who suggested to Warners not to accept the union decision, and that Jackson has a lot of clout in influencing Warners. BE also said Jackson seems to have a fairly direct line of access to John Key.

    • Zorr 14.1

      And yet the narrative will continue with “Sir” Peter Jackson being NZs Messiah. Can we just get past this bit already and nail him to a tree?

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      That’s very interesting.

    • Colonial Viper 14.3

      Warners execs would probably defer to Jackson’s local knowledge on minor industrial matters.

      Especially if Jackson told Warner he could probably, ahem, influence NZ tax payers out of an extra $20-30M in tax breaks.

      Waiting for evidence of this, direct or circumstantial, to come out. Sir Jackson is no NZ saint, just a NZ capitalist.

      • Jim Nald 14.3.1

        I wonder if I will be soon emailing a certainly newly knighted national (and National?) icon …

        Dear Saruman
        There was a time, when you would walk with us in Wellywood, but now, you have a mind of metal and wheels … and of independent contractor agreements and tax breaks.”

  15. Kevin Welsh 15

    I’m loving how this is playing out today. Finally all of Warners motivations are becoming clear

    I think it’s fair to say on the financial side there’s a fair bit of hardball being played on both sides.

    “We have the capacity to move a little bit, but we don’t have the capacity to write out cheques that we can’t afford to cash.”

    He said if it was “just a matter of dollars and cents” the Government was not prepared to bridge the gap between what other countries offered and the 15 per cent tax breaks available here.

    He said Warner Bros was asking for “lots” and the Government was offering “not lots”.

    And there I was thinking it was down to those pesky bloody unions again and money had nothing to do with it. I wonder if Key has taken a look at the latest Stuff Poll, that great bastion of popular opinion the RWNJ’s so love?

    He (Key) signalled that the Government was almost sure to change the law to clarify when someone was a contractor and when they were an employee, but would not say whether it would apply just to the two Hobbit films, the film sector in general or all workers.

    This must be like manna from heaven to NACT at the moment. How often do you get the opportunity to change the employment law of this country and a large part of the population love you for it?

    • Jim Nald 15.1

      I’ve posted a comment in another context that would equally apply here …

      Our wonderful PM has such great abilities that while he makes love to one party (eg Warner B), the other (eg union) feels fucked.

      Regardless of that, the NZ people will be left holding the cost of the baby (whether tax break or employment law change).

    • jbanks 15.2

      “And there I was thinking it was down to those pesky bloody unions again and money had nothing to do with it.”
      Come on dopey, use your brain. The money isn’t a separate issue from the unions. The unions incompetency forced WB’s hand. WB’s are accountable to their investors.

      As your comrade Colonial Viper pointed out:
      And by the way, what is making industrial action during the filming of the Hobbit illegal going to achieve?

      So tell me again how the Govt fixed a financial risk caused by the union if they haven’t financially covered this risk ?

      • wtl 15.2.1

        No WB would be doing it anyway. The boycott was just an excuse. There would have found a different excuse if it wasn’t for the boycott.

        • jbanks 15.2.1.1

          Unless you have evidence that this process had begun, then it’s just baseless speculation.

          And even if this were true, a WB initiated money grab would have been a totally different ball game and we would not be in the situation where we are obligated to pay them more because of the unions incompetence.

          • Chess Player 15.2.1.1.1

            Amazing isn’t it how most of the people on this blog have these ingrained perceptions…

            Union = unbelievably amazing and right all the time
            Employers = mean spirited sociopaths, out to do us all
            Employees = the only idealogically pure way to provide services to another
            Independent Contractors = dangerous free thinkers
            Unemployed = unlucky
            Government = the saviour of us all

            • lprent 15.2.1.1.1.1

              I think that you’re just in a lazy wish-fufilment mode (like so many on the right). Rather than actually read what people are saying, you simply write what you think that they’re saying.

              I read these comments and posts all of the time and there is a hell of lot of critical analysis that doesn’t follow your daft model.

              However when we get some trolls through (like yourself), it becomes apparent that they are simply missing their comforting dog-whistle security blanket of everyone mindlessly chanting the same thing all of the time. You in particular appear to be incapable of developing and maintaining a coherent argument.

              Which of course is why you get few replies to your comments. There is nothing to debate because it is just idiotic slogans, unsubstantiated assertions, and the rantings of a fool…

          • wtl 15.2.1.1.2

            It is no more baseless than assuming everything would have been just fine if it wasn’t for the boycott.

            WB would have just made up a different excuse, use their PR people (and Peter Jackson) to sell it and we would be in a similar position as we are now.

  16. bobo 16

    I’m angry now that this film will weaken possibly every kiwis worker rights, talk about Key killing 3 Fell beasts with one stone. Whats the bet this will all end up on a hobbit directors cut limited edition bluray extra showing the evil unions (cue slow motion unflattering shot of Helen Kelly) vs the adoring PJ street protests with epic orchestral background track subjectively edited in the post production with monologue by PJ on how the film nearly got canned because of a tiny union.

  17. Betty 17

    Interesting that the government is happy to go offshore for corrections officers’ uniforms and rolling stock for the rail system, yet it dances around Warner Bros like this. Are film makers jobs the only ones they’re trying to save?

  18. just saying 18

    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/10/we-are-not-for-the-hobbit-workers-and-we-are-not-against-them-labour-party.html#more

    Bryce Edwards asking why Labour is straddling the fence on the Hobbit situation rather than supporting the unfairly blamed and maligned workers.

    At first I thought it was good that Labour was keeping out of the issue on the grounds of not providing any more fuel to the fire in the hope it would burn itself out. But now it’s looking like more of the same from the party that so recently pledged change.

    On an unrelated note, Edwards is describing Standardista ‘Carol’ as a Labour Party activist, and she might want to have a word….

    • Bright Red 18.1

      Edwards is behind the times as usual. From newsroom:

      “Labour leader Mr Goff said the dispute was all about money and that the unions had walked into a trap.

      He challenged the Government’s position that the actors unions’ aborted boycott of the films and the law around independent contractors and employees was the root of the studio’s concerns and said people should “follow the money”.

      “Let’s be honest about this; we know it’s not about the industrial law, it’s about dollars,” Mr Goff said..

      “It’s about the exchange rate being at 75 cents American. That costs the film company money and it’s about the profit they can make and whether there will be a bigger subsidy from another country than the $60 million New Zealand has offered.”

      The unions had not handled it well and had walked straight into a trap. Their threatened action had been withdrawn and was no longer the issue.

      “They set out to make a negotiating bid and then they were used as a reason for why The Hobbit might be lost to New Zealand. I think the real reason is purely economic; it’s the bottom line for the company.”

      It would be a big mistake for Warners to choose another location because New Zealand had the expertise, experience and proven power to deliver, Mr Goff said.”

      like you say, it did make sense for Labour to stay out, until now.

      • just saying 18.1.1

        Kudos Phil!!

        • just saying 18.1.1.1

          Do you have a link for Goff’s statement Bright Red?
          I’ve been searching all over the place for it – including scoop which usually carries every press release. Nothing on the tele news either

          • Carol 18.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for the tip, just saying. The references to me kind of made me chuckle as I’ve never been a member of any party, and voted Green party last 2 elections.

            Anyway, I’m pleased to see Goff making a statement, along with Mallard and the Greens are questioning the proposed employment law change.

            Goff was on TV3 news a little while ago on this item:
            http://www.3news.co.nz/Warner-Bros-seeks-more-cuts-for-The-Hobbit/tabid/423/articleID/183389/Default.aspx

            But the union found support in Phil Goff – he claimed they walked into a trap.

            “I think they set out to make a negotiating bid, and then they were used as a reason why The Hobbit might be lost from New Zealand. I think the real reason is purely economic. It’s the bottom line for the company,” Goff says.

            • just saying 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for the link, I’m glad to see Goff doing the right thing, does my heart good.

              My instincts were right – I picked you for a green rather than a Labour voter.

              • Carol

                Heh. Fairly accurate perception, then JS. Generally I’m a leftie and don’t have an a long-term commitment to any party. It depends on what’s on offer, especially with MMP. I might have voted Alliance if I’d been in NZ back then. In the UK I always voted Labour, because voting any other way would have, de facto, been a vote for Thatcher, or Major. I have voted for Laila Harre in the past, too.

  19. I’d tell warners and jackson to take their movie and shove it. Go somewhere else and make it.

    Fuck Key currying their favour with tax breaks. It had nothing to do with him. As soon as the gov’t made noises about tax breaks the producers knew he was an easy mark for it. And of course dipton dipshit will just roll over and let the foreigners scratch his soft underbelly if key says so.

    One good thing is changing labour laws will give the unions a stronger base to argue from in the future as more people will be unwilling to accept shit contractor conditions if it’s spelled out in no uncertain terms what they’re liable for and what they’re not covered by in their employment contracts.

    Hopefully the unions will garner more support now and film workers will band together to negotiate collectively on any future projects and hold out to become employees if they so wish.

  20. Anne 20

    Our very own ‘Porkie’ PM is holding a press conference at 7.20pm this evening. I wonder what lies he’s going to tell us tonight?

    • Carol 20.1

      Hmmm. I wonder if Key will decide his focus groups are not keen on extra financial sweetners, so that he’ll cut Warners loose, blame the unions & change the employment law anyway?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cadetships programme continues to empower whānau Māori
    Since July 2022, more than 610 cadets across 35 programmes have been approved, up from the 499 cadets approved by this time in the last financial year. The programme is growing. “The Cadetship programme’s ongoing success comes down to treating our young people with mana so that they can achieve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New rules for offshore detention complete Govt response to Operation Burnham inquiry
    The government has announced a new set of rules to ensure proper and humane treatment of people detained by Police, Defence forces, or other New Zealand agencies during offshore deployments. The Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the new framework for offshore detention delivers on the fourth and final recommendation accepted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • 19 new townhouses for whānau in need in Lower Hutt
    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare today visited Kahungunu Whānau Services and their newly purchased 19 townhouses in Taita, Lower Hutt. “Through the Government’s Te Kahui Māori Housing programme, Tātai Mokopuna Holdings Limited (the asset holding company of Kahungunu Whānau Services)  was granted a $7.1 million Māori housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government backs greater competition in building supplies to reduce costs for Kiwis
    The Government will take action to increase competition in the residential building supplies sector, says Building and Construction Minister Dr Megan Woods and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark, following the release of the Commerce Commission’s market study final report. “We asked the Commerce Commission to review our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Royal Commission to draw lessons from pandemic response
    A Royal Commission to prepare New Zealand for future pandemics through lessons learned from COVID-19 has been announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today. “Every country in the world has grappled with COVID-19 and there was no playbook for managing it,” Jacinda Ardern said. “It had been over 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Minister Sio to discuss Pacific development priorities
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to Indonesia this week to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the Indonesia Pacific Forum for Development and the 15th Bali Democracy Forum. “Attending these international meetings enables Aotearoa New Zealand to connect with our partners kanohi ki te kanohi, or face to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Changes to partner work visas deferred to April 2023
    Changes to partner work visas that were set to come into effect in December 2022 have been deferred to April 2023, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “I have made the decision to defer these changes to April 2023,” Michael Wood said. “Our Government wants to provide greater certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Building Act changes put the environment at the heart of how we build
    The Government is taking action to reduce waste and lower emissions from the building and construction sector in significant Building Act amendments announced today. “This Government is proud to put the environment at the heart of how New Zealand builds. By enabling mandatory energy performance rating requirements for buildings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s medicines boost paying off for New Zealanders
    Pharmac’s plan to fund the cystic fibrosis medicine Trikafta is another example of the Government’s boost to the medicines budget helping New Zealanders, says Health Minister Andrew Little. “Pharmac, not politicians, makes the decisions on what treatments to fund, but politicians decide what funding to provide to Pharmac, and health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better transport choices for New Zealanders
    Forty-six councils across Aotearoa New Zealand, from large metro centres to small provincial towns, will receive funding to implement more transport options for communities, as part of the Transport Choices package 2022-24, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “The Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport infrastructure system to make it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Te Rangiwaituhi – Maniapoto apology
    Mihi Ko taku rourou iti a haere, maringi kai whenua Ko taku rourou iti a haere, maringi kai moana kia mau ki te kawau māro, whanake ake! kō Maniapoto e! Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa   Greetings and Thanks As we gather here this morning I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Maniapoto receives Crown Apology – Ka whakawhiwhia ki a Ngāti Maniapoto te Whakapāhatanga a ...
    Kua tukuna e te Pirimia, e Jacinda Ardern, i te taha o te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, a Andrew Little, te Whakapāhatanga a te Karauna ki a Ngāti Maniapoto mō āna mahi o mua i takahi i te Tiriti o Waitangi. I tū te hui i Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big online platforms to pay fair price for local news content
    The Government will legislate to require big online digital companies such as Google and Meta to pay a fair price to New Zealand media companies for the local news content they host and share on their platforms, Minister of Broadcasting Willie Jackson announced today. The legislation will be modelled on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to remove entrenchment from Three Waters legislation
    The Government will fix the Water Services Entities Bill this week by removing the entrenchment clause that was voted on during committee stages, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins announced today. “It was a mistake to put the entrenchment clause in and the Government will fix the issue as soon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 10 new whare for Ngāi Tāmanuhiri kaumātua and whānau in Te Muriwai
    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare joined Ngāi Tāmanuhiri and the wider Toitū Tairāwhiti collective, at the opening of 10 new homes built for kaumātua and whānau in Muriwai today.   “Every whare that is built and whānau that is transferred from inadequate housing to a warm dry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint statement: Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations
    Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong welcomed Aotearoa New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta to Canberra today for biannual Australia – Aotearoa New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations. The Ministers acknowledged the unique strength of the relationship between Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, reaffirmed the shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding boost for kaupapa Māori response to homelessness
    Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness) Marama Davidson has announced a significant funding boost today for kaupapa Māori approaches that support whānau into housing. $24.7 million will be allocated to support the delivery of He Ara Hiki Mauri – a tangata whenua-led response to homelessness. “Homelessness is not inevitable. By working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland barrister David Gary Johnstone has been appointed a judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Johnstone graduated from the University of Auckland in 1991 with a BCom/LLB(Hons), and joined Bell Gully as a solicitor, practising in general commercial litigation. During 1993 and 1994 he studied at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • MAIHI Whare Wananga celebrates innovative approach to Maori Housing
    New Maori Housing dashboard for better data sharing and better outcomes New development training programme to grow sector capability Associate Minister of Housing (Maori Housing) Peeni Henare today attended the annual MAIHI Whare Wananga hosted by Toitu Tairawhiti Housing Limited in Kaiti.   “Our MAIHI Whare Wananga is an opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility a step closer for Gisborne
    Health Minister Andrew Little was at Gisborne Hospital today to mark the next step of Te Tairāwhiti’s new Te Whare Awhiora mental health facility build. The Health Minister turned a sod to mark the start of groundworks at the site, in preparation for the placement of a mauri stone. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More rural broadband for regional communities
      New contracts will improve around 30,000 broadband connections in rural homes and communities Govt on track to see 99.8% of all New Zealanders receive access to improved broadband as a result of various connectivity programmes by the end of 2023, including those targeting rural regions Applications open for one-off ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tauranga region to benefit from new funding and financing tool
    Tauranga will be the first region to use a new Government tool to raise funding for much-needed infrastructure. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be used to raise finance from private markets, which is then repaid via the levy on those who benefit from the infrastructure. The finance raised by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New committee established to drive better public health outcomes
    Some of the country’s most difficult health issues will be tackled by a newly established public health advisory committee, whose members have now been appointed. Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall says the new Public Health Advisory Committee will investigate and help address long-term health challenges facing Aotearoa. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and sector back innovative regional and wool projects
    $2.17 million for new food and fibre ventures in Taranaki $2.24m to develop high-value, sustainable cashmere industry $233,000 to prototype an acoustic, knitted textile product from strong wool for high-end commercial and residential interiors.  $530 million co-invested with business through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund  The Government closes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on the death of Sir Murray Halberg
    New Zealand has lost one our true sporting icons with the passing of Sir Murray Halberg, Grant Robertson, Minister of Sport and Recreation said today. “Sir Murray was an extraordinary athlete. His gold medal in the 5000m at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960 has been immortalised as part of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministerial talks in Canberra to progress trans-Tasman relationship
    The importance of cooperation in the Pacific to support the region’s recovery and resilience will be a focus of formal talks in Canberra tomorrow between the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong. Nanaia Mahuta will meet Senator Wong for the second formal Foreign Ministers’ Consultations following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi and Government partnership delivers more rental homes for Pāpāmoa whānau
    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare attended the official opening of 10 new rental homes built for working whānau of Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore in Pāpāmoa today. “The Bay of Plenty region is one of many regions facing significant housing challenges and this Government is taking action by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investment to support growth of Māori businesses and jobs in the primary sector
    Total exports by Māori businesses have grown by 38% since 2017 to $872 million, with the majority from the food and fibre sector Launch of Rautaki mo te Taurikura action plan to support the continued growth of Māori food and fibre sector Support for Māori agribusiness innovation and workforce development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to address child abuse system failings
    The Government is adopting the majority of recommendations from an independent review into the actions of government agencies leading up to the death of 5-year-old Malachi Subecz, Minister for Children Kelvin Davis announced today. Following Malachi’s murder at the hands of his caregiver in 2021, Dame Karen Poutasi was appointed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More tools to help Police deal with fleeing drivers
    Increase the maximum driver licence disqualification period for a second offence of failing to stop or remain stopped, from 12 months to between 12 months and 24 months; Amend the Sentencing Act 2002 so that a vehicle can be forfeited on conviction for failing to stop. Offenders could have their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt books solid as global situation worsens
    The Crown accounts are in a solid position thanks to the Government’s careful financial management through a deteriorating global environment. For the four months to the end of October, the Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) recorded a deficit of $2.8 billion, $274 million lower than forecast at Budget ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expanded Dental Grants Available From Today
    ·       Increased Special Needs Grants for dental treatment are available to eligible New Zealanders available from today ·       New criteria means more Dental Treatment covered ·       People can now receive more than one grant in a year (any 52-week period), up to the maximum of $1,000 ·       Recent increases to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Exports tracking towards new record high growth
    Primary industry exports to reach new record high of $55 billion in 2023 Forecasts $2.9 billion higher than in June 2022 Tracking strongly towards a 4 per cent increase in the year ending June 2023, despite global downturn New Zealand’s record food and fibre export revenue is projected to reach ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New guidance for climate action at the local level
    The Government has released new guidance to support stronger links between New Zealand’s climate change goals, and local and regional planning. From today, it has become a legal requirement for local governments to consider the Government’s National Adaptation Plan and Emissions Reduction Plan when preparing or changing regional policy statements, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World-first bedside blood test good for people, good for health system
    A single blood test that can diagnose heart attacks in minutes instead of hours, saving the health system millions of dollars and getting patients treated faster, is being rolled out in New Zealand hospitals, says Health Minister Andrew Little. “This research, led by emergency doctors at Christchurch Hospital, is ground-breaking,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New rongoā workstream announced alongside Therapeutic Products Bill
    A new workstream has been established within government to consider how rongoā might be protected in legislation. This comes as the Therapeutic Products Bill is introduced in Parliament today, Associate Minister for Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare said. “Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Crown has an obligation to actively ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Therapeutic Products Bill introduced
    Legislation to modernise the way medicines, medical devices and natural health products are regulated has been introduced in Parliament today. The Therapeutic Products Bill replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 with a comprehensive regulatory regime that is fit for the future. Health Minister Andrew Little said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Climate Action Centre to support farmers maintain international edge
    New Climate Action Centre launched to support farmers reduce ag emissions through R&D investment 50:50 joint venture between Government and agribusiness to accelerate product development First Centre projects launched to get farmers the emissions reducing tools sooner Indicative funding commitment rising to $35 million per year by Joint venture partners, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress on firearms register and safety authority
    The launch today of a new firearms regulator to ensure the legitimate possession and use of firearms, and an online portal to apply for licences, marks a significant step towards modernisation and improvements in gun safety, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says.     Police is moving from being an administrator of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government sets out next steps for on-farm sequestration strategy
    Government to work with primary sector on developing a sequestration strategy Government confirms today it will bring all scientifically robust forms of sequestration into the Emissions Trading Scheme, starting from 2025. This will be done at full value, rather than at a discount, so farmers can realise the true potential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago