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Lucy Lawless to Steven Joyce: ‘U killed NZ film industry’

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, October 25th, 2013 - 103 comments
Categories: business, economy, film, john key, Mining, national, overseas investment, Steven Joyce, sustainability, tv - Tags:

Steven Joyce seemed somewhat complacent in his RNZ interview this morning on Radio NZ. His argument seemed to mirror some of the points I and others made with my post yesterday on NZ’s struggling screen industry.  However, Joyce’s version seemed to be rather a shallow exercise in covering his lack of efforts for the Auckland screen production industry, while failing to offer any well developed, concrete solutions to the problems.

Lucy Lawless doesn’t appear to be that keen on Steven Joyce, judging by her twitter feed, blaming him for the decline of NZ’s film industry.

While Joyce and John Key seem to have been keen to actively intervene to get the sleazy Sky City convention centre-pokie deal, they (and Mayor Len Brown) seem to have neglected Auckland’s once thriving film and TV production. As ad points out, when Bob Harvey was mayor of Waitakere City, he actively promoted the West Auckland studios and locations for filming by local and international companies.  While Key was keen to offer handouts to Warners, they seem to have made far less effort for the Auckland region as a production and filming location.

Unlike the Key government’s support for the Hobbit movies, Joyce is now saying they don’t want to participate in a “race to the bottom” in competing with the bigger government financial incentives now available in countries like Ireland.

RNZ reports:

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce concedes some television and film production companies are struggling and describes it as a challenging period.

He says the Government is working hard with agencies, including the New Zealand Film Commission, on a long-term solution.

Mr Joyce says Auckland in particular has issues and the Government is in talks with the Auckland Council to look at what it can do over and above the incentives offered by the Government.

Mr Joyce admits it is hard to compete with other countries offering better incentives but told Morning Report the key to making the film industry sustainable is more development and control of local stories.

He says key players such as filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson and producer Robert Tapert, who was behind Spartacus, also need to choose to keep making films here instead of going offshore.

NZ, as a small country and economy does have particular difficulties in developing it’s own screen production industries. This is explained in detail by Tricia Dunleavey and Hester Joyce in their 2012 book, New Zealand Film and Television: Institution, Industry and Cultural Change.  They argue that, unlike some larger countries like Australia and Britain, New Zealand screen industries are more noticeably impacted by the government of the day,

whose influence is exerted not only through the level of public funding that is allocated by supporting this production but also through the priorities for  screen policy that is determined at a cabinet level and enacted by politically-appointed officials. [pp. 19-20]

Furthermore, they argue, that NZ’s small internal market for screen productions means there is a need for a “consistent level of public funding … to insulate production industries from the effects of fluctuation in the general economy, ”and from external economic/financial shocks [p.23]

The authors show how the Clark government re-invigorated NZ’s film industry with both financial incentives for international productions in NZ, and with support for local NZ productions.

Undoubtedly, the NZ screen industries have benefited from the increase in major film and TV productions in NZ, especially those of Peter Jackson and Rob Tapert (the later the prime mover behind productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus).  The production of Xena and Hercules in Auckland resulted in significant developments in the industry infrastructure, local up-skilling and international opportunities for Kiwis, beginning in the latter half of the 1990s.  This skill development then fed into the production on the LotR films in Wellington at the turn of the century.

Now the international economic environment has changed, making it harder for the NZ industry to compete internationally.  I wonder if now the NZ industry has become a bit too dependent on big international productions.  From the above linked RNZ report:

Freelance television director Jonathan Brough, who has moved to Melbourne, says the responsibility for making the film industry sustainable lies with the Government.

He says the Government is too reliant on big budget film productions, which will go to the cheapest place to make movies, and that is no business model for an industry.

Mr Brough says changes to legislation are needed which would force broadcasters such as Sky Television to make local programmes, as is the case in Australia.

This directly contradicts claims that key’s government has prioritised production of NZ stories. Furthermore, allowing the internationally-supported Auckland screen production industry to go into decline, without already having something more locally-focused to replace it, reeks of government and Council neglect.

The infrastructure, resourcing and skilled local workforce took over a decade to develop, and will take time to rebuild if it is allowed to continue to wither.  There will continue to be some value from having some international productions in New Zealand, but this needs to be anchored by the development of a much stronger New Zealand funded, locally-focused screen industry.

Some recent tweets from (the real) Lucy Lawless, putting the blame firmly with Joyce:

SJ, u brilliant db, we shot #Xena for 6 yrs in that studio w. a train next door. The film industry is dying coz U killed it. @stevenljoyce

Bryce Pearce asked:

@RealLucyLawless @stevenljoyce Why not get Rob to discuss studio requirements with them Lucy? Evil Dead – warehouse. Spartacus – warehouses

Lawless replied:

He did. He gave them the best advice to keep film rolling and they screwed him over. @Brycepearce @stevenljoyce …

Another production just left NZ for Sth Africa. Film Industry dying, SJ! Why do you love fossil fuels so much? #ClimateChange @stevenljoyce

 John White responded:
SA. What’s that got to do with fossil fuels?
Lucy Lawless tweeted in reply:
@welliejaffa @stevenljoyce Govt policy on tax rebates for NZ film killed all incentive. foreign invest now NIL. Big Tax$ spent wooing BigOil

That last tweet is a little ambiguous, re-what “NZ Film” refers to.  I am very happy for the government providing incentives to prioritise NZ productions over international ones.  However, the bigger focus on wooing Big Oil with tax payer money is not good for NZ’s future. And the focus of the MSM seems to have been more on keeping Avatar here, than on Auckland’s screen failing industry.

I would like to see more concrete evidence of the ways the Key government is (allegedly) supporting NZ made and focused screen productions.

 

103 comments on “Lucy Lawless to Steven Joyce: ‘U killed NZ film industry’”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I heard Joyce’s interview this morning and felt a continuous urge to say “you hypocrite.”

    The Government bent over backward to solve a problem with the Hobbit that did not exist yet is doing nothing when the evidence of a crisis is clear.

    • karol 1.1

      Yes. Agreed micky.

      And Key & Joyce favoured Sky City over Auckland’s screen industry – they seem to pick their favourites.

      btw, is the RNZ audio showing on your browser? It showed when I previewed the post, but on my browsers the post has a message saying I need to download version 9 of audio flash player needed.
      – ah working now.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Yep Safari version 6.

      • FastSage 1.1.2

        RNZ reports: “the Government is working hard with agencies, including the New Zealand Film Commission, on a long-term solution.”

        This is what I call B.S. on. They had a long delayed, over due two-year long Screen Sector Review, heard from people like Rob Tapert during it, and then changed nothing. No forward thinking or strategy came out it, ‘cos they didn’t care or understand that you can make money and jobs out of creative industries as well as oil.

    • Dumrse 1.2

      Hobbit, now there’s a movie title that’s not hard to recognise however, the ” Auckland screen industry” does not ring any bells. Sounds like the latter is on the bludge for some funding so we could rightfully ask for a long hard look at the last 3 or 4 balance sheets so as we can get some idea of where the money will be spent. Looking for handouts seems to suggest there have not been too many financially successful screen productions of late. Unlike the Hobbit.

      • QoT 1.2.1

        If you missed the awesomeness that was four seasons of Spartacus then you’ve only got yourself to blame. Three seasons of Almighty Johnsons? Six seasons of Outrageous Fortune? Bueller?

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          Bueller?

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          Spartacus didn’t really rock my world, but they did try to do interesting things with it.

          What actually is “Bueller” (comments above notwithstanding 🙂 )?

          Oh, what was that Neill/Kightly one: “Harry”? That’s definitely on my dvd list.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.3

          If you missed the awesomeness that was four seasons of Spartacus…

          I don’t think I finished watching the first series. Pretty good but not great.

          • Mike S 1.2.1.3.1

            It seems Spartacus was one of those love it or not so much kinda series. Personally, I thought it was the best TV series I’ve ever watched and was groundbreaking in terms of it’s visual style. Awesome stunts, awesome cast, awesome crew obviously. Getting to see mz LL strut her stuff as a scheming, nasty, oh so sexy baddy was brilliant! I am a wee bit biased but it also was and is extremely popular worldwide. I think it was the number one cable show in the states and possibly the number one downloaded show on the internet at one stage.

            Jupiter’s cock!!

          • QoT 1.2.1.3.2

            It went for four seasons despite having to replace the main actor. It ain’t This is Not My Life which was cruelly cut off after one season, but that speaks to its success.

    • Tim 1.3

      The trouble is Micky, Joyce couldn’t actually give a shit. These people wear such things as badges of honour.
      The only thing they understand is when things begin to hurt personally.

      You’ll see that when there actually is a change of government when you can expect to hear them squeal like stuffed pigs – AND when that happens, I hope like hell that Labour doesn’t get all sorrowful and let them off the hook.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        You’ll see that when there actually is a change of government when you can expect to hear them squeal like stuffed pigs – AND when that happens, I hope like hell that Labour doesn’t get all sorrowful and let them off the hook.

        QFT and when that does happen, as it will, Labour and the rest of the Left need to put more pressure on them.

  2. Davidw 2

    Oooh ‘eck, if Lucy Lawless says so, it must be true! I have real difficulty in ascribing believability status to people who have only proven very adept at uttering other peoples’ words – mostly fiction, and exhibiting convincing outward signs of being someone else. That’s just me I suppose.

    • McFlock 2.1

      So that’s why you think Joyce is full of crap.
      What about Lawless?

    • karol 2.2

      I think you’ll find Lawless has done a little more than act.

      Meanwhile, you ignore the other evidence referred to in the post, eg by television director Jonathan Brough? Plus supporting sources that point to the buck stopping wit the government?

      Meanwhile you accept the word of politicians who mouth the words scripted for them by their PR advisers?

      • lprent 2.2.1

        Don’t be so harsh and judgemental about DavidW. Afterall stick figure puppets *like* stick figure political puppets. Neither can see the strings…

      • newsense 2.2.2

        She was the Prime Minister’s personal assistant so I think she knows what she’s talking about guys…

    • emergency mike 2.3

      Wow you’ve got a point Davidw, dem actors make career from acting, why should we listen to anything they say? Especially the hugely experienced and successful ones like Lucy Lawless.

      Politicians like Stephen Joyce on the other hand, we know they’re straight up folk who tell it like it is.

    • Sosoo 2.4

      I’d agree with her. She’s too handy with a sword.

    • Bryce P 2.5

      Ahh, David, you might want to do some research on Lucy’s husband – Rob Tapert. He’s done a few little films and TV series. Nothing big. Just Evil Dead and the like.

      • Kikilia 2.5.1

        Um- Bryce P— In regards to Rob Tapert and the “little films and tv series”…. Xena ring a bell? It’s still a money maker at conventions, what about Hercules, or Spartacus? They were all shot in NZ and brought a lot of work and money to the country.

        The Evil Dead was made before he moved to NZ for his projects…..

  3. Philgwellington Wellington 3

    Xox
    JOYCE and Key have their favourites. Tiwai, Warner Bros, America’s Cup, RWC. Andarko , Fletcher, Sky Channel and SKY TV, etc. What about help for the
    struggling smaller businesses KEY?

  4. Ennui 4

    I really objected to the government donation to the Sainted Peter and Time Warner for the Hobbit. I also really object to the government donating my portion of cash that is taken to provide me with a decent social environment to any other private entity. That includes the film industry. That National choses not to fund the film industry suits me just fine. Give the money to aged care, womens refuge, etc.

    • karol 4.1

      Well, definitely concerns like aged care, women’s refuges, beneficiaries etc should be a priority for government funding. But it should be possible also to set in place the legislation and funding for local screen industry, related to public broadcasting and affordable access to online activities for all Kiwis – it’s the arena for the kind of communications and engagement necessary for democracy to thrive.

      The Dunleavy & Joyce book that I referred to in my post, also explains the reasons for “New Zealand domiciled” or “locally produced” productions which “describe productions whose conception, narratives, financing, development, and completion are centred upon New Zealand culture, creative personnel and institutions.”

      They say up til the 1960s and 1970s, there was pretty much no local NZ screen production. So NZ basically was saturated with US & British images, idioms, stories and values & this continued the Pakeha-dominated colonial legacy & a kind of cultural “malaise”.

      There is a reason why the US government strongly supports measure to maintain their international dominance in screen productions. Part of that is economic, but part is also related to a deliberate campaign for cultural colonisation internationally.

      Since earlier in the 20th century, they have aimed to “soften up” local populations to accepting dominant US values & perspectives by encouraging distribution of Hollywood movies to other countries. First the movies, then entrance of other economic activities into overseas countries. And, they have continued similar practices into the 21st century: in Iraq after the invasion in 2003, they started broadcasting US TV programmes into Baghdad and other areas of Iraq – part of the “winning hearts and minds” initiative.

      Economic and cultural independence for NZ go hand-in-hand.

      • Tat Loo 4.1.1

        Thanks for making explicit note of the importance of propaganda in the control of western opinion, karol. It’s especially easy for the smart and the educated to be manipulated, because they think that they are way too smart and educated to fall for it. Which as every con knows, makes them perfect marks.

        Because of a lack of media coverage, hardly anyone in the west recalls the case of the Al Jazeera cameraman the US imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for years, primarily because they regarded the news channel as an enemy organisation.

        Of course throughout the Mulsim world, Sami al-Hajj is a household name.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        Dunleavy (if it’s Trish you refer to), is one very smart lady! (although from Natty stock) and hopefully someone who’ll be prepared to participate in the restoration of Public Service broadcasting in NZ when the time is ripe – alongside a couple of her colleagues).
        That lady – along with the likes of Thompson at Vic, and acouple of others of a more technical bent, know exactly what needs to be done to break the back of the destruction of PSB, Freeview, Sky monopoly, Government dept and Quango incompetence and TVNZ gravy-train-riders. (Well almost – she got thoroughly hoodwinked by one nasty little gravy-train rider that’s still a TVNZ trougher).
        Her research is usually impeccable. It’s a BIG shame she hasn’t received more support from some of her colleauges (that’s of course if we’re talking about Trisha Dunleaey)

    • belle 4.2

      “‘ I also really object to the government donating my portion of cash that is taken to provide me with a decent social environment to any other private entity.”‘

      Foreign productions bring multi million dollar budgets. They pay New Zealand workers millions of taxable dollars. They bring money here the government would never had in the first place? How is that spending “your portion of cash”?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Lucy Lawless to Steven Joyce: ‘U killed NZ film industry’

        BTW, money is, quite literally, nothing.

        • greywarbler 4.2.1.1

          DTB
          Mmmm… But it’s nothing that you can hold in neat oblongs or circles with special art work.

      • Ennui 4.2.2

        You obviously have zip all grasp on the economics of NZs film industry: TW only agreed to play ball after they and the the Sainted Peter blackmailed the maleable Shonkey to part with tax payers dollars. We the tax payers run a deficit and some privileged few keep employment at the expense of other taxpayers…i.e we transfer the pain, somebody else does not get funding so goes on the dole etc. Meanwhile the taxpayer also lines the pockets of those who profit. Last time I read the papers Treasury stated that the whole thing was a deficit to the taxpayer.

  5. Rich 5

    The argument for pork-barrelling business is usually that it’s “seed money” that will enable the business to take off without government funding in a short while.

    We’ve been doing this for the screen industry for 20+ years, and it hasn’t worked. (It hasn’t worked for tourism or big sport, either).

    Meanwhile, NZ on Air financed thousands hours of film for less than the Hobbit cost – NZ created stories, not a US-oriented adaptation of an old English book.

    If government stuck to funding things for the benefit of New Zealanders on a sensible basis, rather than pouring dollars into the pockets of foreign multinationals, it would create jobs and benefit everyone.

    • FastSage 5.1

      Um… Peter Jackson is the result of Film Commission “seed money”. Seems like a good pay-off to me. Weta Digital was in the Herald this morning as a $140m annual revenue company.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I agree that Weta Digital has been the big success story resulting from Jackson’s international productions. And it is areas of digital creativity that the NZ government should be investing for the future.

        • FastSage 5.1.1.1

          Agreed. Yet (I’m told), digital animation rebates are more out of touch with international trends than film and video games (the growth area) are completely excluded.

          • karol 5.1.1.1.1

            Interesting, FastSage. Can you explain that more, please?

            Like how can NZ produced digital animations & video games be encouraged and supported?

            • FastSage 5.1.1.1.1.1

              (Done my homework, see http://www.mch.govt.nz/screensector-review)
              After 2 years of navel gazing in July the govt announced:
              17.3 That the qualifying expenditure threshold for short-form animation be lowered
              from $1 million to $0.4 million per hour.
              17.4 That animation productions have joint access to NZ On Air, Te Mangai Pāho and
              Screen Production Incentive Fund funding.

              Spending $1m/per hour of TV on animation before you can access the rebate would require Pixar-quality animation and meant no local animation studios could use the rebate that was intended for them. So: National Govt inaction meant we had 5+ years of animation studios not even being able to access their supposed support. And I hear that the current $400k/per hour rate is unrealistic also, especially combined with the $NZD.

              Also, see how there were all these ‘silos’, which is an out-dated view of things. The Screen Production Incentive Fund criteria specifically exclude computer games. They don’t even have 1 silo.

              My answer: create a fund that encourages original IP for international audiences but owned by Kiwis, in addition to the existing funds to tell local stories for NZers, and for NZers to work on overseas productions. It would be for film, TV, animation and games. It amazes me that this doesn’t exist.

              • karol

                Excellent. Thanks, FastSage, I’ve saved it for future reference.

                What is “IP”?

                • Tat Loo

                  Intellectual Property

                  • karol

                    Ah, Thanks, Tat. I kept reading it as Internet Provider.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I do things like that as well. I always read “TS” as TeamSpeak.

                    • Tim

                      And everytime I see a van (such as) with “J.P. Wally & Sons – shopfitters”, I read shopLIFTERS. It’s a sign of the times.
                      We should avoid acronyms – its really very neo-lib – part of the agenda to fool and deceive.
                      SDLC – is it Synchronous Data Link Control? or is is Systems Development Life Cycle? – or has yet some other meaning been applied?

                      The neo-libs LERV the potential ambiguity ….. and nine times out of ten its just as quick to say the actually meaning than it is the acronym.
                      IP – Internet Provider
                      IP – Intellectual Property

                      They’re all acronyms designed for lack of specificity and for ambiguity.

                      IT …. now ‘so last century’!!!. Now has to be ICT I think.
                      Same shit, different stink.
                      Still, I ‘spose a few people earned a few grand kicking in the buzz (while a few others starved, one or two Bangladeshies got crushed, and a Nat polly or two convinced themselves how important and how much power they had).

                    • Francis

                      I generally us “copyright” since, for the most part, it covers it. You could also add in “trademarks” too, I guess.

                      Never liked the term “Intellectual Property”, besides “IP” standing for a heap of other terms, it implies property rights (ugh) of an intangible object and lumps several relatively unrelated concepts together (trademarks, copyright, and patients usually).

                      EDIT: Throw in “Internet Protocol” as another ambiguity of “IP” (as in Internet Protocol address)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Never liked the term “Intellectual Property”, besides “IP” standing for a heap of other terms, it implies property rights (ugh) of an intangible object

                      Which, of course, is it’s purpose. Just another part of the neo-liberal paradigm subtly changing our language and thus our culture.

              • karol

                This looks like a success story: Reservoir Hill, developed and delivered as an Online series for the TVNZ website, the rights have been sold to a Swedish TV company for a remake, plus it’s being developed into a film by the NZ Film Commission.

        • Mike S 5.1.1.2

          Rob Tapert has employed more Kiwis than Weta ever will. The wage bill alone for Spartacus was 90 million dollars.

    • karol 5.2

      Yes, I agree that their should be a priority on smaller budget NZ movies. The Dunleavy & Joyce book also points to the successes of the NZ Film Production Fund, set up under the Clark government in 2000. By 2009 it had contributed to the production of the following films:

      Whale Rider
      Perfect Strangers
      Perfect Creature
      River Queen
      The World’s Fastest Indian
      The Ferryman
      The Vintner’s Luck
      Boy
      Two Little Boys

      But since then it has been short of funds, partly due to the GFC, and probably also due to the change to Key’s government – according to Dunleavy & Joyce.

      • FastSage 5.2.1

        Yeah, but if we want a sustainable (read, self-funding) screen sector, instead we need NZ not to fund The Hobbit but to own something the equivalent of The Hobbit. Whale Rider only made US$41m (according to Wikipedia).

        The best attempts at this I can see are The Wots Wots, Jane and The Dragon (Richard Taylor is involved in both of these two) and Buzzy Bee. They’re global in appeal, but are based on what were originally NZ works. Then you get the show, the toy, the game app, the ebook, the royalties and a long-term brand.

        Ironically, these are all children’s TV shows – exactly what a public broadcaster should be funding so we have NZ stories for NZ kids, yet they can be commercialised internationally. The ABC in Australia do this well too, with shows like Bananas in Pyjamas. Check out http://kidsonscreen.co.nz/

        Maybe we can have public broadcasting and commercial outcomes at the same time?

        • tc 5.2.1.1

          Yup, easy. Hope across the tasman and look at their ABC which now sits 3rd in the 5 networks on audience share as the major footy codes have completed their seasons.

          You could also look back to when TVNZ made alot of money onselling its kiddult shows like ABC does now.

          Its just another example of the blighted future under neolib MO, like Hillside and telco etc one more industry been sent packing either by action or inaction.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Freelance television director Jonathan Brough, who has moved to Melbourne, says the responsibility for making the film industry sustainable lies with the Government.

    Yeah, because the private sector won’t. They’ll just go the cheapest route which means importing foreign shows.

    • karol 6.1

      Yes, due to economies of scale, the US can produce of lot of screen product (that looks slick but may, or may not have great quality) a lot more cheaply than by NZ companies. That’s why co-productions with other countries in the region (Aussie, South East Asia) may be a better option than encouraging US and European companies to film here.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Yes, due to economies of scale, the US can produce of lot of screen product (that looks slick but may, or may not have great quality) a lot more cheaply than by NZ companies.

        They don’t make it any cheaper, they sell it to far more TV channels which means that they can sell it cheaper while making similar, if not more, profit. NZ could do the same, make it here and then sell it around the world and the price on the market would be about the same as the US shows. Private investors won’t do that though – they’ll just look at the shows already available, decide that it’s too risky to make new shows here and then import decimating the local industry.

        This is why I say that the government needs to step in with full funding.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    Unlike the Key government’s support for the Hobbit movies, Joyce is now saying they don’t want to participate in a “race to the bottom”

    humph, very rich as that’s the rationale behind all of neolib’s labour market and social policy.

  8. VFX Soldier 8

    I’ve written heavily about the subsidy race in the film industry. In order to compete, NZ has to give the US studios more money than other countries. NZ has given $411M since 2008.

    So my challenge to you: How much money would NZ have to give to US studios in one year to beat Canada? Is there any limit to the amount to give away? NZ is a relatively small country compared to others in competition.

    • Tat Loo 8.1

      “How much” $$$ to give away is one issue, yes. However, there also has to be a longer term comprehensive plan than just a subsidy race to the bottom (although part of a longer term plan could be short term participation in that subsidy race to help establish more expertise and infrastructure). Anything else isn’t sustainable.

      The big studios are of course professional experts at setting off bidding wars between nations. They aren’t our friends and they have no loyalties, apart from to their own margins.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      And for that $411m we could have produced our own movie using full NZ actors, writers, audio and sound production and then sold it worldwide and made a decent profit. Hell, for that price, we could probably have made two or three of them.

    • Ad 8.3

      Good question.
      Instead why not subsidise industry that is spatially fixed and not completely globally fluid like screen industry is?
      A: it’s precisely because fixed industries can’t leave that you don’t have to support them as much as globally fluid ones
      B: globally fluid industries tend to require creative, specialised, highly paid people. They are the ones that change economies fastest and best.
      C: the interventionist point is to strive to attract industry capital to partner, and make less mobile, and make them interdependent with society. Creative industries I’ve observed really get that more than many others.

    • Bryce P 8.4

      You don’t have to give more but you need to be in the ballpark. The rest of the tempting comes down to locations / crew etc.

  9. cricklewood 9

    If I was been cynical the industry is dead/dying because we make to much shit TV that no one wants to watch… Sure production here costs but as in many industries if you produce a high quality product the cost isn’t much of an issue…

    • karol 9.1

      NZ does produce good stuff, but we need more, and it needs to be promoted well.

      Actually, I think there’s a cycle that needs to be broken. The US media corporations spend a lot of time promoting their screen products. Many Kiwis that are Internet connected, tend to look to the US as having the “best” programmes – you only need to look at web sites like Throng NZ to see how they salivate over the published line up for the latest seasons of US series when they first get published.

      And NZ TV schedules tend to follow that line too. But there’s a much more diverse lot of TV and movies and web series coming out of various countries all over the globe. I have watched programmes and/or and/or web series films from Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, South American countries, Canada, etc, that never get shown here, but have strong international support, albeit sometimes with niche audiences.

      I rate NZ’s Blue Rose, and there are some very good Aussie series showing on NZ Freeview TV. But often they can be on late night, and require a digital recorder. Maori TV also shows some very good movies and TV series from various countries, but many people don’t even think of watching that channel.

    • Mike S 9.2

      shit TV such as? …….

  10. Nick K 10

    The high $NZD has nothing to do with it aye.

    • Tat Loo 10.1

      So you agree that the NZ$ is currently too high?

      Good to know. Let’s get a Labour/Greens Government prepared to do something about that.

      • BM 10.1.1

        That’s going to be easy.
        Just getting elected will wipe about 30% off the value of the Kiwi dollar.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          One can only hope.

          • BM 10.1.1.1.1

            Really?, I’m sure all those voters will be stoked to see their cost of living go through the roof.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              well, at east they’ll have jobs.
              Because our exporters will make a killing.

              Hell, we might even start making stuff again.

              • BM

                Yes, all these jobs will just appear overnight and everyone will be happy, especially the little pixies.

                Happy times for all

                • McFlock

                  It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it would happen.

                  We have:
                  rich natural resources, most of them renewable
                  A culture of improvisation, creativity, invention, and innovation
                  fucking awesome scenery

                  This fucking screams “massive export advantage”.

                  The two things holding us back are:
                  a national govt that serves finance companies, not manufacturers
                  a dollar artificially inflated by the above

            • Tat Loo 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Offset by shitloads more jobs, movie industry contracts, and more onshore manufacturing. I guess a few people in the top 5% might be miffed that their dollar doesn’t buy as much on their European ski tour.

      • Dumrse 10.1.2

        How do you plan doing that? Will you get Russel to crank up the printing presses?

  11. lindsay 11

    What’s Joyce thinking of when he says that Peter Jackson needs to choose making films here. Peter has been doing this for 25 years. Joyce hasn’t noticed?.

    • karol 11.1

      I guess Joyce is saying Tapert and Jackson should “choose” to film in NZ even when competitive financial incentives are not on offer.

      Lawless’s tweets indicate that Tapert tried to negotiate so that it would be viable to film his latest project in NZ. She tweet that Tapert,

      He gave them the best advice to keep film rolling and they screwed him over.

    • QoT 11.2

      There’s also a coded threat: “we have to make whatever accommodations Peter Jackson demands or he’ll throw a tanty and take his film home.”

  12. Ennui 12

    This whole column seems in contradiction with where we were at when Shonkey gave away our dollars to TW plus when Richard taylor made mockery of Labour day leading an anti union march.

    • karol 12.1

      The main issue here is about how to save an industry – or at least the Auckland region part of it – rather than how to get a higher subsidy for one production that was always going to be filmed here, plus to change employment law to suit a US corporate.

      The most significant issue here is how to make a sustainable industry that works best for NZ, economically and culturally.

      • Tat Loo 12.1.1

        Correct. The whole Hobbit/Peter Jackson saga was centred around tax payer subsidies of corporate and personal super profits. What we are trying to do here is find a pathway ahead for a diverse, locally self sustaining industry ready to nurture the next generation of creative New Zealand talent.

        And notice how subsidising the Hobbit/Peter Jackson to the tune of millions has had no positive long term impact on the situation we see now in Auckland. That’s what we need to avoid.

        • greywarbler 12.1.1.1

          Tat
          That’s so true that the subsidy was only good for one use and now we’re empty again.. But what can be done immediately to stop companies breaking up? NACT are good at one off showpieces. Now Labour has to find a way to pick up the pieces now the show has moved on. And apparently it has now

          And Ennui all our creative innovative industries need some sort of subsidy. It is hard enough for them to get the chance to come up with new clever stuff. Then the beefy ox faces look at them with the words ‘Is this good for me’ going through their minds like ticker tape. We have to support them like tender plants which we will be able to eat later.

      • Ennui 12.1.2

        The aim of “saving” the industry is laudable. Which other industry will pick up the bill via tax transfers? Which other workers will be out of a job because government “picks” a winner and cant subsidise somebody else? We just cant go on expecting the tax payer to pick up the cost of unsustainable unprofitable enterprises at the expense of others.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 12.1.2.1

          Look at the Singapore Government’s current massive investment in biotech enterprises.

          And the Australian government has just announced it is putting AU$112.6M into a new biotechnology venture capital fund (to match the same sum from the private sector).

          Mariana Mazzucato has done a lot of work in this area i.e. “the entrepreneurial state”. Building brand new industries and technologies usually takes a lot of government time and money; the eventual pay back to the country needs to be in financial, social and cultural terms, as well as an industry which is self-sustaining and successful on it’s own terms.

  13. BrucetheMoose 13

    Never mind. They might as well continue, as they have been successful at slowly killing plenty of other establishments during their term. Worker’s rights and wages, the nation’s environment protection, education sector, the erosion of the country’s fundamental democratic processes, New Zealander’s privacy, Christchurch.

  14. Sable 14

    Seems no one likes these arseholes save a few sad old Tory die hards like Shitelands, King Pong and the rest. Even Lawless is applying her boot to Joyce’s fat ass and good job too.

  15. rich the other 15

    lucy and her lot are getting what they deserve .
    Money to support anything in our community must be earned .
    Lucy and her deranged green extreme mates are against most things that generate revenue .
    Attacks on farming , mining , oil and gas , motor way construction etc etc are real examples of the destructive negative attitudes these people have, they want to stop real money making ventures yet still want a hand out.
    It’s time this lot woke up , money doesn’t grow on trees .

    • karol 15.1

      Almost reads like a parody, but not a very original one.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 15.2

      It’s time this lot woke up , money doesn’t grow on trees .

      In fact, you are absolutely correct.

      Today, money is in fact generated out of thin air (“ex nihilo”) using computer keystrokes, and digitally credited to electronic accounts. A hundred million, a billion, a hundred billion dollars can therefore be created in seconds, at no cost.

      No trees need to be involved, or need to be turned into currency paper for printing, for this to happen. Hope this satisfactorily explains to you “where money comes from.”

    • Sable 15.3

      Just look at the losses National has incurred from its asset sales alone and its not hard to see what brand of fool votes for these idiots.

  16. Vanessa 16

    For all the fuss and blow bagging the Hobbit caused at the time of Shonkee wanting to rub shoulders with Hollowood when they had the ‘big boy secret squirrel signing of the Warner Bros tax break thingy’, the film itself was boring, and so uninteresting, after ten minutes I thought, “hurry up”, then I thought (about the story and characters) “who cares, then I fell.. That said, Shonkee is and will only ever be interested in putting his hand in when and where there is ‘big money’… even if its ‘blood money’. Look at his back ground and where he’s come from. His whole working life is geared around setting up business situations thru dodgy loopholes so that he and his stockholders can rake in someone else’s money. And so what he has shown us over the last few years has exposed him as being ’emotionally, spiritually and compassionately unintelligent’. Where are NZ’s other choices in leadership. Why do we not have other strong options in leadership. Surely to god we can come up with a hand full of people that are better, stronger, wiser than Shonkee. Come on you fullas step up to the base stop hiding and being humble, we need you to come forward and take charge away from these ‘sandpit truants’.

  17. Sophie 17

    After working on both PJ and Rob Tapert projects I know for a fact this is BS! “He says key players such as filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson and producer Robert Tapert, who was behind Spartacus, also need to choose to keep making films here instead of going offshore.” This is absurd, he has no idea what he is talking about. Both are continuing/trying to keep projects here!!!

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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
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  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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