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MEAA fisks Jackson tirade

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 pm, September 27th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

There doesn’t seem to be much coverage of the MEAA’s side of the Hobbit boycott story but there’s a lot of Saint Peter Jackson’s side.

That’s why it’s interesting to see the union’s response appear on info news today.

By the looks of things Jackson has refused to deal with the union which represents Kiwi workers despite months of approaches. It also looks like when he said he dealt fairly with union members he was talking about the Screen Actors Guild members – an American union that could finish him if he went against it (so it looks like he’s only pro-union when it’s unions he can’t bully).

Anyway here’s Steve Colbard’s response to Jackson’s tirade:

The makers of feature film The Hobbit – to be shot in New Zealand next year – are refusing to engage performers on union-negotiated agreements.

Members of Canadian Actors Equity, US Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists have been advised not to accept work on this non-union production.

Peter Jackson responded to the allegations about non-union contracts with a few “facts”.

Here

This article adds some of the facts he left out.

“Personally speaking, I’m not anti-Union in the slightest. I’m a very proud and loyal member of three Hollywood Unions – the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild. I support the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). All these organisations (I must confess I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between a “Guild” and a “Union”) do terrific work on behalf of their members.”

No-one ever suggested Peter or the producers were anti-union. The materials distributed by the actors unions to their members say nothing of the sort. They simply articulate the fact that the producers refuse to negotiate fair union contracts with them. Have a look. http://www.actorsequity.org.nz/hobbit_fact_sheet.pdf (Now moved to http://www.alliance.org.au/documents/hobbit_fact_sheet.pdf

“Many Actors are members of SAG, but many are not — especially younger actors and many Australian and New Zealand performers. MEAA claims we are “non-Union”, but whenever we hire an actor who belongs to SAG, we always honour their working conditions, their minimum salary agreements and their residuals.”

No claim has been made suggesting The Hobbit is non union – simply that the production is aiming to employ New Zealand performers on non-union contracts by refusing to negotiate with NZ Actor’s Equity.

“These residuals can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to an individual if the film is successful – however the normal situation is that if an actor is not a member of SAG, they do not share in the profit pot. This has always struck us as unfair, since most Kiwi actors are not lucky enough to be SAG members. For the Hobbit, Warner Brothers have agreed to create a separate pot of profit participation, which will be divided up amongst non-SAG actors who are cast in the film. This was not done because of any pressure from Guilds or Unions – it was actually Warners doing the decent thing, and New Zealand and Australian actors will be the principle beneficiaries. SAG members have their pot, and non-SAG members now have theirs. We have introduced the scheme to Kiwi agents and it’s now part of all our Hobbit cast deals.”

What the producers have offered is far below international standard of SAG and the distribution of these residuals is not clearly articulated in any contract used so far in NZ. These residuals are significantly less than the MEAA usual agreements in every respect. Kiwis will be paid less than anyone else who might be engaged to do the same work. Fair?

Also if Kiwi performers are contracted subject to the standing NZ guidelines the usual provisions of the New Zealand contract would apply. These include a provision which permit the producer to terminate the contract at any time without obligation to pay out the performer’s contract. This provision could also be used to justify non-payment of any residual obligation which may have been agreed above (even after the performer has performed all their work on the film and even if the performer’s work is used in the film).

This clause alone makes the residual offer above meaningless.

“Whatever damage MEAA is attempting to do — and it will do damage, since that’s their principal objective in targeting The Hobbit – we will continue to treat our actors and crew with respect, as we always have.”

However earlier films such as Lord of the Rings, international performers were protected by their unions and kiwis worked on contracts with conditions that were significantly lower than their international counterparts. In fact some of the Kiwis on the that film sued New Line over the money made from merchandising and it was settled out of court.

“As I said earlier, money and power lies behind this threatening behaviour from our Australian cousins, and to fully understand that, you simply have to step back and look at the greater picture in context. It starts with “NZ Actors Equity”. This is a tiny organisation that represents a small minority of New Zealand Actors. They are not a Union, and have none of the legal status of a Union. They are a … well, a smallish group who have some New Zealand actors as members.

Just some of those New Zealand actors are Dame Kate Harcourt, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Bruce Hopkins, Tandi Wright, Michael Hurst, Cameron Rhodes, Elizabeth McCrae, Stephen Lovatt, Kirk Torrance and Lisa Chappel. Not small names in New Zealand.

“How many actors are members of NZ Equity? They guard that information very closely, but various reports I’ve seen put their membership at 200, although somebody in the know swears it’s nearer 100.”

If we are going to engage in rumours a more accurate one (from a member of the National Performers Committee of Equity itself) places membership in excess of 400. Still small but read on …

“How many professional actors are there in New Zealand? Somewhere between 2000 and 4000, depending on just how you describe a “professional actor”. Obviously most Kiwi actors have other employment too, but there’s certainly over 2000 actors available to cast in a film production.”

Actually in the 2006 census the occupation count for actors in New Zealand (ie. those who said they were actors!) was 588 …. see here http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage/classification-counts-tables/about-people/~/media/Statistics/Publications/Census/2006-reports/Classification-Count-Tables/People/occupation-revised.ashx

“So taking the most generous numbers, NZ Actors Equity represents 200 out of 2000 Kiwi actors, or 10%. Perhaps I’m wrong, and if so, NZ Equity will no doubt reveal their real membership numbers.”

Taking those alternative stats and calculating suggests NZ Actors Equity represents 68% of Nz actors. Even if you take Peters “generous” estimate of 200 its still at least a third.

“Now there’s nothing wrong with NZ Actors Equity representing 10% of the actors in this country. It’s great that they offer that service, and if an actor chooses, there’s a supportive group they can join. Obviously the more actors that join NZ Equity, the better, since these organisations usually survive by taking a small percentage of their members acting fees. I’m guessing that Equity do something like that. Recently they have been part-funded by MEAA.”

Actors do pay a small due to help keep their union running. Recently NZ Actor’s Equity asked the Australian union for help in order to combat the behaviour of NZ producers who have been exploiting their members. MEAA have been providing this support. NZ Actors Equity is now an independent arm of the MEAA.

“Over the last 10 years our relationship with NZ Equity has been rocky — whenever we cast an “overseas actor”, we get a letter telling us why such and such Kiwi actor would be so much better in the role. In most cases we have already auditioned the actor in question, and formed our own opinions…”

Standard immigration policy all over the world demands that businesses demonstrate that any foreign national they hire doesn’t take a job away from a local.

“What really does strike me as wrong, and this is my personal opinion, is the why that the MEAA is using NZ Actors Equity as a vehicle to represent the voices and opinions of New Zealand actors. A couple of years ago, the members of NZ Actors Equity voted to join some kind of alliance with the Australian MEAA group. At the time, there were voices of alarm at how this relationship could damage the interest of Kiwi Actors, but the merger went ahead – and now we’re about to find out just how damaging it’s going to be.”

One of the many reasons NZ performers voted to accept the support of the MEAA is they were tired of being “Mexicans with cellphones” as some of the international producers colourfully called them. Doing the same work on the same productions and being awarded less than their international cousins.

“I personally have a problem with any organisation who represent a small minority, but attempt to take control of everyone – but that’s not the real issue. The complex web of NZ labour laws are the reason why this demand will never be agreed to. NZ law prohibits engaging in collective bargaining with any labour organisation representing performers who are independent contractors, as film actors clearly are. The NZ Commerce Act claims it would be unlawful to engage with an Australian Union on these matters.”

However NZ Actors Equity has obtained legal advice that there are a variety of lawful means which could be used to establish the minimum wages, working conditions and residuals for performers on the production. A copy of this advice has been provided to the lawyers for the producer. So somebody has their facts wrong …

“My personal opinion is that this is a grab for power. It does not represent a problem that needs a solution. There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit — and now the Union is targeting us, despite the fact that we have always respected SAG conditions and residuals.

I can’t see beyond the ugly spectre of an Australian bully-boy, using what he perceives as his weak Kiwi cousins to gain a foothold in this country’s film industry. They want greater membership, since they get to increase their bank balance.”

This emotionally charged statement has been quoted extensively by news media thus far. To be clear it is all of the Australian, American, Canadian and British unions who stand with the NZ performers not just an Australian “bully-boy”. They are supporting New Zealand performers at the request of Actors Equity NZ. The request isn’t much. A standard union negotiated contract for all New Zealand performers.

Interestingly enough the person complaining about the “Australian bully-boy” (who are involved only to support fair contracts for New Zealand actors) is the one who is perpetuating unfair conditions on his own country men. A Kiwi exploiting his own?

“But it sure feels like we are being attacked simply because we are a big fat juicy target – not for any wrong doing. We haven’t even been greenlit yet! It feels as if we have a large Aussie cousin kicking sand in our eyes … or to put it another way, opportunists exploiting our film for their own political gain.”

Or it could be viewed as the acting community of the world standing up for the rights of a small group.

lprent: Updated to fix the links and put in a link that had moved (thanks to tiger).

53 comments on “MEAA fisks Jackson tirade ”

  1. Wow, great post Irish.

    It is great when the facts get in the way of PR and this post is an example of what can happen when the facts are reported.

  2. Swampy 2

    Now isn’t it strange, that file is not on their server any more.

  3. Swampy 3

    Where’s a response to the statement that the MEAA is not a registered union in NZ and therefore an NZ employer is not able to negotiate a collective agreement with them.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Can’t wait until the Jackson PR accusations of simply being an innocent Tall Poppy start to appear.

    An innocent Tall Poppy who only respects the value of the per hour labour supporting his multi-million dollar profit stream when absolutely forced to.

  5. millsy 5

    I had a lot of respect for Sir Peter Jackson until this.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Ditto

    • jagilby 5.2

      Yeah, how dare he not lay down for the unions.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Forget the unions, that’s a red herring. How dare he diss fellow NZ workers in favour of his multinational paymasters. That’s the issue.

        • jagilby 5.2.1.1

          Uhh ha, looks like he will diss NZ workers by packing up his sandpit and taking the production offshore.

          Such a cock that Sir Pete – single handedly setting up that multi-million industry here.

          What’s worse than (alleged) poor working conditions for (otherwise unskilled) workers?
          No working conditions.

          Just shows all this hand-wringing about job creation is so disingenuous.
          Jobs are all well and good only if they result in more union subsidies to fund your political agenda. It’s so transparent that, frankly, it’s sickening.

  6. Standard immigration policy all over the world demands that businesses demonstrate that any foreign national they hire doesn’t take a job away from a local.

    And standard Hollywood big-budget movie policy all over the world is that the producers and director decide which actors are going to play the parts. If you don’t want big-budget movies made here, fine – it’s a free country. But if you would like them made here, this kind of blather is just plain delusional.

    The request isn’t much. A standard union negotiated contract for all New Zealand performers.

    Actually, that request is much – it’s a demand for non-union workers to be covered by the union’s contract without them having to join the union. Why the employer would be interested in assisting with this is anything but obvious.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    And standard Hollywood big-budget movie policy all over the world is that the producers and director decide which actors are going to play the parts. If you don’t want big-budget movies made here, fine – it’s a free country. But if you would like them made here, this kind of blather is just plain delusional.

    Maybe you’re a real “Stars in their Eyes” type but WTF would you let these rich pricks turn up on our shores with their million dollar making projects, and short change your fellow New Zealanders?

    You really think that they cannot afford an extra NZ$100K in wages to give NZ’ers a fair go out of a US$150M Hollywood block buster budget?

    Grow up and learn to back your fellow workers mate.

    • Not interested. If the people actually working in the sector don’t care enough about this to actually join the union, I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        Ummm if the numbers in the post are correct, then it does look like the majority of actors are in the union?

        BTW: I checked from another source of occupational data and I’d say that the census over estimates the numbers who call themselves actors. Furthermore when I peek at the historical data there aren’t that many who stay in the occupation for very long. I wonder why? Lousy wages and lack of security perhaps? The very thing that unions formed over?

        • pollywog 7.1.1.1

          Maybe they cant be bothered paying union fees to a union that is so ineffectual that they feel capable of representing themselves at the negotiating table and commanding what they’re worth based on the value they place on themselves and their work or are prepared to take a hit in the wallet for the love of the craft.

          No ones forcing actors to take the money on offer but this union is trying to force the producers to offer more when maybe the actors just aren’t worth it.

        • Salsy 7.1.1.2

          there aren’t that many who stay in the occupation for very long. I wonder why? Lousy wages and lack of security perhaps? The very thing that unions formed over?

          How about lack of roles, funding and a small indie industry ?

          • IrishBill 7.1.1.2.1

            Milt, you’re looking at it like it’s a standard job that gets organised as the ongoing job is done. That’s not how this sort of thing works as there’s nobody employed on the project to be in the union yet.

            Think of it like a major construction project such as a hydro dam. What happens in Aussie (and occasionally here) is the union negotiates with the companies running the project to get a collective agreement and then workers who sign up for the project get the option of joining the collective.

            The other option is to unionise the project once it’s under way. A situation that is both disruptive to the project and messy for the workers.

  8. fatchecker 8

    More nz sux posts from the substandard mmmkay

  9. the sprout 9

    What a surprise that a Hollywood millionaire with a colonial title should turn out to be a lying arsehole.

  10. Salsy 10

    What NZ actors who do bit parts in Weta Movies should be forced into a union which makes them pay around $2000 per year to be part of, and then dictates which movies they can and cant be in (i.e SAG). Tarantino for instance is known to hire non union, because like Jackson he knows actors unions threaten independant film making… The knee jerk anti Jackson reactions here are painful..

  11. Craig Ranapia 11

    No claim has been made suggesting The Hobbit is non union

    The MEAA should drop the Screen Actors Guild a line and suggest they stop claiming exactly that — repeatedly — in the Member’s Alert on their own website. Then again, MEAA director Simon Whipp would look ever so slightly foolish doing so, because I assume he concurred with the wording before he agreed to have it sent out with his signature attached.

    http://www.sag.org/sag-member-alert-non-union-production-hobbit

  12. Jeremy Harris 12

    If the film loses money do the Actors have to chip in to pay the bills..?

  13. Just some of those New Zealand actors are Dame Kate Harcourt, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Bruce Hopkins, Tandi Wright, Michael Hurst, Cameron Rhodes, Elizabeth McCrae, Stephen Lovatt, Kirk Torrance and Lisa Chappel. Not small names in New Zealand.

    You’re just saying they belong to Actors Equity but do you actually know what their position is ?…Has anyone asked them ?

    Not that i’m particularly interested in what mostly TV regulars, none of whom could command the star power residuals which lie at the heart of the matter, have to say about this.

    So explain to me again why actors think they deserve a bigger cut of the take if they dont actually take any risk and front up with any stake money from the outset. Is it cos they’re soooo hard done by and their working conditions suck ?

    I’d still be keen on hearing what Sam Neill, Karl Urban and Cliff Curtis have got to say more than anyone but somehow i dont think we’re gonna hear them complain much about their lot in life or put their careers on the line for any of those mentioned above nor do i think those mentioned are gonna step up, put their money where their mouth is and their careers on the line for the assembled throng of disgruntled bit players and cast offs.

    • Carol 13.1

      Just as I thought, Urban is a bit of a union man:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4172672/Urban-backs-unions-over-conditions

      Kiwi movie star Karl Urban has thrown his weight behind a union demand for better conditions for actors.

      • pollywog 13.1.1

        NZ Actors Equity president Jennifer Ward-Lealand said it did not want to jeopardise production of The Hobbit in New Zealand but had been seeking a meeting to discuss the issue for more than a month.

        “NZ Actors Equity is concerned that local actors working on the production receive a fair and equitable contract, just as their international colleagues will do.”

        Karl urban said

        “[The] NZ Actors Equity has my full support in their struggle to gain a higher standard of contract for New Zealand performers

        If he [Jackson] has the opportunity to help improve the working conditions for actors in New Zealand, to bring us more in line with our colleagues in Australia, the UK, and the US…”

        Good on ya Karl

        So would that concern also extend to your international colleagues in Bollywood, Nigeria or Eastern Europe and it’s only NZ Actors Equity that has your full support but lets be specific…

        Whats your position regarding supporting the MEAA and their demand for NZ actors to boycott ‘the hobbit’ ?

        …and these working conditions you’d like to see improved. Could you expound on that a bit more ? I thought it was only about gouging more dosh from the producers in the form of residuals ?

        And heres a question you and Jen might perhaps like to answer ?

        What impact do you think it will have on the NZ film industry if international standards of contract are applied across the board to all NZ shot films, not just the major studio blockbusters ?

        It seems the MEAA dont have any qualms about sacrificing our film industry. That would see foreign productions shift to non unionised locales, for the sake of the few well to do actors who will benefit most.I mean, it’s not like the MEAA have anything to lose, but a whole lot of membership fees to gain, plus a degree of power in the NZ film industry.

        Is that a sacrifice you’re prepared to make over a few measly dollars ? So really, how bad are these conditions and contracts ?

        • Salsy 13.1.1.1

          What impact do you think it will have on the NZ film industry if international standards of contract are applied across the board to all NZ shot films, not just the major studio blockbusters ?

          These are the exact questions we should be asking Polly :). Given the NZ film industry consists almost entirely of independent films, bar the few big budget Studio funded films Jackson brings to the shores…

      • Craig Ranapia 13.1.2

        I’m rather more bemused that Ian McKellen, AFAIK, has no comment. As far as I’m aware, he’s been an active member of Actor’s Equity in the UK for over forty years, and God know he’s never been shy about saying what he really thinks.

      • William 13.1.3

        When Sam Neill was employed at the NFU he was a staunch PSA member. The political causes he has supported in more recent times would indicate he hasn’t moved far from the support of workers rights.

  14. SHG 14

    Simple question: is the MEAA a registered union under the Employment Relations Act?

    If the answer is “no”, then it has no standing and the producers cannot legally negotiate with it, which would make this entire exercise a NZ PR campaign by an Australian union.

    • The Voice of Reason 14.1

      Except NZ employers regularly ‘negotiate’ collectively with workers who are not union members. Most recently this has taken the form of fat cat CEO’s announcing wage freezes. Illegal, but rarely challenged.

    • William 14.2

      Bullshit. The producers seem quite willing to honour conditions negotiated by SAG and other overseas unions, and those unions are not registered under the ERA.

    • Rich 14.3

      As far as I’m aware, being a registered union is only required to get the various rights unions have. There is no law that prevents a company negotiating with an unregistered union or any other body – they aren’t legally obliged to either. Point to the ERA section if you disagree.

      I believe the approach of the various international acting unions is that if the film is non-union, their members, including the stars the film needs to be a success, shouldn’t sign up to work on it. This applies if the film is made in Wellington, Moldova or on an floating disused oil platform. Sure, it can be made with unknown East European actors, but the chances are that nobody would pay to watch it.

  15. factchecker 15

    “The Alliance agreement for large budget international studio films (such as Mad Max 4 aka Fury Road
    and Happy Feet 2) provides for residuals that are equivalent to those under the SAG Agreement. The
    residuals proposed by the producers of The Hobbit are less in every respect.”

    Fantasists

  16. Daveo 16

    When the MEAA talk about the New Zealand contract they are talking about the situation where people that would usually be employees covered by employment law (minimum wage, right to challenge dismissal etc) are hired as “independent contractors”.

    Independent contractors are considered to be one-person businesses engaged in a contract with the producers. the relationship is similar to that you might have with a plumber you call in to fix a leak – you’re not the employer, rather you get a quote for the whole job and then they do it for that price and if you’re not happy with the job you break the contract.

    This means the employment relationship is considered to be a contract that falls under the commerce act rather than under employment law.

    This may be a suitable circumstance for hiring a plumber (in which both parties have similar negotiating power when the contract is created, such as you and your plumber) but there is no way an individual film worker has the ability to negotiate a fair contract with a multi-million dollar producer in that the cost of losing the contract for the worker is significantly greater than the cost of not hiring that individual worker is to the producer (the former risks losing their livelihood the other only risks having to find another contractor).

    As such many film workers in the small NZ film market end up working contracts that would be below legal minimum standards if they were deemed employment agreements but don’t have employment law to protect them.

    A union draws together the negotiating power of individual workers (and, in this case, international stars) to provide a balance to the power of the producers in order to achieve a more balanced outcome in the form of a collective agreement. In short, the union members’ risk is still the loss of their livelyhood but so too is the producers as there are no other “contractors” to do the work.

    What we are seeing here is Peter Jackson and other film producers trying to stop this collective process because it threatens their monopoly on bargaining power.

    It should be noted that Jackson pays union rates to international members of the Screen Actors Guild. This is simply because the collective negotiating power of SAG is considerably greater than his negotiating power. Which is to say if he took SAG on he would never get work in Hollywood again.

    While this may seem a cynical reduction of the issue it is the reality of doing business in a liberalised labour market such as New Zealand’s.

  17. Carol 17

    On Campbell Live just now, Bruce Hopkins (actor in Hercules, Xena, LOTR), threw some light on the Jackson-actors’ union issue. It seems it goes back to some time in the 90s when the Nats deregulated unions, and set a minimum limit on the number of members needed to form a union. The actors’ didn’t have enough members to be a union & have tried attaching themselves to other unions in the past. But this wasn’t very satisfactory because they were attached to unions they had nothing in common with. So, then a key leader put out a call for a union to affiliate with in Melbourne, and MEA responded.

    So, basically, they have a history of not being able to negotiate bottom-line conditions of employment. This issue pre-dates LOTR. And Kiwi actors are about the only ones in the world who haven’t been able to negotiate a basic agreement.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      And it sounds like Jackson, instead of siding with Kiwi actors to fight for a better deal, has simply become a money taking agent of the multinationals and is pushing a free market model for labour i.e. one which benefits the corporations the most by disempowering workers to the maximum.

      Shame shame shame

    • Craig Ranapia 17.2

      Carol: I think Bruce should stick to the acting (which he’s rather good at) because his history is FUBAR. He might start by asking someone at the CTU to send him a copy of the Employment Relations Act – which was passed by the Fifth Labour Government.

  18. RedLogix 18

    This is what happens when you live in a ‘gated community’ … in this case a mansion tucked away in the Wairarapa… you completely loose touch with ordinary people.

    All through history there are endless examples of people who through talent, luck or sheer guts have risen to the top…only to be toppled by their own hubris. It’s the oldest tragedy.

  19. millsy 19

    As much as I greatly admire what Jackson has done for the New Zealand cinema and film industry, I dont think it should be an exuse to treat film industry workers like crap.

    The set and costume designers (and the people who put it together) did a great job on LOTR and are more than capable of drawing a viewer into the film, and it would be a shame that they had to be paid less than minimum wage

  20. Jum 20

    captcha: voices

    Doesn’t Peter remember the bullshit from New Line Cinema trying to rip him off; he needs to remember that NZ actors are entitled to being treated fairly; remember that Peter – a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and no loading the rich guy’s side.

    Unfortunately, Peter is beginning to sound like John Key. I thought he was different.

  21. Tiger Mountain 21

    It seems last night several hundred NZ actors (not Australian Actors) met in New Zealand (not Australia) and democratically decided to recommend to NZ Equity members they not accept work on the ‘Hobbit’ until a meeting to discuss conditions has been held with Sir Jackson.

  22. Jum 22

    My goodness, these captchas are spooky; I was intending to post that Peter has gone over to the dark side, National.

    captcha: NATIONAL

    I don’t believe Lord of the Rings would have taken on the amount of magic it did without the total immersion of New Zealand and New Zealanders in it. Key as Tourism minister should know how much Kiwi actors put into taking New Zealand and fantasy to the world and Jackson should know how much less of a film it would have been if filmed in Eastern Europe.

    If Peter’s planning to go over there because unions aren’t operating for their workers, then he really has morphed into the Wolf.

    The sheer pleasure of New Zealanders in taking the actors to their hearts; the actors like Orlando Bloom, the wee hobbits, etc who responded to that by giving a better performance; these are all unquantified positives but certainly would have increased the monetary intake at box offices around the world.

    At best, Jackson is a puppet being manipulated because he wants to do The Hobbit, but at what cost to his mana here or actors here if they cave in when there is so much support for them in Australia, America, etc.

    Key, of course, would love to see yet another Union weakened in New Zealand. We must be grateful other countries are supportive. We must be too, in order to strengthen the meaning of Union around New Zealand which is for people, people, people as opposed to the moneytrader’s mantra – money, money and more money/power, power and more power.

    Let’s give the power to the people.

  23. angus 23

    It also looks like when he said he dealt fairly with union members he was talking about the Screen Actors Guild members – an American union that could finish him if he went against it (so it looks like he’s only pro-union when it’s unions he can’t bully).

    Sir Peter Jackson is a union member, who is being targeted unfairly in an agressive smear campaign. He can therefore go to his union and get them to boycott working with any “talent” from the MEAA.

  24. David 24

    Well if the shitbag Aussie wankers who obviously cant do anything for themselves, so they are trying to ruin the NZ film industry .

    Here’s a suggestion for you
    FUCK OFF

    • Marty G 24.1

      The workers are Kiwi.

      They are members of New Zealand Actors’ Equity which is an autonomous part of the Australasian union MEAA. Film is an international business, so the unions operate and cooperate across borders too.

      no need for the language.

  25. David 25

    If the Aussies are intent with the help of a few RICH NZ actressess and actors to ruin the NZ film industry I will NOT tone down the language. They don’t care about anyone or anything except thier own over inflated bank accounts..

    So I repeat

    FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Marty G 25.1

      Why would New Zealand actors who want to be in The Hobbit want to send The Hobbit overseas?

      You’ll tone down the language if you want to continue commenting here. This isn’t anarchy. This site is the private property of The Standard Trust.We welcome robust debate and all we ask is that you behave civilly while here. If you’re unclear on what good behaviour in company is check the policy: http://thestandard.org.nz/policy/ Nearly everyone manages to behave civilly and those who don’t face consequences.

      [lprent: and I enjoy implementing the consequence when people violate my interpretation of the policy. ]

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    What do we know so far about Christopher (or is it to be “Chris”?) Luxon? We have so far been allowed to know only that he was chief executive of Air New Zealand, that he is an evangelical Christian (that is, a proselytising, and not just your everyday,) Christian, and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    10 hours ago
  • Something is missing from this picture
    Yesterday the National Party picked a new leader, who seems indistinguishable from the last-but-one. Today, Stuff has an article exploring where he stands on the "big issues", which looks at "faith and politics", "identity and housing", "three Waters and He Puapua", and "health and social investment". What's missing? Just climate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Chris Luxon – Day One
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    12 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 1 December 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Leo Milani, Policy Advisor, Waimate District Council: “NZ Politics Daily offers an indispensable survey, and methodical analysis of, NZ media’s coverage of the most pertinent political issues of the day. Its format, content, and quality renders it a vital tool not only to the general reader, but also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    13 hours ago
  • 2021 Reading Log: November
    Completed reads for November: Unfinished Tales, by J.R.R. TolkienMurder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha ChristieCreative Metal, by Len GaleThe Man in the Brown Suit, by Agatha ChristieEndless Night, by Agatha ChristieLord Edgware Dies, by Agatha Christie ...
    19 hours ago
  • A strong start – but can Luxon last?
    The first thing Chris Luxon did publicly after being elected as the 15th leader of the National Party was thank his colleagues. It was the proper thing to do. For it is only thanks to the cloak and dagger politics that they’ve engaged in over the past three years that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Air New Zealand flight attendant named CEO after one year on job
    A 51-year-old flight attendant has completed a swift and stunning rise to CEO of Air New Zealand. New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, has expressed great enthusiasm in announcing its new CEO today: 51-year-old Nathan Guy, a flight attendant who has spent about 1200 hours on the job. Guy ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • A true story
    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    1 day ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Can genetically engineered seeds prevent a climate-driven food crisis?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington When John Boelts sows acres of cotton seed on his farm in Yuma, Arizona, he does so knowing that the fields will be free of an invasive pest called pink bollworm. For nearly a century, the small pink striped ...
    2 days ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    2 days ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    3 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    4 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    5 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    6 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    6 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    6 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    6 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    1 week ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    Its official: the Marsden Point refinery, source of more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, will be closing down from April: Refining NZ has confirmed its decision to close the Marsden Point oil refinery, which will shut down in April. The company announced on Monday that its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
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    1 day ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    2 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
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    3 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
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    4 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
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    4 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
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    4 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
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    5 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
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    5 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
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    6 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
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    6 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
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    6 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
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    7 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
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    7 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
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    7 days ago