web analytics

Q&A on The Hobbit

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 28th, 2010 - 83 comments
Categories: business, tax, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Q. What were the actors asking for?

A. Actors in NZ are usually employed as independent contractors. They have a set of guidelines (The Pink Book) which set out the standard conditions for the employment of actors, but this is a guideline only and not enforceable.

Actor’s Equity have outlined the following areas as causes of concern: minimum fees, conditions of engagement, professional protections and residuals.

In lay terms, there is no minimum that you can pay a NZ actor and no minimum working conditions. A contract can be terminated at any time with no obligation to pay out the contract. ‘Residuals’ are a bit like royalties – they are payments to someone for their work when it is used again after the original showing (such as releasing a movie on DVD).

For the most part, the Kiwi industry is made up of low-budget, no-budget and modest-budget productions, so these conventions have worked for actors for some time. But things are changing. Big budget international productions have been filming more and more in NZ – examples being LOTR, The Last Samurai, Spartacus and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It’s not so acceptable for these large budget productions to play by the same rules as a modest-budget Kiwi production. Especially when they employ international actors on much better conditions to do similar work on the same production.

Actor’s Equity wanted to address these issues with the makers of The Hobbit. The producers came out saying that the union was not registered in NZ and that contractors can’t bargain collectively. That didn’t need to be an obstacle however.

From Actor’s Equity on 1 October 2010 below:

“Advice we have received today from Miriam Dean QC, a senior barrister specialising in competition law, confirms our views that:
•       “There’s no legal impediment to negotiating fair wages and terms for actors taken on as employees.
•       “Nothing in the Act prohibits us from having some meaningful engagement with the producers on non-price terms for actors taken on as independent contractors, such as rolling credits to acknowledge New Zealand actors’ input into the movie.
•       “Nor does the Act prohibit us from discussing pricing in general terms with the producers to enable us to help our independent contractor members in their individual negotiations with producers.  The Union accepts that these could only be recommended prices – nothing more.”

The union accepted that there would be no formal collective agreement bargained by the union. As they point out, there is nothing in the law to stop the union having a meeting with the producers to argue their piece and have the producers voluntarily offer improved conditions to the actors.

Q. How did it all go so wrong?

A. The first approaches to the producers appear to have been through FIA (The International Federation of Actors) an international collective of actor’s collectives from around the world. The letters they sent to the production company do demand a union-negotiated collective agreement or a blacklist will apply. These demands don’t sit easily with NZ’s situation, where most actors are contractors and are not allowed to bargain collectively. What FIA was asking for seems to have been nothing short of bringing NZ fully into line with the situation in other countries, where film industry work is highly unionized.

However, if the producers had discussed the situation with the union, then the issues could have been clarified and worked through a lot earlier.

Q. Was the dispute ever a credible threat to the production going ahead?

A. In the early stages, yes. The support of international unions including the US Screen Actors Guild for the blacklisting meant that the dispute could have halted the production of The Hobbit.

However, the international blacklist has been lifted. Actor’s Equity have resolved their dispute and have guaranteed that no further industrial action will disrupt The Hobbit.

There seemed to be an agreement between Warner Bros and Actor’s Equity that it was all settled, until Peter Jackson announced that the studio was thinking of moving the production overseas due to the now-settled dispute.

Q. How scared could Warner Bros really be of a small Kiwi union?

A. Warner Bros has been engaged in industrial action with much bigger, scarier unions than NZ. The most recent major action being the Writer’s Guild strike in America in 2008, which was also about residuals.

These are some of the other major strikes engaged in by the US film industry:
•  2000 Commercial actors strike, almost six months.
•  1988 Writers Guild of America strike, 22 weeks.
•  1987 Directors strike, 3 hours and 5 minutes.
•  1985 Writers strike, two weeks.
•  1981 Writers Guild of America strike, three months.
•  1980 Actors strike, three months.
•  1960 Actors strike, led by SAG President Ronald Reagan, six weeks.
•  1952 Actors strike, two and a half months.
•  1945 Set decorators Hollywood Black Friday strike, six months.
•  1942–44 Musicians’ strike, thirteen months plus.
•  1941 Disney animators’ strike, five weeks.

During the Writer’s Guild strike, the financial impact on the studios of accepting the writer’s demands was assessed as ‘negligible’ and that the studios were afraid that a settlement would ’embolden directors and actors in their coming renegotiations’.

The American alliance of producers, AMPTP used the following strategy:

“Fabiani & Lehane’s strategy appeared to be to try to weaken the WGA membership’s resolve and foment resentment and doubt regarding WGA leadership within its ranks and in the film industry at large, especially with below-the-line workers [technical crew], by framing the strike as “havoc… wreaked… by the WGA’s actions” (paraphrased) and by blaming the WGA for “start[ing] this strike”.”

A major difference in the WGA strike appears to be that the public actually supported the writers, rather than the studios:

“One national survey conducted by Pepperdine University from November 7 to November 9 found that…nearly two-thirds of the sample sided with the writers, one third was unsure, and only four percent sympathized with the AMPTP (1,000 American adults participated). A second regional poll conducted by SurveyUSA on November 11 of Los Angeles residents indicated that eight percent supported the studios with sixty-nine percent supporting the writers (550 American adults participated, with 482 identifying themselves as being familiar with the strike).”

Q. Was the Warner Bros decision to consider other locations the result of the NZ actor’s industrial action?

A. The issues that Warner Bros took to the NZ Govt appear to have been the following:

* Clarification over the Bryson case – where a contractor successfully claimed to have actually been an employee and entitled to the protections given to employees.
* The appreciation of the NZ dollar against the US dollar, which makes it more expensive to film in NZ
* The size of the tax breaks given by the Government to big budget film productions.

The first point is only tangentially relevant to the Actor’s Equity dispute, and the other two points are completely unrelated.

Q. Did the actor’s industrial dispute give Warner Bros an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have had to renegotiate tax breaks?

A. Warner Bros could already have been agitating behind the scenes for increased tax breaks, but the actor’s industrial dispute unquestionably gave them the opportunity to increase their leverage by threatening to leave NZ if they didn’t get what they wanted.

However, the actors cannot be blamed for this. Warner Bros exploiting them to gain an advantage is not their fault.

– Blue

83 comments on “Q&A on The Hobbit”

  1. Sufi Safari 1

    I disagree with you on the final point. Perhaps not the actors, but NZAE and MEAA should absolutely be blamed for giving Warner Bros an opportunity to improve their position. It was clear from day one of the boycott hitting the front pages that it was a bad option, and if NZAE and MEAA had been at all competent it should have been pretty clear to them that it was a bad option before they took it.

    I have no love for exploitative industry, but at the same time as decrying Warner Bros we should be holding NZAE and MEAA to account for their amateur hour approach to playing hard ball with a major studio. With any luck they’ll learn their lesson from the debacle and will end up better equipped to negotiate with SPADA, lobby the Government and Opposition and be an effective voice for their members.

  2. smhead 2

    New game for today: Let’s count how many times a leftie calls it an “already settled labour dispute”.

    You guys need to hire Crosby Textor. If you are going to use blatant propaganda like that at least get the experts in to finesse it a little.

    • SMhead.

      Guest post presents a reasoned analysis backed by considerable factual information and you brand it as “blatant propaganda”.

      Is there a chance that you could indicate which facts are not admitted and why an alternative analysis is appropriate?

      Or are you just trolling?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      It was all about tax breaks and breaking the union. Nothing more, nothing less.

      NZ workers deserve the same rights to negotiate as workers in successful, established film making countries like Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland.

      Instead we got ourselves a sell out corporately complicit Government.

      • Joe Bloggs 2.2.1

        what a complete misrepresentation Wormtongue – disingenuous mischievous nonsense – and typical of a species that spends its whole life crawling on its belly.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland have successful longstanding film industries.

          Our workers deserve the same rights to negotiate as workers in those countries, if not more.

          Perhaps you should back your fellow NZ workers for a change instead of backing the foreign money.

          • Joe Bloggs 2.2.1.1.1

            Australia, US, Canada, UK and Ireland have successful longstanding film industries.

            Colonial Viper’s raised this smokescreen a few times now – successful, longstanding film industries.

            Take a moment to look at each in turn:

            Canada, a country of 33.3m people produces around C$3.3bn in film and television programmes. That’s around NZ$130 a year for every man, woman and child. The Canadian industry faces huge financing problems and the output of productions has dropped by nearly 50% in the past 50 years. The CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival believes the industry is financially unviable

            UK value their industry at 4.3bn stg – including revenues, merchandising and tourism. That’s NZ$149 per man, woman and child – but includes the value of merchandising and tourism on top of production revenues. According to the UK Film Council the industry is underfinanced, under-resourced, suffers from poor quality outputs and doesn’t investment in new talent.

            The Irish industry is worth 550m euros and is the only country from CV’s list that remotely approaches NZ’s industry. The Irish industry generates NZ$230 a year per capita. This is the only significant success story of the Western European film industries.

            The much-vaunted Australian industry is in a crisis. It generates A$2bn a year in revenues, less than NZ$125 a year per capita. SPAA notes that the industry is devoid of artistic merit in its productions, significantly underfinanced, and suffers from a destabilised workforce.

            At $2.9bn in 2009, the NZ industry generates $675 per man, woman and child in NZ. In the group singled out by CV NZ stands, head, shoulders, and chest above the rest.

            That’s why I back the foreign money – because it brings a shitload more to NZ than to other countries – and that’s why I support the workers who benefit from filming continuing to be based in NZ – because the workers benefit.

            And that’s why I think the unions have behaved like a large bunch of burst arseholes throughout this fiasco – because they seriously jeopardised the successful, longstanding local industry with their ideological brain-fart of a boycott.

            captcha: owed – an apology from Simon “Washed my hands of the whole sordid affair and scuttled back to Australia” Whipp

            • The Baron 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Joe for adding to the relatively impartial analysis above with some real hard facts, instead of the vacant fanboyism of Gleg and CV.

              Really guys, just cos a Union said it, doesn’t meant its true.

              And as for this “supporting NZ workers” meme of yours, CV – I’m supporting the 1,500 non union members that the 80 member Actors Equity wouldn’t side with. Looks like you support the team more than the players – bit of a shame your such a hypocrite really.

        • Jim Nald 2.2.1.2

          Yup, agree that Wormtongue reference sums up the current prime ministership.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.3

      Yeah, CT are the experts all right, Smeggy. They’re that good they managed to lose John Howard not only an election, but his own blue ribbon seat. Blue has done a great summary of the situation, have you got anything intelligent to say about the post or are just into public self abuse?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Only two words for the unions on this one.

    Own Goal.

    • Joe Bloggs 3.1

      and three words for the next elections:

      Remember The Hobbit

    • And one word for Warners/Jackson

      Caching

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      I guess thats what you get when Jackson blackmails his own country for more taxpayers money, and Key sees an opportunity to break down our employment law for foreign interests. The meeting of like minds.

      As if Warners was ever going to film the Hobbit in the middle of a frigid Irish winter, instead of in in NZ brilliant summer light. We got sold down the river.

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    SPADA’s illuminating email on MEAA – Liars, damned liars and Simon Whipp:

    The price of our hysteria

    now this makes for illuminating reading – a comprehensive 11 point arsehole ripping of the MEAA’s inflamatory actions and barefaced lies. Should be obligatory reading for those who seek to defend the MEAA.

    Hattip to Infused

  5. Speaking Sense to Unions 5

    “As if Warners was ever going to film the Hobbit in the middle of a frigid Irish winter, instead of in in NZ brilliant summer light.”

    I think even in the Northern Hemisphere summer follows winter and if you knew anything about film making you might know that NZ’s ever-changing light makes shooting here quite challenging.

    There’s also things called “studios” and “green screens”, they probably have them in Ireland.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Great link Joe. Just shows exactly why Warners had justifiable reasons not to want to deal with these people.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    Thanks for the summary, Blue, it’s a good read. I was struck by the similarity of the bosses response to the ’88 writers strike to the response here. Undermine the union, lie about the facts. Add to that breaching good faith agreements, publicly dissing your bargaining partners, and, particularly, exaggerate the threat to the economy from the workers actions, even though you are the group making the threat. Add in a compliant Government and it’s an effective industrial coup. It’s classic stuff really.

    Out of all of this, I can’t help thinking that if the Actors had gone to a more mature and thinking union for advice and support, they would not have been done over like this. At the very least, a union like the EPMU would have had a bailout strategy for the possibility of the dispute going off the rails. And I don’t think they would have straight to the strike option without mounting a more engaging campaign first, both within the industry and with the wider public..

    • Anne 7.1

      @TvoR
      “… I can’t help thinking that if the Actors had gone to a more mature and thinking union for advice and support, they would not have been done over like this.”

      Andrew Little and Co. from the EPMU would never have fallen into the same trap. I hope it’s a big lesson for the Actors – and other related groups.

      It’s time another of the current establishment players was ‘done over’. I refer to John Barnett. Heard him on Nat Radio this morning describing AE as “those bloody actors who caused the whole thing”. What an arrogant bastard. They’re all coming out of the woodwork under NAct!

      • SHG 7.1.1

        AE did cause the whole thing. AE, through its representative Simon Whipp, called an international boycott on the Hobbit before requesting an illegal meeting.

  8. TightyRighty 8

    Sorry blue, who are you? and what the hell do you know? this isn’t a reputable post, this is just pro-union anti-employer spin. Why won’t you just accept the fact the unions and their puppets got smashed in the face with the big stick the unions usually like to wield? no one sees the unions or the actors represnting them as the victims in this, except of course the actors and unions the unions they represent.

  9. I see are studiously avoiding commenting on the contents of Blue’s post.

    Much easier to have a stab at ill informed and unmeasured “public perception” and rely on that.

  10. SHG 10

    The letters they sent to the production company do demand a union-negotiated collective agreement or a blacklist will apply

    Incorrect. The letters stated that A BLACKLIST WAS ALREADY IN EFFECT.

    Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical film The Hobbit until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

    Resolution to impose boycott: fail

    Requirement for illegal collective bargaining: fail

    Requirement to deal with an unregistered union (MEAA) with no legal right to negotiate: fail

    • The Baron 10.1

      Yup, why keep going when there’s a lie right up front. is that enough analysis for you Greg?

      • Richard 10.1.1

        If the unions were relevant to the negotiation they would have been at the negotiation table.

        The important negotiation was that between Warners and the government. The fact that the unions were not invited goes to show that they had sod all to do with it. The union was just a pretext.

  11. Bart 11

    Colonial viper, you idiot, do you really think natural light is what a movie\’s location is based on, or are all those lighting credits at the end of a movie just made up, like the unions arguements about this whole sorry saga!

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Bart, you work in a cartoon, and as such I don’t expect you to know anything about natural light, or filming in fog/snow/winter storms in Ireland/UK as compared to the brilliant long summer hours of NZ daylight.

      • Speaking Sense to Unions 11.1.1

        CV, which movies have you done lighting on?

        You might be surprised to find they do actually make films in Ireland. A lot of the exterior material for Saving Private Ryan was shot there. I suppose Speilberg did make a huge mistake.

        Dealing with weather is not a new problem for the film industry and you might find that after winter comes summer plus on rain days they have back-up studio shoots.

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          That was because a large portion of the scenes required dull and overcast weather. After all that is what most of the weather was like just after d-day.

          Why bother making such an silly statement? It is pretty nonsensical.

          • Speaking Sense to Unions 11.1.1.1.1

            you might find that they can shoot films in Ireland with sunshine as well. The sun does shine there. But how many films have you and CV done lighting on?

            Quick question – what sort of day is easier to shoot on, overcast or bright sunlight?

            • Roflcopter 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Much easier to shoot on an overcast day. It’s easier to add light than remove it.

              And Ireland/UK have some of the biggest and best sound stages available.

          • luva 11.1.1.1.2

            lprent…what makes you think The Hobbit will need bright sunshine as opposed to D-day type conditions

            • lprent 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Because it is easier to put filters on than it is to setup lights. That leaves more shooting time. The cameras themselves tend to capture less light than is available (pretty obvious if you think of the mechanics). When you get to post you can only fiddle with the recorded detail on the images. The more detail on the images you have, the easier it is to manipulate to what is required.

              Especially when you are going through those tedious transcriptions to all of the various formats with all of the various frame rates and colour transforms. Lyn has (from memory) about 8 different formats flying around the world to festivals based on what they can display. Each is a nightmare in it’s own right..

              Basically no one who has been near a edit suite or transcribing from masters wants anything less than the best light available. Articifical light is good, and really good at highlighting shadow features. But full on natural sunlight is cheap and usually more powerful here for overall lighting.

              Incidentially, in my personal view, directors are obsessional and producers are almost as bad (usually about the director)

              Besides, have you read the hobbit? There are some dark sections, but a lot is in sunlight.

  12. James 12

    “However, if the producers had discussed the situation with the union, then the issues could have been clarified and worked through a lot earlier.”

    This is incorrect. The VERY FIRST request for a meeting with Peter Jackson was made on the 17th August AFTER the boycott had already been enacted.

    This has been confirmed, in writing on the MEAA’s own ‘hobbit factsheet’ which is on their website.

    How could they work through the situation before that when no one had EVER actually asked for a meeting first?

    The Union never bothered working through the legal issues, they just charged right out and did it.

    It’s crazy. And that’s why this whole horrible mess happened.

    If you want to blame anyone, the Actor’s Union deserves a VERY large portion of it.

    Oh, and from the MEAA’s latest email to their members, they seem to be lying to their members about it as well.

    Nice.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      This has been confirmed, in writing on the MEAA’s own ‘hobbit factsheet’ which is on their website.

      No link, no truth. Please point us the way good James.

      • James 12.1.1

        http://www.alliance.org.au/documents/100922_hobbit_factsheet.pdf

        Read the August 17 letter VERY CAREFULLY. The boycott was in effect, before the first letter on August 17th.

        There are emails out in the public between Frances Walsh of AE and Peter Jackson confirming that the August 17th letter was their first communication with Peter Jackson or his company. It is also confirmed in a letter from the MEAA/AE to its members that was leaked 2 days ago:

        http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2769,hard-news-anatomy-of-a-shambles.sm?p=187587#post187587

        This email has been confirmed to be legitimate. You can probably request a copy if you want to try. I know SPADA have one, but you might be able to get it direct from Actor’s Equity.

        The emails between Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh of Actor’s Equity were first leaked here:

        http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2769,hard-news-anatomy-of-a-shambles.sm?p=187715#post187715

        FW is indicating in the ‘over a month ago’ line confirms the first letter was 17th August.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          I don’t quite get your time line here. It clashes with many reports which say the boycott was activated by the SAG and other unions on Sept 24, essentially 5 weeks *after* your claim of a pre Aug 17 activation e.g.:

          Variety magazine says the boycott was initiated Sept 24.
          http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118026048.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2562

          This Sept 26 Reuters article announces the boycott as new news.
          http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68Q03820100927

          The LA Times writes on Sept 27 that an industrial dispute has ‘erupted’
          http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/09/labor-dispute-erupts-over-the-hobbit.html

          Basically the union was stonewalled for at least 5 weeks by the studios and/or Jackson before the global boycott actually came into effect.

          Read the August 17 letter VERY CAREFULLY. The boycott was in effect, before the first letter on August 17th.

          In conclusion, no it wasn’t, you are wrong.

          • SHG 12.1.1.1.1

            DATE: 17 August 2010
            TO: Directors, 3 Foot 7 Limited
            FROM: International Federation of Actors
            (…)
            Recently, The International Federation of Actors (FIA) became aware that the production of “The Hobbit” intends to hire performers under non-union contracts.

            For this reason FIA, at its most recent meeting, unanimously passed the following motion: “Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical feature film “The Hobbit” until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance for production in New Zealand providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the production”.

            FIA therefore encourages you to meet immediately with representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in order to reach an agreement covering all performers engaged on this production.

            In the first instance could you please make contact with Simon Whipp of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance on 612 9333 0999 or via email: simon.whipp@alliance.org.au
            (…)

            Full text: http://www.scribd.com/doc/40284396/FIA-17-VIII-10-en

            That’s the union saying on August 17 that at its previous meeting it passed a boycott resolution. A meeting some time before August 17.

            • Speaking Sense to Unions 12.1.1.1.1.1

              don’t distract them with more facts, they’re still pondering whether or not the northern hemisphere has a summer.

              • lprent

                The northern hemisphere does have a summer.

                But the quality of light here is far more intense than it is in any continental or near continental climate. There is less airborne dust. It is the same reason why the sunburn times here are a *lot* shorter than anywhere near a continental area.

                Before you start being stupid and going off into the usual irrelevant fallacies. The ozone hole has no appreciable effect anywhere above the lower south island and lets through more UV with little difference to visible light. Tropical areas have a lot of moisture in the air which adsorbs a lot of UV and some visible light.

                The vast ocean around NZ makes the light here a lot sharper and clearer on film. It means quite a lot of difference when you’re shooting.

                Perhaps you should actually understand what you’re talking about before sprouting your nonsense.

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  how many films have you done lighting on?

                  you’re arguing that Warners would never shift the film to Ireland because of the weather, I’m curious about what you base that on.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Being intelligent? Not just having a brain but using it too?

                    you’re arguing that Warners would never shift the film to Ireland

                    Not never, just not in the next 6-8 months during the Irish winter, sleet, snow, storms, short murky daylight,…

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      you know that a studio often has a roof?

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      ok, you’ve got a brain

                      you’re on set and you’ve got 60 sec to make this decision:

                      it’s an interior day location shoot. Overcast skies and about to roll but the director now wants a shaft of sunlight.

                      The genny’s down, do you call for a diva, a source 4 or a 10k. The director also wants even exposure over a large room. How do you respond?

                  • lprent

                    None. But I have a degree in earth sciences so I understand climate factors. Of course my partner is a filmmaker who spends a large chunk of her time behind a camera.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      so your argument that Warner’s couldn’t relocate in time is based on knowldge of the film indusrty and that is what exactly? You haven’t said.

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  “…and lets through more UV with little difference to visible light.”

                  so you wouldn’t factor in UV light for a scenic long shot?

                  • lprent

                    The equipment doesn’t have UV capabilities. For some reason if we can’t see it then the film makers don’t think it is worth recording.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      film is actually sensitve to UV. If you want less haze you use a UV filter. If you want more you don’t.

                      we can’t see IR either but it is something film makers have to consider, hence hot mirrors.

                      So your argument is…?

                    • lprent []

                      As I said, filmmakers aren’t interested in shooting uv. Their equipment is designed to exclude it. Especially from film

                      So your point is? More nonsense from an fool trying sidetrack using antiqitated troll techniques from ACToid central as far as I can see…do you actually have anything substantive to say, or should I just ignore you as being too stupid to debate with?

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      “As I said, filmmakers aren’t interested in shooting uv. Their equipment is designed to exclude it.’

                      well you actually said –

                      “The equipment doesn’t have UV capabilities.”

                      which is quite different.

                      The “equipment” does have UV “capabilities” because film is sensitive to UV. A film maker can decide to make an aesthetic choice of using the UV or not using it. It makes a significant differnce on how some scenic wide and long shots look.

                      some filters are designed exclude UV, cameras and lens are not and some film makers will use UV to give a certain quality to some shots.

                      If you have some argument that for logistical and/or aesthtic lighting reasons Warners could not reloacte in time then put it forward. So far you have shown no understanding of any of this.

                    • lprent []

                      I was referring to digital camera equipment. I haven’t seen anyone shoot on film for a quite a while. I notice you ignored my rather pointed reference to that and didn’t quote it? Why was that?

                      You haven’t shown yourself to be a person worth debating at this point. But consider this. One of the crucial features to getting a workable shooting schedule is to know before the start of the project where and when you are likely to be shooting. That takes time, and the pre has probably been going on here for quite some time. Quite a lot of it is required from what i understand for a feature film. As I understand it they haven’t started doing more than starting to look outside nz, and shooting is meant to be starting mere months away.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      digital equipment is also sensituve to UV, they have to have UV filters if you don’t want it.

                      Film making – “film”. Yes more is done on digital but still a lot is done on film and in both cases film makers have to make allowances for UV. In the case of digital they also have to make allowances for IR.

                      your quote –

                      “For some reason if we can’t see it then the film makers don’t think it is worth recording.”

                      completely wrong. Not just landscapes but flowers and clothing – with both film and digital equipment.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Ok, so you don’t know very much about film lighting, camera equipment etc so now your agument is not about light but about organisational logistics and all it amounts to is your assertion that it couldn’t possibly be done.

                      Film is all about planning. Planning for the unexpected, weather, location changes. It’s all part of what film people do everyday. Large numbers of people are paid very well to make sure things happen on time. However you think you can make a judgement call on the basis of wild speculation.

                      Much like Helen Kelly you don’t know much about the film industry and that lack of knowledge had contributed to this disaster for the unions.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Film is all about planning. Planning for the unexpected, weather, location changes.

                    Jackson was never going to film The Hobbit in wintery, freezing Europe. Neither was Warner going to agree to a 6-8 month delay in shooting. As a country we were had, even if you argue that Jackson would have happily planned to film in Irish sleet as opposed to a brilliant clear NZ summer, in scenary which is a perfect match to the LOTR.

                    Much like Helen Kelly you don’t know much about the film industry and that lack of knowledge had contributed to this disaster for the unions.

                    Uh, just because its possible to technically overcome filming in snow or fog, does not mean that it is desirable.

                    Fact of the matter is we were had, and Jackson and Key double teamed the tax payer who got screwed proper.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      I’ll take you through things slowly.

                      In Europe you have winter, followed by spring followed by summer. In Ireland they have what are called in the film industry “studios”. A lot of the production will be done in studios and they will orgainise their shooting schedule so that when they can’t get the exterior locations they want they’ll shoot indoors.

                      When they need to shoot scenes that demand summer – not all of The Hobbit is set in summer – then they will shoot that in the European summer.

                      If they want specific NZ scenery they’ll use a B unit. No big deal.

                      NZ has a special quality of light but talk to some DOPs and they will tell you it can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you want. It’s often dust in the atmosphere that they want to give an extra glow to sunsets.

                      And they’ll be using a DOP who has spent their career dealing with such issues, they get paid the big bucks to deal with light.

                      Where do you get this 6-8 months from?

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  Any advice for Andrew Lesnie on hot mirrors?

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey yeah it does, if Jackson and Warner Bros want to push back the release of their blockbuster by 6-8 months 😛

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  ?

                  They just reschedule if they have to. Shoot more location in the summer and more studio in the winter. They would have to do that in NZ. There’s always plans for poor weather on any movie with locations.

                  Working around the weather is not a new skill in the film industry and in NZ it is a particular problem because of the 4 seasons in 1 day nature of a lot of our weather.

                  Where do you get the 6-8 months from? Have you seen their shooting schedule?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    LOLz mate yeah ‘reschedule’ on a mmovie late already they would make it more late by 6-8 months?

                    I guess they could shoot indoors in Ireland through the whole of the european winter but *shrug* it was never on the cards except to blackmail the NZ tax payer.

                    Give up the brilliant long NZ summer light, and settings exactly the same as LOTR for an Irish fog which looks nothing like it? Never was gonna happen.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      Where do you get this 6-8 months from?

                      Are you aware of what portion of the film will be shot on location and what in studio? Are you aware that Ireland does have a summer when they can shoot the exterior location scenes?

                      And I presume you do know that quite a bit of what appears to be an exterior location actually isn’t or that if it is a lot of it has CGI.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Hahaha urges a boycott != a boycott.

              Boycott did not occur for another 5 weeks during which time Jackson et al proved intractable in their corporate brinksmanship.

          • James 12.1.1.1.2

            You absolutely MUST be kidding. The letter on the MEAA website, sent by the MEAA on the 17 August says they’s instited the boycott, and you still won’t accept it.

            That’s just… you’re insane, right? You do realise that. IT’S RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU.

            And now we’re talking about the fucking weather in Ireland now, almost as if avoiding the issue. That’s all just… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

            If people like you have anything to do with the Union movement, no wonder it’s f***ed.

            • IrishBill 12.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you need to take a couple of deep breaths there Jimmy.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.2.2

              No boycott occurred until Sept 24. The letter is posturing to try and get Jackson to listen.

              Good frakin luck with that as we foubnd out.

              • James

                I’m sorry, but you’re wrong and you know it. It’s right there in black and white. You should be ashamed of yourself.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sept 24th is the earliest entertainment media announcement of the global boycott having gone into actual effect.

                  As opposed to having been bandied around as a negotiation tactic.

                  You should be ashamed of yourself.

                  Meh, what does the self-moralising Right know?

                • Speaking Sense to Unions

                  James, it’s honestly not worth the effort. Most people have give up on The Standard as some sort of honest and intelligent Left-wing discusion forum. I only mess with them coz its morbidly funny.

                  Go over to Public Address and save your sanity.

                  If you’re Left-wing you’ll cheer up by mixing with nicer and brighter people, if you’re Right-wing you’ll actually debate people who appreciate facts.

      • The Baron 12.1.2

        Backing down now, CV? Or can you still spin this to suit your beloved Union, even though there were more real workers protesting against that Union than they have members?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          Oh, and you are wrong too.

          • The Baron 12.1.2.1.1

            Tally ho – am I also wrong about you supporting an 80 member union over 1,500 real workers – then claiming that you’re the one who is pro worker?

            No, you haven’t addressed that yet, have you. Sounds to me like your support for hard working kiwis really means support for lazy union bosses, who like to nosh it up at expensive restaurants and not actually respond to the people they purport to represent.

            Pigs in a trough, ruining jobs and lives. And that’s who you back over the real working men and women. Shame CV, shame.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1.1.1

              Good to see you backing foreign corporates and hundred millionaires over basic workers’ rights Baron. Nothing if not consistent.

              Equity an 80 member union? Meeep! Wrong AGAIN. This time only by a factor of 7, mind you.

              Last night, NZ Actors’ Equity, which has about 600 members, cancelled its Auckland meetings for safety reasons

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682244

              Pigs in a trough, ruining jobs and lives.

              My friend, are you referring to the true fat NAT cats? Because a union organiser is a pretty averagely paid job and most of them do it because they are passionate about helping ordinary workers through difficult disadvantaged situations.

              And before I forget – gosh darn it, you are WRONG again.

  13. The bill is out and there is a major bug as identified by Charles Chauvel. He was incidentally one of the counsel involved in the Bryson case.

    Clause 4(2) of the bill says that the deeming provision (that film workers are contractors) does not apply “if the person is a party to, or covered by an employment agreement that provides that person is an enmployee”.

    So you still need to analyse the contract to see if it is an employment contract or not and if it is an employment then the amendment does not apply.

    If this argument holds the bill is toothless and does no more than reflect current law.

    The trouble is that when you rush things you invariably stuff it up.

    • The Baron 13.1

      Quick Greg, get on the wires – you and Charles have a scoop! Hell, if you ever get into the big house you could even pat him on the back for his good work, then go back to sitting on Goff’s lap like a good little dog.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        TB

        Before your lot trash parliamentary custom and muck around with employment law and use urgency again when it is not warranted you should at least make sure that what you are doing actually achieves what you intend to do.

        This is why the select committee process is so important. The problems could be sorted out.

        But this tory born to rule we know better stuff is a recipe for disaster.

        Watch lawyers rub their hands as a new avenue for litigation is opened up.

        And BTW you could address the points rather than engage in personal abuse.

        • ianmac 13.1.1.1

          Yes Micky. The abuse from some is in inverse proportion to the discussion of the issues. Must be important for the political game to have so many visitors here. Wonder why?

          • Jim Nald 13.1.1.1.1

            The tory spin machine is in overdrive to try to counteract the emerging true facts. The polls are telling them that Jonkey is looking shakey.

            • wtl 13.1.1.1.1.1

              And they continue do go on about how everyone in NZ supports the move by the government, even though opt-in polls, that are usually right-leaning, suggest people are very split on this issue. Perhaps they think that if they keep repeating to themselves that it is a clear win, it will come true.

            • Armchair Critic 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Ultimately this National government will come unstuck on its own contradictions, which are really starting to accumulate.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Those people deserve a flat white
    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    7 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    13 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    14 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    16 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    1 day ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago