I’m not sure exactly why the government is changing employment law today. They claim it’s to provide certainty to Warners but there are a couple of things to note about the bill:
It stops film workers from taking drawn out and expensive legal action to prove they are employees. Something I’m pretty certain only one film contractor has done – five years ago.
But it wouldn’t have made a difference to the do-not-sign notices nor to the international work ban. In fact it doesn’t offer any greater industrial certainty than exists currently – if Actors Equity or a union representing other Hobbit Contractors wanted to it could call another ban under the changed law just as easily.
So what’s the point? Did Key tell Warners it would make a difference or did Warners just not care (and why would they, they were happy enough when the ban was called off days before Jackson pulled his media stunt)?
I suspect it was a request from Peter Jackson. After all it was Jackson’s company that was ruled against by the Supreme Court and I reckon he’s the kind of guy who would nurse a grudge.
But whatever the motive, in other countries legislation is generally changed to reflect the decisions of their supreme courts. In New Zealand it’s now being changed to overrule a Supreme Court decision a multinational company doesn’t like.
There’s a term for that kind of government: corrupt.
Frankly I’m starting to suspect this meaningless law change has been put through to make it look like the employment issue was the problem, not the tax breaks.