Bending over for Warner Brothers

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 26th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: capitalism, film, john key, law, Media, tax, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , ,

Otago Law Professor Paul Roth says possible law changes by the Key Government to provide more tax-payer funded charity to corporate giants Warner Bros Entertainment is ‘Third-World’ lawmaking and a ‘race to the bottom’ in an attempt to compete against developing nations with little or no labour rights.

Roth says if we ‘lie back and prostitute ourselves to get more employment into this country’, we’ll only be setting a precedent for other transnationals that want our labour rights diminished, or taxpayer sponsorship, to compensate them for international competition.

This is the thin edge of the wedge and another step closer to Key’s dream of a low-wage, low-labour rights economy, where soon all New Zealanders can be – as the American film makers call their kiwi crew – Mexicans with cellphones.

27 comments on “Bending over for Warner Brothers”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Capital has it both ways in projects such as the “Hobbit”, employing both Globalisation and nationalism. Globalisation allows the US film industry to roam around seeking the lowest costs with least restrictions, while nationalism helps corporations whip up a compliant workforce with the assistance of the usual local suspects.

    The faux patriotism has truly put me off Hobbits for some time. In an economic sense film is not special. It is a cultural product. Like whiteware is a product. Where were the self righteous rallies when F&P buggered off to Mexico with hundreds of jobs lost?

    It is ‘our’ film while being made, but the box office take soon heads back to the US and the producers bank accounts. Another Sopwith Camel Sir Jackson?

    • Tigger 1.1

      Nice point tm.

    • jbanks 1.2

      Voters will appreciate John Key doing his best to save the production and the huge benefit to our economy that comes with it.

      Let’s ask Roy Morgan and Colmar Brunton.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Usual Key stunt. All the credit, none of the work.

        Let’s see how good voters feel when their pocket books continue to empty, their relatives and kids keep leaving for Australia, and prices keep climbing. Now, does Key have a plan for that beyond hiring Orcs?

        Fight fight fight

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        Only if they’re gullible idiots who don’t know what *actually* happened. Oh – wait…
        Deb

    • marsman 1.3

      Why do we pay a multimillion dollar profit corporation to film in NZ? Why doesn’t that corporation pay us ?

  2. Rijab 2

    When politics becomes such as art form, you can only sit back and gaze in awe at how this situation has played out. Despite how shockingly abhorrent the situation has become, and how vastly out of line it is with reality; it has to be said, some of the interested parties have done an amazing job for themselves.

    Peter Jackson has painted a mona lisa, and only he knows why she smiles!

    Luckily, I believe English has ruled out labour changes already (don’t have a link handy?).

  3. walt 3

    I heard Key on the radio say something like he had been talking to a mate at Warners, that’s how he knew the possibility of going overseas was 50/50, as Paul Holmes would say:

    Question: What is John Key’s relationship with this person at Warners?
    Question: When exactly did John begin talking with this mate about the situation?

    Do you have to be a complete cynic to think that JK and Warners had stitched up a union for a PR coup for the PM, and a big fat thank-you ($) to an offshore interest.

    • infused 3.1

      “Do you have to be a complete cynic to think that JK and Warners had stitched up a union for a PR coup for the PM, and a big fat thank-you ($) to an offshore interest.”

      Really? Really? Are you really going to go there? Jesus…

      Do go there. Shows how desperate you lot are.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        For tens of millions of dollars of tax payer giveaways, the studio and Jackson have already been and gone.

    • jbanks 3.2

      Not a complete cynic, just a complete head in the sand idiot.

    • Bored 3.3

      Walt, Infused and JBanks seem to think it impossible, idiot status: myself I would say unlikely, but not improbable. Only an idiot would suggest that Nact would not pull this stunt given half a chance.

      In this case however I suggest that the Nact flunkeys played a predictable scenario to their best advantage. And as I suggest elsewhere Labour missed an opportunity to pre-empt the Warners larcenous tactics by predicting publically that they would grab our colective balls for a “tax” subsidy.

      • Carol 3.3.1

        You could be right, Bored, but IMO, that’d be a 50-50 call. It got so messy earlier on, with the MSM playing up the union issue, such a call may have been marginalised or distorted Labour’s message. Mallard pretty much indicated in his ‘Hobbit not simple” post about a week ago, the direction he is now taking with his Nat Rad comments and questions to Brownlee today in question time.

    • Joe Bloggs 3.4

      questioning Walt:

      Trev The Muss was grandstanding on RedAlert only a couple of days ago about his annual pilgramages to Hollywood to woo the studios.

      Question: what was Trev’s relationship with Warners?
      Question: how did Trev jack this up with Warners in to subvert The Hobbit under National’s watch?
      Question: does the fact that Trev had to go to Hollywood, but Hollywood comes to John Key, have anything to do with Goff’s use of Trev to strawman Labours position on the Hobbit?
      Question: with so much collective wisdom on the Left being displayed on these blogs, why did the unions fuck up so badly in the first place?

  4. randal 4

    this ‘event’ has severley compromised the nutters in our society who would like to villify robin malcolm but cant do it because she is appearing somewhere else on teev at the moment.
    cultural schizophrenia if you will.
    however what this thing really illustrates is that the nz film industry is totally dependent on outside stories for its employment.
    the same nutters going off at the moment are the same ones who think every film ever made in new zealand is a tour de force of the cinematogrpahers art.
    yeah right.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Every other leader in the Western world must envy John Key. Imagine how much easier life would be for Obama and Gillard and Sarkozy and the rest, if only their media would just stop asking questions and challenging their governments and being … well, journalists.

    Key says: 50-50.

    NZ Media repeats: 50-50!

    Journalism 101: It’s not a fact, it’s not a piece of evidence, it’s a number invented by his PR team to make him look good. Because that’s their job.

    A journalist’s job is to point this out. Have we got any?

    • gingercrush 5.1

      It’d certainly make a difference if as in the United States, France and Australia, New Zealand had a decent opposition party. They don’t. Nothing to do with the media, absolutely everything to do with Labour and Greens.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Nice place is it, living inside your own head?

        • Chris Bull 5.1.1.1

          he’s not wrong. labour have been gutless on this because of the union involvement. the greens get less from the unions, where have they been?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Since when has it been the job of political parties to interfere in private sector employment disputes?

            • Chris Bull 5.1.1.1.1.1

              it’s not, until the govt. gets involved, then it is the role of the opposition to at least point out the govt.s folly

  6. tc 6

    Gobsmacked hit many nails on the head there.

    If we had some real journalists rather than the employees of TVNZ/TV3/APN etc then wider NZ would be seeing the govt in a whole different way.

    Imagine Tolley/Ryall/Collins/Smith/Brownlee/Heatley/Hide/Sharples/Turia not to mention the dynamic duo of Blinglish/sideshow withstanding unrelenting questioining over time about any single issue let alone the mayriad of issues each of these presided over.

    They live a charmed stress free life without a 4th estate unwilling to fulfill it’s historical obligation to inform and report impartially…..I’ve seen lesser pollys go for minor indiscretions with a press pack that behave like rabid dogs……whereas here we’ve a bunch of fluff puppets being carried around in their owners handbags .

  7. Irascible 7

    The international news reports, BBC TV news, presents NZ as a quaint third world country strangely fixated by an emotional attachment with a British story financed by an American global industry. Jackson & Taylor are shown manipulating the story with Taylor’s grandstanding at a flash mob rally in Wellington and Jackson sounding insincere as he cries foul at the prospect of the film heading for bigger tax breaks in the UK and blames the Actors for asking to negotiate a standard employment contract for its members.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    New Zealand 2010: From Down Under to Bend Over

    New Zealand 2011: Reclaiming Integrity, Sovereignty and Fairness

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    1 hour ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    18 hours ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    21 hours ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    2 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    2 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    4 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    4 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago