Warner Bros – corporate welfare beneficiary

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, September 9th, 2015 - 63 comments
Categories: benefits, business, capitalism, Economy, film, Globalisation, national, national/act government, parliamentary spending, same old national - Tags: ,

Gollum2

This Government’s priorities are clear.  It sells our assets, strip mines the country’s primary social housing provider, and preaches austerity yet at the same time it blows our money on sheep farms in the Saudi desert and all sorts of corporate welfare.

One of the worst examples has received some attention recently.  Warner Bros, one of the wealthier corporates on the planet has been the recipient of significant taxpayers money over the past few years.

From the Herald:

New Zealand taxpayers stumped up a total of $191 million, via tax rebates, for the making of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy.

The latest statements for Warner Bros Entertainment’s New Zealand subsidiary, 3 Foot 7, show the firm received a large budget screen production grant of $38.3 million in the 12 months to March 31 this year.

That adds to the $54.6 million it received in the 2014 year, $31.3 million in 2013, $46.9 million in 2012 and $20.2 million in 2011.

Across the five years, production costs amounted to around $1.1 billion, meaning the Warner Bros unit has claimed about 17 per cent of total costs under the grant.

The first two movies generated box office takings of about US$1.92 billion, according to IMDb website, and the third installment in the trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies’, was released in December.

The grants are one sixth of the total production costs.

You have to question the justification for the grants.  The Hobbit films have been very profitable.   The three-film trilogy cost around US $765m to produce and in February this year were estimated to have made US $2.916b worldwide.  Paying money to US corporates so they can make even greater profits seems to be a bizarre waste of money.

Would the Hobbit films not have been made here if the grants had not been paid?  If we are truly developing a world beating high tech industry and utilising our natural beauty then grants should not be necessary.  The current practice where governments throughout the world bestow benefits on corporates engaged in economic activity that is already profitable needs to be reconsidered.

New Zealand has already been taken in by Warner Bros.  Offering corporate welfare for already profitable economic activity is a poor use of our money.

63 comments on “Warner Bros – corporate welfare beneficiary”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    But I thought we needed to diversify away from dairy. How are you going to do that without subsidies?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      We do need to diversify. $191 million could set up a number of industries and jobs. Funny that paying welfare to beneficiaries is considered to be morally wrong but if it is to an American corporate it is somehow a virtue.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        Who said paying welfare to beneficiaries is “morally wrong”. Do you have a source for that.

        Credibility is important when we are trying to argue with rabid righties.

      • BevanJS 1.1.2

        ……except the 191 didn’t exist to be used elsewhere.

    • dv 1.2

      Waner Bros hardly a startup

      • dukeofurl 1.2.1

        Next thing we will be subsidising Chinese companies who want to own NZ dairy farms………

        Wait, we are doing that now with Landcorp being the sharemilker, so as to get around OIA regulations

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.2.1.1

          I don’t think we should have subsidised Warner Brothers. But then, I don’t think we should subsidise anyone.

          You’re all for subsidies that “create jobs” and other immeasurable bullshit. Just not this one.

          • crashcart 1.2.1.1.1

            There is a large difference between providing a subsidy to a start up Kiwi buisness and to one of the largest multi national companies in the world. If you can’t see that then you really need to take a look in the mirror.

            • Enough is Enough 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Did the LOTR and Hobbit projects have a net benefit for New Zealand?

              Would we have been better off as a country if the respective governments of the time gave no incentives to Hollywood to produce the films here?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Did the LOTR and Hobbit projects have a net benefit for New Zealand?

                Probably not.

                Would we have been better off as a country if the respective governments of the time gave no incentives to Hollywood to produce the films here?

                Hollywood has enough money to produce where-ever they choose. On the other hand, NZ’s film doesn’t. So I’d say a $500m fund to produce NZ written and made blockbusters is probably a better option than subsidising Hollywood.

                • Bob

                  “So I’d say a $500m fund to produce NZ written and made blockbusters is probably a better option than subsidising Hollywood”

                  You seem very confused Draco, what was offered was a tax rebate, i.e. they got to claim back part of what they owed the Government in tax, the Government made a concession, they didn’t subsidise anything. Before you call that semantics, what you are suggesting is you give me $500M to make a film, as apposed to, if I give you approx $300M (my guess based on PAYE, GST and Company Tax payments) you will give me approx $191M back.
                  The same scheme for NZ written and made blockbusters, as you put it, would mean the NZ companies would still need to find funding of around $2.5Bn themselves based on the figures above ($191M tax rebate on a $1.1Bn investment).
                  I personally would have no problem at all with the same deal being offered to NZ based productions.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Government made a concession, they didn’t subsidise anything.

                    If it’s not available to other companies then it’s a subsidy. Now, as you can probably tell from my suggestion of $500m per year from government to NZOnAir to fund NZ people/companies to produce blockbusters I’m not against subsidies. What I’m against is subsidies to foreign companies. If I, as a NZer, am going to subsidise anyone then it should be other NZers.

                    I also think that the NZ government gets some of the profit as well and not just the taxes. If NZ had got 1/6th of the profit from Warner Bros for that subsidy then the government would have had an income stream that would have netted ~$300m plus by now and it would be ongoing.

                    The same scheme for NZ written and made blockbusters, as you put it, would mean the NZ companies would still need to find funding of around $2.5Bn themselves based on the figures above

                    I want to make enough funds available to produce the blockbusters without further funds being necessary. This grows the industry in NZ by giving it enough of a support base to do so.

                    At $500m funding per year I would expect at least three and probably as many as five on the go at any one time.

    • Tracey 1.3

      You mean the only industries that survive are subsidised?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.3.1

        No. I think the opposite. If you can’t survive without a subsidy, you shouldn’t be in business.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          But Tracey is actually correct – businesses pretty much need to be subsidised to survive.

    • meconism 1.4

      If your business has to be subsidised to be profitable it isn’t a business, it is a hobby and you should pay for it yourself.

    • Majic Mike 1.5

      At $1 million per temporary job makes sense.

  2. Citizen's Resistance 2

    The influence of multi /National Corporations in Government is shocking. We must rally together and expose what is really going on between big business and the National led Government.

    Here is another case in point, so much for looking after the local community business Stephen Joyce;
    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/news/northland-business-axed-foreign-corporate-giant-gets-privileged-deal-national

    “Stop The Rot Get Corporations Out Of Government.”

  3. David Scott 3

    Getting those films made here was nothing less than corporate extortion – an example of powerful business forcing our hand. What we should be doing is saying: if you want to do business here, it is on our terms. If you don’t, go elsewhere.

  4. infused 4

    They didn’t receive any money…

    learn2tax.

    Look at what its done to the tourist industry. I’ll let you dig the figures up since you’ve opted to leave them out of this, which I expect is on purpose as it would shit all over your post.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Que?

      Read the post. I said they received $191 mil in tax rebates.

      Good on the films for doing good things for our tourist industry. Doing good things is not a reason for people or corporates to pay less tax.

      • infused 4.1.1

        So if those grants were not given, and the films were never filmed here, you’d be quite ok with that?

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          Its really all about how many ‘new jobs’ came about for that money?

          100 or 200 maybe, but look the jobs arent sustainable for a long period, as more money is required for the next 5 years for around 200 jobs

          • infused 4.1.1.1.1

            You actually need to go and look at the economic impact…

            And all the Weta jobs were sustained. I have quite a few friends who work there now.

            • Citizen's Resistance 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes good idea let’s have a detailed look at the economic impact on our democracy, the association between the New Zealand National Party and donations by the Corporations.

              Their vehicle of Trusts and the rort of the Cabinet Club. Nothing is more true than the saying “who pays the piper calls the tune” disgracefully illustrated recently with the sham health and safety legislation Talley’s and their ilk influenced upon us.

              • Nessalt

                Yes, lets look at a report that specifically addresses the charges levelled by mickey in the original post. not some tangential report that deals only in tangential arguments that is purely of a party political nature.

                • mickysavage

                  OK there is this one produced by Joyce’s office (http://www.mch.govt.nz/sites/default/files/Review%20of%20Government%20Assistance%20to%20Screen%20Sector%202013%20Cabinet%20paper%20(D-0493018).PDF) which says:

                  The evaluation concluded that the Large Budget Grant has generated small net economic benefits …
                  Using conservative assumptions, the evaluation concluded that the Large Budget Grant has generated economic benefits of $281.9 million (including $100.1 million additional tax revenue) at a net fiscal cost of $168.2 million over the evaluation period.

                  We normally do not build roads if the benefit is this marginal.

                  And hey I heard all the film people saying that this was a great thing. They have a very personal interest in this. I would prefer we used the money on indigenous start ups than an American multinational.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.2

          Can you point to evidence that but for those grants the films wouldn’t have been shot here?

          • BM 4.1.1.2.1

            Can you point to evidence that says that the films would have been shot here regardless?

            • Tracey 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Sorry? Infused is making the claim. But yes I can point to documents that the films weren’t going to leave. It is in the public arena. Brownlee lied and so Jackson knew it wasnt in danger.

            • mickysavage 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Well before contributing $191 million of our money I would hope the Government would have this evidence.

            • North 4.1.1.2.1.3

              Can you point to evidence that says they wouldn’t have,
              B-eeeeee-M (me up scotty) ?

              Oh yeah…..sorry…..the Ponce Key and Brownlee ‘said’ so…..and ‘Sir’ Jackson had a hissy fit.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.2

        From someone who dislikes what this government stands for, I appreciate what was done to secure this project that employed my brother for 18 months in an industry where work is very difficult to find in New Zealand.

        We, the New Zealand taxpayer, stumped up nothing. We gave back 25 cents of a dollar we wouldn’t have earned in the first place if these movies hadn’t been made here.

        Plus, the return to our economy goes far beyond just tourism. These movies spend a large percentage of their budgets here in New Zealand on services, goods and they employee literally thousands of people.

        If the media wants to expose a business that earns huge profits off kiwis and channels those profits offshore with little or no benefit to the local economy, I suggest they take a look at our foreign owned banks. They’ve been ripping us off for decades.

        • Bob 4.1.2.1

          +1
          Emotive lines like “Warner Bros, one of the wealthier corporates on the planet has been the recipient of significant taxpayers money over the past few years” by MS are a complete misrepresentation of the facts and don’t take into account the tax we did receive (that we may not have), the jobs secured during the heights of the recession, and the tourist boom in areas like Matamata which have no doubt contributed to NZ’s record levels of Tourism that we are now experiencing (4M tourist in the last 12 months I believe?).

        • tc 4.1.2.2

          They were always going to be made here regardless of the tax rebates.

          Jackson, Warners and Key took their opportunity with the skill of experienced dream chasers to get some tax relief with a bunch of porkys about making it somewhere else.

          The MSM just replayed the govt spin lines to help con the sheeple. Hobbiton was always going to be in matamata etc etc.

          it’s called continuity as it’s a lord of the rings prequel and jacksons too good a director to risk having it done elsewhere.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.1

            +1

          • Mike S 4.1.2.2.2

            Yep correct 100%

            These movies would have been made here regardless. Jackson and Warners were simply ‘negotiating’ (I could think of another word to call it) to secure more profit for the producers

          • mickysavage 4.1.2.2.3

            Amen. Some say that without the extra $ the Hobbit would not have been filmed here. TC properly asks for proof of this.

        • Tracey 4.1.2.3

          do you believe the film wouldnt have been made if the employment law hadn’t been changed?

          But EIE my (fill in a relative) works for a bank… so it’s ok.

    • BM 4.2

      Yep, you should go to Matamata, the place is just humming with tourists.

      Thank god, we’ve got some one who has the ability to see the big picture running NZ, instead of some tunnel visioned union puppet.

      • dukeofurl 4.2.1

        Oh really.
        Just look over the total tourist numbers, can you pick out the ‘hobbit effect’ when even the RWC was hard to notice when it was here for a short period.
        There will probably be a pick up in tourists over our summer as the weak kiwi dollar makes it more affordable for US and Europe.

        Otherwise tell us what, numbers of the 3 mill tourists have come specifically for a farm in matamata ?

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        Hmmm National made the LOTR possible? Really? You should meet Steve Wrathall, he gets his facts out of his arse too.

      • Tracey 4.2.3

        Hmmmm so the Matamata site was only constructed for the Hobbit movies, not the LOTR Trilogy BM?

        • BM 4.2.3.1

          The LOTR set was made from custom wood and other non-permanent materials

          As crazy as it seems, people traveled to the other side of the world to look at a hole in a hill.

          Which was why they thought the hobbit was going to really ramp up the tourism, there was actually something for the tourists to see.

          • Mike S 4.2.3.1.1

            Isn’t it crazy that the plywood and mdf used in the sets was probably made in China from New Zealand grown logs and then sold back to us at a huge markup

  5. This makes Muldoons think big schemes pale into insignificance.

    Meanwhile the little people get screwed.
    Bloody creepy Government.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    “The Hobbit Enabling Act” was if nothing else an accurate legislative title, it “enabled” union busting the film industry

    –“but we’re different” squealed a number of people in the “who you know” film and commercials industry as they get pestered by notices for GST and ACC as a contractor status when they are clearly employees, jeez even Lord Jackson has union membership!

    in retrospect so many people should be ashamed of themselves in reducing an always difficult employment area to true munter status–stand up, fight back!

  7. Tracey 7

    very good set of articles regarding the Hobbit dispute here for those who want to get the full (ish) picture.

    http://www.nzjournal.org/NZJER36(3).pdf

  8. Coaster 8

    The hobbit trilogy was crap anyway, nothing like the book.

    • millsy 8.1

      I think Jackson was obsessing over trying to tie the story line into LOTR, instead of letting it stand on its own.

      The movies were watchable, but I think the world was over Middle Earth.

      I note that the whole trilogy never got a single Oscar.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      Lord Jackson is operating on self induced flatulence these days after being the nation’s “hero” during the LOTR years

      history will fairly view him as a downunder version of a megalomaniacal Hollywood mogul

      he plundered a classic slim volume, kids and parents favourite, to wring 3 features worth of box office returns rather than go for one worthy film in honour of Tolkien’s book

  9. Rapana 9

    Housing New Zealand Corporation made $190 million profit off state house tenants. This is whilst people died due to mouldy homes. Meanwhile Warner Brothers gets $191 million. It’s almost as if HNZC tenants directly subsidised Warner Brothers.

    • Smilin 9.1

      You aint wrong mate and how do we balance the moral book on that ? Wait for Jesus or kick this fascist govt to kingdom come

  10. vto 10

    “Across the five years, production costs amounted to around $1.1 billion”

    Horseshit it did. I recall a couple years ago the number was 0.75billion, and even that was laughable. Check what is included in that number and where it is spent – it is the colossal deception.

    shave it in half or more

    • Majic Mike 10.1

      1.1 billion of which how much was spent in New Zealand.
      $350 million govt spent on LOTR
      $190 million on the Hobbit.
      That’s probably what was spent in New Zealand on making these movies.
      Or that’s approximate wealth of Peter Jackson .

  11. Smilin 11

    And Shakespeare wrote his on paper fuck this propaganda machine I bet we all remember some SHAKESPEARE but do we really remember any of this film shyte its all been gone since James Bond
    And fuck you KEY you prick

  12. Thinker 12

    Here’s an idea from a somewhat different view. Just another opinion.

    We’re told that the Warner Bros subsidy was justified because it created spinoff benefits and some respondents to this clip wonder how that could be, or if it really was justified.

    Many countries have used direct or indirect subsidy schemes to that country’s advantage, and I wonder if our current negative opinion of them is partly a legacy of new-right economics and its mantra of “Free Market Good, Government Intervention Bad”.

    Right now, we seem to have an unusual circumstance where a right-leaning government is actually saying there are times when industry subsidies are a good thing, and that they can and do work.

    Quite a few years ago, someone did a study called Upgrading NZ’s Competitive Advantage and it identified sectors where NZ would have an advantage on the world’s stage. The book was lauded for a short while, then quietly forgotten. If memory serves me, that book also suggested the government should find ways to give those selected industries a leg up, presumably by some kind of subsidy or tax break. I bet some public libraries still have copies.

    So, maybe we should consider judiciously rolling the successful subsidy model to some home-based companies, which need leverage from the benefit of a few year’s tax break to get them started and which would then have a competitive edge – particularly exporters. They would employ people and use other local firms and there could be both direct and indirect benefits.

  13. save NZ 13

    Don’t forget our armed defenders defending the ‘threat’ of Kim Dotcom who might be threatening WarnerBros profits by having a better file website than they do. I always thought that civil cases should be made by the people in disputes but now thanks to our US comrades our entire defence force can be out throwing NZ citizens in prison with trumped up charges, increasing those charges to justify their over the top reactions, getting our TV networks to fly around the world to stump up bad PR for him, and ultimately stalk IT start up personal around the world to testify against him in return for reduced charges. Hmmm now that is a beat up.

    How much corporate welfare and tax payers money has gone into what should be a civil court case and nothing to do with the NZ government? I would say millions.

  14. save NZ 14

    I’m also concerned our employment rights are up for negotiation for any foreign nationals. Don’t want to pay employ benefits or give them any rights? No problem says John Key, we can change the law for our ‘special’ friends just like with Warner Brothers.

    I don’t mind the subsidies as much as objecting to using our defence force and prosecution to defend Big media interests, against a little player (Dotcom) and also them being able to change our employment law permanently for the Hobbit.

    The reality is that if Warners wanted Peter Jackson to do the film they had to do it in NZ. That is because Peter Jackson did not want to move his studio, so the government deal was free money to big business at the expense of the NZ employee and taxpayer.

    With the Dotcom saga. Is that encouraging competition? If Warners sends some little firm a legal letter saying your users are breaching their copywrite and they are coming after you?

    After the prosecution of Dotcom I would guess any business getting that letter is gonna be s*&t scared and will be terminating their business before government defence forces slam them in prison before their trial and take their assets and spy on them.

    And that is clearly anti competition, stunting innovation and stunting new technology and the digital economy and hurting smaller countries like NZ.

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    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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