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Win win for Key

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, October 26th, 2010 - 155 comments
Categories: business, film, john key, Media - Tags: ,

Lucky John Key – he’s going to have a great week! Hard to see how he can lose.

The Warner Bros execs are now in the country, and Key is due to meet with them over the next two days. Key is talking up the stakes, saying that it is “a 50-50 call” as to whether the films will be shot here.

Plan A: If the studios decide that filming will stay in NZ it’s a win for Key. He gets to sell himself as the man who single-handedly saved the Hobbit! A grateful nation (or at least a grateful editorial line) will swoon with excitement and joy.

Plan B: If the studios decide to go elsewhere it’s still a win for Key. He gets to carry on bashing and blaming the evil unions (never mind the facts of the matter) and hoping that his spinsters can stick some mud to Labour. He gets to try out a new excuse for the sorry state of the economy — it’s not abysmal do-nothing mismanagement by his government, no no no, it’s the lost income due to the evil unions (rinse, lather and repeat).

Key will very likely get to go with Plan A. The reality is that his 50-50 “estimate” is just grandstanding. It’s already apparent that The Hobbit is likely to stay in NZ:

Variety, the leading international entertainment newspaper, reports that as more actors sign on to “The Hobbit,” its production companies New Line and Warner Bros are leaning toward keeping the films in New Zealand. The newspaper quotes studio insiders as saying that now the actors’ boycott threat has eased, staying in New Zealand makes the most sense “because that’s where Peter Jackson shot his three Lord of the Rings films.”

See also:

Last week, the project’s producers announced they were seeking alternate locations after the “disruption” caused by an actors’ union boycott over contracts, despite the boycott being lifted. But, at the weekend, Variety Los Angeles reporter Pamela McClintock quoted studio insiders saying filming in New Zealand made the most sense.

Although Warner Bros and New Line were publicly looking at other locations, privately they had stressed a desire to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand, the article said.

Now I wonder why the studios would be “publicly looking at other locations” if that isn’t their actual intent? They’ll extract some pound of flesh or other. If the studios have done their homework — and I think we can assume that they have — they will know that our PM is desperate to play the Plan A saviour, so they have extra leverage in negotiations.

How far will Key “prostitute NZ”? From his point of view it doesn’t matter. No one will pay attention to that side of the story, the media will happily salute the “Key the saviour” line. And if for any reason the studios do go rogue, there is always Plan B. Yup, which ever way you cut it, it’s win win. Key is guaranteed a very good week.

155 comments on “Win win for Key”

  1. What we’re going to see is Hollywood execs come here and strong-arm more money out of a politician who can’t afford the political cost of losing a large production – it’s a formula nearly as old as Hollywood itself.

    Yet, a complicit media will let the blame go on a tiny union whose dispute was settled before these threats of taking the Hobbit elsewhere even arose.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Um, no the threats of taking the production elsewhere cropped up immediately after the boycott was first raised, weeks ago. Remember ‘eastern europe’ was bandied about quite a bit, even though the apparent contenders are now the UK.

      The unions shot first.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        Yes, but as PJ had been critical of the government a few months back for not providing enough cash incentives, he must have immediately seen the union action as a gift to use to pressure the government. So he grabbed at the first idea of an alternative location that came to mind.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        UK/Ireland/Eastern Europe is such a red herring.

        Is PJ and the studio going to be willing to delay shooting for 6-8 months, or are they going to accept that they are going to shoot in Europe’s shitty wet winter, with shitty poor light over this time, instead of in a New Zealand summer.

        NZ, has been played, as an entire country..

        Um, no the threats of taking the production elsewhere cropped up immediately after the boycott was first raised, weeks ago.

        And funny how Jackson launched into his PR tirade days *after* the emails showed agreement on lifting the boycott and agreeing on other issues had been reached.

        With the PR line that the union action had caused irreversible damage. Well let’s see if thats true or whether the damage is conveniently reversible by enough tax payers’ money.

      • Marty G 1.1.3

        yawn. Lan. You’ve seen the evidence that the dispute was settled. You’ve seen Jackson caught in a lie. You’ve seen that is doesn’t make sense to think a $660 million project that has already invested $100 mil here moves on the ‘threat’ that is somehow raised by previous union action (despite the fact that Hollywood is used to dealing with unions). Unless you assume Jackson is a saint, the only explanation that makes sense is the producers strong-arming the government.

        Pretend that Jackson wasn’t involved but the other facts remain. Who would you then think was driving the crisis – the producers wanting millions in tax breaks or a tiny union?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.1

          Just pointing out that the threat to move offshore was made weeks ago, well before “a tiny union whose dispute was settled”.

          You might like to say that PJ was just making shit up way back then, but what he said was still a “threat”.

    • jbanks 1.2

      AE asked the producers of The Hobbit to consent to an illegal wage agreement.
      AE demanded to be negotiated with while not even being a legally registered entity.
      AE asked Peter Jackson to make commitments that would bind every other NZ producer, a demand there was no way he would ever accept.
      AE called a global boycott of the film before even establishing their terms.

      This utter INCOMPETENCE by these clown lefties = workforce instability

      Of f*#king course WB want to protect their investment.

      The utter stupidity and intellectual dishonesty by The Standard knows no limits. The biggest threat to the left is not the right, it’s themselves. Keep it up dumb f#@ks.

      • M 1.2.1

        As you’re so upset

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        The total authoritarian mindset of the right showing through there. It didn’t conform so therefore it was wrong. The right do the same when they do something immoral just point out that it was legal.

        Truly shows the psychopathy.

        • jbanks 1.2.2.1

          Why are you trying to defend this colossal stuff-up?

          It’s hard to imagine AE going about things in a worse way than as the did.

          The over-whelming majority of people get this. And you wonder why society don’t take people like you seriously.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1.1

            AE threatens Jackson and Warner Bros

            Jackson and Warner Bros threaten the NZ Govt, the NZ economy and NZ workers.

            For what? Tens of millions in tax breaks. At a time when the Govt can’t afford $2.8M for home help for the frail and the elderly.

            Thanks for supporting the blackmail of a nation mate, in fact I think Key is going to underwrite it this week.

            • jbanks 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Jackson and Warner Bros aren’t threatening anyone. AE acted in a way that made NZ a risky place to make their film. If they went ahead and filmed here it would just take one little cost or time-line overrun for WB to get sued by its own investors for knowingly filming in a risky place.

              The Government covering the cost of this risk is only fair.

              Blackmail? HA. Reality called, he wants you to get back to him.

              • Maynard J

                “for WB to get sued by its own investors for knowingly filming in a risky place.”

                I love it when these nutbars start inventing wee scenarios that they think might happen in the little imagined world that they create.

                It reminds me of watching a young child at play and so engrossed that they think what is happening is real. At least the children are able to distinguish fantasy from reality eventually. The nutbars never learn that trick.

                “Jackson and Warner Bros aren’t threatening anyone.”

                Oh so they’ve never threatened to take the film elsewhere? What else is going on in your mind? It sounds like a fascinating place.

                • jbanks

                  “I love it when these nutbars start inventing wee scenarios that they think might happen in the little imagined world that they create.”

                  And I love it when uneducated losers with no corporate experience pretend like they know what factors influence corporate decisions.

                  The risk of being sued by investors is real ie if WB make the decision to expose themselves to something that could blow up in their face when there are other alternatives available.

                  Go back to school you ignorant waste of space.

  2. ron 2

    Key on telly this a.am: “the truth is we don’t make much out of movies like this”

  3. IrishBill 3

    Reading the tea-leaves I’m picking Key will increase the tax-breaks and try to blame the union for it.

    The difficulty Key faces is that Jackson has been very clear that tax wasn’t an issue but employment stability is (despite the dispute being unequivocally settled when he said this). If Warners get a tax break and the Hobbit stays that’s going to look a little bit suspect.

    • Marty G 3.1

      yeah but that inconsistency will be brushed over and forgotten in the msm.

    • Shane 3.2

      Totally agree – but the msm are going to ignore it because Sir PJ is a saint and can do no wrong and it will make them look like a pack of eejits for falling for the con job.

      NACT will put the boot in either way – if they have to give tax concessions they will blame the union for the lost revenue…

    • ed 3.3

      What people don’t realise is that the hobbit was always going to go offshore. It’s part of the New World Order plan to destroy Unionised workers rights while damaging or destroying the film industry, thus destroying the economy.
      They want worldwide poverty, fear and desperation, that way populations will accept any tyrannical laws passed by a global Orwellian government promising to help them.

      Key is a puppet like every politician, he does what the offshore money men tell him, just like Obama does.
      Guaranteed, the Hobbit is going offshore.

  4. Carol 4

    Well, Nat Rad is reporting this morning that NZ doesn’t make a lot out of “these movies” but it creates good publicity overseas for NZ. Helen Kelly said something similar. Key is, of course, still blaming the unions.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    You forgot plan C. Claim victory for keeping the Hobbit here AND blame the unions for nearly losing it for us.

    Politics I guess. Do you think Goff wouldn’t do exactly the same if it were the Business Roundtable as the scapegoat rather than unions?

    • felix 5.1

      I think we can call that “Plan A(i)” but yes of course you’re right. Key’s winning narrative will be that he saved the hobbit from the unions.

  6. Bob Stanforth 6

    Those ashes must taste really bitter. And if the leader was red, would you be saying the same? No, you would be crowing about how wonderful that such a left leaning PM had been able to save the day from the evil corporate giant.

    And the reality is that (a) the public thinks (8o% so I last saw) (Stuff poll, which has been quoted here before) that the union is largely to blame and (b) if the union hadn’t tried to negotiate by threat, they wouldn’t be in this mess. The perception – and that’s what counts here – is that this is a royal cluster fuck by the Union.

    And any polly worth their salt would be rubbing their hands with glee to have been presented with such an opportunity, as the direct result of some really dumb thinking.

    Cue vociferous bashing 🙂

    But again, note, PERCEPTION. That’s what counts here.

    • Carol 6.1

      Public perception as measured on an unscientific poll, and on an issue in which the MSM has largely represented the side of PJ against the union. Only right wing pollies get the MSM presenting issues from their POV so regularly. So left wing pollies and unions don’t usually get such positive promos so easily.

    • Yep perception is all important.

      But when intelligent people are discussing important issues and they can see that the perception is based on a falsehood surely they should agree that despite the perception the reality should inform decision making.

      And they should then acknowledge that the spinners of the perception are the problem.

      • Carol 6.2.1

        Yes, it will be interesting to see how this impacts on public perceptions in the long term. As we saw yesterday, the MSM did it’s best to promote the pro-Hobbit rallies, by creating the impression that there is active widespread support fot the Hobbit and, implied outrage at the union, CTU, Kelly etc. This was largely done by omitting the numbers at any rally other than the Wellington one, except for Stuff reporting a highly inflated number of 1500 people at the Auckland rally.

        It looks like the most passionate support for the Hobbit being filmed here is in Wellington – not surprising as that is where most jobs will be, and it’s also linked to Welly’s sense of identity.

        But, in spite of all the pro PJ, and anti-union spin in the MSM, most people in other centres such as Auckland and Christchurch, were more interested in being at the beach, or elsewhere in the sunshine.

        • marsman 6.2.1.1

          The Dom-Post’s front page today,big photo of the Wellington Rally. Crony-media making sure clueless Key gets to be the hero,another con-job to hoodwink the susceptible,vocal,minority posing as the majority,into kissing the arses of the rich.

          • Vicky32 6.2.1.1.1

            According to my son in Welly, his colleagues (intelligent people!) have all bought the anti-union story like good little puppies fed poisionous food… I argued the toss with him.
            Deb

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I have a lot of smart professional friends who are very anti-union at the moment. Sad to see.

              The unions need to get their messaging out there and push their relevance in the modern age like never before.

    • lprent 6.3

      And if the leader was red, would you be saying the same? No, you would be crowing about how wonderful that such a left leaning PM had been able to save the day from the evil corporate giant.

      It is one of the strange quirks of the authors on this site.

      We seldom praise the red side when they are doing their job correctly (in our various views) – because that is what they are meant to do. We do criticize them when they aren’t. We frequently criticize them for not doing better – even if we are praising them.

      Of course the blue side we needle almost all of the time. The best they can hope for is that we ignore what they do. Perhaps you should read the about to find out what this site is about? You appear to be looking for a ‘balance’ that we don’t provide.

      But no – your assertion in the first paragraph is wholly incorrect. I can’t actually remember the last time we praised the Labour or green leaders. I’m sure we must have done it sometime.

    • Colonial Viper 6.4

      And if the leader was red, would you be saying the same?

      This issue would not have boiled over in the same way as under NACT, so a somewhat long hypothetical you are posing.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    You are right Bob, perception is what counts but what is becoming increasingly obvious is how the MSM run Keys lines almost never questioning even when its quite obvious that he is spinning.

    The sad fact is that the (MSM) is not going to change in the next 12 months I suspect, so their are going to have to be some other method/strategy to get an alternative message out there.

    • Bob Stanforth 7.1

      The issue isn’t so much (putting aside how the union have firstly stuck their collective foot in their collective mouths, taken a sawn off shotgun, and then shot their collective feet in their collective mouths) that the media repeat John Key, its that the media classed as MSM is dying, and therefore standards have dropped so low that they largely repeat anything they are told – be it from the left or the right.

      Relying on the MSM to undertake anything approaching smart or thinking journalism isnt a great strategy. But good luck with it 🙂

  8. ieuan 8

    I was a bit surprised how anti-union Key was in Breakfast this morning. Not surprised that he held those views but surprised he actually said it on TV. The normal relaxed, pragmatic Key gave way to the right wing politician just for a moment.

    • Carol 8.1

      Well, I think Key can’t be happy that PJ has him over a barrel, and Key needs to stump up with some tax payer money, which he wasn’t planning to give out a few months back. The only positive for Key in this if he can spin it in his favour & use it to bash the unions.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Equity and the CTU must stay on the ball PR wise. The game is still in play, and even though Key is going to be the hero this week, the unions must continue to make sure that their side of the issue is visible.

    • Marty G 8.2

      Peter basically gave him a free rein.

      • Joe Bloggs 8.2.1

        … and Helen Kelly, Robyn Malcolm and Simon Whipp gave all of this to Key on a silver platter, when they commenced good faith bargaining using an Aussie inspired global boycott. Little wonder that the producers are looking for alternative locations.

        And now it emerges that the Aussie mobster behind this shit has a track record of killing films off and destroying jobs in the Australian market.

        http://www.theage.com.au/news/Outsourcing/Actors-union-shouts-cut/2005/04/11/1113071894581.html
        http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/mega-miller-movie-refused-rebate/2008/03/18/1205602383792.html

        The mark of the deep red left – where ideology triumphs over common sense – destroying an industry and putting thousands of NZ workers out of their jobs.

        • Carol 8.2.1.1

          Actually, usually the radical left is in favour of Creative Commons over the usual copyright. But I can see why the MEAA wanted to protect actors control over the content they are associated with – so not a far left thing, but a considered commercial decision by MEAA. Actors could sign up to such a product and find they are branded with associations that would harm their future careers. (Did you actually read the article you linked to, JB?)

          The whole Justice League thing has been spun here as being derailed by the nasty Aussie union. In fact, there were many other factors causing the cancelling of the project, including lack of fan entusiasm for the planned film. Like the Hobbit, the planned film had a troubled history:

          http://www.movieweb.com/news/NE31R9344jKY5c

          April 18th, 2008
          It seems like all of the negative buzz on Justice League: Mortal, from questions about casting to George Miller’s problems with Australia’s tax rebate, to poor reviews of the script have taken their toll. According to CHUD, producer Joel Silver says that Justice League: Mortal is tabled for now.

          Also, the example of this troubled and finally failed film, raises issues strongly debated in the Aussie industry, that we could do well to participate in. Aussie, including the government, unions and the movie & TV industry has always been far stronger in promoting and protecting their own industry and culture.

          They, for instance have long had a quota system ensuring that a set percentage of Aussie productions appear on their FTA TV. This ensures a lot of work for Aussies in the industry, and on products that tell Aussie stories.

          So we should be asking, what are the benefits to NZ of international productions, that promote NZ overseas, don’t make the country a lot of money (as stated by Key this morning), but present NZ overseas as a promoter of and satellite/servant of US Hollywood culture? How much does one international movie project ensure long term work for Kiwis? Would tax payer money be better spent on promoting and developing more Kiwi projects?

          Aussies in the past have decided that there are more benefits from co-productions (between Aussie and overseas production companies) if they can retain a reasonable amount of creative, cultural and employment control over the product. (PJ does score quite well on some of these issues).

          Good on the Aussie union and Aussie government funding bodies for not just supporting any old overseas production, but considering the value in it for Aussies and protecting Aussie interests, commercially and culturally.

          • Joe Bloggs 8.2.1.1.1

            … and the net effect of all of this consideration by the Aussie union? Their film industry has withered and died….

            …Now ours is on the same slippery slope. Well done unions – stabbing the workers in the back.

            • Blighty 8.2.1.1.1.1

              “There are about 2500 businesses in the Australian film and video production and post-production services industry, generating revenue of about $2 billion a year,”

              http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/strong-dollar-hurts-film-industry/story-e6frg996-1225929694758

              the article references the high exchange rate, but no mention of unions being a problem…

              but facts are for losers, eh, joe bloggs?

              • SHG

                No mention of unions being a problem? Here’s the MEAA at work in Australia.

                A big-production example:

                Sydney looks set to lose George Miller’s mega movie Justice League Mortal after it was refused the Federal Government’s new film production rebate.
                (…)
                “A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking,” Miller said.

                “If that’s going to be the final decision, they’re throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that the rest of the world is competing for and, much more significantly, highly skilled creative jobs.”
                (…)
                The director of the equity section of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Simon Whipp, has lobbied against Justice League Mortal’s eligibility, describing it as an American story that will be performed in American accents.

                http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/mega-movie-refused-rebate/2008/03/18/1205602383792.html

                A little-production example:

                SYDNEY — Film company, MOD Films, employing Creative Commons licensing, was refused any dispensation from the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) to contract local actors to an interactive re-mixable sci-fi film called Sanctuary. The decision on Wednesday brings to a halt an AU$100,000 short film shoot scheduled this month by preventing actors from being contracted under the MEAA award, despite letters of support from all the principal actors.

                The MEAA Board decided that it could grant none of the dispensations sought by MOD Films, on the grounds that these would be “inappropriate”. The production had asked for dispensations and support for its world-first plans to employ professional actors in a film with only “Some Rights Reserved” by the production company. The company intends to permit non-commercial use and re-voicing of the film by the audience. The MEAA also rejected the option of any further negotiations with MOD Films.

                http://rights.apc.org.au/culture/2005/03/meaa_halts_worldfirst_film_project_in_australia.php

                Summary: The MEAA shuts down a film because it’s a Creative Commons project intended for remixing and adaptation by the Australian short film community. See, SIMON WHIPP decides how a film is produced and shown, not some goddamn communist indie film geeks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  SHG – good to see you buying into studio PR releases.

                  Fact of the matter is, with the Star Wars trilogy, Superman Returns, X-Men Wolverine and other films in the last 5 years, I think Australia is doing damn well and so is its film industry.

                  Its almost amusing that you are trying to portray Australia as falling behind because of its unions when they are clearly ensuring better pay for Australians all round.

                  • SHG

                    SHG – good to see you buying into studio PR releases.

                    Yes comrade, curse those Open Source geeks trying to release a film under Creative Commons. They’re obviously just part of the big studio money machine, and they deserve to have their work destroyed by the MEAA. May it live forever.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh come on Mr Gekko, if you were going to be fair you would put up statements from the MEAA not just their opponents. Although for you thats a big IF.

                    • SHG

                      CV:

                      The Australian Film Commission has indicated it intends to fund Sanctuary a ‘so-called’ re-mixable film intended for theatrical release, DVD and the Internet. It is being produced under a creative commons licence, which means that the film can be modified, adapted and reused by third parties without performer or producer consent or payment.

                      “A performer with the head of a goat, spruiking for the Trotskyist party on a pro-abortion platform, it’s all just part of the future of film encouraged by the Australian Film Commission (AFC)”, says Simon Whipp, National Director, Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

                      “With Australian box office at historic lows of 1.3% of total film box office, it seems that the AFC has some pretty strange ideas on how to build box office,” he said.

                      What a reasonable-sounding fellow. I particularly like the way that he used words like “Trotskyist” and “pro-abortion” when listing things that he found abhorrent.

                      So, CV, do you think actors should be free to participate in Creative Commons productions if they choose?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If MEAA members like the work that their executive is doing on their behalf, where is the problem? I see none.

                      Workers can be badly treated on a Creative Commons project just like another project, right? Do you think that minimum wage and health and safety requirements should still be met on Creative Commons projects?

                      Employers have to maintain good communications with unions because unions represent the power of organised workers. It doesn’t matter if that employer is BP, or the UN or the Red Cross.

                    • SHG

                      Does that mean you DON’T support the rights of artists to participate in Creative Commons projects?

              • Joe Bloggs

                generating revenue of about $2 billion a year
                Australia is doing damn well and so is its film industry

                More misguided pap from the left – how does an Aussie industry reduced to $2b a year compare favourably with the $3billion a year industry in NZ?

                On a per head basis the Aussie film industry is an eight of the size of New Zealand’s – there’s a fact that’s gone skating waaay over your heads, in case you’d missed the size of the prize.

            • Shane 8.2.1.1.1.2

              No it is isn’t – the Aussie film industry is alive and well.
              The biggest problem for Australia with respect to Hollywood is the exchange rate. They have a strong economy and therefore a strong dollar. That makes it expensive for them to film in Australia.

            • Carol 8.2.1.1.1.3

              Well, by what measure do you say the Aussie industry has died? And what is the evidence that MEAA is killing it off? For instance some in Aussie claim there are problems in the Aussie industry that have been caused by the strong Aussie dollar.

              If you look at the output of 2009, it’s pretty impressive from a critical standpoint, and also from the viewpoint of the Aussie industry making movies that critically engage with the state of Aussie society. However, the people who claim the Aussie industry is in trouble, seem to be judging it by the standpoint of Hollywood box office successes.

              The debate shows an output that the NZ industry would be proud of if they had produced NZ equivalents:

              http://inside.org.au/complications/

              THERE WERE so many good Australian feature films around in 2009 that they provoked into existence something you could almost call a critical climate, a most dangerous development. There’s something like an argument happening when Louis Nowra, in the current Monthly, deplores what he sees as “the monotonous bleakness of most of the films” while Brian McFarlane, in Australian Book Review, more accurately says “they are all serious, though not solemn,” a distinction very much worth making. Both articles appear because at the end of every year there is a widespread compulsion to poke and prod at the bedevilled industry, and to emerge with new diagnoses; it is rarely imagined that the patient, though struggling, might still be reasonably healthy.

              It seems to me people in NZ are repeating the MSM line that the MEAA has killed the Aussie industry, without doing any research into whether this is an accurate judgement, and by what measure?

            • Carol 8.2.1.1.1.4

              And looking at various sources, it seems that there is not one opinion on the state of the Aussie industry, but there are several competing arguments:

              http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/is-it-boom-or-bust-for-australias-film-industry-20091212-kpm6.html

              Is it boom or bust for Australia’s film industry?
              December 13, 2009
              There should be room for the edgy – and the popular.

              BEFORE last night’s Australian Film Industry awards, two contradictory stories were circulating about the local industry. In storyline one, 2009 was a brilliant year – possibly the highest point reached by local filmmakers since the golden age of the mid-1970s. The pickings were so rich that six films were nominated for best film instead of the usual four: Balibo, Beautiful Kate, Blessed, Mao’s Last Dancer, Mary and Max and the eventual winner, Samson & Delilah.

              In storyline two, even though 38 features were released in 2008-09, many of which were highly regarded, this is a critical moment for the Australian film industry. (It is likely just nine Australian features will be made in 2010-11.) In this scenario, the industry may not recover from the global financial crisis, and the impact it has had on jobs, investment and on the number of overseas productions being shot in Australia. A leading proponent of this argument is Screen Producers of Australia president Antony Ginnane. Last week he warned that Australian films lacked audience appeal and were threatening the future of the industry. ”The whole industry needs to look at itself. It won’t be sustainable … until it considers what audiences want to see,” he said.

              So even if the industry is considered to be in trouble, it’s not the unions being blamed for this, but the GFC, and/or the making of films that lack popular audience appeal.

              • Joe Bloggs

                Here’s the comparison:

                NZ film industry = $3billion a year in a country of 4.3 million people

                Australian film industry = $2 billion a year in a country of 21.4 million people

                NZ produces bigger budget films and more of them than Australia despite Australia offering refundable tax offsets – 40% producer offsets, location offsets and the 15% post, digital and visual effects offsets.

                • Carol

                  When Gordon Campbell looked at the amount that the Australian government put into the movie industry he quoted Aussies who thought the problem was that the Aussie movie makers were not listening to what the audiences wanted:
                  http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2009/12/18/campbell-peter-jackson-and-catching-the-aussies/

                  This is essentially the same argument that I’ve quoted in other posts here. Yet at the end of last year, Jackson was using the higher Aussie subsidies as an argument for the NZ government to put more money into incentives for big international films in NZ. It seems to me, Jackson will use whatever argument is convenient to try to get the funding he wants.

                  Also Campbell’s article states how hard it is for producers to predict if a film will be successful.

    • Blue 8.3

      ieuan, Key has a track record of making little outbursts when he thinks he can get away with it.

      In this case he feels confident enough that the public mood will back him up on the union-bashing.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Hobbiton sited in the UK? Why is this bad? If they love LoR they will want to travel on and see middle Earth proper. I think its shortsighted to want Hobbiton in NZ, we already have one.

    Apart from Key openly lying, undermining Warner Brothers investment in NZ by connecting the movies with anti-unionism which will cost the company lost ticket seat sales. What exactly does it matter if we have a movie industry when it looks likely the US, UK, EU, are heading lower wage and will take more and more jobs off us anyway, we could barely stump up the money to attract the movies here in the first place, and they only came because of NZ glorious natural backdrops.

    So I can’t fathom why Key is being such a dork, well except the usual reasons, he is a dork.

  10. smhead 10

    A lot of hot air from the left-wingers on here. One point overlooked, that if silly little Actors Equity and the naive CTU hadn’t allowed an Australian union to try and force compulsory unionism on NZ actors, then the problem would NEVER have arisen.

    Yes either way the decision goes will be a win for Key, and it will cost the country either way, but the unions brought this on themselves.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      smhead did you notice that every line you write is a virtual lie?

      What happened to your spin that the Australian unions did this to get the production moved to Australia? Except that was never on the cards of course.

      As for compulsory unionism – unions are working hard to give better rights and conditions to all workers, not just union members. Shame on you for deliberately misinterpreting that.

      but the unions brought this on themselves.

      Good on you for defending US corporate blackmail of our Government and our country.

      The unions threatened Jackson, and in turn Jackson/the studio decided to threaten our entire economy.

      • Tigger 10.1.1

        Smeghead – CV is right, lies, lies, lies. And how can this be a win for Key if taxpayers have to shell out more money to keep this bloated production in NZ?

        • SHG 10.1.1.1

          Because losing this production will cost more than any tax concession. Isn’t that obvious?

      • Joe Bloggs 10.1.2

        <defending corporate blackmail…

        um you’re losing your grasp on reality there a little viper – the corporate blackmail that triggered this fiasco is a little neutron bomb dropped by the MEAA and it was called a global boycot.

        That’s about as blackmaily as anyone could get, doncha think?

        • Tigger 10.1.2.1

          Except it was collective action based on negotiating a contract of minimum terms and conditions – no actual cash involved.

          WB on the other hand…they just want the money.

          • Lanthanide 10.1.2.1.1

            Minimum terms and conditions boil down to money, obviously.

            Is it cheaper to give someone lunch and tea breaks, or to make them work 8 hours nonstop? Is it cheaper to restrict someone’s working day to a max 10 hours, or keep them working for 16? etc etc, you get the point.

            • Carol 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Agreed. And one of the other conditions that has been mentioned is to do with being paid if the actor is no longer wanted on the production on the day agreed. Overseas an actor gets paid even if the day’s work the actor was expecting gets cancelled. Under the NZ independent contract system, the actor, who has scheduled themselves to work on a given day, can get sent home without pay.

  11. Francisco Hernandez 11

    The left has walked into an epic trap on this one.

    We need to get our shit right for next year yeah?

    We should hire a certain Malcolm Tucker – I hear he’s free these days.

    Expression: Malcolm Tucker’s expression as he gave Actor’s Equity a severe bollocking was priceless.

  12. erentz 12

    The part I don’t quite understand is: Surely the “international boycott” was meaningless and everyone knows it, right? The only boycott that really ever existed was the roughly 86 actors represented by AE, who are according to most of the gossip, Aucklanders, right? If it were real, then it wouldn’t have been such a big threat to take the production to Europe, because the international boycott was international.

    So given we were always just talking about roughly 86 actors Auckland actors out of thousands of people who will work on this movie. And given many of those actors might not have worked on the Hobbit anyway. And given it makes no difference to the producer whether they do without those 86 actors if they took it to Europe as they threatended, then it must equally make no difference if they do without them if they keep the production here.

    I can understand for a breif period they might have wondered just how many people were on side here, were all the thousands of other workers going to strike half way through production in support of those actors (or something? I don’t know what they were thinking). But it’s plainly clear now they weren’t. And to top it off that group of roughly 86 actors has pretty much admitted they could’ve handled things much better.

    So, unless I’m wrong (am I wrong?), the producers and PJ must all see this as well (it was a mistake by a few inexperienced negotiators on the fringes of a production that carried no weight). At this point the producers are plainly exploiting that to their advantage by basically calling everyone else (the thousands of other Kiwis) who would’ve worked on the movie unreliable and untrustworthy. This I find distateful when thousands have come out in support, and the evidence to the contrary from previous productions.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I thought that NZAEquity has over 600 NZ members, roughly speaking. That 86 number was right wing spin.

      But yeah Jackson/the Studio saw an advantage and levered it to tens of millions of tax payers dollars.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      It works like this:
      While the production is being made in NZ and AE is having a little stoush with the producers, an international boycott is in place stopping all international actors that belong to unions from working on the film being made in NZ.

      While the production is being made in the UK, there is no union stoush, and therefore no boycott.

      So the boycott was international as long as the production remained in NZ. Makes it somewhat clearer why moving overseas was raised by the producers as a possibility, doesn’t it?

      • erentz 12.2.1

        I must’ve misread the various statements and resolutions then, I had thought it was to the effect of calling a boycott until the negotiations had been completed with the NZ AE for the production of The Hobbit in NZ.

        But what you’re saying is that the international’s were only boycotting the production in NZ. Well — if you’ll permit me to be cynical — that’s easy for them to do, it’s just words, they’ve no skin in the game in that case. If there’s no real global boycott, then it’s useless to ever call a boycott on a movie. Where’s the solidarity.

  13. Francisco Hernandez 13

    Tumeke has it down pat.

    http://tumeke.blogspot.com/

    This is a manufactured crisis largely. I agree with that, but it’s also irrelevant.

    Politics is very largely about perception. The facts maybe on our side, but it’s too late to actually do anything about it.

    Keep in mind that to many mainstream NZers Peter Jackson is a living, breathing “Kiwi Hero” the next to be deified after Edmund Hillary

    Keep in mind that the Head of the CTU called Peter Jackson a “spoiled brat”

    I think Danlyl’s a bit of a smug snake but like it or not – he represents the 10% of people who swung to National in 2008. This was his reaction:

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/ctu-launches-charm-offensive-desecrates-grave-of-sir-edmund-hillary/

    Now, if we can’t even win what should be a key ally – I respectfully submit that the battle has been lost. It’s time to walk away and move on from this PR disaster.

    The left should work on creating a manufactured scandal for the Key government.

    • M 13.1

      ‘Politics is very largely about perception. The facts maybe on our side, but it’s too late to actually do anything about it.’

      Yes the left has to move on and look at other ways to trip up Key who really isn’t that smart. Take away the flash Harry suit and all his prompters and babysitters (so reminiscent of GWB) and you have a very plain and dull person whose only qualification has been to move money around – as the singer Rodriguez sang ‘a monkey in silk is a monkey no less’.

      As to Peter Jackson, he’s just a man at the end of the day. Yes, he is creative in the art of film but so are lots of other people and to be perfectly honest I have more respect for a person who changes a rest home resident’s incontinence pants than this guy who has sought to demonise workers to feather his own nest and give his ego a giant stroke. His performance of the poor, beleaguered producer at the mercy of actors might gain him his own special Oscar courtesy of Warner’s.

      I don’t know how easy it would be to manufacture a scandal about Key as he has a heavy coating of Teflon but his lack of response to the various unfolding crises we face and heavy critiquing from the left with a catalogue of his incompetence could be start of death by a thousand cuts.

  14. Bored 14

    As the dust settles the cretins of these isles will be left en-masse to wonder who benefits from this whole sordid fiasco. The sainted Peter and his Warner Brothers moghuls feasting on the generosity of the NZ taxpayer? John Key in the polls after a cameo appearance as “saviour”. The cretinous public feeling much invigourated after a minor pogrom of Union bashing?

    The feeling I am left with is that we have been “had” Another larceny has been propogated by “business” and their political mates, they have stolen the day, our tax dollars and our approving opinion. The general public have shown themselves to be feeble of mind yet again, they deserve to be robbed. Its all so nauseous.

    PS A distinct absence of Labour here, the trap being so perfectly set that they thought better than to intervene and face opprobrium from the mob. Might have been the clever option.

    • Carol 14.1

      Well Trevor Mallard’s post on it said the Hobbit issue “is not simple”. And he said he’d had communications with Warners at fairly regular intervals when he had the portfolio Brownlee now has. So, I couldn’t help but wonder how much info he and Labour had about the way Warners operates, and that was part of the knowledge that led to Labour’s decision to stay out of it.

      • Joe Bloggs 14.1.1

        Phil’s steering clear at present because there’s a deeper, dirtier issue in play.

        This issue with The Hobbit is not just a bit of crudely managed sabotage by an Aussie interloper; it’s the latest round in a fight between Phil Goff and Andrew Little/Helen Kelly for domination of the ideological left.

        This nasty little struggle has been brewing for the past year as Little/Kelly have become more frustrated at the lack of effective leadership from Goff – hence the unions flexing a bit of muscle in the leadership vaccuum on the political wing of the Labour movement. Well if it works then Goff’s a goner and the unionists take centre stage.

        Unfortunately that house of cards is coming tumbling down around Kelly’s ears right now as the folly of backing the MEAA boycott becomes more evident. The public has loathing for the MEAA and AE unionistas and contempt for Kelly after she labeled Jackson a ‘spoiled brat’.

        Those are serious nails in the union coffins and that’s why Goff’s out shaking hands with Shrek or driving round the back blocks of Canterbury or wherever the fuck he’s hiding. Do nothing and let Little/Kelly sink themselves in the quicksand of public odium. Good move Phil!

      • Bored 14.1.2

        Carol, it actually makes me ask how well Labour in general understands the “corporate” world. I work in corporates for 30 years, just when you thought you have seen it all another way of getting more margin at somebody elses expense rears its ugly head up. This type of rort has been used by the likes of Telecom and the banks for years to justify “better” treatment, it is standard corporate bully boy tactics. What I find really funny is that nobody in Labour put their heads up and said, “Hey, Warner Bros is in Chapter 11 (bankruptcy), can we rely upon them?” Or perhaps well before the event predicted that Warners would ask for a bigger break?

        • Carol 14.1.2.1

          Well, I really don’t know what’s going on within Labour, and don’t really see power struggles within the party being that relevant here. Even accepting your argument about the way corporates operate, Bored, it’s too complicated for Goff to step in and make some easy sound bites that would get favourable coverage in the MSM.

          I can see some value in holding their peace, monitoring the situation, and allowing the public/MSM story to play out, leaving Labour with some ammunition to throw NACT’s way when the time is right.

        • Carol 14.1.2.2

          There has just been some audio clips on Nat Rad midday news, with both Key and Mallard talking about the economics of the situation.

          Interesting. So now Labour has a presence, after the union issue has peaked, and draws attention to the money elements at the core of the issue. Mallard referred to some of the communications he had with Warners a couple of years back and Warners saying the changing rate of the NZ dollar means it may not be financially viable to make movies in NZ for much longer. Can’t remember all the details accurately.

          • Carol 14.1.2.2.1

            And Mallard will be questionning Brownlee about it in the House today:

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1010/S00420/questions-for-oral-answer-oct-26-2010.htm

            3. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister for Economic Development: What specific actions has he taken since becoming Minister of Economic Development to secure the New Zealand film industry?

            • Joe Bloggs 14.1.2.2.1.1

              3. Hon GERRY BROWNLEE to the Hon Trev: Disbanding unions and kicking Aussie Boycotters out would be a bloody good place to start. Followed by distancing NZ from the left wing lunacy that places ideology ahead of jobs for the workers.

              • Carol

                Yes, he tried something like that, as part of his stalling. Also references to Labour’s approach as cocktail politics. But we learned that the meeting with Gerry Brownlee, SPADA, AE & CTU, on around 14th Oct, was not about the Hobbit, but and industry wide agreement.

                And we learned that Brownlee has talked to Warners & New Line a couple of times over the last couple of years, and not increased tax breaks, So basically Brownlee’s done f*** all.

        • SHG 14.1.2.3

          Warner Bros is in Chapter 11

          And when exactly did this happen?

    • jaybee 14.2

      Bored- I was going to comment, then found you had said it all.

  15. Bart 15

    As we’re talking Australian films, I think Dennis Denuto from “The Castle” summed up your arguments regarding this whole Hobbit issue perfectly.

    “It’s the vibe,……of the thing…..”

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    This isn’t that important so WTF is our PM taking a hand at all?

  17. wasi 17

    mitch harris is running an interesting line on who the winners are in this debacle on radiolive at the moment..he`s saying it`s a set-up between warners and the govt…he`s questioning why the govt is involved in the matter at all in a hands off free market…another question from mitch…”is NZ the most craven country in the world?”..now that question would make a good thread…

    • Joe Bloggs 17.1

      You’re sucking on fill-in journalistic bullshit there Wasi – this conspiracy theory that the govt and warners engineered this whole fiasco is just too left of centre to be credible for a second.

      How does the government engineer Simon Whipp to call for a global boycott? How does Warner’s engineer Helen Kelly into calling Jackson a spoilt brat?

      Sad to say but even John Key can’t pull off Machiavellian miracles like those errors of judgement.

      This tired old meme about govt/warners set-ups is just smoke and mirrors for the real issues:
      – like the unions muscling up because Phil won’t
      – like the unions fucking up because they way overplayed their hand
      – like the kiwi film industry workers being taken for a ride by an Aussie scum-sucker militant who’s worked so successfully to destroy the industry in his own patch that he has to cosy up to NZ unions to find new members

      • wasi 17.1.1

        oh really…so there`s absolutely no chance of a jack-up between warners and jk?

        “Mr Key today revealed a personal link in The Hobbit row ahead of the meeting – one of the studio executives is an old acquaintance.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4271665/Key-No-Hobbit-bidding-war

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        this conspiracy theory that the govt and warners engineered this whole fiasco is just too left of centre to be credible for a second.

        Not sure why you consider a big American corporate and their moneyed NZ agents squeezing our Government for tens of millions of dollars in tax payer funding by threatening our whole economy as being a “left of centre” tactic.

        And of course they engineered a union response that they could use. How did they do that? Stonewall and infuriate the unions until they did what was highly predictable – call a boycott.

        Its classic right wing capitalism at work, I thought you would be happy for Warner shareholders that they are draining the public purse.

  18. Bored 18

    Just read on Granny Herald that Jonkey says, “From the conversations I’ve had with Warner Bros so far I’ve made it quite clear if it comes to a bidding war, then New Zealand is out because I don’t think that’s the right way to run this.”

    You can say what you will about Key (and I say some pretty dreadful if justifiable things about him). What you can say is that he is that he is commercially astute and is a good negotiator (as evidenced by the way he gobbled up the Maori party and spat them out). In this case I reckon he has evaluated what Warners are Jackson up to and has done a SWOT (strenght / weakness / opportunities / threats) analysis. Given he wins either way as he has the union to blame I suspect he will call their bluff.

    “Hmmm so you want to delay by 6 months as you cannot film in Ireland during the wet winter, and perhaps the Irish are bankrupt?”
    “Hmmmm, Czeck Republic, 6 foot of snow, crappy economy, go for it”……
    “Chapter 11, you really do need the cash dont you”?

    All the sort of things Labour should be saying.

    • Carol 18.1

      But if Key does call their bluff, it’s a win in the short term, but how will it help relations with Warners & maybe other major studios in the long term? Will they be so willing to do business in NZ? Unless maybe he offers them low paid Kiwi workers?

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      Key should call their bluff*.

      Even though it is a NACT govt if they stand up strong to pressure then good on them, as I am sick of our country viewed as a weak plaything by foreign corporates.

      *Am fully aware that this whole thing has already been scripted of course.

  19. Zaphod Beeblebrox 19

    I’m not sure all is well with this movie generally. After all didn’t the executive producer get up and walk earlier in the year and I’m guessing the studio heads must be getting very nervous about the massive cost this movie will take to shoot. It reportedly will be the most expensive movie ever made. Given the current economic climate- is this such a good project for Key to hitch his wagon to?

    Remember also Jackson had a lot of difficulty convincing the studio go ahead.

    Will it be a commercial success that reflects well on the NZ industry? I’ve got my doubts. Of course then they can blame the MEAA for everything, can’t they?

    • Bored 19.1

      Interesting Zaphod. Maybe Jackson can see the writing on the wall, that the NZ film industry is a one show pony i.e that it has no other mode than boom and bust, no volume, no critical mass to be able to stand on its own two feet. Maybe he also has a weather eye on the possible dissappearance of Warner Brothers into bankruptcy and closure.

  20. Irascible 20

    I agree with the analysis in terms of the spin that crosby-textor & co are putting on this industry created crisis. Saw Jackson on BBC being interviewed about the “crisis”. The spin was as expected “Third world country emotionally and quaintly attached to a series of films because every aspiring actor or resident in the country want to be able to say “I was in the Hobbit Film” – the 49th Hobbit on the right in frame 1274000″- he did not impress, sounded insincere as he attacked NZ’s industrial relations and law as the cause of Warner’s play for big tax breaks from the NZ government.
    No interviews with anyone from AE to balance the reporting.

    • Carol 20.1

      That’s pretty much representative of the BBC these days as deescribed by some Brit friends – right wing bias, supports the Brit government, including its current “austerity” measures – no significant crique of them from the BBC.

  21. Mark M 21

    yes a win win for Key thrown to him by the stupid actions of the CTU’s Helen Kelly.
    Not only will Key win on this , future Union action will be portrayed in the same light as the attempted knee capping of the economy.
    Phil Goff would have been better staying here and pulling Kelly into line than Swanning off to Aus and making up stories of what the Australian treasurer said to him.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Interesting that the Right is so nervous about Kelly that they attack her – even though she has had the least to do with the resulting debacle (blown up by Jackson after all substantive issues were agreed upon), and has shown herself to be an honest broker throughout the affair.

      Compare Jackson and Warner using their little corporate playbook against NZ.

      • Mark M 21.1.1

        CV

        80% of poll respondents would tell the lie to your comments.
        In any event , how we think Kelly handled the situation is irrelevant , it is the general voting publics opinion that counts.

        The rallies on Monday show what the general public think.

        They wont forget this and will be reminded when unions choose the World Cup to press further claims.

        In my humble opinion the unions will win next years election for National.
        The sudden reverse by Kelly last week would attest to , at least her belief, that this is correct

        • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1

          The only reverse made last week was by Jackson pretending that the boycott was still on when he had participated in meetings which had settled the affair.

          80% of poll respondents would tell the lie to your comments.

          Using an internet poll for support? Good on ya then, that’s shown me.

          The rallies on Monday – there would have been no more than 500 people at the AKL one – should be praised as they got people out and about supporting fellow workers. That is the heart of the union movement and a great thing to see on Labour Day.

          They wont forget this and will be reminded when unions choose the World Cup to press further claims.

          An influx of big money and $1000/box seat ticket holders while all the workers get are minimum wage plus or minus.

          If anything this is going to make inequity more obvious in society, not less.

        • lprent 21.1.1.2

          You mean – a lot less people turned up for a protest meeting than John Key had dismissed as being irrelevant (when the unions did protest meetings).

          Tell me? How does that make you feel – valued? Or are you going to argue that some people are more equal than others?

  22. Jum 22

    captcha: avoided

    I so looked forward to seeing the Hobbit; I knew it would be another excellent production by Jackson and Weta. The whole family was organised each time to go and see the LOTR productions; we have all the dvds.

    Now, all I get is a nasty taste in my mouth because of the stupidity of New Zealanders not to realise that they have been used in a rich man’s game, a powerful film industry little-country ball-breaker and for political sport.

    Every New Zealander will have someone in their family who works and over the next few years if NAct get back in these Kiwis will come to regret their backing of Jackson/Warner/Key-Brownlee in the biggest con against the unions yet.

    It’s going to get really nasty next year.

    Meanwhile, I do want to see the Hobbit but I’ll wait til it’s on DVD. It’ll be cheaper. I’ll miss seeing it on big screen but I’ll only see the image of Peter Jackson betraying Kiwis up there larger than life; the story will be told and the facts will be put in the right order and the unions will be vindicated and will become important to New Zealand workers once more but it will be too late for this country to have any sort of society it could be proud of. There is nothing to be proud of here in trying to destroy actors wanting to be listened to.

    Money and power spoke instead. We’ll see a lot of that in the election year to come. Yes, it leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth.

    • jbanks 22.1

      Now, all I get is a nasty taste in my mouth because of the stupidity of New Zealanders not to realise that they have been used in a rich man’s game, a powerful film industry little-country ball-breaker and for political sport.

      You just don’t get it.

      AE asked for a collective agreement with everybody, including non-unionised people, which is patently in breach of the Commerce Act and Employment Relations Act.

      AE isn’t even a registered union and had no legal standing to make demands.

      There’s no conspiracy theory here you stupid muppet.

      • Jum 22.1.1

        You John Banks thick-alike, (I can name-call too dick-head) don’t get it. Employment conditions are the very point of what leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

        The Actors Equity had not made demands; they had expressed a wish to discuss their conditions + of work which until now, it seems, New Zealanders had a right to do. Both the government and that film industry which incidentally has ongoing litigations (so we know this is bread and butter to them) pounced.

        Jackson lied about times and events. That makes him history as far as credibility goes. You can separate these fancy little acts and agreements and anything else; the fact remains – workers are getting shafted. Obviously, you couldn’t give a shxt about that.

        • jbanks 22.1.1.1

          “The Actors Equity had not made demands; they had expressed a wish to discuss their conditions + of work which until now, it seems, New Zealanders had a right to do.”

          Wrong again Jum Rag.

          WingNut Films (Jackson) rejected negotiations that it had no right – and NZAE also had no right (even when ignoring it’s lack of union incorporation) due to actors being independent contractors and thus can’t unionise under current law – to engage in. WingNut was quite happy for the negotiations to be carried through the correct process: Pink Book / SPADA in short-term, NZAE working to change the law and actually allow for union representation in the longer-term.

          It’s time to play the music, It’s time to light the lights..

          • Jum 22.1.1.1.1

            If you’re going to insult me jbanks at least tell me what ‘Rag’ means or you’ve failed, but then you’ve failed to convince me that anything good will come of this film in NZ, except for cheap desperate labour to the union haters like you.

            “Colonial Viper 24.1
            26 October 2010 at 6:38 pm

            What the hell is the PM doing involved in an industrial dispute?

            What the hell is Peter Jackson doing allowing issues with his workers to escalate to the state of an internationally reported global boycott?

            Why are we offering to behave like a banana republic and alter our legislation and our regulations to suit foreign corporates and hinder NZ workers?

            … the governance of the country is sliding down the tropical slope and you think praise is in order.”

            Meanwhile Colonial Viper wins the post of the thread.

            • Armchair Critic 22.1.1.1.1.1

              If you’re going to insult me jbanks at least tell me what ‘Rag’ means or you’ve failed…
              It’s a pun on your name, I suspect.
              http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jamrag

            • jbanks 22.1.1.1.1.2

              Critical thinking is definitely not your forte Jum Bucket.

              “What the hell is the PM doing involved in an industrial dispute?”
              The fact that almost all NZer’s want this movie in NZ means we brought in the big guns to show we are genuine. It’s what the people want. Democracy and all.

              “What the hell is Peter Jackson doing allowing issues with his workers to escalate to the state of an internationally reported global boycott?”
              Jackson has no control over the Commerce Act and Employment Relations Act. Plus even AE admit that the global boycott was out of order.

              “Why are we offering to behave like a banana republic and alter our legislation and our regulations to suit foreign corporates and hinder NZ workers?”
              The AE have no problem with this, neither do the rest of NZ. So i don’t know what NZ workers you think are being hindered because the Labour Day protests sure paint a different picture.

              So you’re going to have to do better than that Jum Shot. Next.

              • Jum

                Armchair Critic has just highlighted what a depth of filth you are prepared to stoop to to win some sort of lethal game on this thread. I should have expected as such – dealing with a rightwing person, I certainly should have known better than to think a rightwing person would play the game not the person.

                You have certainly proved my point about the nastiness which will be enacted over the next 12 months. Misogyny, attacks on unions, attacks on people having an opinion other than your own.

                Critical thinking also involves critical presentation yet everything enacted by this government, your foul language and Jackson’s/Taylor’s emotive stance proves otherwise. It’s a strange phenomenon that the rightwing emote but get upset when others do the same.

                Grow up man; you’re showing your immaturity and definitely your ability to think AND act critically. No pass on logic; sorry.

                • jbanks

                  Go and cry in the corner you pathetic little bitch.

                  [I noticed this late, but I did notice it. Your personal insults have gone too far. Take a week off. — r0b]

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I can hear your manly sobs, jbanks.

                  • Jum

                    captcha: continues

                    Sorry jbanks. I’ve just checked in to see what replies had come through – I have a real life away from you rightwing deadbeats that are allowed by democratic right on here and I saw the “Go and cry in the corner you pathetic little bitch.” Like I said “sorry jbanks, but I laughed out loud. Must show my daughter the kind of filth that slithers around our country and likes to pretend(?) they are john banks. Another two youth votes lost to NAct. Do ‘continue’ jbanks. I can copy it to all my National supporter mates who seem to think that National is ‘nice’.

                    BTW are you Crosby or Textor or just a poor imitation. You really are losing it aren’t you sweetie.

                    [lprent: It isn’t a right. It is a privilege to be allowed to comment here.
                    But he hasn’t hit any of the policy guidelines. So as moderators we just ignore him.

                    This site definitely isn’t a democracy in any usual sense. It is more a case of having one person – one veto. There are relatively few voters – those that work on the site. Amongst them voting happens largely by doing. If you do stuff then others can let you continue or they can shut you down. ]

                    • Jum

                      Interesting Iprent. I will assume that jbanks and I are on the same basis with your site and if one of us goes down so will the other; suits me.

              • Colonial Viper

                jbanks, what are you, a Secret Stalinist who favours a centralised state planned and head of state intervention based economy?

                Is this how you justify NZ’s slide towards joining the club of tin pot banana republics where heads of state cut deals with foreign corporates not in their peoples’ interests, but to garner themselves political advantage at home? With irrelevancies and diversions thrown in to sell a fictional PR narrative to the public to maintain support?

                Where instead of representing his workers, Key steps forward to represent the interests of foreign corporate industries and the local wealthy.

                The AE have no problem with this, neither do the rest of NZ. So i don’t know what NZ workers you think are being hindered

                Excuse me if I laugh at the thought of you trying to represent NZ Actors Equity on anything.

                hi Jum 🙂

  23. Vicky32 23

    Listening to 3 News, I heard a girl ask Simon Whipp “So, if the Hobbit doesn’t get made in New Zealand, will you feel any guilt for that?”
    His answer was “No…..” but we’ll never know what *else* he said, as he was abruptly cut off. TV 3 as the Faux News of New Zealand, is following the script, as can be seen by the reverential tone used by McRoberts and Garner when they mention Key. Predictable, sigh…
    Deb

    • Carol 23.1

      Yes, and also, that statement by Whipp was preceded by the reporter saying Whipp doesn’t care if the Hobbit is not made in NZ. But Whipp saying he doesn’t feel guilty about it, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. And Whipp is to be interviewed on Campbell Live.

      Also on Nat Rad, Key said the Aussie film industry is in tatters because of the Aussie union, and that Warners wouldn’t film there because of that. But, as already discussed on this thread this is a distorted characterisation of the Aussie industry.

      Key is just saying that there will be no decision today. Warners wants more money and some changes to NZ’s employment legislation. He is claiming that until the actors’ union action Warners was “good to go” with filming the Hobbit in NZ. But if that is so, why don’t they just want changes to the law and not more money?

    • Carol 23.2

      To me, Whip came across sounding quite reasonable on Campbell Live. It doesn’t sound right to me to suggest that Whip was stirring up the NZ actors to boycott The Hobbit, because he wanted the movie to be made in Aussie.

      Aussie and Kiwi actors can benefit equally whether the movies is made in Aussie or NZ. Actors cross the Tasman regularly to work. As I understand it both Aussie & Kiwi actors get excited when a major production is casting in either country. And where in Aussie would they find the right scenery for The Hobbit?

  24. If he saves the Hobbit, he deserves the praise.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      What the hell is the PM doing involved in an industrial dispute?

      What the hell is Peter Jackson doing allowing issues with his workers to escalate to the state of an internationally reported global boycott?

      Why are we offering to behave like a banana republic and alter our legislation and our regulations to suit foreign corporates and hinder NZ workers?

      Yeah Sean, the governance of the country is sliding down the tropical slope and you think praise is in order.

      • Carol 24.1.1

        What the hell is the PM doing involved in an industrial dispute?

        Maybe because, according to CNN, Key is the “managing director of WETA”?

  25. Carol 25

    If Key “saves” the Hobbit, by screwing ordinary NZ workers, both he and Jackson enterprises deserve no praise whatsoever. The movie, as Key said this morning, doesn’t make THAT much money for NZ. So some Kiwis would get some work for a couple of years on the movie, but the long term result will be that a whole lot more Kiwi workers will be worse of.

    Some victory.

    • infused 25.1

      It’s more than that. Pretty obvious you can’t see the big picture. Going by most of your posts though, that’s obvious.

      • Carol 25.1.1

        Well, for sure, I won’t be paying to watch Jackson’s big pictures in the cinema. The bigger economic, cultural and employment picture is exactly what I CAN see,

  26. CaroL:

    So you think we will be worse off if the hobbit gets filmed here????????????????????????????

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Sheeesh there’s always more deals out there. The Hobbit is not the first nor will it be the last international production considered for NZ.

    • Carol 26.2

      A large number of NZ workers will be worse off in the long run, because of the way the union & union movement have been scapegoated in order to get more taxpayer money for making The Hobbit. NACT is ideologically against such incentives, but they want something out of the deal, so it is convenient for them to be able to blame unions.

      I don’t believe The Hobbit will do AS much for NZ as many think it will. How much it does, depends partly on how successful the movie is.

      NACT is already trying to change employment laws to make life harder for ordinary working people. I guess we will have to wait a little longer to see what changes Key will make to employment laws to keep Warners (and/or himself) happy.

  27. Carol:

    Surly if the Hobbit goes ahead withone trouble and is successful, it will mean more and more projects for NewZealand, this has to be good.

    • Jum 27.1

      Captcha: fries

      Yeah, Sean Brooks and the labour will be even cheaper by then which was the game plan all along.

      Remember the Toll scam on Labour with Toll threatening to close down rail links. Clark called their bluff; the train links didn’t stop.

      Key’s a mallowpoof.

      • SHG 27.1.1

        lol yeah jokes about poofs are hilarious rex

        • Jum 27.1.1.1

          I don’t know where you’re going with this SHG but ‘mallowpoof’ means a mallowpuff which disappears into thin air in 2011 post election with an engineered knighthood and a nod to the rotundtable to move in and destroy.

    • Carol 27.2

      There have already been international projects being filmed in NZ for a while. The breakthrough was made a few years back. I doubt that The Hobbit will do much to change that. Jackson seems to have got stuck in a certain kind of expensive blockbuster. Who knows whether that will have much of a future internationally, especially in difficult times. And it may not be so clever to be reliant on major US studios, because they are in an uncertain state. NZ enterprises have been working to develop ways of making co-productions with a range of countries. Diversifying has its advantages.

      I think some people have too much of a starry-eyed view of the US Hollywood industry, which is always more interested in promoting itself & the US. NZ could benefit in a range of ways with co-productions, where NZ workers can take a more equal role.

    • Colonial Viper 27.3

      Sean, pay and treat NZ workers every penny they are worth, or these foreign corporates are quite welcome to take their productions to Eastonia or Khazakstan or wherever else they want to go dumpster diving.

  28. Colonial:

    Its in our best interests for this to be filmed here. Helen Clark herself spend so much time pouring money into the art, it seems a lot of people are just playing politics with this.

    Fingers and toes are crossed, that the hobbit stays in NewZealand.

    BTW, what about all the bollywood movies that get filmed here???, they pay cheaper wages, are you against those films???

    • lprent 28.1

      How exactly is it in our best interests? When I play with the numbers and the associated probable tax breaks, I come up short. You have to assume either more tax breaks in the future to continue to subsidize the industry – when can it stand on it’s own feet? The only way you can make a profit for the country is to assume a whacking great residual from tourism – assuming that the films generate enough interest.

      I’d be really interested in the MED papers justifying the tax breaks.

    • Carol 28.2

      I thought AE was talking with SPADA about drawing up a basic set of standards for NZ actors for all screen work. That would include actors working on Bollywood films filmed in NZ. I understood they didn’t expect the wages for NZ actors in NZ to be quite as high as in some other countries.

  29. Carol:

    Dont you think some people though seem to be against this just because its American, isnt that kind of racist?

    • Carol 29.1

      Americans aren’t a “race”. It’s more about big US corporates and power. The US government has long used movies and popular culture to spearhead their imperialist endeavours – cultural colonisation, followed by the economic form. I’m not saying that’s happening with the Hobbit, but it is something to be aware of and wary about.

  30. Carol:

    Carol:

    Oh dear, oh dear.

    Im guesing Hollywood treats its workers a lot better than Bollywood.But I dont see no anti Bollywood posts here.

    Are you also aware its the year 2010.

    Name me one hollywood movie that the usa government has done in the past ten years that has tried to do what you have said??

    • Carol 30.1

      AE and NZ actors generally have been struggling for years to talk to SPADA (NZ Screen producers & directors), to get some basic standards across all films and TV shows made in NZ. So that would include bollywood films. but the issue has become centred around the Hobbit at the moment. I hope that AE is able to get a set of basic standards across all the platforms they perform in, and for all productions before too long, because that is what actors have in most western countries.

      I was answering the questions as to why peole seem to be anti-American here. I was saying it could be that people are anti-American cultueral and/or economic imperialism. Certainly , I am quite critical of US big corporations, but also am in regular contact with some great American individuals. So I don’t see that the same as being anti-American.

      I think the US government initiatives don’t neccesarily focus on indiviudal films, but rather on creating the conditions that will help maintain US dominance internationally in the screen industry. So they may give some help in various ways to US studios. I have read in some film and/or popular culture history books that has been the explicit policy of the US government in the past – ie to promote US popular culture or movies in a country, kind of to soften up the population to make them more accepting of consuming a range of US products, and generally to accept US dominance.

      When the US first attacked Baghdad in 2003, they organised it so that the local TV programmes started broadcasting a load of US shows. The blogger riverbend, blogging from Baghdad wrote about it sometimes. She was quite annoyed by the choice of programmes broadcast.

      • SHG 30.1.1

        AE and NZ actors generally have been struggling for years to talk to SPADA

        Um, this is crap. AE have been actively avoiding contact with SPADA. This while shitfest started because the AE was trying to negotiate with Wingnut Films instead of SPADA.

        • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1

          That makes sense since talking to SPADA was worse than useless, and Actors Equity actually thought that Peter Jackson would give them a fair hearing.

          What a joke that assumption turned out to be.

          • SHG 30.1.1.1.1

            That Actors Equity thought for a second that Sir Peter Jackson could legally and morally give them that hearing just shows how ignorant they are.

  31. ed 31

    Obviously, it’s not because of union action. It’s a plan to demonise unions and remove worker’s rights, but more than that it’s a plan to destroy the film industry by overseas interests.They are installing a world government on the ruins of worldwide damaged economies. Poor desperate people will accept any laws that promise to help them.

    It’s pretty easy to see it’s all contrived and staged.

  32. SHG 32

    Obviously, it’s not because of union action. It’s a plan to demonise unions and remove worker’s rights, but more than that it’s a plan to destroy the film industry by overseas interests.They are installing a world government on the ruins of worldwide damaged economies. Poor desperate people will accept any laws that promise to help them.

    It’s pretty easy to see it’s all contrived and staged.

    Warner Bros: founded by Jews.

    Coincidence?

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    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago