CTU criticism

October 23rd, 2010 at 10:16 am by David Farrar

blogs:

In the Campbell Live poll 90% of respondents thought Actors Equity was to blame for fiasco and 10% thought the film company was to blame. Even given the statistical unreliability of this sort of poll, that’s a resounding and deserved indictment of the appalling PR of Actors Equity, the and in particular president Helen Kelly. I have seldom seen groups so out of touch with public sentiment or so incapable of getting across the message they wanted to convey.

Danyl blogs at the Dim Post about the next CTU media campaign:

CTU launches charm offensive, desecrates grave of Sir Edmund Hillary

In the wake of sharp public criticism over its handling of contract negotiations around The Hobbit the Council of Trade Unions has launched a public relations campaign aimed at rehabilitating the organisation’s image. CTU President Helen Kelly has promised New Zealanders they will be ‘wowed’ by a series of industrial strikes planned to disrupt the rugby world cup next year and has violated the grave of revered mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary during a live press conference.

Heh this is of course Danyl’s normal satire. However he hits a bit close to the bone. Numerous Auckland industrial agreements have been timed to expire just before the Rugby World Cup. watch this space!

‘This shows the public that the union movement is about more than being a voice for working people, conducting fair and equitable negotiations between equal parties and destroying the capital owning parasites like Hillary and Jackson, and also Hayley Westenra who has it coming to her,’ Helen Kelly announced while digging, pausing to pose for cameras and spit on the grave.

‘Like most Kiwis we have nothing but contempt for Hillary and his achievements,’ Kelly said hitching up her skirt and squatting on Sir Edmund’s skeleton while onlookers and supporters cheered and sang We Shall not be Moved. ‘This sends a signal to the public that we share their values.’ …

‘Although Hillary did support the labour movement for many decades let us not forget that he also lived in Remuera,’ Kelly added, spray-painting a picture of a penis on the tombstone. ‘Fairness! Respect! Solidarity!’

Subsequent to the desecration Kelly and senior union delegates burned a huge pile of five dollar notes, which bear Sir Edmund’s image. According to a statement released by the union the bonfire was unrelated to the Hillary protest and is customary practise at CTU events.

This is again one of the ironies. Sir Peter Jackson could have made so much more money if he had moved to Hollywood. But it was is desire to create jobs for New Zealanders that has seen him remain here.

Also Lee at MWT highlights this comment made on the Dim Post:

“What kind of country do we live in if union bosses can’t meet at Matterhorn to decide the future of 22,000 people’s jobs over a few $42 Mains and some cocktails, without being harangued by smelly jobless proles?”

Actually I quite liked that who featured in the video. I’m thinking he’d make a great candidate for Parliament – he should seek selection for a safe seat somewhere.

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74 Responses to “CTU criticism”

  1. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    This is again one of the ironies. Sir Peter Jackson could have made so much more money
    if he had moved to Hollywood. But it was is desire to create jobs for New Zealanders that has seen him remain here

    Apparently the count for Peter Jackson was $450M net worth a year ago. Could be easily $500M now. At this stage Jackson could easily fund the LOTR trilogy singlehandedly, by himself, the big studios be damned.

    Out of interest how much more money exactly were you thinking of, if Peter had moved to Hollywood?

    And was this latest bruhaha really worth it to stop workers getting a few hundy $K more in basic minimum terms and conditions when he has so much new money coming in from the project?

    [DPF: You need to re-read about what happened. The union demands were for something illegal under NZ law. They actually instituted a global boycott to try and force Sir Peter to break the law.

    I think you will find that those working on the Hobbit are very happy with their terms and conditions. The problem was basically one Aussie unionist]

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  2. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Sorry that link was supposed to go here

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/movies/news/article.cfm?c_id=200&objectid=10566283

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  3. mattyroo (1,004 comments) says:

    Why not aspire to be great yourself viper? Then you too could have your own private jet…. Easier to be full of resentment for people who have done well for themselves, than getting off your ass and putting the hard yards in though isn’t it.

    Very apt name you have chosen too…. like a typical lefty – a snake.

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  4. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Viper – you should seriously consider standing for Labour. I think your ideas need a broader forum. They would be useful in Labour party meetings and good to get out to the electorate from the platform of being an MP. Andrew LIttle is carrying too much of the burden himself – he could do with some more public help.

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  5. RightNow (6,835 comments) says:

    Viper (should I say Loota) I think you’ve missed a key point. On The Hobbit the actors were being offered a very good package including residuals.
    The aim of NZAE/MEAA was to establish a set of minimum standards for the industry (which I think very few people are arguing against – I know I support this aim myself), but those minimum standards are actually less than what is offered for The Hobbit.

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  6. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    “Apparently the count for Peter Jackson was $450M net worth a year ago. Could be easily $500M now. At this stage Jackson could easily fund the LOTR trilogy singlehandedly, by himself, the big studios be damned.”

    firstly, a lot that is tied up in physical resources like studios, post-production etc. Yeah he could sell all that to an overseas film company.

    Secondly, maybe having americans bring $500m extra into our economy might be a good thing.

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  7. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    So Viper = Loota? Here I was thinking Viper = Little, Silent-T and Bradford, all taking turns.

    BTW, where’s Kelly? You’d think she’d be here, defending her “clever” strategy, wouldn’t you.

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  8. v (11 comments) says:

    The perfect storm …….. the hobbit …………..the world cup ………….. all in the same year

    Can you blame Kelly?

    Shock and awe is now possible

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  9. tvb (4,240 comments) says:

    I just hope they try industrial action on the eve of the world cup. The CTU have not learned from history. In 1981 when the protests actually gave Muldoon a narrow win especially in provincial New Zealand. But there seems to be this expectation that the Government will cave. That is the problem with appeasing the Union movement- they will try and push you. But I accept you have to prepare your ground and then smash them just like Maggie did.

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  10. french (7 comments) says:

    It’s great that CTU had the guts to negotiate despite the war of words that Peter Jackson started through the media.

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  11. 3-coil (1,204 comments) says:

    One small question I have yet to hear answered: why do the actors’ union demand a “collective agreement” from the movie makers – while they simultaneously expect the the IRD to treat them as self-employed “independent contractors”?

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  12. niggly (812 comments) says:

    Radio NZ reports this morning:

    An ANZ economist has estimated the cost of losing The Hobbit at $2 billion.

    Nice one MEAA, Simon DWhipp, NZEA, CTU etc.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/60194/union-appeals-for-end-to-finger-pointing-over-movie

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  13. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “An ANZ economist has estimated the cost of losing The Hobbit at $2 billion”

    And presumably this relates only to this one project. What about all the other projects that will now leave and/or never now arrive on our shores?

    Words are sometimes hard to find. Blood and boil don’t seem to cut it.

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  14. RightNow (6,835 comments) says:

    So they (NZAE) want the finger pointing to stop (quelle surprise when all the fingers point to the unions). It will be too much for them to actually apologise, but unless they do the unions will be considered the villain by the vast majority of kiwis.

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  15. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “why do the actors’ union demand a “collective agreement” from the movie makers”

    Yes this angle hasn’t been discussed much yet, has it. IMO it was a power grab on their part. It’s quite clear there never was any grassroots demand from their “workers.” This is undeniable based on the actions of those workers over the last week or so. So why else would they have done it if not to extend their own power base?

    So let’s be clear. They not only did it so clumsily as to almost certainly destroy an entire industry, they did it for venal reasons. Pure and simple.

    It just gets worse and worse.

    What really pisses me off is the way they try to spin it to mitigate their own foolishness, caring not that their spin is directed toward a person whom most NZers revere. While Danyl’s satire makes this very point, unfortunately I personally aren’t finding this the least bit funny. Very few things make me angry, I haven’t been really angry for decades. This is really starting to and the more they try to spin, the angrier I’m becoming.

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  16. James B (8 comments) says:

    Isn’t there a good chance that the unions’ motives were nothing more than to get a slice of the action by collecting some union dues somehow?

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  17. John Gibson (295 comments) says:

    “An ANZ economist has estimated the cost of losing The Hobbit at $2 billion” – a fuck up of unbelievable size. Is it possible to bring back the death penalty for Malcolm, Kelly & Whipp ?

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  18. shady (251 comments) says:

    Keep The Hobbit film shoot in NZ‎|

    Auckland rally anouncement! 12.30pm-2pm Labour Day Monday, Queen Elizabeth II Square, opposite Britomart Train Station. If there are large numbers we’ll move into the sun on Queens Wharf!
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/hobbitnz

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  19. shady (251 comments) says:

    You HAVE to read Fran Sullivans opinion piece – just awesomely scathing of the very people that need to be exposed for the damage they have caused.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682414

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  20. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    “An ANZ economist has estimated the cost of losing The Hobbit at $2 billion” – a fuck up of unbelievable size. Is it possible to bring back the death penalty for Malcolm, Kelly & Whipp ?

    We can only live in hope John.

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  21. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    If as rumoured, Ireland is now a prime contender for the location shoot, keep in mind that in July Peter Jackson wrote in his Film Commission review (page 68) that Ireland is offering ‘up to 28%’ rebates on local spend by major film productions as compared to the 15% available here. Back then, Jackson saw that as being a worry for New Zealand. As well he might.

    Theoretically, how might the difference play out? On a $US500 million production that The Hobbit is reputed to be, it means that Warners/MGM could conceivably get a rebate of “up to” $US140 million in Ireland, as opposed to a maximum here of $US75 million. And we are supposed to believe that local unions merely asking for a collective wage agreement have somehow over-ridden a potential $US65 million difference in the bids?

    Gordon Campbell’s analysis of the current state of play. The reason behind Jackson’s bruhahah: big money. Really big money. Not a few hundred thousand dollars for Kiwi workers. This is on the scale of tens of millions of USD. Its the prize that Jackson and Warner/MGM want from the NZ tax payer.

    You know how it works. Follow the big bucks and the yellow brick road will take you to the Wizard of Oz.

    [DPF: Campbell's theory is full of holes. First of all explain how they managed to con MEAA to call for a global boycott as their convenient excuse. And then after that explains how they also caused 911.

    Secondly consider the tens of millions of dollars Jackson has already spent on having it produced in NZ]

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  22. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    Thanks shady. A few quotes from Fran:

    What really concerns me is that Actors’ Equity – which appears to have been run sloppily in recent years – has suddenly gone all stroppy at the very time we are bumping along the bottom of a long economic recovery. Frankly, this union wouldn’t have found its straps unless it was egged along by Council of Trade Unions boss Helen Kelly, whose own motivations are these days driven more by wanting to “get John Key out” than doing the best by workers.

    …there is a disturbing pattern…

    Key – against his better judgment – …trekked off to Copenhagen in December after the “Sign On” campaign masterminds successfully used Keisha Castle-Hughes and Lucy Lawless to whip up public opinion against National’s approach to carbon emissions reduction.

    Watching a Prime Minister being chastised by the Whale Rider and the Warrior Princess was not an edifying sight.

    The pair clamoured for Key to ink a deal promising New Zealand would cut its emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 – a sure-fire recipe for economic disaster at a time when the economy was struggling to come out of recession… It would have been economic lunacy and placed the livelihoods of thousands of farmers at risk and made our exports uncompetitive.

    …the celebrity cabal… seems determined that we should all don sacrificial hair shirts rather than enjoy the fruits of a sophisticated economy.

    The cabal then turned its attention to mining. Greenpeace pulled a masterstroke by getting Malcolm and Lawless to front its “Sexy Coal” video. I doubt either actress would have needed much persuading to roll about on a big heap of coal. They wouldn’t have cared that there were no major coal reserves on the “commercial site” – it was just about getting a message across.

    The Government rolled over. There will be no major mining industry providing lots of jobs for New Zealand workers anytime soon.

    Key’s problem is that he’s politically naive. He hasn’t yet worked out that success in politics does not equal popularity, it equals making a difference for the better.

    Anyone who understands politics 101 can see that the unions – all of them – share the same attitude as Kelly does. All of them are agitating in the lead-up to the end of the first term and the second term they’ll continue and they won’t stop till they win. Key seems to think the solution is to smile and wave even more. Newsflash John, the answer is to be a strong leader.

    NZers like strong leaders. All the leaders who’ve been strong have been popular, all the leaders who’ve been perceived as weak, haven’t been. This is why Goff isn’t popular – he’s perceived to be ineffectual. This is why Rowling and McClay failed. This is why Hulun succeeded as did Muldoon.

    Someone, FFS, get this message through to him. He needs to stop this sabotage. The time for their activism was during Hulun’s terms when the nation had the luxury of giving into their extreme demands. But they didn’t make them then, did they. Too bad for them. They need to be told, publicly, again and again and again, that this govt is NO LONGER going to accede to their destructive extremism. Actions need to follow to use the full weight of the law to force them to back down, in every area. This nation cannot afford it not now, and never again.

    Crush them, Key. Smash their fucking heads against the wall, figuratively speaking of course, and you watch your ratings soar.

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  23. shady (251 comments) says:

    Reid – agree with you 100%!

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  24. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Why not aspire to be great yourself viper? Then you too could have your own private jet…. Easier to be full of resentment for people who have done well for themselves, than getting off your ass and putting the hard yards in though isn’t it.

    Money not make one great. (Apologies to Yoda).

    Interesting, your play on the Politics of Envy and Greed.

    Anyone who understands politics 101 can see that the unions – all of them – share the same attitude as Kelly does. All of them are agitating in the lead-up to the end of the first term

    I am sure NAT and Key are looking forwards to more protest marches right up to election day.

    And, I admire the film technicians and others for getting out on to the street as well and making their democratic voice heard by the people.

    Good to see NZ’ers willing to voice their views and what they believe.

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  25. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “The reason behind Jackson’s bruhahah: big money.”

    Viper unfortunately I’ve become rather angry and I’ve lost patience with you, so just fuck off. Your conspiracy theories are pathetic. Everyone knows it’s not the money, it’s the fucking instability you have created out of nowhere. If it was the money, then how come Warners had already started spending money here, before all this blew up? Answer that, if you can.

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  26. trueblue (23 comments) says:

    “So Viper = Loota? Here I was thinking Viper = Little, Silent-T and Bradford, all taking turns.”

    And don’t forget Colonial Viper the PR arm of communist Clare Curran

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  27. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    If you want to know why I’m now angry Viper, it’s not just because of the Hobbit, it’s the whole deal whereby every single union has been agitating industrially in order to promote a change of govt for 2 years now regardless of whether your agitation is reasonable to do in light of the current economic conditions.

    In other words, all the unions not just actors equity, clearly don’t give a fuck about anything except for what they regard as getting the right people elected and fuck the rest of us if what it takes to do that, is to destroy jobs and lives.

    At the same time you execrable people claim to be on the side of humanity and justice and the clear hypocrisy of your statements vs your actions is just fucking mind-blowing in its selfishness. How dare you sabotage the whole economy just to get Liarbore back in. How fucking dare you. Who the fuck do you think you are? And don’t whatever you do, deny that’s what you’re doing. It’s evident, like one’s nose on one’s face. Fuck you all and go to hell.

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  28. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Loota = this Viper = Colonial Viper – Of course! That would explain why I couldn’t have a rational economic discussion with him on The Standard after Cunliffe’s GST exemption interview with Espiner. He doesn’t fundamentally get it – (in that case) that Public money to fund something has to be found by taking from elsewhere – cutting services or taking more off the taxpayer.

    In this case, that The Man is needed to provide the capital which allows the thing (movie) to be created which provides income for the workers, which enables them to live (food, shelter, enjoyment of life), which provides tax for the govt, which enables spending locally which helps to stimulate our domestic economy, or saving which helps to balance our Balance of Payments, and so on…

    And all the Man wanted was a return on His investment. And He was prepared to pay over the going rate to the workers (which only serves to reduce the return He might otherwise have got.)

    And Loota/Viper II/Colonial Viper can’t grasp how it was a good thing. And now he tries to blame the greed of the Man, who had offered more in the first place, including residuals for the first time, when the real problem is plain ignorance on the part of the activists/unions.

    If they had agreed to the deal in the first place the commercial contracts would have been locked down and production guaranteed here. In the commercial world, timeliness around the deal is everything. They really did their utmost to lose this thing

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  29. shady (251 comments) says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1322837/The-Hobbit-set-Britains-Harry-Potter-studios-Martin-Freeman-star-Bilbo.html

    “Middle-earth moves to Watford: $500m adaptation of The Hobbit set to leave New Zealand for Britain’s Harry Potter studios
    By Jody Thompson
    Last updated at 4:45 PM on 22nd October 2010″

    Apparently the Daily Mail can’t be trusted – however – this is what’s being published in the UK. I certainly hope its just a tabloid trash heading.

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  30. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Viper unfortunately I’ve become rather angry and I’ve lost patience with you, so just fuck off. Your conspiracy theories are pathetic. Everyone knows it’s not the money, it’s the fucking instability you have created out of nowhere. If it was the money, then how come Warners had already started spending money here, before all this blew up? Answer that, if you can.

    A corporate seeing an opportunity to gain tens of millions more in tax breaks hardly counts as a ‘conspiracy’! Just sensible business as usual by a multinational and their agents.

    As for Warner’s already spending all the money here in NZ, threats to move production at this ‘late stage’ are a great way to create public pressure and public acceptance for a few tens of millions more in tax breaks. Is it a feint or a bluff? Is it deadly serious? Only they know. But my guess is that Key will announce generous additional tax breaks for them this week when Warner executives arrive.

    Again, this is simply good business to get a few more points margin on the books, I’m not claiming any kind of conspiracy. Warner shareholders in the US would expect no less.

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  31. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    reid,

    I agree. This is the unions, with Kelly at the helm, trying to get back at Key because of the recent initiatives they regard as anti-worker – 90 day trial, leave trading, modified union access procedures, (even VSM too I’m sure).

    Absolutely vile that they put the welfare of the workers behind trying to dislodge a govt. The proletariat must suffer in silence while their (more intellectually capable) union (superiors) seeks to dislodge a popularly elected, and still very popular, govt.

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  32. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Viper, you complete clown! If the actors had signed up to the very reasonable provisions in the first place, no one would have to be concerned about higher tax breaks being offered elsewhere as the deal would have been signed up!!

    The activists and unions created this problem. Them and them alone. No one else is culpable to any degree at all. Not the slightest. Not WB, not Peter Jackson, not the govt. No one. Just the activists and unions.

    And now they’ve cost us even more money trying to keep the movie here. Send them the bill for the extra tax incentives I say

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  33. big bruv (13,548 comments) says:

    “But my guess is that Key will announce generous additional tax breaks for them this week when Warner executives arrive.”

    And play right into the hands of Labour and the union scum?…..I think not.

    Key might be gutless when dealing with the left and the thousands of bludgers this country has but he is not stupid.

    To be honest the best political result for Key and the Nat’s is for Warner Bros to take their film to Europe, the fallout and naked hatred that the general public would unleash on the unions scum would ensure that Key remains PM for as long as he wants.

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  34. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    The activists and unions created this problem. Them and them alone. No one else is culpable to any degree at all. Not the slightest. Not WB, not Peter Jackson, not the govt. No one. Just the activists and unions.

    Your position is unlikely, I think. It takes two hands to clap.

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  35. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Viper,

    Um, you might not have noticed, but there was no clapping. We (the country) lost. The activist/union folk I referred to were doing something alright. Only it’s not called clapping. And you only need one hand

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  36. Grant (428 comments) says:

    Reid said:
    “At the same time you execrable people claim to be on the side of humanity and justice and the clear hypocrisy of your statements vs your actions is just fucking mind-blowing in its selfishness. How dare you sabotage the whole economy just to get Liarbore back in. How fucking dare you. Who the fuck do you think you are? And don’t whatever you do, deny that’s what you’re doing. It’s evident, like one’s nose on one’s face. Fuck you all and go to hell.”

    I cant help but notice that Clare-Colonial-Viper-Loota-Whatever didn’t even attempt to refute this.

    I’m with Reid on this. My country is not your plaything snake, and my fellow countrymen are not your pawns to waste in your never ending scheming and plotting. Fortunately, you and the other reptiles have over reached yourselves on this occassion and those who you seek to control are finally getting a sense for where they really stand in your estimations.

    The people are sending you bastards a message at the moment. You’d be incredibly foolish not to heed it.
    G

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  37. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Lets just not lose sight of the downstream effects of losing the Hobbit.
    LOTR created millions (perhaps even a billion), of dollars from the tourism it bought and still brings to NZ.

    The Hobbits and others will do likewise.
    Talk about cutting of their noses to spite their not so glamorous faces. Kelly has used Malcolm and co to continue with her attempts to commnunise NZ.

    Hobbit loss ‘devastating’ for NZ tourism
    By Beck Vass
    5:30 AM Saturday Oct 23, 2010

    One in 10 visitors admitted being influenced to come to NZ when The Lord of the Rings was being filmed and released.

    Losses to New Zealand’s tourism industry would be well into the millions if Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films are not filmed here, a tourism expert says.

    Professor Simon Milne, director of Auckland University of Technology’s Tourism Research Institute, said last night that while he believed losses to the country were “immeasurable”,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682533

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  38. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Interviewer: ‘Sir Peter, on scale of 1 – 10, what has been Phil Goof’s level of concern over the impending loss of The Hobbit and the threat to other current and future productions, with the consequent loss of thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, and other national economic benefits, like increased tourism, exports, and a favourable balance of payments?’

    Jackson: ‘E.g. – 0′

    http://thestandard.org.nz/caption-contest-8/

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  39. niggly (812 comments) says:

    Good grief Viper, you conspiracy theorist & apologist for the fools.

    Prior to this Union “suicide bomber” mission (which unfortunately for them detonated in their mist before they managed to even leave their own building) it was reported that Warners would support the Hobbit Director’s choice of location of the filming. Peter Jackson chose NZ.

    Whether Warner’s could have scooped another $65M US is immaterial. Warner’s supported the Director. It was to have been NZ.

    Until the Union clusterfxxk errupted. That changes everything.

    Anyway I don’t care if the Govt has induce Warner’s with a better tax break now (and this would be a result of the Unions – not some sort of Warner’s conspiracy theory). As reported earlier the Hobbit project will benefit the NZ economy by $2 Billion. Plus further projects are at risk, see that Radio NZ link earlier. Here’s the quote:

    And the Screen Production and Development Association says the dispute puts $100 million dollars worth of projects at risk – two films and a television series, though the titles of these productions could not be confirmed.

    Reid: I agree with your comments. I too was as angry as you a couple of days ago in my writings, but I’ve calmed down now :-)

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  40. niggly (812 comments) says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, this Viper person etc.

    Up until now, on Kiwiblog at least, there was the odd individual “leftie” questioning whether this was a conspiracy theory beta up etc. On the whole those people at least had the decency of listening to the arguement and counter-arguement and not going too extreme.

    Meanwhile SS Labour Party ship sank without trace whilst the anti-Union tsumani built up pace.

    With the massive damage inflicted on the Unions credibility esp. the CTU (by ordinary folk and the media alike, never mind the Kiwibloggers here)….are these Labour/Union activists now starting to emerge from their holes in the ground to “run interfence” here now (finally)?

    Don’t bother, the Union brand has suffered incalculable damage.

    If the Unions esp. CTU want to get back into people’s good books, don’t aggravate the situation by running interference.

    Instead do the right thing and apologise and admit you/they were wrong!

    There’s been no apologies so far…..

    In fact up until a couple of nights ago, Helen Kelly was still leading the battle cry ….

    Interesting that she has now STFU! But looks as though the other Union Leaders have had to gag her mouth……

    Now, the Unions (and Labour) have realised they massively backfired on this. The public are in no mood to tollerate Union interference.

    So now the Unions change tactics – still no apologies … damage control measures have been adopted (too little too late meethinks), instead the tactics appear to evolved into running interference now.

    Good! The Unions still don’t get it! The public are now weary of the lies coming out of Helen Kelly’s mouth and won’t beleive this latest round of lies! But good, carry on Unions with your interference, this is awaking the sleeping populations consciousness!

    Finally, top article from Fran O’Sullivan. Hopefully from now on the PM and public are more cynical about thick celebraties leading marches against NZ’s economic prosperity.

    This debarcle might be a good thing for the future of the NZ economy if it sidelines these celebrity fools (esp. if Warner’s keep the project in NZ)

    Perhaps we all should give the CTU, MEAA and NZAE a round of applause :-)

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  41. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    As for Warner’s already spending all the money here in NZ, threats to move production at this ‘late stage’ are a great way to create public pressure and public acceptance for a few tens of millions more in tax breaks. Is it a feint or a bluff? Is it deadly serious? Only they know. But my guess is that Key will announce generous additional tax breaks for them this week when Warner executives arrive.

    Again, this is simply good business to get a few more points margin on the books, I’m not claiming any kind of conspiracy. Warner shareholders in the US would expect no less.

    Viper, assume this is true. It’s not, but let’s assume it is.

    You’re saying, aren’t you, the unions are trying to expose the corporate greed, which is the only thing really driving this whole thing. You’re saying the poor unions are the mere meat in the sandwich in a titanic struggle between the giant massively powerful resource-filled has-all-the-cards Warner Bros and the govt, aren’t you.

    Furthermore, it’s not just Warner Bros, it’s an insider as well, it’s the main-man, the emperor, the one nobody would have ever suspected – Jackson himself.

    Crikey.

    And against all of this, is the poor widdle union with only a few people plus a heroic aussie battler, who’ve only ever just wanted to help people.

    This is your story, isn’t it. Don’t bother answering, yes, it is. That’s the spin, you can’t deny it, that’s exactly what you’re saying, down to the last syllable.

    So. Fuck. Where to start.

    How about, how’s the plan going? Is it working as expected? Boy those risk management strategy sessions are really paying off, aren’t they? What’s that you say? You didn’t discuss the possibility this could potentially screw the entire industry for at least a decade if not forever, if it back-fired? You didn’t discuss that, in your risk planning strategy sessions?

    Well aren’t you a big silly then.

    OTOH, if you did discuss that, what precisely were your conclusions as to the risk to which you were putting the entire industry in order to achieve your tiny-by-comparison utterly venal goal of deploying the MEAA across NZ?

    So basically Viper, even if we believe your theory for it is a theory since you have no evidence, one is forced to conclude you have either knowingly led us down this evidently highly dangerous path for venal reasons (for what else is deploying MEAA across NZ, if not venal?); or you didn’t know. So you’re either evil, or stupid.

    Which is it?

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  42. niggly (812 comments) says:

    Viper me ‘ol cunning fox, how’s the Australian Film Industry going nowadays?

    I hear MEAA Australia has fxxked it up?

    Is this true? How about you enligten thick ‘ol me, with some facts on figures on the success of the Australia Film Industry :-)

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  43. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    More than likely both. In fact there can be no doubt.

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  44. niggly (812 comments) says:

    Viper, one more question, why has the Labour Party been deadly silent?

    It is utterly incredible that they have been deadly silent? Do they no longer exist or something?

    Why haven’t they come out to say this needs to be resolved ASAP? When Labour were in power they trumpted the LOTR and the economic benefits to NZ.

    So why are they silent now?

    Is it because the Unions + Labour were working together on a rolling Union campaign strategy against the National Government?

    Or did the Unions buy the Labour Party’s silence? (That is, Goff and co aren’t/weren’t comfortable with this latest move)?

    These are much better conspiracy theories to investigate, aren’t they eh :-)

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  45. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    reid, all I am saying is that it makes good business sense (and good sense for their shareholders) for Warner/MGM maximises the tax breaks and other concessions that they can get from the NZ Government.

    Campbell reckons that the difference in tax breaks between here and Ireland may be up as much as US$65M. So we are talking about capital sums somewhat beyond a few hundy $K for establishing workers’ minimum terms and conditions.

    Warner/MGM/Jackson have decided not to leave that large sum of tax break money on the table. And I can understand and respect that with regards to good corporate and good business practice. I’m sure that you can see it too.

    These are much better conspiracy theories to investigate, aren’t they eh

    A foreign corporate and its agents attempting to maximise gain for their shareholders is to be completely expected. That’s the beauty of how capitalism works! So this is not a conspiracy theory, merely Warner/MGM/Jackson satisfying their corporate responsibility to their investors.

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  46. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “Middle-earth moves to Watford: $500m adaptation of The Hobbit set to leave New Zealand for Britain’s Harry Potter studios
    By Jody Thompson
    Last updated at 4:45 PM on 22nd October 2010″

    Apparently the Daily Mail can’t be trusted – however – this is what’s being published in the UK. I certainly hope its just a tabloid trash heading.

    Well according to Men in Black shady, they’re quite reliable. How’s that for a conspiracy theory? I have others, if you’re interested. I’ve been reading Viper carefully, you see.

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  47. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    No, that’s not all you are saying Viper. You are saying Peter Jackson is a liar and a manipulator, when all the evidence is that he is an incredibly generous man who has chosen to do a huge amount for New Zealand when he didn’t have to.

    You are showing that you will sacrifice anything on the bonfire of your ideology, even a man who deserves nothing but your respect and thanks.

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  48. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    To be honest the best political result for Key and the Nat’s is for Warner Bros to take their film to Europe, the fallout and naked hatred that the general public would unleash on the unions scum would ensure that Key remains PM for as long as he wants.

    Only if he does anything about it bb and that remains to be seen.

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  49. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “The public are now weary of the lies coming out of Helen Kelly’s mouth and won’t beleive this latest round of lies!”

    Kelly made a serious mistake when she kept defending it after it blew up. This has finished everything she has ever worked for. She will never recover from this in NZ. She will have to go overseas or start having kids and be a housewife. I wonder if she’d hate that. Anyway, nothing for her in NZ. Robyn Malcolm, the same, once her contract on some show I’ve never watched, comes to end (very soon now I wouldn’t be surprised, don’t think the ratings are going to look too good in coming weeks and months, in fact, from right now onward, probably).

    What’s really bad is anyone involved on the union side in this have now got every single person in their industry against them and how can you work with your colleagues after this?

    It’s pretty fucking tragic, all around. I wonder if Helen and Robyn are enjoying the holiday weekend?

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  50. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    No, that’s not all you are saying Viper. You are saying Peter Jackson is a liar and a manipulator

    Wait – I am simply saying that Jackson is acting for the interests of his corporate investors and stakeholders. Nothing wrong with that, and it is actually to be expected – its how global capitalism works. You have to act in the interests of your shareholders and US$65M in NZ Government tax breaks count, a lot.

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  51. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Viper,

    Stop banging on about a speculation on the basis that repetition will turn it into accepted fact.

    The offshore tax incentives are a red herring. If the activists & union had accepted the reasonable offer as it stood originally, the deal would have been secured and there would be no question that movie would be filmed here.

    That is the crux of the issue – the contractors were presented very reasonable terms and a group they didn’t even ask to represent them took over procedings and in stalling matters have either cost the country a film industry, or, at the very least, forced us (the taxpayers) to increase the tax incentives to keep The Hobbit here.

    The offshore incentives were meaningless until the unions turned them into a lever that could be used against us

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  52. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why anyone would describe US$65M in potential tax incentive leverage as a ‘red herring’. It is MGM/Warner/Jackson’s responsibility to shareholders to see if they can access or leverage some NZ taxpayer concessions there. Its a lot of capital to leave on the table, otherwise.

    The offshore incentives were meaningless until the unions turned them into a lever that could be used against us

    I agree with you that the unions/Equity’s poor performance in this dispute have given Warner and Jackson a lot more leverage over this. No argument there.

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  53. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    Viper, we’re not all as thick as a whale omelet.

    What you’re obviously doing is laying the ground so that when Key announces unsurprisingly, that Warners are getting large tax breaks and the ERA will be amended, you can turn around and crow it was all about the tax breaks in the first place.

    Where’s your evidence that this is the case, as opposed to the equally plausible proposition that this is a SNAFU which the unions didn’t know was going to happen this way, and that Key and everyone else involved including Warners are merely reacting to the situation as it unfolds and that their motivations are in fact, precisely what has been stated: viz, that Warners actually does require certainty and that NZ needs Warners and if it takes another $60m to do that, it’s a cheap investment in the longer run.

    Backing this up of course is the very reasonable supposition that recalling how smoothly things had proceeded until Jackson’s first statement on the matter, this might never have happened if the unions hadn’t done it.

    Now given neither of us have any evidence on either story, why is it Viper that on the balance of probabilities, you believe something that most people don’t. Surely you must have additional evidence to swim against the tide of reasonable and rational majority thought amongst us, the whole nation. Surely you must have a reason for so strongly rejecting the proposition most of us have adopted? Surely. No?

    Then I don’t understand. Let me help you. Complete the following sentence.

    You don’t like our argument on the way it happened because…

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  54. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Viper,

    I’ll type this very slowly so perhaps you can understand.

    If the activists & unions had accepted the reasonable offer as originally made, the deal would have been done, the movie confirmed for NZ and any offshore incentives rendered meaningless.

    What part of that can you not understand?

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  55. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    By the way Viper, your laying the groundwork is becoming tiresome and it would be appreciated if you could desist from that. I’m not sure how others feel but I’d like it to stop for I find it insulting to be treated by you like I’m in a herd of especially stupid cattle and I’m just eagerly and stupidly waiting to lap up the good feast of your propaganda trial balloons. I’m sure you could get your story straight amongst the lackeys at Liarbore HQ and it wouldn’t be so painful to me.

    Thanks.

    If you wish of course to expound on some evidence or some new dynamic you haven’t already covered then great. But you’re just saying the same thing in different ways – all the time. Fuck, have pity.

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  56. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    reid,

    Your earlier point about this spelling the end for Kelly and Malcom. That might be true for Malcom, but I think we will see the Left-wing version of the Tony Veitch redemption saga as far as Kelly is concerned. I suspect she might get a bit quieter for a while and then come blazing back into the public eye as the countdown to the general election gets closer and the NZ collective conscious has faded a little.

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  57. Roflcopter (446 comments) says:

    Forking out another $60m would probably be less than all the unemployment and other benefits that would have to be paid out over the lifetime of this and other film projects, to the 1,000′s of workers who are out of work becuase of the actions of the people who are supposed to be looking out for them.

    And to be concerned about another $60m is pointless. If we lose Hobbit, we lose $2b overall, per year. If we keep it, we lose $60m out of that extra $2b for the first year only.

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  58. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Backing this up of course is the very reasonable supposition that recalling how smoothly things had proceeded until Jackson’s first statement on the matter

    I’ve not heard The Hobbit as a production project being described as going smoothly before. From what I have read there have been multiple delays and setbacks for many reasons since day one.

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  59. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Viper,

    Welcome back. You seem to have overlooked this above, so I’ll repeat it….

    “If the activists & unions had accepted the reasonable offer as originally made, the deal would have been done, the movie confirmed for NZ and any offshore incentives rendered meaningless.

    What part of that can you not understand?”

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  60. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    “Campbell reckons that the difference in tax breaks between here and Ireland may be up as much as US$65M. So we are talking about capital sums somewhat beyond a few hundy $K for establishing workers’ minimum terms and conditions.”

    You keep saying this – but you also seem to wish to forget that a few – and I mean a few – actors have actually caused all this – and lost well over a thousand workers a helluva lot more than “a few hundy $k” so that they can get paid – on projects OTHER than The Hobbit – that have stuff all to do with Peter Jackson or Warner Bros.

    If you care about workers rights – care about those who will lose their jobs becuase Robyn Malcolm wants to be paid more to be a TV star in New Zealand. She has every right in the world to ask HER union to support HER right for better salary and conditions on a job SHE has been offered. But to cause this much harm – on a job that isn’t even hers – and pays $5000 a week for extras (thats a helluva lot of money – even for a contractor in this country)- and force HER union to stop a project she has nothing to do with is just pure evil and greed.

    Care about the damage this does to the Union Movement.

    I don’t know why you insist on trying to blame this on PJ and WB – it wasn’t them that caused this. AFAIK they STILL haven’t asked for more tax breaks – but hey – why let the truth get in the way of a good grudge. Peter Jackson is Rich – he HAS to be in the wrong! HANG HIM!

    What will you blame this on if and when Warners come round and STILL haven’t got this mythical extra tax break?

    Put the blame where it belongs – a couple of greedy actors who thought they could use a big film to extort better wages for themselves fir starring in crap TV- and stuff the thousands of other people who would make some money out of this.

    Shameful!

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  61. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Avalon – what is more shameful is the way they keep lying about it. Clearly they think the technique of the big lie will help them spin their way out of it. I don’t think it is going to work.

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  62. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    With his first post, Viper Mk II show himself to be an idiot of the highest order.

    “Apparently the count for Peter Jackson was $450M net worth a year ago. Could be easily $500M now. At this stage Jackson could easily fund the LOTR trilogy singlehandedly, by himself, the big studios be damned.”

    Except for the fact that Jackson does not own the rights for the Hobbit. They lie with Warners, who got them from MGM, who could not make the movie because they were bankrupt, and the rights to the movie were a tradable commodity. Which is why there have been many delays.

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  63. Inventory2 (10,166 comments) says:

    bhudson said:

    reid,

    Your earlier point about this spelling the end for Kelly and Malcom. That might be true for Malcom, but I think we will see the Left-wing version of the Tony Veitch redemption saga as far as Kelly is concerned. I suspect she might get a bit quieter for a while and then come blazing back into the public eye as the countdown to the general election gets closer and the NZ collective conscious has faded a little.

    You could be right bhudson. So responsibility will fall to the VRWC to ensure that whenever Helen Kelly’s head appears above the paraphet, this wee issue is discussed.

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  64. Pita (372 comments) says:

    “Spelling the end for Malcolm”…quite possibly so…if the Hobbit is lost, employing Robyn Malcolm and/or her flunkies would be like drinking from a poisoned chalice.

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  65. Michael (899 comments) says:

    The penalty for Helen Kelly fucking up The Hobbit movies should be cataglottism with Gollum. That’ll teach both of ‘em.

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  66. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    And of course (for those like Viper MkII who insist that Peter Jackson is the problem) – even if PJ did what Viper suggests and took every last cent he or his companies make in profit from The Hobbit, and share it equally amongst all the actors involved – it STILL won’t give Robyn Malcolm any more money or better conditions. Cos shes bloody well not got anything to do with the movie!

    I now demand that everyone in NZ stops work immediately, until some mythical employer pays my husband $10,000 a week to so his job. He already gets about $5000 a week – but what the hell – its not enough – he should get more. Of course – he had the guts to negotiate that himself on his own merits – but Im sure with the help of you all refusing to work next week – he could earn a lot more. He’s a worker – support his right to a fair wage by refusing to go to work next week to earn your own wage.

    Or does that sound completely barmy and arrogant?

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  67. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    Your earlier point about this spelling the end for Kelly and Malcom. That might be true for Malcom, but I think we will see the Left-wing version of the Tony Veitch redemption saga as far as Kelly is concerned. I suspect she might get a bit quieter for a while and then come blazing back into the public eye as the countdown to the general election gets closer and the NZ collective conscious has faded a little.

    bhudson, Kelly is already hated for this, whatever happens, even if it ends up being made here.

    That’s the tragedy.

    I’d never seen her before this blew up, but on camera she’s a very capable ethical person.

    Howevermuch the unions at the end of the day spin this as a corporate bully-boy story, the public won’t and never will, buy it. Don’t do it, Liarbore. You can’t even fool some of the people let alone most of them.

    They’ll have to cut her loose.

    To any idiot lefties who misunderstand my tenor:

    I don’t gloat over this, at all. It would have been great, to see Helen in Parliament for she would have gone far and she should have. She was and is very very good. She could have been PM.

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  68. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Kelly is PR poison now. They’ll have to find someone else to front to the cameras now. LOL good luck with that.

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  69. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Kelly is a nasty witch just like her old man. Don’t get taken in by the smiles etc as she is essentially communist.
    Sound tough, well that’s how it is with these people.Exist to live of the working mans pay. Slimeballs.

    CUR – Closer Union Rorts

    Muldoon once said the we can’t have the
    country being run from Trades Hall. But it
    seems that we can now have Trades Hall
    run from Oz.
    .

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  70. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Been saying it for ages, the unions are going to try hold the country to ransom before the WC to make a name for themselves. They are an utter joke. Key was naive to try and get into bed with Helen Kelly and now she is a woman scorned, and wants to take him and National/ACT down.

    The CTU will not be content until every student, actor and worker are forced to join a union for their own good. The sad thing is all our militant unions who have been playing up this week all want us to be forced to join them and their long term goal is an overthrow of capitalism. Good grief. I am with Reid on this, they need to have their heads bashed together.

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  71. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    “Kelly is PR poison now. They’ll have to find someone else to front to the cameras now. LOL good luck with that.”

    My guess is they’ll go to Moscow and ask the Comintern if they can borrow Lenin for awhile.

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  72. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    Its probably too late to say this but
    being critical of the unions after they have given a rock solid guarantee that they will not engage in industrial action and to perpetuate the eronious argument that they might just change their mind and start striking again is to become responsible for the thing you are blaming the unions for.

    I like a round of union bashing as much as the next guy but if anything NZ is now a MORE stable environment for labour than almost anywhere else in the world because the unions know they cant stand to pick another fight. To pretend that we are not is to kick our movie industry in the guts.

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  73. reid (16,085 comments) says:

    …being critical of the unions after they have given a rock solid guarantee that they will not engage in industrial action and to perpetuate the eronious argument that they might just change their mind and start striking again is to become responsible for the thing you are blaming the unions for.

    It’s not about that. It’s about raising the question of potential instability to all of the major players who currently or were planning to invest in our film production industry. That’s what it’s about.

    It’s not about this particular production. The fear is that if this turns turtle that is a harbinger and the anger is that this didn’t need to happen and the reason it happened, is because the unions arrogantly targeted a big fat juicy plum just so it could make a splash and get lots of membership dues forever and ever after that. The tell is, none of the potential members were asking for their help. This proves it was union-driven and not member-driven. The significance of this is, it puts the complete lie to everything the union says about its motivations in this debacle.

    So one is forced to conclude that the unions 100% at fault in this, and the fact they called off the black-list makes no difference whatsoever. The issue is, the damage was done the instant they embarked on this ill-considered operation. It’s like the Bridge Too Far movie where they took the wrong radio crystals and then everything went wrong from there.

    I like a round of union bashing as much as the next guy but if anything NZ is now a MORE stable environment for labour than almost anywhere else in the world because the unions know they cant stand to pick another fight.

    This is not union-bashing this is simply pointing out the plain facts of the matter. It’s complete bollocks that NZ is currently a stable environment. Haven’t you heard about the teachers, the EPMU on the transpower project re: parity with Aussie contractors rate, these guys too, the threat to disrupt the RWC? You call that stable?

    If we weren’t in the midst of an economic crisis AND WE ARE it wouldn’t be so bad BUT WE ARE. BTW, don’t try and debate whether or not it’s a crisis because whether it is or not is a tangent in which I’m not interested.

    And furthermore, why are they doing this in the first place? Why simply because their approved party isn’t currently in power. You can bet you can fucking take it to the bank that they would not be behaving in this way were Hulun currently serving her fourth term. Try to deny that if you can.

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  74. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    “It’s about raising the question of potential instability to all of the major players who currently or were planning to invest in our film production industry. That’s what it’s about.”

    Well i sugest that this has REDUCED the chance of future instability in this production and probably in future ones. So it is mistaken to suggest it does the opposite in either case. It is not as if WB did not know there was an actors union.

    If we now falsely convince WB that this is an unstable environment for their movie production then the union isn’t 100% to blame (even if it still deserves some blame).

    I suggest one would say – the union are idiots – BUT at this stage if WB leaves they are either also idiots or it is for economic reasons not union based ones.

    “It’s complete bollocks that NZ is currently a stable environment”

    I intended to say for the sort of labour that movie productions use – these companies dont care about teachers striking.

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