Just imagine for a second that Helen Clark was still Prime Minister, and she had just done a deal with Warners to rescue The Hobbit. And imagine if a senior National MP got up and said in Parliament that “Helen Clark has been on her knees to Warners”.
Could you imagine the outcry? That MP would be condemned from all sides.
Something else not hard to imagine is what would have happened if Labour wins the next election, and Mallard is the relevant Minister again. The editorial reminds us:
A little more grovelling and a little less posturing might have enabled New Zealand to hold on to the 2003 Rugby World Cup co-hosting rights when Mr Mallard was sports minister.
Declaring that he wanted those who had thwarted New Zealand to insert beer bottles in “particularly uncomfortable places” didn’t get the job done.
Mallard would probably have ended up offending Warners even more than Simon Whipp, if he was the relevant Minister.
In contrast, Mr Key has struck a deal that will provide work for thousands of New Zealanders, have hundreds of millions of dollars spent here and boost the tourism industry.
He has also ensured that New Zealand stays on the list of countries where it is good to make films. Those in Wellington have particular reason to be pleased he succeeded.
So John Key manages to save the films after Trevor’s union buddies scared them off, and this compares to Mallard in 2003 who oversaw the loss of the co-hosting of the rugby world cup.
There’s an old saying – you can be competent and nasty and people will tolerate you. You can be incompetent and pleasant and people will forgive some of your screw ups, but when you are both incompetent and nasty, then you have no future.
It is the credibility of the unions that is now in tatters, not the film industry. Mr Key has achieved the best possible outcome, given the hand New Zealand was dealt by the unions. Mr Mallard should buy him a beer.
Only if ESR can test it first!