Rally for keeping The Hobbit in NZ

October 22nd, 2010 at 8:32 am by David Farrar

If you want to help persuade Warners to keep in NZ, you’ll be able to do so next weel:

Mark Harrison, an Auckland actor and founder of the Keep The Hobbit Film Shoot in NZ page on Facebook, is leading the call for actors, all other related trades and the public to join in a show of support for keeping The Hobbit production in New Zealand when executives from Warner Brothers/New Line arrive in NZ next week.

Rallies are called for in the main centres and other towns, such as Matamata and
Queenstown, to show support for keeping the production centered in NZ.

“We want to show Warners and the other producers that there is a groundswell of
support for filming the Hobbit here, and that the actions of a small group should not in any way have the potential to disrupt the production.” Says Harrison.

With over 2,800 supporters, the Keep The Hobbit Film Shoot in NZ Facebook page has
been a focal point for those directly affected by the threat to The Hobbit.

“Our planned ʻShow of Supportʼ rallies are intended to be focused on positively
persuading Warners that they should produce the films here. Weʼre not looking to vilify any unions, but rather to positively show that the whole of NZ is behind the production, whatever it takes. We donʼt want this to be a protest against anyone, we want this to be a rally in favour of the New Zealand film industry and Sir Peter Jackson – we want so many New Zealanders to turn out, that it will make it impossible for Warners to think of moving Hobbiton from Matamata to Europe”

The rallies are provisionally planned for 1 pm Wednesday 27 October. Confirmed
venues, date and time will be released as soon as possible.

So keep your lunchtimes free on Wednesday.

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89 Responses to “Rally for keeping The Hobbit in NZ”

  1. Megatron (190 comments) says:

    Like Warners would actually give a damn?

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  2. shady (246 comments) says:

    Oh – so Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm told big fat porkies!!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4261375/Studio-confirms-Hobbit-moves

    Ironic for a the president of the CTU to label her opposers as bullies, thugs and rabied lynch mobs.

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  3. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    The silence of the Labour Party on this says a lot to me. The Unions overplayed their hand here, perhaps emboldened by the recent local authority results. I just hope John Key uses this to put through some tough anti-union legislation (he won’t) but there might be some clarification in the law regarding independent contractors. He must put some legislation before the House if only to force the Labour Party to make a statement on the issue and put some clear blue water between the National Party and the Labour Party.

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  4. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Since when did a private company making a business decision require a public rally?

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  5. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    @shady, it reminds me of when David Lange described Helen Kelly’s dad as “Gaddafi without the ethnic charm.”

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  6. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    YesWeDid – you lot were all over Peter Jackson and his films when Labour were in power – anything for a photo-op for Dear Leader. Now you turn on him. I hope Jackson realises now that when he lay down with lefty dogs he got fleas.

    I expect you will be at the counter-rally.

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  7. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    What I want to know is if the government passes employment legislation to help keep The Hobbit here in NZ, will Labour and Greens support it?

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  8. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    YesWeDid,

    “Since when did a private company making a business decision require a public rally?”

    Since the prats in the unions (a minority in this case) sabotaged the majority due to their petulance and lack of commercial understanding.

    I take it you must be in favour of the right for unions to sabotage the livelihoods of workers? (As that is exactly what has happened here – an absolutely indefensible action by AE, MEAA – and the CTU in backing them)

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  9. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    @Brian Smaller – I haven’t turned on him, from Jackson’s appearance on Close Up last night it appears he is as passionate and desperate to get the hobbit made in New Zealand as anyone. He is not happy with certain elements of the union and understandably so but he is not anti-union.

    The issue here is Warner Brothers and how they are playing the situation to their advantage, how long before Key and Co offer bigger tax breaks to get the Hobbit films made in New Zealand?

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  10. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    The current economic environment in NZ, and for that matter the rest of the Western World, is very poor. If Bernanke can not stop the deflationary spiral which has gripped the US, we are in trouble. This changes the situation facing the citizens of NZ, it will become a matter of holding or actually finding a job, rather than seeking any pay increase or special conditions. If the Hobbit goes overseas people responsible will never be forgiven.

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  11. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    New Zealanders should be supporting NZ workers on set in their efforts to be recognised as employees, not independent contractors, if they are being used as such. The unions may have been ill-advised to call for a general SAG boycott of The Hobbit: but it was not done lightly and it was done because Jackson and Warner refused to allow NZ workers to organise for their own benefit. Yes it has backfired on the unions but the basic issues remain the same: basic rights and minimum protections for workers in an industry, exactly what Australian, Canadian or UK workers would get.

    And lets not forget that there is no way this is about a few hundred thousand dollars worth of improved worker terms and conditions – overtime, transport, break, union access arrangements and the like.

    This is about a large corporate manouevering – from the start – to get an extra $20-30M tax breaks from the Government, and that is exactly what they are going to achieve next week.

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  12. shady (246 comments) says:

    YesWeDid – so by your reckoning – why did a private company making a business decision bring on union action.

    Brian – I must say – I always thought that Peter Jackson was uncomfortable lying down with the lefty dogs. Sam Neill (“sort it out over a cup of tea”) on the other hand………

    Warner Brothers looking for bigger tax break or incentive – so who opened the door for that to happen?

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  13. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    All thats left is for Matt and Trey to make a Robin Malcom puppet and have it address the NZ chapter for the Flim Actors Guild to tell us why ACTORs are the natural rulers of the world.

    CGI will have them all unemployed in ten years if they keep pushing their luck.

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  14. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘I take it you must be in favour of the right for unions to sabotage the livelihoods of workers? (As that is exactly what has happened here – an absolutely indefensible action by AE, MEAA – and the CTU in backing them)’

    There is a fine line between sabotage from the unions and being bullied by a company threatening to take the work else where. The ‘black ban’ threat by the MEAA was stupid but trying to negotiate better terms and conditions for employees should be an acceptable part of any reasonable society.

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  15. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    What emnployees? I thought they were private contractors. They are fucking actors, not macdonalds workers getting exploited by the big corporation.

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  16. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    “how long before Key and Co offer bigger tax breaks to get the Hobbit films made in New Zealand?”

    If that is what has to be done then I hope the offer has already been made – and the bill then presented to MEAA NZ as a symbolic act (followed up with a little legal action of course.)

    If AE / MEAA NZ had done the right thing weeks ago, we would not be in this position. They have cost us the additional tax incentives (if indeed they are required.) Had they agreed early to the very reasonable position the contracts could have been in place for production in NZ before any other country’s offer was able to become an issue. In a commercial deal timeliness is paramount (no pun intended)

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  17. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    tvb – youd think the govt will to something. either legislate so warners will want to stay here or after they have gone so it cant happen again.

    nothing makes dime happier than unions losing power.

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  18. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    CGI will have them all unemployed in ten years if they keep pushing their luck.

    I hope so. Another big advantage in replaceing them with CGI is that at least the interviews in Woman’s Day will be more intelligent.

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  19. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    YesWeDid,

    “but trying to negotiate better terms and conditions for employees should be an acceptable part of any reasonable society.”

    I don’t have a fundamental disagreement with that. In this instance however (and ignoring the employees vs contractors piece for a moment) the terms and conditions on offer were very reasonable and did not warrant anything like the resistance and action from the union parties. they took action for the sake of it – some might call it greed (I think the propositions put forward that this was about much more than this single film have some merit.)

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  20. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Ah yes the evil plotting capitalist TRICKED the innocent union into a global boycott!!! HA HA take that innocent unionists!

    The genius of already having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and building sets was all a clever ploy. The fact that they could have just decided to piss off anywhere else any time is a mere detail which can be ignored. As is the fact that the assuie unionist stated his intentions in an mag interview.

    You’re a fuckwit yesyoudidn’t. But please keep talking, every little bit of leftist bullshit only serves to highlight socialists unsuitability to ever be permitted to have any leverage over a nations economy.

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  21. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    And back to any new legislation required… I doubt Labour/Greens would vote for it for fear that their only source of funding for next year would dry up if they voted against their beloved unions…

    Labour are in a dire situation…vote against the Hobbit here in NZ or vote against their beloved unions…

    Can’t help but smile

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  22. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    @Murray – no one tricked the MEAA, they were dumb to call for a boycott all I’m saying is Warner Brothers are not slow to take advantage of the situation.

    Anyone else wonder why Jackson is building sets if the filming location has not been decided?

    And don’t call me a fuckwit Murray.

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  23. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Labour will probably use the same approach they did in 1994’s Auckland water shortage (having a bob each way – we support it but won’t back the legislation.)

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  24. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    You’re a fuckwit.

    Your repeated and myopic and ideology driven comments that defy any reason, logic or common sense show you to be nothing else.

    There never was any requirement for WB to shoot here so your claim of them taking advantage of the situation is simple agenda driven bullshit.

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  25. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    Anyone else wonder why Jackson is building sets if the filming location has not been decided?

    Because four weeks ago, the film was going to be shot here. In fact, the film was ALWAYS going to be shot here. Fucks sakes. Just talk to anyone that has actually been involved in the project.

    Warners have ALREADY invested millions of dollars in pre production work IN NZ.

    Now there is a very good chance warners will write of the millions already spent and move the film somewhere else that can guarantee the security of the remaining hundreds of millions that are yet to be spent.

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  26. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    Try to Murray and converted, he leads 7-0

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  27. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    It’s not unusual for companies to try and squeeze any commercial advantage they can out of national or local governments, and out of countries, cities and towns. The Warehouse and MacDonalds do it all the time, playing one town off against another, promoting their “community” benefits. Movies are just larger scale manipulations. It’s just how the game is played.

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  28. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    Re Robyn Malcolm – funny how life starts to imitate art after a while, eh?

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  29. MT_Tinman (3,187 comments) says:

    I tend to think of “rallies” and “protest marches” as simply weak arguments needing reinforcement but I’d happily attend one of these rallies on one condition: The square (or other rally venue) is decorated with CTU and MEAA personnel hanging from lampposts and others decorate stocks set up just for them.

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  30. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Re Robyn Malcolm – funny how life starts to imitate art after a while, eh?

    I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean that on TV3 last night she looked like a hack actor playing a role she had not prepared for?

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  31. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Hmm Tinman no I think protest marches are an important measure of how passionately the public feel about a given issue. They’re not an argument per se, just a gauge of the strength of conviction (in this way, a poor turnout can work against organisers). I plan to be on the march if it goes ahead.

    I think CTU et al hanging from the battlements is a bit OTT but I would certainly appreciate the Simpsons’ take on the Aussie justice system being implemented in Helen Kelley’s case: “Jeopardising the Hobbit is a Bootable Offence!”

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  32. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I’m totally against bigger tax breaks for WB to film the Hobbit here, but if that’s what it takes to keep it here then that will be purely as a result of union actions. I would rather the production went offshore than give them better tax breaks.
    It was going to be filmed here for the existing 15% tax break until the union actions, and Helen Kelly is an outright liar when she says this a grand ploy for WB to negotiate a better deal. There’s been a few lies from the union side, including when the boycott was in effect and when it was lifted (as evidenced from the SAG website).

    On the plus side, Helen Kelly is a public face of Labour and Robyn Malcolm is a public face of the Greens, so they’ve effectively already started campaigning for National for next year’s general election.

    Labour + Greens = Unions that destroyed our film industry.

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  33. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    I wont go, if it gets counter protested by union thugs i might be tempted to lob a few bricks at their heads.

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  34. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    ripe opportunity for National to draft a piece of legislation that will really put Labour/Unions under the pump.

    stike!

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  35. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    Good placard for Wednesday’s rally – Labour + Greens = Unions.

    The silence from Labour is indeed deafening, and Key has been handed a great opportunity to slap the unions hard and make some serious political gains over this issue.

    It would be nice if someone like Hide came out now and said ACT wants unions banned. Some lovely fuel on the fire to piss off the Lefties.

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  36. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    The public rally is not to do with Warners but it has to do with the Union and its political supporters that public opinion is not with them.

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  37. Gosman (324 comments) says:

    I have decided to ban myself from The Standard for a while. I was just having too much fun over there hassling them on this issue. That and the fact that lprent was starting to defend me from attacks. I was in danger of succumbing to Stockholm syndrome.

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  38. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    I hope some Ents will be there at the Wgtn rally to tear down the CTU’s HQ (West Block, Education House, 178 Willis St, Wellington).

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  39. Gosman (324 comments) says:

    Has Helen Kelly made any comments this morning after Warner Bros press release came out or have the Labour Party hierarchy kidnapped her and spirited off to the Chatham Islands or some place without access to media?

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  40. indie (17 comments) says:

    I see iPredict are launching a new stock regarding this very matter at Midday. Shame they’re not running one on whether Robyn Malcolm will ever receive another people’s choice award…

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  41. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    I wonder whether Robyn Malcom will receive another acting job. She is not that great as an actress I will boycott anything she is in.

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  42. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    Why all the calls for the Govt to step in? Surely this is an issue between “employees” (or contractors I’m still unclear) and “the company”. I can understand the Govt stepping in between the teachers and the MOE but surely this is a private matter.
    Are our employment regulations so full of loopholes that one party is trying to use them to exploit the other?
    How did Kelly et al get this all so wrong? Something is still not adding up.

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  43. jackp (668 comments) says:

    I am wondering that too… how can 80 people, union members, screw it up for 1500 or 2000 non union members without a mandate to do so. Why didn’t Peter Jackson just ignore Helen Kelly?

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  44. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    New Line Cinema has released an official statement regarding the entire dispute.
    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/10/21/39438-new-line-issues-statement-about-hobbit-boycott/

    Recent reports that the boycott of The Hobbit was lifted by unions a number of days ago and that Warner Bros asked to delay this announcement are false. It was not until last night that we received confirmation of the retractions from SAG, NZ Equity and AFTRA through press reports. We are still awaiting retractions from the other guilds. While we have been attempting to receive an unconditional retraction of the improper Do Not Work Orders for almost a month, NZ Equity/MEAA continued to demand, as a condition of the retractions, that we participate in union negotiations with the independent contractor performers, which negotiations are illegal in the opinion of the New Zealand Attorney General. We have refused to do so, and will continue to refuse to do so. The actions of these unions have caused us substantial damage and disruption and forced us to consider other filming locations for the first time. Alternative locations are still being considered.

    Shows up the outright lies from certain parties as clear as day.

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  45. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    It sure does RightNow. Any comments from the CTU and its Helen Kelly?

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  46. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    The silence from the left (YesWeDid apart) is positively deafening …

    Phil Goff will be wishing that Labour’s conference was next weekend instead of last weekend, so that he could unhitch his cart from the unions, and try something else.

    As for tax breaks, surely the GST revenue from hotel beds, meals, transport, fuel and other GST-liable expenditure during the production of the movie will more than compensate.

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  47. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    CTU Statement on The Hobbit and Warners 22.10.10
    http://union.org.nz/news/2010/ctu-statement-on-the-hobbit-and-warners-221010

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  48. tankyman (116 comments) says:

    rick price – yep – here is her latest press release:

    CTU Statement on The Hobbit and Warners 22.10.10

    Submitted by suew on 22 October, 2010 – 09:57. News
    MEDIA RELEASE

    22 October 2010

    CTU Statement on The Hobbit and Warners

    Helen Kelly, CTU President, said today that the industrial issues concerning the film industry were resolved at a meeting with SPADA last week.

    “This established a path that guaranteed films commencing before 31st March next year would use the existing Pink Book and in that period a revised Pink Book would be agreed for subsequent films.”

    Helen Kelly also holds a sequence of emails between MEAA, the Screen Actors Guild, and Warners showing that MEAA advised SAG on Sunday LA time of a recommendation from NZ Equity that they rescind any forms of advice to their members that they not work on the feature film production The Hobbit, and that Warners were preparing a press release to announce this on Monday LA time.

    “I have also repeated the commitment made by MEAA that there will be no disruption to the Hobbit films.”

    Helen Kelly said that the CTU will work with anyone to ensure that the Hobbit films are made in New Zealand, on time and on budget.

    Equity has legitimate issues that they have been seeking to resolve and we support their right to do so and have found a way we believe will do just that.

    Helen Kelly said that she also regretted that instead of the resolution calming the waters on this dispute, a ‘war of words’ with Sir Peter Jackson has broken out, despite our previously productive meeting.

    “It is inevitable that this has damaged relationships but we are committed to rebuilding those as circumstances allow”.

    “The main thing now is to ensure the films are made in New Zealand”.

    ENDS

    For further information contact Helen Kelly, Tel: (04) 802 3812 (w), or 021 776 741

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  49. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    There’s a media release on the CTU website: http://union.org.nz/news/2010/ctu-statement-on-the-hobbit-and-warners-221010

    Notable is this:
    “Helen Kelly also holds a sequence of emails between MEAA, the Screen Actors Guild, and Warners showing that MEAA advised SAG on Sunday LA time of a recommendation from NZ Equity that they rescind any forms of advice to their members that they not work on the feature film production The Hobbit, and that Warners were preparing a press release to announce this on Monday LA time. ”

    Show us the emails Helen.

    EDIT: Snap and Snap

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  50. tankyman (116 comments) says:

    ““The main thing now is to ensure the films are made in New Zealand”.”

    Well – she might just have fucked that. Thanks CTU / Labour / Greens.

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  51. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    We have to remember all the other films as well. The CTU/AE’s puppet-master – that Aussie guy – was quoted as saying that this was their chance to unionise the NZ film industry. Anyone have a reference to that?

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  52. Gosman (324 comments) says:

    Interesting that there does seem to be evidence of communication between Warner Bros and the Union’s on lifting of the ban. The question now becomes was this communicated to the people who needed to know and if not why not?

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  53. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    @Brian Smaller

    MEAA representative Simon Whipp previously told THR that success with “The Hobbit” might pave the way for unionizing other productions in the country

    from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nz-government-offers-mediate-hobbit-28676 dated 3/10/2010

    Its also worthy to note that Disney has pulled out of Aussie out of frustration with MEAA.

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  54. niggly (830 comments) says:

    A slow deep wave of an impending tsumani is continuing to build up against the CTU, MEAA, Simon DWhipp and the Helen Kelly clusterfxxk.

    On 3 News at midday, new Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown (in other the words the Greens) is acknowleding the national interest is more important here …

    The 3News reporter is acknowledging the CTU will have a lot to answer for …

    Meanwhile in Labour and Andrew Little HQ people are probably starting to get nervous about all this (and no doubt considerable time is being diverted to planning for damage control ….. wonder if anyone are starting to plan a backup plan to roll Helen Kelly before more damage is done to the Labour Union Brand 2011(TM)?

    Perhaps this is Chris Carter’s moment to take on Goff and the rising powerful Union block with a hand grenade. This is (and his teams) last chance and could be their “greatest hour” to take back control … :-)

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  55. niggly (830 comments) says:

    In this haze of confusion anyway!

    Meanwhile JK and JB (and PJ) need to step back, relax and prep themselves for the WB visit while the Labour Party and Union start to go up under a mushroom cloud!

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  56. J Mex (190 comments) says:

    I am wondering that too… how can 80 people, union members, screw it up for 1500 or 2000 non union members without a mandate to do so. Why didn’t Peter Jackson just ignore Helen Kelly?

    Because, JackP, 80 people and Australian union managed to get a global boycott on actors working on The Hobbit.

    The 80 plus friends then had some meetings amongst themselves about exactly what they wanted. In the interim, work pretty much stopped on a $500 million movie. The funders of that movie had also recently been messed up by industrial action in Australia.

    Now the actors say they won’t call for a boycott again and will lift the boycott.

    I think the company spending the $500m is looking for more concrete protection than the word of a group of people who have acted impulsively and damagingly and could do so again at any time.

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  57. jackp (668 comments) says:

    J Mex, how did they get a global boycott??? Only 80 people? I am obviously missing something. How large is the Australian Union?

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  58. Roflcopter (463 comments) says:

    Go talk to some Aussie media/film/entertainment people… they’ll tell you exactly how Simon Whipp has been almost singly responsible for the downfall of movie production in Australia.

    Australia also had a very lucrative framework for producing TV ads for worldwide organisations, which had huge economic benefits for Australia… until Simon Whipp got involved… it’s completely disappeared now.

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  59. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Because the MEAA has affiliations with other larger guilds and actors unions jackp. They requested the action on behalf of all actors in the production, not just AE members, because it would unionise all workers.

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  60. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    If one union official has destroyed the ad industry in Australia then that person should be incarcerated as an economic traitor.

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  61. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    adze – and union members, of whatever union, are generally sheep who do what they are told. Sir Ian Mclennan even supported the boycott. What does he care? He will still play Gandalf if the movie is made here or in Romania. Probably a lot less disruptive to him if it is made in Europe.

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  62. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Wonder if Goff’s team is hatching a plan for a counter-coup against the Andrew Little Union faction (if things go pear shape for the CTU and Union brand 2011)? I wouldn’t have thought Goff fully fitted into that faction personally?

    See, there’s a recipe for a big Labour mess here if Warner’s pull the plug.

    Is the media ringing Chris Carter to query his whereabouts over the next week or so?

    Wonder if Helen Kelly fancies herself as “H3″?

    Wonder if H1 + H2 gets along with “H3″?

    If not, H1 + H2 also has an opportunity to take this newcomer H3 + Union faction on behind the scenes, via text message to Chris, Maryanne & Co and make their moves to restore Labour Gender Brand 2011(TM), whilst Goff is still dazed and confused from the stun grenades being lobbed around.

    Chris & Co could launch a rearguard action, encircle the lot of them and keep the seat warm at 2011 for when H1 eventually returns home to her political whanau roots post UN retirement :-)

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  63. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Talk about a own goal, the left surely screwed this up big time. I’m sure there are union leaders thinking twice about the on going shit stirring happening in NZ as well as many of their stupid politicians pulling the strings. The unions are simply trying to flex their muscles but they fucked up big time when they went after the movie industry. I’m sure the vast majority of the movie industry would vote left given they are arty farty types, gore, talk about shitting on your own. Well done you two bobs you have shown NZ what a bunch of suckbags you really are.

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  64. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    @Murray – no one tricked the MEAA, they were dumb to call for a boycott all I’m saying is Warner Brothers are not slow to take advantage of the situatio

    YEAH HE’S RIGHT!!!!!

    I mean how dare WB move to protect their half a billion dollar investment! Don’t they know in Socialist make believe fairyland, that money grows on tree’s!!!!!!!!1111ONE1!!!11!!!!

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  65. J Mex (190 comments) says:

    J Mex, how did they get a global boycott??? Only 80 people? I am obviously missing something. How large is the Australian Union?

    Because, JackP, the Australian Union called for a boycott (on behalf of the small number of NZers)*, and other unions and guilds around the world joined in.

    *As others have said, the Australian union have pretty much F%@#d the Australian film industry.

    A couple of important points.
    – The conditions and packages on the Hobbit were better than Lord of the rings and just about every other movie filmed in NZ
    – The union wasn’t interested in the Hobbit as such, but getting a deal for union actors on all movies in NZ. Hobbit was just a high profile case for them
    – WHAT THEY WERE DEMANDING WAS ILLEGAL.

    Note:

    In September 2010, Sir Peter Jackson claimed the Australian-based MEAA demanded that the New Zealand-based The Hobbit production company enter into negotiations for a Union negotiated agreement covering all performers on the film, even though New Zealand law prohibits engaging in collective bargaining with any labour organisation representing independent contractors, such as film actors. Sir Peter Jackson refused and stated it would be unlawful under New Zealand’s Commerce Act to engage with an Australian Union on these matters.The MEAA called for a worldwide boycott of the film due to his refusal to enter into an illegal union-negotiated agreement with the actors .

    New Zealand’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson confirmed that the Crown Law Office had advised that movie producers were prevented by the Commerce Act from entering into a union-negotiated agreement with independent contractors. He also said the MEAA needed to note that New Zealand employment law was different to Australia. [3] The New Zealand Actor’s Equity, who operate as an autonomous part of the MEAA, have since acknowledged the Commerce Act prevents a union-negotiated agreement with performers who are independent contractors.

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  66. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Does anyone else find it laughable that when a union or the Labour party put out a press release they make it seem like its an interview?

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  67. shady (246 comments) says:

    I’m sorry guys – we’ve got it all wrong! It was a pre-planned conspiracy by Sir Peter Jackson and Warner Bros to use the unions as a scapegoat – so they could get more money from our Government! OMG – we are sooo dumb!!! (Well – so they say at that bastion of leftist “truth” – The Standard)

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  68. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Look on the bright side people. Once there are no acting jobs in NZ the NZ actors won’t be described as ‘like Mexicans with cell phones” they will be “Like Mexicans who can’t afford cell phones”.

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  69. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Anyone can start a union as long as they aren’t the employer of the people represented. I think it would be a great idea for NZ film industry workers who aren’t happy with NZAE and MEAA’s actions to form a new union /guild and shut out NZAE and MEAA.
    There is no reason those unions should hold the power to bring this industry to it’s knees, they have acted against the interests of the vast majority of workers. It would be worth looking at the NZAE constitution to see if they may have breached it.

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  70. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Look for the MEAA on this list: http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/union/unions-registered.html

    Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (New Zealand) Incorporated

    Their registration date is 14 October 10. I suspect there has been something illegal going on prior to 14th Oct 2010.

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  71. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Tom Scott gets it:
    http://www-images.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Tom-Scott-Hobbit-cartoon-22-October-2010.jpg

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  72. questlove (242 comments) says:

    I think the company spending the $500m is looking for more concrete protection than the word of a group of people who have acted impulsively and damagingly and could do so again at any time.

    Does anyone think that the governments extra piddly tax incentives are going to stop WB from taking production elsewhere? Hasn’t too much damage been done to justify staying to investors?

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  73. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Interesting reading the comments on the onering site, particularly this in a release on 1 Oct.

    “After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.”

    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/09/30/38874-media-release-peter-jackson-speaks-on-actor-boycott-of-the-hobbit/#more-38874

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  74. J Mex (190 comments) says:

    If they stay, it will be because of Peter Jackson, and Peter Jackson alone.

    I suspect that PJ will be able to talk WB around, but wants to see the Union feel some hurt after the just spent the last 6 months f#$#g up his project, and costing them a great deal of money and anguish for absolutely no gain to anyone..

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  75. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Robyn Malcolm’s lynch mob have just hit YouTube…

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  76. niggly (830 comments) says:

    RightNow (1,593) Says:

    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:25 pm
    Anyone can start a union as long as they aren’t the employer of the people represented. I think it would be a great idea for NZ film industry workers who aren’t happy with NZAE and MEAA’s actions to form a new union /guild and shut out NZAE and MEAA.
    There is no reason those unions should hold the power to bring this industry to it’s knees, they have acted against the interests of the vast majority of workers. It would be worth looking at the NZAE constitution to see if they may have breached it.

    You Got It!

    If the genuine Film Industry people want the Hobbit project to suceed, they need to distance themselves from the CTU, Helen Kelly, MEAA & NZAE etc. And do it fast eg THIS WEEKEND! (So Warner’s know that there is a dedicated bunch of film support people out there that are counter-NZAE/MEAA influence.

    CTU have released their side of the emails saying the ban was called off a few days ago. Unfortunately for the CTU brand and Helen Kelly, whether this is so or not is now is irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things.

    1. Warner’s do not have any time for MEAA Australia.

    2. Warner’s do not have any time for Helen Kelly (and CTU brand) also.

    3. Warner’s do not want to deal with Helen Kelly (and CTU). Neither does Peter Jackson, he has said that on numerous instances.

    Getting Warner’s to green light the Hobit project in NZ means Helen Kelly and CTU staying the Fxxk away from the Hobbit project.

    Soooooo what does dip-shxt Helen Kelly and CTU do? Well lets look at their press release this morning:

    “This established a path that guaranteed films commencing before 31st March next year would use the existing Pink Book and in that period a revised Pink Book would be agreed for subsequent films.”

    In other words, today right now, Helen Kelly, CTU, MEAA, NZAE etc will not sabotage any films commenced before 31 March 2011. Ok that takes care of Hobbit Part 1.

    Now when will Hobbit Part 2 commence? Before 31 March 2011? NOOOOOO! Sometime after 31 March 2011 in other words when Hobbit 1 is finished. In other words, Helen Kelly, CTU, MEAA, NZAE etc, can then inflict INDUSTRIAL ACTION on Hobbit 2.

    Has the light-bulb come on yet for the apologists? This is why Warners, Peter Jackson and co, have NO faith that the Hobbit project succeeding in NZ at this very point in time with this attitude.

    Like I say, the solution is the genuine Film Industry disassociate themselves from Helen Kelly, CTU, MEAA & NZAE etc. And do it now! use emails, online petitions – c’mon there’s IT guys and gals associated with the project that can make this happen!

    Finally from RightNow @ 11.31 and the New Line media release:

    While we have been attempting to receive an unconditional retraction of the improper Do Not Work Orders for almost a month, NZ Equity/MEAA continued to demand, as a condition of the retractions, that we participate in union negotiations with the independent contractor performers, which negotiations are illegal in the opinion of the New Zealand Attorney General. We have refused to do so, and will continue to refuse to do so.

    NOTE: “NZ Equity/MEAA continued to demand, as a condition of the retractions, that we participate in union negotiations with the independent contractor performers”.

    In other words, those that have caused the damage – (hey this is a real H-Bomb imploding on them!) the flippin NZEA, MEAA, under the watchful, control-freak eye, of Helen Kelly of CTU, won’t get the Fxxk out of the way but wish to run blatant “in-your-face” interference with Warner’s.

    Go back to step 1: Warner’s DO NOT want to deal with these wankers!

    Again I say, get Helen Kelly, CTU, MEAA and NZAE out of the picture – and things can be made right. But the Film Industry needs to do that, not us here!

    … (Dare I say it, if the Left really feel they need someone to help with the negotiations, well dunno, maybe the Greens if the WM Mayor is being honest. They might be putting the nations interest at heart? But will Labour and the Unions cede defeat ie shed more percentage points in the Polls to the greens and allow this to happen? Interesting side-issue times) ;-)

    In

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  77. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    In the time when 9/11 conspiracy theories were rife, there was a term used to apply to the lefties. They were called Moonbats.

    Reading the Standard and seeing how utterly delusional those people are and how divorced they are from reality I can’t help but think …

    Moonbats.

    The whole fucking lot of them, Helen Kelley and Simon Whipp included. They are just plain fucking insane, pathological liars with no regard for other people.

    They’re moonbats.

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  78. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    This is hilarious – just right to get a Friday afternoon laugh.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Fellowship-Union-of-the-Ring/tabid/368/articleID/182528/Default.aspx

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  79. bka (135 comments) says:

    There is a videoclip of an interview of the Whipp fellow at Dim-Post.

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  80. bka (135 comments) says:

    Beg pardon, was beaten to it.

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  81. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    Does anyone know where the Auckland one is..?

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  82. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    davidp,

    That Simon Whipp is a great actor. Best impression of Marcel Marceau I’ve seen in a long while

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  83. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I can see that Simon Whipp wants power. Not one word to explain why he wants to come to New Zealand and destroy the movie industry. That video was alarming watching him just walk like an arrogant pig when he was being asked why he is doing this. The mongrel Mob isn’t a member of any union, are they? Maybe someone should give them a call to give Simon WHipp a visit with a police escort.

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

    might pave the way for unionizing other productions in the country

    That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Power and control. Similar with that shit-smear Joe Carolan making the contracts so that they expire around the World Cup next year. Greece-style riots right when the international cameras are here. I hate these pricks with every fibre of my soul.

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  85. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    @ bhudson – Whipp’s mime act is only matched by Phil Goff’s silence …

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  86. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    @ Inventory2 – ‘Silence betokens consent’. Phil Goof is a sockpuppet and won’t do anything because he’s got Helen Kelly’s hand up him.

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  87. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    I2,

    I suspect Goff’s mouth is being kept firmly closed as that is the only thing that will prevent his foot ending up fully & squarely in it

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