Save the Hobbit

October 24th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

If moves overseas, there will be a massive loss of jobs in NZ. The 2,500 for itself is only the start. All the other productions will stop coming here, and I imagine Weta would have a limited future.

But add onto that the lost tourism jobs and earnings. 1 in 10 tourists say the LOTR connection was a factor in choosing to come here. If Middle Earth moves to Ireland, we will lose much of that tourism.

The Herald on Sunday reports on the rallies you can go along to, to show your support for the film staying here. These are not anti-anyone rallies, but pro-Hobbit in NZ rallies.

12.30pm-2pm Monday

  • Auckland: Queen Elizabeth II Square (opposite Britomart)
  • Wellington: Civic Square
  • Christchurch: Cathedral Square
  • Hamilton: Garden Place
  • Matamata: The Gollum statue
  • Queenstown: The Village Green

I’m certainly attending the Wellington one. If you plan to attend, you can join the event on Facebook.

The HOS also covers the latest:

President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions told the Herald on Sunday she was not sorry for the dispute as it began as a simple request to negotiate conditions.

“I personally regret calling a brat. That was not helpful,” said Kelly. “I shouldn’t have said that, because he is not a brat. He is clearly deeply hurt … and it’s not my style to usually get so personal.”

However, she believed most New Zealanders supported the right to collectively bargain.

God this Orewellian double-speak is getting annoying.A global boycott is not a simple request to negotiate. It is the last resort in such a negotiation – it is where you say we would rather this film never gets made at all, because the conditions on it are so bad. The irony being that the conditions are the best ever offered to NZ actors.

And secondly those actors who are members of the MEAA could always try and negotiate a collective contract on behalf of those members only.  What they were not allowed to do is negotiate on behalf of all the non members, and force them into becoming union members.

Back at the Armageddon Expo, Stargate Atlantis actor Torri Higginson told the crowd it would be “insane” if The Hobbit was not filmed in New Zealand. “If anyone knows him [Peter Jackson] tell him I’ll work for free,” said Higginson. “F*** the unions.”

I suspect many actors would work for free on the film. But Jackson will not only be paying good weekly rates, he is the first Producer to offer residuals to NZ actors. How the fuck the CTU ever decided to make him public enemy number one I don’t know.

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132 Responses to “Save the Hobbit”

  1. Nick Kearney (1,066 comments) says:

    I read in this mornings SST that Robyn Malcolm et al simply wanted the same terms and conditions as actors in the USA.

    If she’s successful, I will recruit here to campaign for the same terms and conditions for New Zealand lawyers as for those in the USA. That will include a starting salary of ~$150K; and upon attaining partnership, a multi-million wage for many years.

    It shouldn’t stop there.

    She can campaign for sameness for all work sectors, and across the world. After all, everyone across the world is exactly the same, aren’t they?

    I realise that Malcolm fans will say she is simply advocating for workers “rights”.

    She is not a lawyer. I am. If she can adequately put a case to me on what exactly these “rights” are, and where they originate from, then she’ll have me on her side.

    She needs to bear in mind that I come from the Jim Evans school of rights theory.

    Oh yeah, and I do not subscribe to the position that the UDHR is a/the valid starting point.

    In short, people who talk about “rights” really need to understand exactly what they are. Most don’t, especially Green Party activists.

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  2. Deep Throat (28 comments) says:

    “These are not anti-anyone rallies, …………”

    David David David, having just seen Helen Kelly and Sue Bradford on the TV I can assure you that these rallies should be what the leftist nuts who have been talking up a class war on the standard and red alert want.

    Let them be anti union rallies. I’m personally sick of these fuckers who pretend to reasonable but are only interested in one thing, that is troughing on the union worker levies and supporting the political party that they see as a gateway into parliament for their elite.

    Fuck them, right from Rob Egan (Irish Bill) to Helen Kelly, they are bullies and scum and I’ve had enough.

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  3. Pita (365 comments) says:

    “How the fuck the CTU ever decided to make him public enemy number one I don’t know.”

    The CTU have a wider agenda to unionise the industry and the Hobbit provided a juicy target to achieve that objective. If, by jeopardising a multi million dollar project, they would be able to impose their outcomes on the lesser who-gives-a-fuck-about projects that are the domain of the likes of Robyn Malcolm.

    An opportunity to rewrite the “pink book”

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  4. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    I blame the internet.

    No, I am not mad (well, yes I am mad-angry, but not mad-insane) .

    What the internet has done is fundamentally change the way that communities work. Once a community was geographical and thus very mixed in its politics. Industrialisation added workplaces to the mix, and people doing the same job were more likely to think alike, so this created a certain polarisation in politics (hence the rise of political unions). Now we have the internet, and communities exist less and less in geographical space, and more and more in virtual space: where people’s political views are what defines them as a community.

    The problem with this is that instead of talking with a wide variety of people, whose differing views moderate our own (or ay least remind us that many people DO think differentyly to ourselves) we spend all our time exchanging views with like-minded people. The danger of this is that it reinforces the way we think rather than broadening it. We egg each other on to more and more extreme and more and more narrow views of reality. Because we communicate less with the broad array of people outside that little online community, we can easily become deluded about what the general view really is.

    What has happened with The Hobbit is that the unionists, living in their own little virtual world enabled by the internet have egged each other on to more and more wacky and distorted views of reality, and (because they so seldom hear anyone outside that little world) convinced themselves that most New Zealanders share their views. Hence their bizarre behaviour.

    Some of them have probably had a rude awakening through all this and discovered how deluded they were. But naturally, the reaction of most to discovering how wrong they were has been to insist all the more stridently that they were right, and scramble desperately for excuses, scapegoats and red herrings so they do not have to admit to themselves what idiots they have been.

    Ironic, that their dwelling in this fantasy world may have torpedoed the role New Zealand could play in filming the wonderful fantasy world of The Hobbit.

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  5. Daniel (6 comments) says:

    Hahahah… a positive rally? The lefties are going to be so confused.

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  6. labrator (1,745 comments) says:

    Two points:
    1) Will the fact monday is a public holiday affect the turn out? A lot of people will be away

    2) I’ve been wondering what union represents the actors on Outrageous Fortune and what their contract and pay rates are. As it’s publicly funded by NZ On Air can we OIA this information? I’d love to compare the conditions an actor on Outrageous Fortune had versus what was offered by Peter Jackson.

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  7. Offshore_Kiwi (557 comments) says:

    Nick Kearney, you should know by now that “rights” are whatever the left decides them to be. In the case of this film, “rights” are what Actors Equity and the CTU decide. With the current battles in education, “rights” are what the PPTA decides. One very effective way to resolve the Hobbit dispute would have been for the producers to only hire non-union labour. I know it’s illegal, but aren’t the “talent” all independent contractors anyway?

    As for Robyn Malcolm, the only reason I can come up with for her brain farts on this issue is that she never wants to work as an actress again (I mean, who the hell would hire her?) Maybe she’s going to make a play for Ward-Lealand’s plum union job?

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  8. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Simon Whipp just said that they weren’t targeting the Hobbitt! Talk about the big lie.

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  9. Offshore_Kiwi (557 comments) says:

    vibenna, he (Whipp) also said all they ever wanted was a meeting. Another leftie lie. You don’t ask for a meeting by calling a global boycott.

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  10. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Offshore_Kiwi>As for Robyn Malcolm, the only reason I can come up with for her brain farts on this issue is that she never wants to work as an actress again (I mean, who the hell would hire her?)

    I’m wondering if she’ll be fronting any more Green Party campaigns. On one hand the Greens are the only party who have come out in support of the Auckland actresses and the Aussie union over the NZ workers. On the other hand, Malcolm is less popular than a nasty case of genital warts.

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  11. Offshore_Kiwi (557 comments) says:

    Nice, davidp, but the watermelons have a history of putting into parliament those who are “…less popular than a nasty case of genital warts.” Remember Sue Bradford? Keith “Pol Pot” Locke? Helen Clark (OK she didn’t stand on their ticket, but she did rely on them – at least in 2005 – to get into parliament).

    Another question I have about this is … why is Robyn Malcolm the union mouth-piece, and not Ward-Lealand?

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  12. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    vibenna>Simon Whipp just said that they weren’t targeting the Hobbitt!

    They could hardly target Spartacus. Spartacus is produced by the husband of Lucy Lawless, the Green Party campaigner and mate of Robyn Malcolm. Several Spartacus episodes have been directed by the husband of Jennifer Ward-Lealand, the Actors Equity director. And Spartacus is an Auckland production and all the key Actors equity players are based in Auckland. Or Australia.

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  13. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Some interesting timeline issues. Helen Kelly comments (complains?) that Peter Jackson put the dispute in the media on 28 September. The boycott notice was 24 September. So what is the problem with Peter issuing a press release about a global boycott published internationally?

    Helen Kelly also says they reached settlement and recommended do not work orders be lifted on 13 October. Yet they were still in place on 21 October ! Eight days later in a time critical project. This represents good faith, how, exactly?

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  14. Mr Nobody NZ (397 comments) says:

    I strongly believe that the Hobbit situation has largely been driven by Unions attempting to make themselves more relevant. The problem they have however is that they a fossil of a by gone era of employment negotiations.

    Union supports talk about class war, the need to improve employees rights etc however thankfully we live in a country that is class free, has strong legislation about employee rights and protection (thanks largely to the historical actions by unions) and now they’re struggling with purpose.

    Now I’m sure that some will label me as Anti Union, which is crap. I have been a union member, and even union rep in years gone by however these days I believe the union movement has no relavence and with the actions around the Hobbit and what is starting to be suggested will occur around the Rugby World Cup they are best described as Economic Terrorist.

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  15. big bruv (13,218 comments) says:

    The following is a comment made by Helen Kelly over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard, it seems that she still struggles with the truth.

    “Helen Kelly 10
    23 October 2010 at 11:30 pm
    I first got involved in this dispute on 28 September when Peter Jackson released a four page statement putting the dispute between Warners and Equity in the media, and I immediately contacted Wingnut to propose we meet to try and find a solution.

    I met with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens on 1 October and following the meeting we agreed to release advice saying we had met and “… we are hopeful that a meaningful dialogue between Equity, SPADA and Three Foot Seven can be established”

    This meeting never happened.

    Prior to the meeting being organised with Brownlee, on 4 October I emailed Peter Jackson expressing my surprise that Philippa Boyens had been on National Radio disclosing elements of the meeting I had had with her, Jackson and Walsh when we had agreed that the only thing that would be said was that which was released in the statement (people may remember I was on Q and A the day after that meeting and refused to discuss the Hobbit). He emailed me back and amongst other things said:

    “I’m going to contact SPADA and encourage them to be very open minded, and take a meeting listening to all the actors concerns. Such an open discussion is long overdue, and I’m sure progress can be made to addressing many of their concerns.”

    So at that point Peter Jackson supported the settlement and we reached a settlement (the original MOU was drafted by SPADA actually) and as you say, let Warners know shortly after. As late as 9 October I was still in contact with Peter Jackson and he was supporting the SPADA process.

    So with CTU support, and on the understanding that Peter Jackson also supported the process we used, we reached a full settlement of the dispute on 13 October and recommended the “do not work” orders be lifted on the Sunday. Given this and the fact that all this information was known to Peter Jackson (as you say, emails veryify this) the meeting and demonstration organised by Weta was a complete surprise and has created an impression that the industrial issues have not been resolved.”

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  16. big bruv (13,218 comments) says:

    You may also note that the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard is furiously shutting down anybody who dares to point out that this is entirely the fault of the union movement.

    Anybody who dares speak out against liar Kelly is banned.

    I fucking LOVE IT when the left are in disarray, long may this continue.

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  17. Nick Kearney (1,066 comments) says:

    Given this and the fact that all this information was known to Peter Jackson (as you say, emails veryify this) the meeting and demonstration organised by Weta was a complete surprise and has created an impression that the industrial issues have not been resolved.

    WETA is not Peter Jackson.

    So WETA cannot arrange a meeting and protest, and shouldn’t do so to protect jobs, but wealth-destroying, unions can, should and must?

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  18. John Macilree (8 comments) says:

    Wondering if the New Zealand film industry could be described as having been sabotaged by an Australian trade union I had a look at the relevant section of the Crimes Act (s.79) and was intrigued to discover that if industrial action is involved the unions seem to have an exemption.

    Sabotage
    (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years who, with intent to prejudice the safety, security, or defence of New Zealand or the safety or security of the armed forces of any other country, lawfully present in New Zealand,—
    (a) impairs the efficiency or impedes the working of any ship, vehicle, aircraft, arms, munitions, equipment, machinery, apparatus, or atomic or nuclear plant; or
    (b) damages or destroys any property which it is necessary to keep intact for the safety or health of the public.
    (2) No person shall be convicted of an offence against this section by reason only of the fact that he takes part in any strike or lockout

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  19. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    How the fuck the CTU ever decided to make him public enemy number one I don’t know.

    It never did, ever.

    How about some proof.

    And BB you were banned for being a misogynist amongst other things. Have you paid that bet yet?

    [DPF: Did Kelly not call him a spoilt brat? Did the CTU not fully back the MEAA in their initation of a global boycott against The Hobbit - if that is not making you public enemy no one, what is]

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  20. macdee (29 comments) says:

    wasn’t Kelly a speaker at the recent PPTA conference? If she was it starts to make you wonder what else she is trying to wreck!!

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  21. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    From bb’s post on what Kelly said at The Stranded:

    Given this and the fact that all this information was known to Peter Jackson (as you say, emails veryify this) the meeting and demonstration organised by Weta was a complete surprise and has created an impression that the industrial issues have not been resolved.

    They love to preach the line that because the “industrial issues” have been resolved, they now have no part nor responsibility for whatever else happens next. I mean, they’re so arrogant to believe that people will fall for this bollocks.

    Fuck I’m looking forward to what happens next in a bit like a train coming at me head-on sort of a way. What more are the union people going to say, to make it even easier for us to finally destroy them, as we in the VRWC have been secretly plotting for all along.

    That’s right, lefties. Bwahahahahahaha. We set you up and you fell for it, didn’t you. You idiots.

    Now all we have to do is pass our mind-numbingly oppressive legislation that not only bans unions it sentences every union official to work in the Reefton coal mine for twenty years. Public adulation for Sir John will surely follow.

    Oh and we decided to keep that movie here weeks ago. We don’t want to give that away. Duh. Sure, it’ll cost us $65m, but who cares, it’s not our money.

    Bwahahahahahahaha.

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  22. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    If the industrial issues were resolved, then what were Actors Equity voting on the day the technicians marched?

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  23. Roflcopter (422 comments) says:

    Mickey you tosspot, shall we start with your beloved CTU leader calling PJ a spoilt brat?

    You and your union Ilk are responsible for nothing less than attempting economic sabotage in NZ and destroying 1,000′s of jobs.

    Spin your crap any way you like, real NZ know the truth.

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  24. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Can I suggest some “Kiwis Care” banners?

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  25. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    I suspect a “Fuck the Union” banner would be a bigger seller Graeme.

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  26. tom hunter (4,372 comments) says:

    No matter how often I see it and no matter that I should in no way be surprised – but I’m still amazed that in the 21st century a guy like mickysavage still thinks that the way to get his beloved Labour party back in power is to continue the mid-20th century, hardline-leftist practice of defending the indefensible at all costs.

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  27. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    Regardless of the wrongs and rights of the film dispute, you have to have reservations about this whole film industry, which is on the tax tit.

    Those involved toss around figures about billions of dollars the film industry supposedly pumps into the economy, just like those who pump up the rugby World Cup, yachting extravaganzas and kapa haka. Never net figures. Never proven figures. Always wild guesses off the top of the head of one of our many economists.

    Wouldn’t it be better to see tax concessions go to technology-based sunrise industries? Look what high-tech has done for Israel – made it an exporting power house. This has been strongly helped of course by an intelligent immigration policy which has brought in hundreds of thousands of highly educated Russian scientists and engineers.

    The NZ Government, mainstream media, politicians of all hue, and excitable TV hosts have all jumped on the support wagon for the international game of trying to offer the highest international bribe to the shrewd moguls of Hollywood. Not only other countries, but states within the USA, try to outbid each other with subsidies, conditions, etc.

    If the film industry offers so much promise, why aren’t NZ moguls out there trying to win the most handouts from foreign countries, the best conditions, the best deals. Who gives a stuff where the films are made if the control and profits come here. We need to lift our ambitions a few notches. Instead of being the contractors, we ought to aspire to be the moguls with everyone kowtowing with national bribes.

    Can there be a prosperous future for the NZ film industry if it remains just competing with a hundred other nations and 50 or so states in America with subsidies to lure film productions locally. And as for us being technical wizards, well sadly there are hundreds of thousands of aspiring competitors right now in front of their computer screens around the world.

    Either we can develop finance and control of films for the world market or we can’t. If we can’t, let’s give our tax breaks and time to international industries where we can be top dog.

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  28. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    I’m going to puke – Robbin’ Malcolm is being interviewed on Nat Radio right now – actually it’s a diatribe because the ‘interviewer’ is letting her run her potty mouth off – this dispute is about ‘legitimising the acting profession”, ‘standardisation’, ‘minimum wage’, ‘streamlining the industry’ etc.

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  29. Paulus (2,495 comments) says:

    Whoever thought Robyn Malcolm could act?

    I will do whatever I can to see that she does not get another job in New Zealand – let alone trying to be an actress.

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  30. Radman (129 comments) says:

    People who often proclaim to be doing deeds because they care so much about others are nothing more than fascists. The “I-know-what’s-best-for-you” brigade such as Rob Malcolm perceive everybody else (they pretend to care about) as stupid.

    Fuck it’s patronising.

    Message to Rob Malcolm: Like most people, actors and actresses can look after themselves. They are grown adults. let them behave as such instead of interfering in their lives, and their contracts.

    In other words, fuck off Rob Malcolm. Let people bargain their own terms. Stop being so fucking statist.

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  31. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Helen Kelly rocks!

    I watched Paul Holmes and John Barnett gang up on her in typical bully boy, white male New Zealand style, and she certainly held her own, and in the end Holmes shut her out because, obviously, her quiet insistence on facts was inconvenient to the agenda of the two males present.

    Which raises a separate issue – what passes for current affairs programmes today. A few weeks ago we endured Sean Plunkett, commentator Jock Anderson and guest David Swartz all ganging up in a one-sided attack on the sincere (and I would certainly not apply that word to Zwartz!) and inoffensive Roger Fowler of the Free Gaza movement.

    I support healthy debate, but what happened the concept of an impartial arbiter keeping each side honest and asking probing questions where appropriate? Not entertaining enough?

    In today’s example, Holmes at one stage was in full cry expressing his personal, and, one could easily say, privileged viewpoint, talking over the contribution of the one person in the show who was intimately involved and could offer documentation to support her case.

    All in all, disgraceful performances by those who have control of the airwaves are becoming so commonplace as to be accepted, as John Key did with Paul Henry.

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  32. somewhatthoughtful (450 comments) says:

    @magnon… got any proof that it’s not?

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  33. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Malcolm, Lealand and Kelly.

    Three bloody fuglys who think they are stars. With a bit of luck they will never get a part again.

    Well Kelly will of course as the lefties like to promote really ugly creatures to positions of power. :)

    (Not that I am thinking of any recently past powerfully ugly women/things of course) :)

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  34. alex Masterley (1,490 comments) says:

    Does anybody actually listen to National Radio? On a Sunday?
    Robyn Malcolm has effectively made herslf unemployable.

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  35. SHG (360 comments) says:

    Once again, I asked on Red Alert if the Labour Party stood behind the CTU in the “Hobbit” fiasco.

    Once again, my post was deleted by a moderator.

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  36. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    “Does anybody actually listen to National Radio? On a Sunday?”

    No!

    (Well you might if you don’t have a life). :)

    Does anyone listen to National Radio any day of the week?

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  37. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    Luc,

    No, what you observed was Kelly being corrected by two people who held evidence in hand that she was lying.

    In addition, if you know anything about the science of micro-expression analysis, then you will also have to concede that her involuntary facial expressions were there for all to read.

    The only thing about Kelly that “rocks” is the granite between her ears.

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  38. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @ Hansen

    We all know Holmes is right. Kelly wrong. No problem

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  39. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    alex- I was taking one for the team.

    I was hoping, in the interest of balance, that they were going to interview Mark Hadlow, who has a Hobbit role, and is not a member of any actors’ mafia / union.

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  40. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Luc,

    You embody the maxim “ne obstet fabulae veritas bonae” – Let not the truth stand in the way of a good story.

    (Apparently it can also be translated as “Why tell the truth when a lie would be better” – Which would clearly be Hellen Kelly’s interpretation (along with Robyn Malcolm and Simon Whipp))

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  41. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    “…because, obviously, her quiet insistence on facts was inconvenient to the agenda of the two males present.”

    Well you didn’t watch the same Q&A I did Luc.

    She was hung out to dry by logic. Sure, she’s articulate but the problem is, no-one accepts that because bargaining is over, the problem has gone away. She didn’t even address the “was this a stupid strategy” question. All she said was: “people have a right to collective bargaining.”

    Several telling points were when Barnett pointed out she didn’t understand the film industry and clearly, she doesn’t. This is the problem. Did it ever occur to them that it’s a project-based industry which needs project-based arrangements? Apparently not for all she could munt on about was the right to become a permanent employee.

    Her point about the average wage was similarly irrelevant. If actors are low-paid when you annualise their income and that’s just the nature of the industry, the answer is not to come in and change the industry. If actors didn’t want to act, they would do something else. No doubt they find out about the pay rates early on. Their choice. Not the unions choice. Their choice.

    But Helen doesn’t get this and this, to me, is good. For she utterly destroys the unions everytime she adopts this petulant approach and that, to me, is a very good thing indeed.

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  42. Yvette (2,688 comments) says:

    “… the truth seems to be that New Zealand got taken by a well organised and very aggressive production studio.” – The Standard

    Oh – so Simon Whipp is their man and they sent him over here?
    No wonder he didn’t want to talk to anyone.

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  43. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    “… the truth seems to be that New Zealand got taken by a well organised and very aggressive [union leader].”
    Kiwiblog

    Spot the difference. (For those that might have popped over from The Standard, it is this, the second statement, that is the truth.)

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  44. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Nick said…
    I realise that Malcolm fans will say she is simply advocating for workers “rights”.

    Workers don’t have rights. There is no such thing as workers rights. Not PC blog has a good summary of what (philosophically) rights is:

    Cue Card Libertarianism — Rights

    It should be a good read for the uninformed like Robyn.

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  45. alex Masterley (1,490 comments) says:

    Magnanomis,
    Above and beyond the call etc….

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  46. Inventory2 (10,095 comments) says:

    The Standard, and to allesser extent Red Alert have gone on and on and on about the lack of good faith bragaining on Peter Jackson’s part.

    I want to ask them this question, but it’s pointless to ask it there as it will be deleted, so I’ll pose it here:

    Is the institution of a global boycott against working on the Hobbit by unions representing the acting “profession” a basis for good-faith bargaining?

    Not on your bloody life it’s not! But it doesn’t stop the unions here from trying to deflect public odium in Jackson’s direction, which to me is the epitome of cowardice.

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  47. Nick Kearney (1,066 comments) says:

    @ Falafulu Fisi – thanks for the link. PC’s post is a little simplistic, but summarises it nicely.

    Workers do have rights, provided they are in the contract they bargained to get.

    How can there possibly be workers rights if the workers have not signed a contract giving them any?

    I realise that Malcolm is trying to get minimum rights inserted on behalf of workers, in the negotiations.

    But these so-called rights she is trying to attain are not rights at all. They are privileges.

    As PC points out, she is trying to get rights to the fruits, not of the workers own action, but of the actions of others – Jackson, Warner et al.

    If this is the case (and it clearly is) what about the rights of Jackson, Warner and Weta to the fruits of their actions if those fruits have been hijacked in advance outside of a contractual position?

    It’s barmy. Utter madness.

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  48. big bruv (13,218 comments) says:

    Micky Savage

    I was not “banned” for being a misogynist, stop telling blatant lies.

    I know it is the norm for you Labour people to stretch the truth but the reason I was banned was because I dared to point out that Liar Kelly took a hammering this morning on Q&A.

    As we all know, people like you do not deal well with the truth, for instance, do you not think it would be wise for you to post under your real name given that you are putting yourself forward as a Labour party candidate?

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  49. DJP6-25 (1,268 comments) says:

    Who cares if the unions destroy the film industry? As long as they are another step closer to building socialisim, their
    objective is secured. To them, nothing else matters.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  50. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    To paraphrase Bertolt Brecht, it is easier to rob a bank than build a bank.

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  51. LaoHu (8 comments) says:

    Writing for the Workers Party of New Zealand (a party at the more extreme left end of the political spectrum) in 2008 on the results of the election a Don Franks said in the comments section of an article that he wrote:

    “I don’t think the CTU will get a media profile until they stop woffling on about what’s good for the whole economy and take a firm stand on the side of the working class. Why should they get a media profil for saying more or less the same as the bosses?
    When I was in the car plants I was trained by boilermakers leader Con Devitt. He had a media profile because he had attitude. Con used to say that ‘no reasonable employer had anything to fear from the boilermakers union’. ( If an employer adopted a position of even slight disagreement with the boilermakers, then of course that showed the employer wasn’t reasonable). ‘ I thought Con’s approach made eminent sense then, and I wish there was more of it around today”

    I was also amused by his comment

    “For top union leaders there is really only one difference between Labour and National; Labour offers them more individual career rewards in terms of safe Labour seats. Apart from that, it’s just another day at the office.”

    (see http://workersparty.org.nz/2008/11/19/silence-of-the-lambs/)

    If there is one thing this “Hobbit” business has done is that its given Helen Kelly and the CTU a media profile far higher than other disputes that are going on – eg teachers and some medical workers). And there is the potential of more to come with the Rugby World Cup. I think we can expect to see more of her on TV as she and the CTU strive to show their brand of unionism is still relevant.
    I wonder whether she will ask for a safe Labour seat as a reward?

    But she and the CTU would do well to remember what happened to the Boilermakers Union when they pushed too far.

    As for Robyn Malcom maybe being a big frog in a little puddle went to her head and she thought she would play in the big leagues. In the big leagues they play hard ball and take no prisoners. All she and her ilk have succeeded in doing is weakening the negotiating position of Peter Jackson and NZ as a whole. Now Warners know New Zealand is desperate for these movies they can screw greater concessions from Jackson and the New Zealand taxpayer – possibly to the long term detriment of actors. Thank you Robyn.

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  52. big bruv (13,218 comments) says:

    I do hope that both Malcom and Ward-Leyland find it very hard to find work in NZ again, it is nothing more than they deserve.

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  53. Inventory2 (10,095 comments) says:

    Clare Curran is taking the conspiracy theory line, because DPF is promoting tomorrow’s rallies

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/10/24/hillside-and-the-hobbit/

    Admit it Clare; the CTU, MEAA and AE over-egged the pudding

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  54. TheRat (2 comments) says:

    FFS – Clare Curran – Conspiracy Theorist Extraordinaire!!!
    “Kiwiblog is now running adverts for the rallies. A clear sign that there’s a bigger play happening”

    Now where does that leave TVNZ, TV3, Print Media and all the other media that have news stories on the rallies?

    If this is the quality of attempts to make the “Hobbiton Hash Up’ someone else’s fault Labour/CTU are truly desperate – and doomed.

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  55. flipper (3,537 comments) says:

    So Malcolm, Kelly et al want US salaries and conditions in NZ. Marvellous! Can we look at US auto workers (process workers, that is) ? They draw $US 75 per hour plus bennies. Wonder what happened to their industry and GM in particular.

    Kelly has undone in one or two weeks all that she strived to achieve for herself, Labour, Little and the Gofffather. Interested in employees? Crap!

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  56. Radman (129 comments) says:

    Excrement!!!

    When your side is losing the argument it’s a conspiracy!!!

    I admit I planned it with all the right-wing commenters from Kiwiblog.

    We, together, conspired to get tax breaks for Warner by hacking Robyn Malcolm’s computer and sending false emails about workers rights!! We then infiltrated teh CTU with our plant – Helen Kelly – and started the process.

    We are all guilty.

    It’s a conspiracy of the highest magnitude. The VRWC locked and loaded!!!

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  57. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    Luc’s right actually, Kelly rocks. As a sleeper agent for the VRWC she’s been brilliant.

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  58. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    The Herald on Sunday reports on the rallies you can go along to, to show your support for the film staying here. These are not anti-anyone rallies, but pro-Hobbit in NZ rallies.

    This is bizarre. Who are the rallies aimed at, and what are they intended to communicate to that target?

    If they’re aimed at the actors’ union, Peter Jackson, or the govt, it’s a complete waste of time and effort since those aren’t the people who decide where the film gets made.

    And if they’re aimed at Warner Bros, it’s a complete waste of time and effort because… well, what the fuck have the people organising it been smoking? To say that Warner Bros doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether NZers want the movie filmed here or not would be to drastically over-estimate the value of a rat’s ass.

    By all means go along – it’ll get you out doing some light exercise in the fresh air. Just don’t delude yourself there’s any other useful aspect to it.

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  59. big bruv (13,218 comments) says:

    “Just don’t delude yourself there’s any other useful aspect to it.”

    Other than sending a massive ‘fuck you’ to the union movement?

    I think you may well be surprised at how many people turn out Milt.

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  60. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    I2,

    Yes, it all makes sense now – Kelly’s antics and Curran’s support now. It’s because Warner Bros is a foreign company. And Labour have come out with an anti-foreign investment policy.

    They’re just following the Labour company line. “Don’t let those horrible foreigners give us money!” Phil Goff himself was trumpeting it last weekend at the Labour Conference.

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  61. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    They’re just following the Labour company line. “Don’t let those horrible foreigners give us money!” Phil Goff himself was trumpeting it last weekend at the Labour Conference.

    Actually, the thrust of Phil’s announcement was in ensuring that NZ’s productive assets remain in NZ ownership (unless foreign investors can demonstrate clearly that they are bringing new employment, capabilities and technology to NZ), and that NZ property is not priced out of reach of young aspiring NZ homeowners and farmers.

    One problem with foreign ownership of NZ assets e.g. banks and farms is that profits get repatriated to help the living standards of foreign shareholders instead of staying here in NZ. A concrete example is how the mortgage payments that NZ’ers make end up improving the standard of living of the shareholders, and the current account deficit across the ditch.

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  62. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    Wierdest of all, the “workers’ rights” political/union gravy-train invariably involves coercively removing our rights to freely negotiate and trade our time and skills.

    As a worker – as a person – I have rights: it is the left which denies me those rights and forces me to behave in ways which it decrees as appropriate. The only winners are the politicians and the leaders of the labour cartels, who are effectively stealing from me at the same time as threatening me and my counter-party with violence if we don’t obey.

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  63. Psycho Milt (2,255 comments) says:

    I think you may well be surprised at how many people turn out Milt.

    It’s decades since I could be surprised by mass enthusiasm for something stupid and pointless, BB. After all, I was around when disco was popular.

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  64. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Phil Goof’s New / Old Economic Policy and foreign ownership is all about the ‘landed’ economy (or physical capital). What’s at risk with The Hobbit and other projects is fungible and highly (internationally) mobile human capital – the basis for the ‘knowledge economy’ beloved of Dear Leader. If I remember my Economic History, human capital is a means of production, the ‘residual’ that accounts for a high proportion of economic growth. I have friends, most ‘foreign devils’, employed in the film industry. I suspect that many will be off overseas when Wellywood has been destroyed by the wreckers.

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  65. Gavfaemonty (61 comments) says:

    Should a boycott be organised of the advertisers of Outrageous Fortune until Malcolm gets the boot?

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  66. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Gavfaemonty – there’s a Facebook page, Boycott Robber Malcolm http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Boycott-Robyn-Malcolm/123611131031190

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  67. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Nick Kearney (59) Says:

    She is not a lawyer. I am. If she can adequately put a case to me on what exactly these “rights” are, and where they originate from, then she’ll have me on her side.
    ************************************

    Whatever they want, and Barrel of Gun (or sword, knife, blackmail, take your pick).
    Of course that is where all rights come from, one way or another, force.

    We will soon learn if this small, unrepresentative, union has failed or not to force itself upon the rest of the nation and be damned to the countries views.

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  68. Doug (405 comments) says:

    I see the Unionists still frothing at the mouth over at the Standard poor sods. If this production costs any more money it will be the Union and Labour’s fault. A perfect storm for Labour and the Unions, just have to remind the public about the money they have cost the Taxpayers pre Election. If we loose the production it’s still Labour and the Unions fault.

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  69. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    “Actually, the thrust of Phil’s announcement was in ensuring that NZ’s productive assets remain in NZ ownership…”

    It will be a fruitless task, but let me try to introduce you to the concept of ‘irony’.

    Irony – an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

    The irony here Viper, is that while we know that Goff thought his policy was about protecting NZ fixed physical assets, the first casualty is foreign investment with respect to NZ labour and Intellectual Capital. There was no land to be sold off (though I hope there was to be some ‘rental’/access income.) There was the outputs of our labour and expertise. Things that do not deplete NZ’s wealth, but add to it. To have taken their investment was to enhance our position, not to undermine it.

    The irony here is that the Labour-affiliated unions have done their level best to i) undermine foreign investment that was not supposed to have been contrary to the Labour policy, and ii) they’ve manage to get their first (mis-aimed) strike in while Labour are not even govt.

    Irony Viper. It’s not the thing you use to press your shirtsery.

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  70. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Nick Kearney says:

    How can there possibly be workers rights if the workers have not signed a contract giving them any?

    Nick, rights exist. Notice the full stop. Our law enables the IRD to determine the status of an agreement, and 18 mths working for one employer can, if fulfilling certain conditions, be regarded as an employment contract. This is what Gerry Brownlee wants to change the law for. Democracy and one-law-for-all in action!

    And employers have ended up in court for lack of procedure in the pre-employment process. Stuart MacKay, if he allows his legal training to take priority over his prejudices, will concur.

    Also, there are many examples of contractors working under a collective agreement, or, if you like, standardised contracts. This is just another media beat up, just as with the primary teachers, their principals, secondary teachers and the PPTA.

    Virtual bully boys, mainly hiding behind their pseudonyms, wanking into their sheets at the thrill of yet more victims.

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  71. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    not that you’re one to throw ad homs around eh luc?

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  72. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    ‘Lo guys … anyone seen Paul Holmes’ comment over at the HoS?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/paul-holmes-on-new-zealand/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502869&objectid=10682616

    I normally don’t agree with much (anything) PH says, nor do I read his columns. But for possibly the first time in ~10 years, I actually agreed with him.

    Its about how I have been feeling/thinking for the last 2-3 days.

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  73. John Gibson (295 comments) says:

    Malcolm, Kelly & Whipp need to be sent to Guantanamo for being economic terrorists.

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  74. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Absolutely not RightNow. I’m always polite and factual.

    Unless I’m bored waiting for the GP to start in the rain!

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  75. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Luc,

    Let me help you out here. If the PROSPECTIVE worker has not signed up to employment – be it an individual contract or a collective contract – they have no rights. You can have no rights until you are employed. The rights they have are enshrined in legislation and the detail of the contract. Certain rights cannot be contracted out of in an individual or collective contract.

    Nick also pointed out that the demands that were made did not amount to rights due to workers, but privileges they were requesting – i.e. things not legislatively owed to them, but which they wanted to have. Principally these amounted to sharing in, or taking from, the profits of the investors whose capital make the production possible.

    Luc, workers are compensated for the services with salary or wages – those are the consideration for their services. They represent full & final settlement for those services. They have no fundamtental entitlement to any of the profits from the capital investment (although in the case of The Hobbit, they have been offered some residuals, which actually amounts to the investors offering a share in the profits – as a privilage, not a fundamental worker’s right.)

    To expect or demand a share of the investors property is nothing more than a demand of right to steal others’ property.

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  76. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Luc,

    “Virtual bully boys, mainly hiding behind their pseudonyms, wanking into their sheets at the thrill of yet more victims.”

    The only people indulging in their own little ritual versions of ‘one hand clapping’ are the activists, the unions and their supporters.

    Enjoy the experience. Don’t forget to wipe down the keyboard. (I can’t speak from experience, but I imagine it would get quite sticky if your didn’t.)

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  77. alex Masterley (1,490 comments) says:

    Luc,
    I’m mildly curious cos there is sod all on the box tonight and as you say the GP seems to be being drowned.
    You say “Rights exist”. What do you mean? What rights are you talking about and from a Hofeldian perspective what are the corresponding duties?
    You also say there are examples of contractors working under collective agreements? Chapter & verse please?

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  78. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    You can have no rights until you are employed.

    Hmmmm, there are rights to not be descriminated against during an interview process, even before being employed. Also rights to seek independent legal counsel before the signing of an employment contract.

    To expect or demand a share of the investors property is nothing more than a demand of right to steal others’ property.

    Not quite, as you noted, everything is negotiable. Its not unusual for workers to be offered stock options in start up firms for instance, and then to become part owners through that employment remuneration.

    You say “Rights exist”. What do you mean?

    Why, those civilised behaviours and standards which define a society, its compassion and its tolerance, the way it balances interactions between the strong and the weak, that which is granted by those in power, sometimes relinquished by them only reluctantly.

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  79. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    To be correct, the rights of process over interview are not workers rights, but rights for prospective employees – job seekers.

    “Not quite, as you noted, everything is negotiable. Its not unusual for workers to be offered stock options in start up firms for instance, and then to become part owners through that employment remuneration.”

    As I said, to expect or demand a share of the investor’s property is a demand to steal their property. For them to offer is for them to extend a privilege. To strike/boycott or promote any sort of industrial action in order to seek such is a demand to be able to steal others’ property.

    “Why, those civilised behaviours and standards which define a society, its compassion and its tolerance, sometimes granted by those in power, sometimes relinquished by them only reluctantly.”

    Well done Viper. You just described privileges. Rights cannot be withheld without due process (e.g. the loss of a right to vote if imprisoned for more than 3 years.)

    You really are doing a great job of endorsing what people are saying. Perhaps you should look at changing ‘sides’.

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  80. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    As I said, to expect or demand a share of the investor’s property is a demand to steal their property. For them to offer is for them to extend a privilege.

    In a negotiation between equals either side can make demands as they require; surely thats what makes it a negotiation.

    You really are doing a great job of endorsing what people are saying. Perhaps you should look at changing ‘sides’.

    I am warmed by your heartfelt support.

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  81. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Viper:

    “You can have no rights until you are employed.
    >Of course, there are rights to not be descriminated against during an interview process, even before being employed. Also the right
    >to seek independent legal counsel before the signing of an employment contract.

    Those “rights” are not employment rights – they are considered basic rights of the citizenry to seek employment and not to be discriminated against in doing so.

    “To expect or demand a share of the investors property is nothing more than a demand of right to steal others’ property.”
    >Not quite, as you noted, everything is negotiable. Its not unusual for workers to be offered stock options in start up firms for
    >instance, and then to become part owners through that employment remuneration.

    Again, not quite. Those that receive stock options (to use your example) are *not* usually “general employees”. The people offered stock options are either taken on as partners (in a company partners share both profits AND liability.In this case, if one is being offered stock options, the straight-up liability (nor the liability insurance) is something that most “employees” could not afford/contemplate.

    Alternatively, these mythical (in NZ) “stock options” that you refer to **are** given to senior employees that are not direct partner/owners. In general terms, (and I’m simplifying here), the latter case applies when stock options are given as an enticement to a potential employee. Usually in that case, the company cannot compensate the potential employee to the level they might otherwise expect, yet the trade off is that stock options are a gamble that the company will subsequently succeed. Hence, teh idea is that if an employee is sufficiently senior and/or vital to the success of the business operation, they will be likely to take options since it incentivises them to ensure they make good on their [pre-employment] promises. Hence, such inducements (e.g. stock options and other delayed high risk benefits) are rather common in high risk, high reward businesses such as Pharma, Tech and Biotech.

    Furthermore, hence the reason that “your average worker” is not offered them. A biotech company needs secretaries, caretakers, cleaning ladies, security guards etc, but no single one person of these is indispensible, if they left … another will be hired (see NZ actors on Hollywood productions for multiple examples). In contrast, the [lone] Director of Vaccine Development (that bought in 85% of knowledge about vaccines) is a key person without whom the entire company/project/effort is compromised (see: Jackson, Sir P., Walsh, Dame F. and Taylor, Sir R.).

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  82. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    Why, those civilised behaviours and standards which define a society, its compassion and its tolerance, the way it balances interactions between the strong and the weak, that which is granted by those in power, sometimes relinquished by them only reluctantly.

    Viper how come you seem to think this wasn’t already happening even before the union stepped clumsily into The Hobbit?

    Or do you see most of the world as being in the “relinquished only reluctantly” category?

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  83. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Furthermore, hence the reason that “your average worker” is not offered them. A biotech company needs secretaries, caretakers, cleaning ladies, security guards etc, but no single one person of these is indispensible

    Largely true, although an excellent employer like Google offered stock options to their massage therapist when they were still a relatively small start up. Although she wasn’t a database engineer and she was clearly not indispensable she retired a multimillionaire.

    In contrast, the [lone] Director of Vaccine Development (that bought in 85% of knowledge about vaccines)

    OT, but any sensible owner would find this an unacceptable level of risk. Stock options may retain the man but will not stop him getting run over by a bus.

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  84. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    [DPF: Did Kelly not call him a spoilt brat? Did the CTU not fully back the MEAA in their initation of a global boycott against The Hobbit - if that is not making you public enemy no one, what is]

    Well Kelly did but only after essentially being called a liar and after watching an agreement that had been concluded in good faith being ignored.

    And CTU backing the MEAA initiation of the global boycott please provide proof. AFAIK CTU’s involvement was only recent and was to assist AE to resolve the dispute.

    And let me get this right. AE wants comparable conditions to those that exist in the US. And Warners, a firm that does most of its work in the US refuses to film in New Zealand because the work conditions may be similar?

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  85. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    LOL

    First example:

    The massage therapist in question was the subject of a short e-mail campaign by VERY SENIOR executives (NOT managers) re: THEIR (the execs) levels of productivity. If another has been there giving the same service, the story would not exist. Further, if she’d pulled a “Malcolm/Kelly/Whip” Sergey & Larry would have made what Warner’s are doing look like PlaySchool. Furthermore, I love that I giev broad examples from whole swathes of industry and you give me the good luck story of a single individual.

    Absolutely disagree with your 2nd paragraph rebuttal (about unacceptable levels of risk). Thats total B.S. and shows your lack of understanding of Pharma/tech/biotech startups. SUCCESSFUL startups usually have several phases, but; again I’m generalizing; Phase 1 = “Bright guys and gals get together and forge company themselves” Phase 2 = “Bright guys and gals kick selves for not knowing key person in position X or Y (sometimes X *and* Y) then go about finding the lacking expertise to make company a success. Pharmachick notes (God, sorry, totally obnoxious to refer to oneself in the 3rd person) … but I note that MOST successful companies have “Phase 2″ and that this is, in fact; the origin of the stock option “myth” (or as I like to call it “attainment goal”).

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  86. french (7 comments) says:

    Why so much anger on this blog each time workers dare open their mouth and negotiate ?

    How can you possibly think that a NZ union could put in jeopardy a US$500 million production. Don’t be so arrogant – Warness Bross need your land, not NZ actors…

    This finger pointing at the unions is just scare tactics from Warner Bross to get some tax incentives from the government. And you guys are just doing exactly what they want – make a huge fuss about these unions.

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  87. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    “In a negotiation between equals either side can make demands as they require; surely thats what makes it a negotiation.”

    In a negotiation, both parties make requests. If they present them as absolute requirements they are demands. Where those requests do not represent inherent rights, the other party may choose to decline them at their discretion. Sharing in others property where no fundamental right to do so exists, is a request which may be declined. In the case of The Hobbit it was agreed to, to an extent.

    Where a party (in this case the unions) turns a declined request for items which are not rights into blackmail (their boycott), that is not negotiating. That is industrial sabotage. That is a demand to steal the property of others.

    Their actions were indefensible Viper. You know that. Turn away from the dark side Viper, come back to the light.

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  88. wreck1080 (3,726 comments) says:

    I figure, the LOTR trilogy has done far more for promoting New Zealand than the tourism board could have ever done.

    It’d surely be worth a hundred million dollars of free advertising ? Just a wild guess :)

    Look at matamata. The revenue just flows into the town, thanks Peter.

    Having protest marches whether for or against would scare the heebee jeebies out of warner bros.

    It just does not look good when they just want a stable environment.

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  89. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Mickey

    I hope you are not this tedious at your local board meetings or whatever the fools out west elected you to,

    Just give it up, Kelly and others made proper Joe Hunts of themselves, – its all right, we are use to you Labour clowns doing it.

    It alright to fail , its just that you lot in your socailist dream time cannot accept that when you fuck up , shut up.

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  90. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    If they present them as absolute requirements they are demands.

    And because Jackson refused to sit down to discuss his offer with the union, would you categorise his position as unyielding absolute requirements = demands?

    Their actions were indefensible Viper. You know that. Turn away from the dark side Viper, come back to the light.

    Fighting for workers rights to organise and be protected by a collectively negotiated employment contract is a valuable fight, and one which will continue hard.

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  91. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    “Fighting for workers rights to organise and be protected by a collectively negotiated employment contract is a valuable fight, and one which will continue hard.”

    And precisely how well have the unions been doing lately in “protecting worker’s rights?”

    And did those workers actually want their rights “protected” or is that just something the union made up on the spot?

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  92. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    French

    For Fuck Sake, you are about three days late to weigh in with that shit.
    And its shit that doesn’t even make sense ” scare tactics from Warner Brother s……………………

    Yep right they initiated a world wide boycott………………….. don’t be a cock.

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  93. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Ah mickey, you’re so fine,

    As far as The Hobbit goes, the terms and conditions have been acknowledged as more than reasonable.

    It has been declared by the unions that they were seeking broader industry terms and conditions, but such conditions are not for the producers of one film to negotiate. That would explain why PJ wanted the unions to meet with SPADA. Of course SPADA doesn’t have control or leverage over The Hobbit and the WB millions, so the union was not so keen.

    You can try and colour it any way you like but the fact remains that the unions high-jacked a single film production to try to gain industry wide concessions (which didn’t apply to that particular film anyway – the conditions were already better, not to mention that most of the workers were independent contractors and not subject to the collective the unions wanted to negotiate.)

    Ah but that raises the other ‘little’ thing that seems to be being overlooked…

    The unions were seeking terms which demanded a collective contract which all workers on the film would have to operate under.

    That, mickey my boy, is compulsory unionism by stealth. It is without question wrong and immoral (as regards any and all worker who would not want to operate under those conditions.) It should really also be illegal. Coercion like that deserves to be punished.

    And, of course, we have seen the lengths the unions were prepared to go to to achieve it.  I am sure we can rely on you to stamp out corruption like that if you were to make it to parliament…

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  94. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    The fight for workers’ rights gets a bit murky when it interferes with the rights of other workers doesn’t it?

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  95. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    The fight for workers’ rights gets a bit murky when it interferes with the rights of other workers doesn’t it?

    Well, the world’s a complex thing.

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  96. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper, Viper, Viper,

    I knew this would take some time…

    “And because Jackson refused to sit down to discuss his offer with the union, would you categorise his position as unyielding absolute requirements = demands?”

    No Viper. I was VERY clear to point out that requests for items which are not rights can be turned down at the discretion of the other party. They can be made as fundamental demands, but it is quite pointless for the requester as they set themselves up for a loss over something they are not entitled to. (In fact, a good term for that is ‘stupidity’. Or ‘naivety’ if we are being nice about it.) And the good ol’ unions made that stupid/naive mistake.

    The greater problem here though is that the unions were trying to make industry-wide demands on a single film production company – a company that has neither a mandate or a right to undertake broader negotiations like that. That would be why PJ pointed the unions to SPADA – the correct place for them to be talking for industry-wide negotiations.

    “Fighting for workers rights to organise and be protected by a collectively negotiated employment contract is a valuable fight, and one which will continue hard.”

    Ah yes. What about the 2000 workers who didn’t want the unions to talk for them Viper? What of their rights? What of their rights not to have to sign up to a collective agreement that they never wanted? For that is what the unions were trying to achieve – compulsory unionism by stealth.

    Whya aren’t you fighting for those workers Viper? Why do they have lesser rights?

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  97. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    “Well, the world’s a complex thing.”

    So all workers are euqal, but some workers are more equal than others.

    And who gets to decide? Ah, let me guess… Its the unions isn’t it?

    Really you should be talking about “union rights” not “workers rights”. Or perhaps you could use “some-of-the workers rights, sometimes”?

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  98. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    So all workers are euqal, but some workers are more equal than others.

    And who gets to decide? Ah, let me guess… Its the unions isn’t it?

    Actually no, its the top 5-10% of wealth holders in this country who decide who should make the most, and the people whom they decide on usually get 6 or 7 figure salaries. In contrast, unions have been relegated to trying to negotiate rest breaks, transport arrangements and other minimum terms and conditions.

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  99. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Hello Viper,

    in addition to no response to my reasonable (at least I thought so) and factual rebuttal of 8:52, I see that the best you have for bhudson is “Well, the world’s a complex thing.” and the blatant hyperbole of

    “In contrast, unions have been relegated to trying to negotiate rest breaks, transport arrangements and other minimum terms and conditions.”

    SIGH

    I am just now realising that we’ll have to agree to disagree since I don’t think either of us can help the other tho see their side of the argument, no matter how reasoned our own. Unfortunately, it seems that whilst I’m big enough to admit such is the case (note I’m not claiming to be “right” … there may not actually be a “right” or “wrong” in this case), you may not be. Apparently, you’re choosing to ignore people and/or resort to the dark path of trite aphorisms in the face of arguments and factual inaccuracies (e.g. your “… unions have been relegated to …” – hmmm, tell me how that described the current teachers industrial action? It doesn’t.)

    Sorry Dude, this is not intended to be inflammatory, but when painted into a corner you got two options … stop, wait then walk on your work (that is, ultimately, not complete) … or ask for someone to put up a ladder outside the window to help you climb out. Enjoy the quiet corner.

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  100. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    “Actually no, its the top 5-10% of wealth holders in this country who decide who should make the most, and the people whom they decide on usually get 6 or 7 figure salaries. ”

    You mean those people that provide some 85% of the income tax in this country Viper? They would be the ones that are funding the welfare benefits and social programmes of all NZ govts.

    Actually, they don’t get to decide. Most of the are PAYE workers too. And while many may be managers, they do not generally have the delegation to determine general worker conditions. That would be HR teams in consultation with company executives and boards.

    But on The Hobbit it definitely was the unions that decided which workers were more important than the others. And it was the tiny minority that was supported at the expense of the majority of workers. As I said Viper – “union rights” not workers rights. Next they’ll start parroting “4 legs good, 2 legs better”.

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  101. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    You mean those people that provide some 85% of the income tax in this country Viper? They would be the ones that are funding the welfare benefits and social programmes of all NZ govts.

    They used to pay much more of their income proportionately you know? So we could afford to pay for home help for the frail and elderly, set up rail networks etc.

    Apparently, you’re choosing to ignore people and/or resort to the dark path of trite aphorisms in the face of arguments and factual inaccuracies

    Sorry, not ignoring you, merely unable to keep up and respond to every comment being directed my way on the blog.

    Vis a vis my comment “unions have been relegated to…” I was really only referencing Equity who said that breaks, overtime, transport arrangements and similar minimum terms and conditions were what they were concerned about. Sorry for being unclear.

    I am just now realising that we’ll have to agree to disagree since I don’t think either of us can help the other tho see their side of the argument, no matter how reasoned our own.

    At the end of the day my position is fairly simple, and that is a fair days pay for a fair days work, within an economic structure which rewards innovation and productivity in many different ways but without the moral acceptance, generation and sustaining of a massive wealth and income inequality throughout society.

    I have no issues with your earlier explanation of biotech startup phases and remuneration, although not exactly the same its very similar to what I have seen in other high tech industries here in NZ, Australia, Asia and the US.

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  102. jackp (668 comments) says:

    I think I realized Helen Kelly, Robyn Malcom, and Simon WHipps’, greens, and labour mantras: If it works… BREAK IT!

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  103. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    Please do not merge responses to different people into one comment. It is poor form. I did not say most of what you responded to above.

    “They used to pay much more of their income proportionately you know?”

    No Viper. Actually, they used to pay more of their income disproportionately you know. (Its the way a ‘progressive’ taxation system works Viper.)

    Those that do not save still do. Its a result of the recent rebalancing of the tax system – they more they spend of the tax cut they receive, the more they will pay in GST. Of course they will also help to stimulate the domestic economy at the same time – you know Viper, buying stuff – that equals more people employed.

    If they save, it helps to redress our Balance of Payments deficit. A good result either way.

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  104. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    jackp,

    “If it works… BREAK IT!”

    I think their idea is “if it works, break it before people realise that there is an alternative to OUR WAY”

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  105. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Hey Viper,

    I’ve got a ladder that extends all the way up to the corner of the 40th floor … here ya go:

    I THOROUGHLY appreciate your reasoned and thoughtful comments, although I disagree with some of the ways you choose to express them. I think we are always going to disagree about this current Hobbit/Malcolm-Kelley-Whip/Economics “case study” but I [generally] agree with your sentiments and applaud the way you go about arguing them. Also, since we’re both essentially anonymous posters on DPF’s blog I applaud your integrity in *not* entering into a flamewar or making crazy/outrageous comments just because you could!

    Cheers

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  106. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    No Viper. Actually, they used to pay more of their income disproportionately you know. (Its the way a ‘progressive’ taxation system works Viper.)

    Thanks for picking that up, that is what I meant. More in terms of proportion = disproportionate increase as incomes go up.

    By the way The VUW tax working group stated jan 2010 that the top 10% of income earners pay 76% of net taxes in this country, not 85%.

    Its a result of the recent rebalancing of the tax system – they more they spend of the tax cut they receive, the more they will pay in GST. Of course they will also help to stimulate the domestic economy at the same time – you know Viper, buying stuff – that equals more people employed.

    Ah yes, neo-con trickle down theory from the 1980s used to justify how 42% of the tax cuts went to the wealthy while 22% of income earners had to share just 2% of Bill and John’s largesse between themselves. The warm pitter-patter the working class feel on their heads is hardly money, is it?

    Giving more of the tax cuts to low and medium income earners would have done a better job of stimulating aggregate demand since they are the classes in society more likely to spend it in basic consumption of staples. Beyond that it would have eased a lot of their daily hardships and reduced socioeconomic inequality amongst those working, instead of increasing the gaps further.

    Pharma: chur for that.

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  107. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Sorry bhudson,
    Viper’s error was mostly my fault since I was talking directly about your posts and referenced both (not linked).
    So it started out from my bad form.
    Cheers

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  108. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    “Vis a vis my comment “unions have been relegated to…” I was really only referencing Equity who said that breaks, overtime, transport arrangements and similar minimum terms and conditions were what they were concerned about. Sorry for being unclear.”

    And how well do these benefits reconcile against the $5k per week, Viper?

    Was the union asking for $5k + those, or less than $5k but with those benefits?

    Which one of those options were the workers asking for, Viper?

    Did the union discuss with its members the risks they were undertaking before they voted on this action? If not, why not?

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  109. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    bh said:

    Please do not merge responses to different people into one comment. It is poor form. I did not say most of what you responded to above.

    Sorry will try and make it clearer from now on.

    Thanks again Pharma.

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  110. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    reid:

    Did the union discuss with its members the risks they were undertaking before they voted on this action? If not, why not?

    You won’t get any argument from me reid that Equity’s comms strategy internally and externally wasn’t rubbish; it was. They will have learnt some rather sharp lessons.

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  111. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    The note above about disproportionate = unfair. The higher earners are over taxed.

    “By the way The VUW tax working group stated jan 2010 that the top 10% of income earners pay 76% of net taxes in this country, not 85%.”

    My estimated numbers were specific to income tax, not all taxes. Which might be where the “net taxes” comes in – as you do point out further in your comment, lower & middle income earners spend more (percentage terms) of their net income, hence a great deal of the expenditure attracts GST. That might be where the disparity arises.

    “Ah yes, neo-con trickle down theory from the 1980s used to justify how 42% of the tax cuts went to the wealthy…”

    Viper, that is misrepresentaiton that boarders on disingenuity (not your fault – they are the distorted number the left like to throw out in their press releases.)

    As you might recall, beneficiaries, low income earners and sperannuitants had additional adjustments to off set the problem you raise about the greater porportion of net income spent on staples.

    Further to this, the tax cuts were not govt disbursements or spending. They were agreeing to take less at source. That is a fairer way to address such cuts and the fact the higher income earners get to retain more of their own money is because they pay more in the first place.

    The tax shifts were a rebalancing exercise and designed to be revenue nuetral for the govt. Don’t depsair, the investment property owners (more likely To be higher income earners) are paying out through changes to depreciation claims

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  112. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    bhudson,
    appreciate your points about the levels of taxation vs. earnings (income tax) and disproportionality and have some inetresting points about this from U.S. Federal tax law, but this particular thread is not the place to post it (since its supposed to be a Hobbit etc thread).

    By the way, was drinking a cup of tea at 9:06 pm when I read your “Ah Mickey, you so fine” opening line – tea sprayed out nose for the first time since … well, I don’t know when. Awesome! Thanks for the laugh.

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  113. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    To be clearer, 42% of tax cut monies were directed to the top 10% of income earners, the bottom 22% of income earners had to divvy up 2% of the tax cut monies between them.

    The note above about disproportionate = unfair. The higher earners are over taxed.

    I suggest that they actually need to pay more tax as they can afford to and still afford all the luxuries of life, but only at much higher thresholds.

    Cullen should never have allowed the situation where more and more middle class NZ’ers were slipping into the top tax bracket.

    But yes, this is OT and not about The Hobbit.

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  114. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Pharmachick,

    Thank you for spotting it. I’m glad it raised a lugh wiht someone. I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

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  115. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    Taxation is something the left and right (including centre-L and centre-R) are always going to disagree on and no amount of debating the arguments will change either position.

    “I suggest that they actually need to pay more tax as they can afford to and still afford all the luxuries of life, but only at much higher thresholds.”

    While I do not decry the benefits of ‘accident of birth’, I would point out that those who have worked hard to achieve the higher income deserve to be able to enjoy those luxuries. They pay more than their fair share of taxes already.

    Your current leader himself promoted the reduction of the top tax rate down to 33% in the late 80′s. In fact I believe he stated that it would be a stimulus for economic growth…

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  116. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    Actually no, its the top 5-10% of wealth holders in this country who decide who should make the most, and the people whom they decide on usually get 6 or 7 figure salaries.

    In a politically controlled economy that may be the case, but not in a free market where profits are competed down to near the cost of production (to the benefit of consumers) and wages, like the cost of all inputs, are competed upwards (or do you think that the vast majority of workers, who earn considerably more than the minimum wage, do so because of charity from their employers?)

    That’s why you want less political influence over the economy, not more.

    In contrast, unions have been relegated to trying to negotiate rest breaks, transport arrangements and other minimum terms and conditions.

    Rather than the glory days when they recklessly trashed entire industries and implemented widescale violence and intimidation against those who wanted to work, eh? Oh, and unions also have a history of racism. Glad to read that Mrs Thatcher is better following a recent bout of flu…

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  117. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Sure bhudson,
    I’ll send you the cleaning bill for my screen (just kidding!) ;-)

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  118. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I guess this is what they call topic drift.

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  119. Pharmachick (228 comments) says:

    Yes Luc it is …

    I tried @ 10:40 pm to keep it to Hobbit, but perhaps in this instance we are all played out.

    Here on Kiwiblog based on this issue, we have the angry posters, the “used to be angry just now sad” posters, the conspiracy posters, the tax posters etc, the unionist posters and even one or two “I could care less” posters … IMHO this entire thing has turned into a giant clusterf**k that no amount of blogosphere will solve.

    Hope that “Hobbit” stays in NZ!

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  120. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    … IMHO this entire thing has turned into a giant clusterf**k that no amount of blogosphere will solve.

    Amen to that.

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  121. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It’s OK, Pharma, it will.

    It’s only a matter of how far the government will bend (backwards) to satisfy the Yanks.

    Key needs to get his KY at the ready and Gerry will crack the whip!

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  122. Roflcopter (422 comments) says:

    Still waiting for an explanation as to why Jennifer Ward-Leyland is missing in action… oh wait that’s right, out of 5 or 6 recent productions that have been targetted by the MEAA/AE, both Jennifer & Robyn’s husbands’ productions were conveniently left alone.

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  123. William2 (30 comments) says:

    Nick Kearney said at 11:23 am

    “WETA is not Peter Jackson.

    So WETA cannot arrange a meeting and protest, and shouldn’t do so to protect jobs, but wealth-destroying, unions can, should and must?”

    Weta Ltd, the company usually associated with Richard Taylor, is 100% owned by PJR Holdings Ltd. That’s PJR as in P(eter Jackson)J(amie Selkirk)R(ichard Taylor). They each hold very close to a third of the shares in PJR Holdings and all three are the only directors of Weta Ltd.
    Weta is entitled to arrange a meeting, but it’s a nonsense to suggest that its doing so is somehow nothing to do with Peter Jackson.

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  124. William2 (30 comments) says:

    Gavfaemonty said at 6:27 pm

    “Should a boycott be organised of the advertisers of Outrageous Fortune until Malcolm gets the boot?”

    You really are ignorant. The current series of Outrageous Fortune is apparently the last and production finished months ago. Robyn Malcolm will have had her final pay cheque. How would she “get the boot” at this stage? Perhaps you think OF is some sort of Big Brother reality show!

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  125. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    The Hobbitt has become NZ’s very own cargo cult. The Hobbitt, it seems, is the answer to all of our woes. That begs the question: what happens after the film is made? I’d love to think our economic future and social vision extends beyond making one movie but the angst and breast-beating over this issue makes me wonder.

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  126. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    ross,

    Nice try, but no dice. If the govt was to announce a deliberate withdrawal of a one-off $600m from GDP (say a gifted return to our trading partners) you would be outraged. That is what this Hobbit debacle amounts to.

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  127. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Perhaps you think OF is some sort of Big Brother reality show!

    Ah, William2, haven’t you noticed that many here actually inhabit some sort of alternate universe?

    Rather than blur the lines between reality and fantasy, they rub the line out altogether!

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  128. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    “I’d love to think our economic future and social vision extends beyond making one movie”
    And it does, but that doesn’t mean The Hobbit is small change. We all want to have more pie to share around, and this pie is big and juicy – it provides immediate jobs even if not forever, it embellishes our image so we get more tourism, it provides valuable experience for many people (some go on to make their own movies), it bolsters spending in the region giving income boosts to supporting businesses, and it sets us in good stead for more productions to be made in NZ.
    There is nothing wrong with having industry standard conditions for employees. However it is not right for a small group like NZAE to have the ability to threaten the industry so easily. The crux of the issue is the advisory to affiliated unions to not sign contracts to work on The Hobbit until further notice. In the eyes of NZAE they seem to have thought that this was no big deal – it was just saying ‘hold on we want to talk about this first’. Which is basically true, but saying ‘Hold on’ to The Hobbit was a global event, and not foreseeing the downstream effects was outright naivety (I’ll charitably believe they didn’t foresee them).
    That is where this fiasco blew up, and through affiliations with other unions the NZAE representing less than 100 NZ actors, some of whom wouldn’t even be working on The Hobbit, has jeopardised the jobs of over 2,000 other people, and various other benefits.
    And in other news, it is likely that a new version of the pink book will be agreed on some time next year, which serves as the industry standard conditions for actors. So it seems NZAE really threw their toys out the cot to get some attention (or more cynically – power and money).

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  129. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    “many here actually inhabit some sort of alternate universe” – get out of my universe!

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  130. Nick Kearney (1,066 comments) says:

    @William2, okay, didn’t know that.

    Regardless, Jackson is outvoted in PJR Holdings Limited – the controlling entity.

    My comment on the meeting and protest stand though.

    Without Jackson, PJR and Warner, Actors Equity wouldn’t exist. Perhaps they should learn not to bite the hand that feeds them.

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  131. Roflcopter (422 comments) says:

    @RightNow

    The Pink Book negotiation has been on the table for years. SPADA have repeatedly asked AE/MEAA to come to the table over the years, and they have refused. The last ratified version of the Pink Book was in 2005.

    Until AE/MEAA agree to meet with SPADA on this, then it probably won’t go anywhere.

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  132. RightNow (6,646 comments) says:

    Exactly Roflcopter, the rest of the industry seemed to taking a reasonable approach, and still are.

    I think this incident highlights the need for more checks and balances on the powers of unions. Nothing unreasonable should be allowed, just as nothing unreasonable should be allowed for employers.

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