The Hobbit Rallies

October 25th, 2010 at 3:15 pm by David Farrar


Well this was the best Labour Day rally I have been to. No angry people with angry placards. No scores of paid organisers busing in thousands of people during a paid. Just thousands of Kiwis coming into town and giving up a couple of hours on a public holiday to celebrate the NZ film industry and send a clear message that regardless of what has happened, Kiwis wants filmed in NZ.

This was my favourite placard – Gollum wanting his precious home saved.

I’m sure I should know this person is. She didn’t speak, but she sung beautifully.

First speaker up was Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown. Celia got a good reception and applause, but the cheers for the next speaker were almost deafening.

Sir Richard Taylor was as modest as usual, but the star of the show. He spoke with passion about what they do, and why they want The Hobbit to stay here. He also read out a letter from Peter Jackson who expressed similar sentiments. Jackson also, in his letter, warned that we do not want to become a state of Australia, and that the NZ film industry should work together with its own guilds, rather than bring in outsiders who care nothing for the NZ film industry. This got loud cheers.

This young lady was one of the highlights. She is a young film-maker who came here from the US, and just raved about how wonderful it is here, and that she owes so much to NZ.

The casting director for The Hobbit also spoke and told some lovely stories of how they had to delay filming one scene for a week because all the Elves in Otago had exams, and another delay was when the warriors could not make any battles as it was muster week. She said in the US she’s get screamed at by the producer but here Jackson just smiled and said he was glad the elves would be less stressed etc.

There were heaps of kids there, and you could see them engrossed as one guy from Weta spoke about how at the age of three he wanted to be involved in movies and especially a Spielberg. He talked about how Richard Taylor hired him and kept trusting him and giving him more and more jobs and how his last job was as head of design for the Tintin movie, produced by Spielberg – his message was in NZ, your dreams can come true.

All the speakers got across that the NZ style of is quite critical to the sucess of our industry – the relaxed style, the willing to work to get the job done, the team-work, the passion, and the flexibility. I reflected how different this approach was to the inflexibility that MEAA seem to want. Note this was just my interpretation – no one actually mentioned MEAA.

The kids let go of their balloons at the end after Richard Taylor spoke again. He told a wonderful story of how he was helping fit armour to a rider of Rohan, and he looked up to notice she was a fairly elderly lady. They were filming in Twizel. They got talking and she mentioned how sadly her horse yesterday had twisted a leg. Taylor asked her if she was going to be a foot solider then, and she replied that no – she went up the high country yesterday, roped herself a new horse, broke it in overnight – so she could stay play her part as an extra. He says that is his favourite memory of the filming.

As I said it was a lovely occasion, and hopefully Warners will see the coverage on the news tonight, and it may help just a little bit with their decision.

I’ve reflected before on the economic damage that would occur, if NZ lost The Hobbit. But after that rally, I’ve actually decided the job losses and economic losses would not be the biggest price we pay. I think we would lose a certain amount of our collective self-esteem or soul as a nation. All those stories about how much better the Kiwi film-making industry is that in Hollywood etc would become just legends from the past, rather than tales of our future.

Hopefully the back-down from the MEAA did not occur too late, for the film to remain here. And even more importantly, perhaps some lessons will be learnt about not resorting to global boycotts unless you can justify it.

Congratulations to the organisers of the rally.

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139 Responses to “The Hobbit Rallies”

  1. Mighty Moose (6 comments) says:

    That’s a notable Weta staffer holding the Gollum placard.

    [DPF: Yes he spoke also. Lovely guy]

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  2. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    I hope you all realise that according to Micky Savage and the rest of the moon bats over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard these protests are all part of the VRWC to destroy the union movement.

    Apparently DPF is at the very heart of this cunning plan, it has even been suggested that some of the people attending had been forced to go along.

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  3. m@tt (588 comments) says:

    What plan? There is no plan here, just opportunism.
    The union simply presented a brilliant opportunity for the producers to scream the sky is falling and extort a few tens of millions more from us tax payers, and these rally goers today are unwillingly complicit.
    The movie will be made here, no questions about that, and it has nothing to do with rallies.
    Dumb union, deceitful producers, extorted taxpayers.
    Nothing more to see here.

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  4. poneke (280 comments) says:

    Taylor asked her if she was going to be a foot solider then, and she replied that no – she went up the high country yesterday, roped herself a new horse, broke it in overnight – so she could stay play her part as an extra.

    Pull the other one, it plays “I’m a believer.”

    It takes from one to two months to break in a wild horse.

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  5. francis (712 comments) says:

    How could I have missed you! If I’d seen you I’d have interviewed you for my little Flip video (just processing now, up soon). I did get the full second speech from Sir Richard, but no DPF commentary :(

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  6. Bruce Hamilton (60 comments) says:

    From memory, he said a horse, not a “wild” horse, and such a story is bound to be “enhanced” over time. I suspect, as a musterer, she had several station horses to choose, perhaps from musterers who weren’t attending.

    Anyway, I agree about the singer – what a great feel-good start.

    Also, concerning “extort a few tens of millions more from us tax payers”. My understanding is that NZ ( and competitors ) are offering tax breaks, they require prior or concomitant investment that is greater than the tax exemption before they will apply. Sure, WB don’t pay as much tax as they might have, but then they still have to spend serious money in NZ first.

    I attended because I want NZ to have a vibrant film industry so some future school leavers will have the option of choosing a career in making major films, regardless of their choice of artistic trade or profession. My understanding is that most of the speakers, and PJ, want the same.

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  7. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    All the speakers got across that the NZ style of is quite critical to the sucess of our industry – the relaxed style, the willing to work to get the job done, the team-work, the passion, and the flexibility. I reflected how different this approach was to the inflexibility that MEAA seem to want. Note this was just my interpretation – no one actually mentioned MEAA.

    This is something Kelly on Q&A did not answer and unfortunately wasn’t pressed on. She was accused of having no understanding of the industry and she couldn’t and didn’t answer. It’s like no-one at Union HQ has ever asked the basic question: is a collective appropriate in this case?

    The good thing is, they’re not going to address this problem which would be the best way forward for them, they’re going to continue accusing Jackson and Warners of engineering this in order to get a cool $65m. Mental isn’t it but that’s their strategy.

    Meanwhile poor Phil – he was riding so high last week, wasn’t he. And now he can’t say anything. Awwwwwwwwwww. All that momentum lost. What a shame.

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  8. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    m@tt:
    The union simply presented a brilliant opportunity for the producers to scream the sky is falling
    The union (NZAE/MEAA), who don’t represent 10% of performers in this country, initiated a boycott that stopped performers globally from agreeing to work on the production. The producers sought to mitigate their risk. It’s a big investment, and they’d be negligent if they didn’t seek to protect it.

    and extort a few tens of millions more from us tax payers,
    that is your projection (i.e. you’re assigning your morals to others with no factual basis) but the fact is the single action responsible for that possibility is the initiation of a global performer boycott of The Hobbit. The producers were ok with NZ’s incentives and conditions before that.

    and these rally goers today are unwillingly complicit.
    Again projecting your own morals to others. These people are genuinely showing their support for NZ film making. Having a union hold this industry hostage is repugnant, real people want to be like Sir Peter Jackson, not call him a spoiled brat and drive his productions out of the country.

    The movie will be made here, no questions about that, and it has nothing to do with rallies.
    I damn well hope so, and I hope it doesn’t cost us extra tens of millions of dollars. That would make it one expensive mistake that was made by NZAE, which the taxpayer will have to pick up.

    Dumb union, agreed, incontrovertibly
    deceitful producers, yet to be seen
    extorted taxpayers. every damn day

    Nothing more to see here. rofl. It’s only just begun.

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  9. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    “I hope you all realise that according to Micky Savage and the rest of the moon bats over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard these protests are all part of the VRWC to destroy the union movement.”

    Have they said anything about the planned law change to sentence all union officials to twenty years in the coal mines, BB? That’s the bit I really don’t want them to find out about till it’s all too late to do anything to stop us me.

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  10. Jimbob (640 comments) says:

    When the pressure really goes on, peoples real character shows out. Enough said.

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  11. oob (194 comments) says:

    I’m sure that a lot of Kiwis have reached the conclusion that there needs to be some personal consequences here.

    Helen Kelly and the CTU have conspired with a foreign organisation to destroy a multi-billion dollar Kiwi industry. Helen Kelly has been exposed again and again as a liar.

    Surely, there must be some charges that can be brought against Helen Kelly personally and against the CTU collectively. Justice demands a consequence and decent New Zealand needs to show the communists that we won’t allow them to damage our society.

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  12. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    reid

    The twenty year thing is only a smoke screen (but please don’t tell them)

    The real plan is to have the bastards lined up against a wall and shot.

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  13. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The real plan is to have the bastards lined up against a wall and shot.”

    What really is the point in posting rubbish like that?

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  14. oob (194 comments) says:

    Membership lists for the Labour Party, the Green Party and the Trades Union should be published.

    Decent Kiwis have a right to know if their neighbours, their colleagues, their children’s teachers are members of subversive organisations.

    @bb: The real plan is to have the bastards lined up against a wall and shot.

    That may be taking things a little too far but imagine for a moment, a New Zealand without Labour Party voters. New Zealand would have the lowest taxation in the world combined with the best social services in the world and Crime would be almost unheard of.

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  15. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    “Surely, there must be some charges that can be brought against Helen Kelly personally and against the CTU collectively.”

    There will be soon, oob.

    Seriously, does anyone here think Kelly has any future in NZ? I can’t see her recovering – does anyone?

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  16. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    oob

    What you advocate is a one party state, there is another word for a system like that.

    What about membership lists for ACT and National party members?, remember there will come a time when those bastards are back in power, do you really want the left knowing what party you are member of?

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  17. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    What a lovely positive piece of writing DPF… Really well said!

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  18. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What you advocate is a one party state, there is another word for a system like that.”

    This from someone who was just advocating that unionists be put up against the wall and shot?? Why don’t you stop posting such infantile inconsistent drivel. Who do you think such nonsense is helping? Idiot.

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  19. oob (194 comments) says:

    @bb – remember there will come a time when those bastards are back in power, do you really want the left knowing what party you are member of?

    I don’t want to live in the totalitarian police state that the CTU, Labour and the Greens want to create. A society in which the likes of Sue Bradford, Helen Clark, Helen Kelly, Andrew Little and Keith Locke decide and enforce what is correct and what is not. They must be stopped.

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  20. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What a lovely positive piece of writing DPF… Really well said!”

    May disagree with some of the politics, but agree with the sentiment. Great photos too.

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  21. noskire (832 comments) says:

    Wow, who’s the stunning blonde in the first pic?

    [DPF: Not sure. She looks a bit like that actor who plays Libby Jefferies on Shortland Street]]

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  22. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    “This from someone who was just advocating that unionists be put up against the wall and shot?? ”

    I guess it was a bit over your head Russell.

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  23. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @noskire: I’m guessing DPF carefully selected that photo.

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  24. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    It was nice to see Wade-Brown applauding along with the crowd while Taylor was reading Jackson’s blunt comments about the Aussie union that represents NZ actors. The Greens have sided with the unions over the workers so that suggests that Brown at least is happy to put the interests of Wellington ahead of the Greens and the CTU.

    But it isn’t hard to see the significance of it being Labour Day with thousands of ordinary workers turning out to save their jobs from Big Labour.

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  25. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    No Maoris

    Exactly why they get a bad name. They won’t support the community.

    But they’ll take benefits of a reinvigorated treasury.

    They didn’t even support Maori candidates in the Hamilton elections.

    But they want Maori in positions to stick up for them

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  26. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (555 comments) says:

    Nice summary DPF, cheers. :-)

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  27. shady (251 comments) says:

    Given Robyn Malcolms insistance that she has done no wrong in speaking up for the workers rights and would do it again – no regrets, and that Outrageous Fortune has finished its run – I am now pretty certain she is tilting her cap at a higher profile in politics. Given her outspokeness on Green Party issues and support, I am fully expecting her name to be high on the Green Party list come next elections.

    Thank you to the work put in to the organisers of the rallies. I was at the Auckland one, which whilst not huge in numbers, was very warm and supportive. Note – we got there under our own steam – no unions to book buses for us, what’s more we dedicated our own time, not some one elses. Well done Mark Harrison – he spoke really well – with lots of commitment and emotion. I hope Peter Jackson finds a role for him in The Hobbit.

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  28. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    shady>Given her outspokeness on Green Party issues and support, I am fully expecting her name to be high on the Green Party list come next elections.

    I’m thinking the same thing. She has qualities that would be invaluable in the Greens…

    Honesty: “There was never EVER any boycott… and the boycott was called off on Sunday.”

    Competence: “Oh my god, we never thought everything would turn out as badly as this.”

    Humility: “How dare you feeble plebians dare to ask your mighty Australian leader why he is trying to destroy your jobs. Can’t you see we’ve been eating?”

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  29. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Once the hobbit is over, it would be nice to see Peter taking the NZ industry to the next level – making them without needed the green light of an American studio.

    It does seem like we have more than enough talent for it.

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  30. Steve (4,499 comments) says:

    Robbing Malcolm being on the list for the Greens? Liarbour is more like it.
    Liarbour like those who are economic with the truth. What boycott?

    You made your bed Robyn, now sleep in it even if it stinks to high heaven

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  31. shady (251 comments) says:

    “Malcolm voiced Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand advertisements for the New Zealand general election, 2008.” Wikipedia. Don’t worry Steve – the Greens are just as adept at being economical with the truth as Liabour, and as inept at understanding economics.

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  32. stuarts-burgers (100 comments) says:

    Scrubone It would be nice idea but for the one small problem of the Big Studios owning the rights to most important works. Brain Dead, Meet the Feebles etc were possible due to the fact they all came out of the mind of one P Jackson but if you want to work with major works of fiction etc you need the tie into the Big studios as they own the rights

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

    DPF:

    I’ve reflected before on the economic damage that would occur, if NZ lost The Hobbit. But after that rally, I’ve actually decided the job losses and economic losses would not be the biggest price we pay. I think we would lose a certain amount of our collective self-esteem or soul as a nation.

    This is truly pathetic. If the Yanks decided to pull just because our Kiwi workers stood up for a fairer deal, I would wish them well and godspeed. The eastern European countries mentioned all need the money more than us anyway.

    And I think the opposite to DPF: the sycophantic grovelling shown today does not do NZ proud and diminishes us all as the citizens of a supposedly proud, independent nation.

    I’m as enthusiastic as anyone about Jackson’s superb talents, but we really don’t need to be prodded into a race to the bottom by the now super-rich maestro, and the suggestion from our supposedly democratic government to remove yet more rights (as if Labour wasn’t bad enough in their nine years!) is not far removed form fascism.

    I entirely accept all the tributes I have read that Jackson treats workers well, but that only makes it all the more weird that he refused to enter into talks about standardised contracts. Talks are just talks.

    Turning to the worst aspect of this dispute, ably aided and abetted by DPF through his blog, the personal demonisation of many of those involved: it certainly shows up the strong contingent of Paul Henry characters in our society. By all accounts, the CTU, through Helen Kelly, actually played a positive role in ending the dispute, and although she did fall victim to the no-no of personal attack by referring to Jackson as a “spoilt brat” (perhaps accurate but irrelevant).

    A final comment to the poster above who referred to John Barnett’s accusation of not having an intimate knowledge of the film industry – again, totally irrelevant. And I was disappointed Kelly was not permitted to reply to that statement as I’m sure she would have made the case better than I that the CTU specialises in industrial law, which applies to all industries.

    I applaud Robyn Malcolm and Helen Kelly as the true heroes in this issue. They put themselves in the frontline and duly got run over, but still emerged, as I understand it, with what was originally asked for, talks. Good on them.

    That said, I do not understand why these people, and the teachers unions and Principals Federation don’t at least consult prominent public relations experts like Brian Edwards or Mathew Hooten et al (guns for hire) and run their game plan past them for comment.

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  34. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,795 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen, if only Hitler has employed a better PR firm he might have conquered the world.

    Your truly epitomize everything that is wrong with New Zealand.

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  35. francis (712 comments) says:

    Here’s video of the rally in Wellington this afternoon, heavily attended by WORKERS, as were all the rallies around New Zealand.

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  36. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    “A final comment to the poster above who referred to John Barnett’s accusation of not having an intimate knowledge of the film industry – again, totally irrelevant.”

    No it’s not irrelevant Luc. Quite the contrary: it’s absolutely critical. For how else do you understand whether or not the employment law changes wrought by introducing a collective contract is going to work with respect to the way the industry works? That’s a basic question to ask right at the beginning.

    It appears in this case, never to have been asked.

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  37. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    And that post Luc Hansen, just shows that the welfare of the country you live in, and the financial viability of its citizens are a far lower priority to you than furthering the far Left/Union cause/”class war”. You would rather good work and good pay for actors and workers be forgone if it means some profits may flow through to those higher up the ladder in the filming – all to further your so called cause.

    What ever happened to a FAIR days work, for a FAIR days pay? Is $5k/week plus residuals somehow not fair anymore?

    Your yearning for authoritarian socialism is pathetic and disgusting.

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  38. shady (251 comments) says:

    Luc – how pathetic! Your use of the term “Yanks” shows your own racist moment.

    So those eastern European countries deserve the films to be made there more than here? Do they have collective contracts? Do they have unions threatening boycotts and trying to derail an industry for their own ends. Do you think their workers give a stuff whether they get $2 an hour or residuals. They would be happy to have a job.

    In the meantime, you would rather our own people lose their livelihoods, and our country the economic benefit of $600,000,000 plus. Where the hell do you come from?!!! Perhaps you should go back there.

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  39. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Luc,

    You really are a poor loser. Face it – you are in a very small minority. Enjoy the company.

    Save your pathetic whining for your friends. If you do wish to join the discussion here, at least try to inject some facts – there are none in your comments above.

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  40. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (555 comments) says:

    You’re a deluded wee soul aren’t you Luc. Do you dream of big bad Americans will bags of cash, do you?

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  41. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    DPF>She looks a bit like that actor who plays Libby Jefferies on Shortland Street

    There were a few people in the crowd identifying themselves as actors. Which is brave of them, since Whipp and Malcolm could easily have them blacklisted or worse.

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  42. francis (712 comments) says:

    I think all that little group around the balloon stand might have been actors. There actually were a pretty fair number of actors at the rally, which was encouraging.

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

    Bloody hell Luc you could bullshit a leg off an iron kettle.

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  44. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    “Talks are just talks”
    No Luc what Jackson faced was an Aussie organized global boycott – the neutron bomb of negotiating tactics. All good faith bargaining goes out the window when the unions deployed this nuclear weapon. Now the CTU are trying to pretend like the boycott threat was a “my bad – slip of the tongue” once they were staring down the barrel of a nationwide backlash. NZers know bullies when they see it and your union mates were doing nothing more than trans Tasman standover tactics. Capital is global – you lefties just don’t get it do you. You’d destroy an industry and throw thousands of actors in NZ out of work all for the sake of ideological purity. Thankfully the vast majority of NZers don’t support this crap. How you see Helen Kelly as the hero in this is beyond me..oh hang on she’s a martyr standing up to the vast right wing conspiracy that whipped all this ‘feaux’ outrage. You sound like Obama rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic that is the Democrat party as they face a wipe out of epic proportions because of his agenda and all he can say is that the messaging wasn’t quite right. No – America finally got to see what the country looks like when the left starts to impliment its real agenda and they dont like it. Ditto NZers when they saw the real face of union thuggery.

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  45. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    Talks are just talks

    And when the mafia makes you an offer you can’t refuse, hey, it’s just an offer right?

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  46. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Luc.

    When The Return of the King was sweeping all the oscars, our store, which is full of TV’s, was full of people watching it happen with pride in the fact that a small country, at the bottom of the world, was being recognised as building an industry that was the best in the world. Many people took pride in that.

    Jackson is super rich, no doubt. But what has he done with that money? How much has been re-invested in the industry he helped build? When the Stella Maris Covent and Chapel was to be demolished for developers, who stepped in and personally saved this significant building?

    http://www.wellington.govt.nz/news/display-item.php?id=3009

    Jackson has battled against the odds. Where other Kiwi’s have gone overseas to further their film-making careers, such as Andrew Adamson, Martin Campbell, Roger Donaldson and Vincent Ward. Jackson has elected to stay and make films in NZ, and by the sheer force of his talent, has the world coming to NZ, and bringing cash to help him do it. At the same time, he has taken a second rate film industry and, with Richard Taylor helped develop an industry which sets the standard.

    NZ has now had a big hand in 4 of the top 21 box office smashes of all time, including the #1 spot, and none of this was due to the actions of any union, but because visionaries came to the table with a can-do attitude, and built a team of people who are happy to do the same.

    It was the greed driven actions of a union who had nothing to do with the creation of the wealth, whose only interest was the control of residual payments for a 15% commission (which is how SAG operate) that has initiated this brinkmanship.

    By the way, for those who believe Robyn Malcolm when she says there was no boycott….

    http://www.sag.org/files/sag/documents/Member_Alert_Non-Union_Production_TheHobbit.pdf

    Don’t you just love the way the MEAA seems to have 2 logos, one where the map of NZ is clear and one where you can only just see it beacuse Australia is centered?

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  47. francis (712 comments) says:

    well done, slightlyrighty!

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

    KIA, old friend, have you been in the US for so long that you don’t understand that Obama is to the right of ACT?

    The only comment I would make to your post is that you demonstrate how easy it is to make the powerful seem like victims at the hands of the serfs. Clever stuff for those untrained in critical thinking.

    Other than that, most of the replies to my post fulfill the compulsory requirement of attacking the person in preference to addressing the issues. Business as usual in Kiwblogosphere!

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  49. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Ironic that many of the union haters at the demo were enjoying their right of free speech on Labour Day. Without the role of unions all of them would have been working!

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  50. jackp (668 comments) says:

    “’m as enthusiastic as anyone about Jackson’s superb talents, but we really don’t need to be prodded into a race to the bottom by the now super-rich maestro,”

    Luc, obviously you never worked at anything. You seem pretty jealous for his success. Guess that is the way with you commies. This isn’t Russia in 1915… and Peter Jackson isn’t the Czar. He worked very hard and EARNED, let me repeat that, EARNED his reputation. Helen Kelly was BORN, let me repeat that, BORN into her position… I think your pretty mixed up.

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  51. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    Luc
    What matters in America is where the political centre of AMERICA is not NZ. Obama’s Dems will lose big because they are too far to the left of where a majority of Americans are and guess who gets to vote in American elections. I know that political truth is just another reason for you to hate America but it is a fact.

    Give your powerful pretending to be meek speech to all the actors who’ll be thrown out of work if the MEAA carried out the boycott threat and Warners buggered off and see how it goes down.

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  52. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    I hear Robyn Malcolm’s been auditioning for the lead in a new series of Dr Quinn, Meddling Woman.

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  53. reid (15,947 comments) says:

    “Ironic that many of the union haters at the demo were enjoying their right of free speech on Labour Day. Without the role of unions all of them would have been working!”

    I very much doubt they were union haters Maggie but if you want to believe that’s really how the world works, you go right ahead. How BTW did the unions manage to engineer free speech when it comes about from the Westminster system. Were they possibly people like the Scarlet Pimpernell but lefties so they were probably the cleaners at Westminster. So you’re saying that the cleaners at Westminster changed things like the Magna Carta, overnight when everyone had gone home, and so instead of saying there will no free speech you simply erased the “no?”

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  54. jackp (668 comments) says:

    RightNow, is that going to cost us another 48 million? . Sheesh …. talk about a waste of money! John Key said it will be a waste of 9 million for the anti-smacking referendum , democracy, and everyone was complaining about that… but to subsidize 48 million for a tv program of a dysfunctional familty with a cheap dialogue , every other word is “fuck” , really has to make you wonder.

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  55. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    I wonder if Maggie thought it ironic that people gave up their own time to attend a protest?

    We all know that the only time the left protest is during working hours.

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  56. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    …you don’t understand that Obama is to the right of ACT?

    Oh dear…

    Ironic that many of the union haters at the demo were enjoying their right of free speech on Labour Day. Without the role of unions all of them would have been working!

    Surely you’re being too modest here. It’s not just one day without work for these people that we’re talking about, thanks to the unions; it’s many weeks and months.

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  57. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “We all know”

    How about you learn some manners yourself and stop speaking for “all”. On here you speak for yourself. Its a leftist personality trait to assume the right to speak for everyone. Its also a leftist personality trait to make pointless and infantile contributions to discussion topics. You’re not funny. I suggest if you haven’t got a valid point to make on the issue you should shut the hell up.

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  58. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    Kiwi actors suck! Look at Shortie & Outrageous Fortune for wall to wall examples.

    By the way, I do support Jackson in this affair but there’s no way I’d spend my holiday at a rally for a movie. There must have been lots of food to attract so many.

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  59. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    Saw you there in the centre of the crowd, DPF. I would have come up and introduced myself but I didn’t want to lose my spot on the wall ;)

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  60. big bruv (13,292 comments) says:

    “I suggest if you haven’t got a valid point to make on the issue you should shut the hell up.”

    How I wish you would take your own advice, you silly old man.

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

    reid, sorry I forgot to reply to your earlier post questioning my comments on the irrelevance of industry knowledge. Of course it is relevant, but in this case that’s the job of Actor’s Equity to pass that knowledge on to Helen Kelly. I understand that the CTU only got involved after the “Do not sign” notices had been issued and was able to bring the confrontation to an end.

    But, if you like specialists, maybe this one will inform you on the relevant employment law: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10682888

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  62. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Luc,

    “Other than that, most of the replies to my post fulfill the compulsory requirement of attacking the person in preference to addressing the issues. Business as usual in Kiwblogosphere!”

    Nonsense Luc. You charged in attacking those that attended the rally and/or support PJ and/or support the survival of a film industry in NZ. You then cry foul when they respond to those attacks.

    For instance…

    [Luc Hansen] “the sycophantic grovelling shown today does not do NZ proud and diminishes us all as the citizens of a supposedly proud, independent nation.”

    So according to you Luc, those that show their support to the Hobbit in NZ are grovelling sycophants. That is a personal attack.

    Also, according to you those people diminish us all as citizens of a supposedly proud, independent nation. That, Luc, is another personal attack on those people.

    [Luc Hansen] “the personal demonisation of many of those involved: it certainly shows up the strong contingent of Paul Henry characters in our society.”

    Luc, you accuse those who feel passionately about the performance of the unions & activists threatening this industry as being of the same ilk as Paul Henry. Luc, that is yet another personal attack on those people.

    Luc, you levelled several personal attacks yourself in your comments. Any you received in kind were just that. What is more, you didn’t address any substantiated argument in your comment – you level some criticisms and showed some (contrary) support, but you didn’t substantiate any of those with facts.

    Luc, what you put out, you get back

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

    KIA:

    know that political truth is just another reason for you to hate America but it is a fact.

    Au contraire, I love the US. It’s an exciting nation that captured my imagination when I was young and one I still find fascinating. And I find your insistence on calling Obama “left” strange in the NZ context, where he would be right at home in our most right wing party. But never mind.

    The Democrats were always going to get stung in this election cycle, and it was an indicator of Obama’s conservatism that he didn’t follow the best advice and double the stimulus – but I suppose you think that the party that led the country into the abyss is also the one that can save it. Good for you.

    Anyway, this is all off topic…

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  64. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The eastern European countries mentioned all need the money more than us anyway.

    Luc

    All those eastern European countries mentioned have a thriving pornographic film industry, so they don’t need anymore work, but seriously even for you as a wind up the comment of yours at 7.05 was pathetic. And even more amazing you did not mention palistian once, well done.. …one day at time Luc one day at a time .

    Brian ( I don’t even know what a hagiography is ) Edwards ………… Even that Irish moron would know not to touch Helen kelly : not even with yours

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  65. James (1,338 comments) says:

    MMMMMmmmm….lefty unions as popular as pedophiles at a kindergarten open day…..there is a God! ;-)

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  66. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    SHG wrote this on The Standard:

    A big-production example:

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

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

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

    A little-production example:

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

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

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

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

    I think this is what Helen Clark refers to as “hating and wrecking”

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  67. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Union haters should not only be required to work public holidays at ordinary rates, they should also receive no holidays and no sick leave.

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  68. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    reid, if you want to see what union haters look like just read this blog and the postings. Conservatives hate unions, it is part of their mind set.

    I have many conservative friends, yet not one of them can provide a rational reason for their attitude.

    I have no doubt the same applies to every rightwinger here. They hate because they do, that’s all.

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  69. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The idea of Unions passes all the necessary tests in respect of liberty. In practice they are controlled by the extreme left, and used for political means. That is the start and end of the problem.

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  70. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Rebaiter as a rational thinker on industrial relations. Now that IS funny.

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  71. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    That’s a lot of spite you’re dishing about Maggie. You must have a bit bottled up there.

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  72. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    Union haters should not only be required to work public holidays at ordinary rates, they should also receive no holidays and no sick leave.

    You should understand that paid holidays and other benefits in kind are not in addition to a worker’s salary; they are part of the total package which represents the cost of employing someone.
    For example, when Labour increased the statutory number of paid holiday to four weeks, the cost of that extra week was factored in to future salary reviews. We ended up with more holiday but lower salaries. So paid holidays etc are not free goodies that the unions won for us: the cost comes out of our own pocket. This suits plenty of people now we are richer so it is not a big deal, but lets not delude ourselves that the unions have done anything except changed the mix within the total benefit package a worker receives.

    National’s proposal to allow workers to cash in that extra week is simple acknowledgment of this fact.

    Conservatives hate unions, it is part of their mind set.I have many conservative friends, yet not one of them can provide a rational reason for their attitude.I have no doubt the same applies to every rightwinger here.

    Well, here’s your answer. The right (rather than “Conservative”) doesn’t hate unions as such: it hates coercion. It’s that simple.

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  73. francis (712 comments) says:

    I doubt that what’s going on indicates a “hate union” movement has come to life. Hating THIS union and what IT has done, yes. But as long as this union and its spokespeople continue to describe the train wreck they caused in terms of general union principles instead of owning up to the facts of the situation, they COULD be setting up a “hate union” reaction in the general population. fingers crossed.

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  74. SHG (363 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount said…

    SHG wrote this on The Standard: (snip)

    And not a single reply. Not even an acknowledgement that “Hey, maybe this Simon Whipp guy wasn’t the best fellow to get into bed with..”

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  75. Roflcopter (424 comments) says:

    You won’t get one SHG… the AE is funded by the MEAA.

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  76. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    @Luc

    1) I need your money more than you do, can you please transfer it to my bank account in the morning?

    2) “…Obama is to the right of ACT…” Can you also send over some of what-ever it is you’re smoking?

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  77. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    wat dabney, if yiou ended up paying for your own holidays, more fool you. Maybe you need a good union?

    “Conservatives don’t hate unions….”pull the other one. They don’t hate them, they just use all means available (such as the ECA) to try to destroy them.

    Read some history. wat, not only about IR and the right in NZ but in other countries as well. Heard of Work Choices? Maggie Thatcher? Ronald Reagan?

    The answer IS simple. Unions threaten the way conservatives believe the world should be. They look to upset the balance. Rightwingers firmly believe the boss should be in charge and the workers know their place. Bill Birch summed it up very neatly when he once told me: “I believe that when workers and an employer disagree it is the view of the employer that should prevail.”

    The right hates coercion? So when is it going to campaign against Fed Farmers, The Law Society and the Society of Accountants?

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  78. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    Oh dear Maggie, year 1 spelling, year 4 grammar and year 8 view of the world. You typify the reason why we need national standards in schools.

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  79. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    they’re going to continue accusing Jackson and Warners of engineering this in order to get a cool $65m. Mental isn’t it but that’s their strategy.

    Oh a bit of patience, just wait for the PR releases from Key, English and Brownlee this week.

    It will be interesting to see whether or not this ‘mental strategy’ eventuates in cool hard taxpayers cash for Jackson and his US corporate backers, to the tune of several tens of millions of dollars.

    Oh dear Maggie, year 1 spelling, year 4 grammar and a year 8 view of the world. You typify the reason why we need National Standards in schools.

    Just fixed a few things up for you mate. Sorta being careless you know?

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  80. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    The beautiful irony of this is the Labour Party was denied an opportunity to have loud rallies protesting against the Government on this or that change to Labour Laws. Instead this was a rally brought on because of the stupid actions of Unions. I just loved it. I hope the Government brings in SOME legislation, like preventing that Aussie Union thug from having an influence on NZs film industry. We have to have something to force the Labour Party out of its shell.

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  81. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Actually, the beautiful irony is that so many NZ’ers around the country came out today, and stood tall to be counted, supporting fellow Kiwi workers on Labour Day. It was totally apt.

    As a Labour Party member I cheered on the crowds who turned up, and I know many others who did too. It really is great to see people shake off their normal apathy and support kiwi-made industry and ordinary kiwi workers. Awesome.

    The National Government better get used to more and more pro-worker marches as election year draws closer. People are really getting into the swing of turning up en mass to make their point of view known, its great :-)

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  82. pareto (23 comments) says:

    What the heck Vier MK II, it shows that the labour/union movement is losing it’s relevance, and people are standing up to prove just that, and yes how apt, Happy Labour Day hahahahaha! See everyone again in 2011!

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  83. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    Don’t think so Viper. Not much joy for the Labour Party who is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trade Union thugs. The NZ film industry is made up of independent contractors – not salaried workers arguing for trade union rights. That Aussie bully boy was brought over to try and change all that. That was the agenda. There was a delicious irony in all this on Labour day when rallies organised by the Labour Party for “workers” rights got well and truly trumped.

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  84. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Ordinary workers supporting other ordinary workers are the heart of the labour/union movement. And that is what happened today all around the country. It was inspiring to watch on Labour Day.

    As for unions losing their relevance, everything John Key does from the 90 day right to fire legislation to the AKL super city restructuring to ongoing pay conflicts in health and education is reminding ordinary workers why they need strong unions. Key should definitely keep doing what he is doing, demonstrating the importance of union membership and strong unions across multiple industries.

    tvb:

    The NZ film industry is made up of independent contractors

    Over time increasing use of employment contracts with associated employment law protections and contracts with collectively negotiated clauses will become the norm in the NZ industry. Just like it is in the successful and established UK, Canadian, Australian, US film industries. Only a matter of time, and the unions are patient.

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  85. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    In other words the Unions are going to try and muscle in. Peter Jackson has on his own built up a successful model and this has meant that people are well paid but the Union thugs are kept out. That makes NZ attractive and unique in the film industry. I hope John Key brings in legislation to keep it this way. This would include protecting the position of independent contractors and making it illegal for the Aussie Union thugs to have an effect on the NZ film industry. The Labour trade union movement has no place in the modern film industry, if we want a film industry. That is what this is all about. Union thugs giving undertakings about no strike action are worthless assurances to people risking hundreds of millions of dollars. Unions being patient indeed. There will be NO film industry with those thugs dictating terms to people taking huge commercial risks.

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  86. hubbers (222 comments) says:

    Wow these rallies made a lot of international news sites today.
    http://news.google.co.uk/news/more?pz=1&cf=all&ncl=dOUAzviHasPibXMGdPLHpqnkgTa7M

    Surely this must help get the message through to the producers that NZ is passionate about making these films and that will only lead to better movies and more profit for them!

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  87. Clint Heine (1,563 comments) says:

    Luc, you’re deluded and obvously haven’t travelled too far lately if you think European countries need the money more than NZ does. Many countries that would get the Hobbit don’t borrow as much as we do and in fact were out of the recession before NZ did.

    Not to mention, much of Central Europe enjoys low flat taxes. Having conversations with Czechs at the height of the recession about what we get in return for our taxes, every one of them said we are being ripped off. High taxes and nothing to show for it. They can even afford to give out bigger tax breaks than NZ. The difference is that Sir Peter Jackson has a track record of being a great director and has built up a great following over the world. I predict that it will stay in New Zealand, but no thanks to the unions or people like you.

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  88. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Luc doesn’t lie. He just speaks untruths in an ungood way. He looking forward to it all being double plus good. The Unions just love power and corruption. If you want to look at the nonsense the spout. Just look at France and the UK.

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  89. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    Maggie
    You personify the left – blanket assertions “convervatives hate union” and arguments couched in class warfare terms. This conservative used to be a top level Labour party activist so I know first hand the mindset and union tactics. I grew up with the history of the union movement as part of my political blood. Unions were formed for altruistic and needed purposes. There is no denying the antics and actions of employers in the 19th century needed modifying and union action reduced the excesses of capitalism.

    But because class warfare and socialism lies at the heart of many union activists’ actions, the notion of protecting workers rights is secondary to the overall aim – the effective end of capitalism. Union leaders are mostly wedded to dogma and ideology that capitalism is evil and that they alone stand in the way of capricious usurpation of worker’s rights.

    As an employer I have never objected to unions only to union thuggery and stand over tactics. Some of my employees have been union members many have not. I leave it up to them to choose. I’ve rarely had cause to fight with unions because I always paid workers well and treated them well. The vast majority of employers act the same. There are a handful of ratbags who exploit and the law exists to protect workers from this small minority. But many good employers I know have been on the receiving end of union threats and thuggery.

    I have met and had good relations with some excellent modern thinking trade unionists. They dont hate capitalism and see employers as equals with whom to negotiate with in good faith. They are pragmatists and see that there is no one size fits all solution to work place issues. Sadly they are in the minority.

    This dispute was about an Australian union using its muscle to impose an outside formula on the NZ entertainment industry. One of the reasons why Peter Jackson (who by all reports treats his workers very well) has been able to put NZ on the world movie industry map is because of the eshewing of formulaic blanket union arrangements that have driven up costs in some many juristictions. If NZ actors thought their needs were so much better served by the MEAA why are they not flocking en mass to their banner? The meddling of the CTU has become a spectacular own goal and they are now trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear (as per the pathetic spin of Viper MkII). The Hobbit will stay in NZ likely more because ordinary NZers stood up and said enough of this stupidity and saw through the bully tactics of the unions.

    What conservatives hate is not unions but the foolishness of this union who thought they could threaten the destruction of entire successful industry all in pursuit of their ideological purity and lock stock adherence to terms and conditions THEY deemed to be appropriate. We hate the tactics, threats, bullying and intimidation not the overall premise of an organisation protecting workers rights. This conservative tries to have an intelligent nuanced discussion about the topic avoiding sweeping generalisations and ideological straighjacketing.

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  90. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    Oh and to Luc who thinks the reason why Obama is faltering is because the stimulus was too small, I refer him to the comments made to the House Ways and Means Committee by Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr on May 9 1939 about the massive infusion of Federal tax dollars from the New Deal “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot”. It took the massive increase in defence spending of WW2 to finally end the Great Depression.

    It didn’t work then and hasn’t worked now. Only Keynesian true believers like Tom Freidman think that doubling down would’ve worked.

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  91. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    Luc is parroting Krugman’s preposterous line: “To avoid this fate, America needed a much stronger program than what it actually got — a modest rise in federal spending that was barely enough to offset cutbacks at the state and local level. This isn’t 20-20 hindsight: the inadequacy of the stimulus was obvious from the beginning.”

    Yes, when you are broke you go out on a spending spree throwing away the money you DO NOT have.

    That’s a “brilliant” economist for you.

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  92. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    It is to be expected that Luc the Groper would be happy to see The Hobbit go from NZ, seeing as it is about The Jews and all.

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  93. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Viper,

    You really do make the mistake of saying too much at times….

    “Ordinary workers supporting other ordinary workers are the heart of the labour/union movement. And that is what happened today all around the country.”

    Viper, the only reason they were out is because then unions – who are supposed to support those workers – had mad a complete mess of thing through their 1970′s bully-boy tactics and have threatened the livelihood of those workers. And you try and claim some socialist workers brotherhood from the event?

    Viper, what you witnessed was a worker backlash against the very organisations that claim they exist to protect those same workers. And they used a Labour Day to do it! Not a good result for you Viper.

    “As for unions losing their relevance, everything John Key does from the 90 day right to fire legislation to the AKL super city restructuring to ongoing pay conflicts in health and education is reminding ordinary workers why they need strong unions.”

    [I set aside argument on the 90 days trial, super city, etc - they are argued in other current or past threads.]

    Viper, the unions in The Hobbit debacle have shown they have lost their relevance. They claimed to be supporting workers’ rights and they have threatened the livelihood of some 2000 workers. The workers spoke yesterday with their presence – they value common sense ahead of the unions.

    “tvb: The NZ film industry is made up of independent contractors

    Over time increasing use of employment contracts with associated employment law protections and contracts with collectively negotiated clauses will become the norm in the NZ industry… Only a matter of time, and the unions are patient.”

    Viper, thank you for admitting what I asserted earlier in the weekend – that the unions were using this production to force collective contracts across all workers, thus forcing them to operate under union standards as opposed to independent contracts. Outside of unions fees and voting rights, which are semantic arguments, that is tantamount to a return compulsory unionism.

    So what we had were unions trying to force their terms and conditions across groups they do not represent – and do not want their representation. That Viper, is coercion.

    Yesterday was a very bad day for the union movement Viper. You just don’t see it.

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  94. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    The Hobbit or To Zion and Back Again

    An exiled people with funny beards, big noses, and a love of gold reclaim their long lost homeland.

    You’ll be the first to see it right Luc?

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  95. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    hehe sonny

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  96. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    Let us look into the dark satanic world of a Labour Government supporting the “trade union rights” of workers on the Hobbit. Studio executives would immediately cancel the film in NZ stating that the well paid well paid contractor” model of Peter Jackson had failed. The Labour Party Government would scream that Jackson is a RICH fatcat and we cannot have a situation whereby Unions are being shut-out. So the Labour Party get their Unions, Jackson closes down the film industry he created others stay away and an industry is lost.

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  97. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    Maggie: The answer IS simple. Unions threaten the way conservatives believe the world should be. They look to upset the balance. Rightwingers firmly believe the boss should be in charge and the workers know their place. Bill Birch summed it up very neatly when he once told me: “I believe that when workers and an employer disagree it is the view of the employer that should prevail.

    Is this for real?? Im going to assume for a minute that I personally would fall into this simplistic “Right vs Left” crapfest as being on the “Right” – whether its true or not. And that as I was at the rally, you would consider me a union-hater as well. I get the impressing you don’t give a stuff whether thats the case or not.

    Ive never been in a union. Ive never needed one. But don’t sit there and determine for yourself that I MUST always think the “boss is right” on the basis that I have also never voted Labour and don’t need a union. You have NO right to speak for me. None whatsoever. Speak for yourself – not for me. Don’t you DARE determine who I am, and the kind of person I am, based on your own petty and narrow minded view right & left.

    Bill Birch is just as wrong. Patently that is just as simpleminded and stupid as you saying that anyone who hates unions should never get a paid holiday or sick leave. Unfortunately you also seem to be as ignorant as he is.

    I can assure you that – view of the NZAE and the CTU right now notwithstanding – I do NOT consider the boss is always right – and have fought tooth and nail when needed to make that point. I just didn’t need a union to help me do it.

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  98. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    Avalon, if the bosses and the workers agree, then obviously they should do what they agree on. If they disagree, then their options are to go out of business, or to do what the bosses want. There’s no option here where a company does something different than the owner of the company wants.

    To put it another way, I own my house. Some friends come over. We all agree that we should have some beers. So we do. At a point in the night we disagree, my friends want to keep drinking, I don’t. My house, they go home.

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  99. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    The Boss risks his money. In this case the studio risks hundreds of millions. Unions risk nothing except what they get paid for turning up to work. People are entitled to be well paid in a safe working environment. Unions are not always the answer to this. In the film industry films are short term projects of huge expense and risk. The salaried worker with “trade union” rights does not work as an employment model. Jacksons model of a well paid independent contractor does work.

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  100. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    For Luc Hansen,

    I hope you don’t live in Dunedin! After the well publicised student prank down that way, there will be no tin foil left for your hats!

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  101. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    I see one of the Warner execs coming to NZ is an aquaintence of John Key. Hopefully that will help Key in his dealings to retain the production in NZ. Of course Luc Hansen and the other left wing conspiracy theorists will point to this as evidence there is a wider collusion at play.

    3…..2……1……..

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  102. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    KIA, I have been involved in unions most of my life and can count on the fingers of one hand unionists who “hate capitalism”. But most did believe, as I do, that the system needs tightly regulating because it is inherently exploitative.

    My experience of over 40 years is that many conservatives have an innate hatred of trade unionism. Not all, but many. I have never had a rational explaination as to why.

    If the Hobbit does stay in NZ it will be because Key succumbs to blackmail and throws money at Jackson for purely political purposes. I suspect that decision has already been made. Only the anti-union spin needs polishing now.

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  103. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    “big bruv (7,169) Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I hope you all realise that according to Micky Savage and the rest of the moon bats over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard these protests are all part of the VRWC to destroy the union movement.”

    Look you were told at the meeting that we were not to discuss these things publicly. Who the hell leaked the plan to them anyway?

    Of course the plan wouldn’t be working so well if they’d STFU and stop shooting themsleves in the foot. But as Napoleon said, never interupt your enemy when hes making a mistake.

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  104. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Maggie, the principle of unions is not an issue, provided that principle is collective bargaining to obtain fair (or better) conditions for all workers. Let me know when unions return to their principles, they are far off them in this instance.

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  105. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    The attempted spin is from the unions and supporters…

    “If the Hobbit does stay in NZ it will be because Key succumbs to blackmail and throws money at Jackson for purely political purposes.”

    Any additional incentives that have to be offered by the govt to keep the production in NZ is due solely to the actions of the activists and unions who refused to accept the reasonable conditions this production was offering in the first place. If those conditions had been accepted at the outset, there would be no issue with incentives offered by other countries, as the deal would have locked in.

    Instead the unions attempted to negotiate industry-wide terms and conditions with a party which has no mandate or right to conduct though negotiations, and refused ot meet with a group which could – being SPADA. To give themselves some leverage, the unions dropped a boycott bomb on this specific production, thus threatening the production spend in this country, along with the livelihoods of some 2000 workers who are not part of the union and did not want their representation.

    Those are the facts Maggie. Any additional money the country has to pay should be invoiced to CTU, NZAE, & MEAA NZ.

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  106. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    maggie
    The only conservatives I know who hate trade unions are those who’ve been on the receiving end of thuggish threats and standover tactics of the likes that MEAA tried to foist on NZ. Sounds pretty rational to me.

    Of course in the unions’ eyes threatening a global boycott of the Hobbit could never be considered as anything so shabby and tawdry as blackmail could it now.

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  107. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Maggie: Bill Birch summed it up very neatly when he once told me: “I believe that when workers and an employer disagree it is the view of the employer that should prevail.

    If by that Birch meant that the employer is the company/property owner and that the job the employee has is the employers to give to who ever he chooses then yes…Birch is perfectly correct. A private business is no different morally to a private house. The employer as described has the trumping right of being the “owner”…the employee is a “guest”…and like all guests defers to the “house rules” of the owner…if they have any sense of manners,respect and morals.

    The employee,like a house guest, always has the freedom to leave and go elsewhere if no happy with the rules….and thats all the protection they need against being “exploited” or abused.

    The owner,who more often than not wants to appear a pleasent and amicable “host” in his “house”, makes consessions and go’s to great lenghts to be “hospitable” to his “guest” as he ,the “host”, benefits from the happiness and enjoyment of the “guest”. Its a trade arrangement but NOT between equals……unions and the left fail to understand this fact…..and then want state force used to “right the balance”…..resulting in injustice for the “host” and unearned and un-deserved power and control for the “guest”.

    Who calls the shots at YOUR house Maggie….?

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  108. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    Absolutely correct James. The employee can walk away anytime they like, they could even get welfare if necessary. The employer cannot walk away from the business. Many would like to but they can’t. That is the difference. In the Hobbit context the studios are risking hundreds of millions of dollars that the project will be completed without disruption. The Unions could break the studio in half if they got control. Undertakings from Union Officials not to strike, are worthless especially as they come from people who have nothing to lose.

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

    Unions why?

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  110. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    Maggie @ 11:39. In your experience, those on your side are very reasonable and just correcting the moral wrongs. Those on the other side are completely irrational and hate you, and have never provided any justification for their irrational beliefs.

    Imagine that. Did you read that and think about what you were really saying?

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  111. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Imagine that. Did you read that and think about what you were really saying?

    PaulL, Maggie’s post can be roughly translated as “I know better than you, now shut up and do what I tell you”.

    For a second there I thought she was Helen Clark!

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  112. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    tvb says “employers cannot walk away from the business”. Really? So that explains Enron, I guess.

    Pault, in years of IR experience I have had people on my side sho have been totally irrational. I have had people on the other side who have been eminently sensible.

    bhudson: The dispute surrounding The Hobbit has been resolved. It centred mainly around Jackson’s insistence on treating ordinary workers as contractors to avoid any responsibility for taxes, ACC levies and to deprive them of holiday pay and sick leave.

    That was all resolved. Yet several days later, Jackson, fully aware of the settlement, made threats to pull the production out of NZ. Back to the states, perhaps, where I recall a huge industrial dispute bringing the entire film industry to a halt not so long ago. But Warners believe US unions are more reliable than NZ ones?

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  113. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Bevan, thank you for the compliment.

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  114. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    maggie
    The double speak of the left staggers me. You and the CTU blithefully describe this as ho hum run of the mill dispute about pay and conditions. The unique remuneration structure of the film industry in NZ has worked well now for decades. Its one of the reasons why so much quality filming work has come to NZ. The unions have always hated this because they cant come in and control the situation and throw their weight around. Only a minority of actors have a problem with the independent contractor model but the unions always wanted to find a way to coerce Jackson and other producers and movie makers to tow the union line and MEAA dutifully obliged. They tried to get their own way by dropping the nuclear option of a global boycott on Jackson and co. There’s been a settlement not because Jackson ‘saw the error of his ways’ as you allege but because you and your union thugs got caught out in broad daylight indulging in standover tactics that, if carried out, would’ve destroyed an industry. NZers reacted very negatively and you all backed away and retreated into soothing conciliatory talk as if this threat had never been made. Then you have the temerity to come on this blog and make out like Jackson is some jackbooted nasty employer who needs to be dragged from the 19th century to the modern era by the altrusitic and worker friendly persuasions of the benign and friendly trade union movement like Eurasia was never at war with Eastasia. Helen Kelly’s comments and arrogant attitude was a classic illustration of trade union group think until she read the tea leaves as saw that they’d scored an own goal on this backed down and dialed down the rhetoric.

    Your goal is still to find some way to make Jackson employ his actors on wages. If this was the pressing demand of all actors they would’ve formed or used a union to bring this about years ago. The fact that there was no militant NZ branch of Actors Equity to lobby or press for this speaks volumes for how well the system works. A few shit stirring militant actors (who people like you trumpet from the roof tops and thrust in front of the cameras as representative of all actors when they are nothing of the sort) called on the thuggish calvary from Australia cheered on by people like you. Your only regret in this is you got caught out. The reason why your posts have met with some scorn and derision is because you are so ideologically trapped in your narrow world that you cannot seem to comprehend that in some industries adequate pay and conditions can be consistently had outside of a collective bargaining arrangement.

    Does this mean I oppose trade unions across the board? No it doesn’t. What I oppose is blind pigheadedness. If Jackson was an abusive and exploitive employer your case might have some merit but he clearly isn’t.

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  115. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    @PaulL – thank you :) Very well put – much easier to see the point the way you put it – and shows that it is possible to argue a point without being insulting and offensive.

    We’ve been in this situation – suck up to a boss – or make another choice. We made the other choice – and have never regretted it. You actually don’t have to agree to be a slave to a crap boss. If a union helps with that – all power too them :)

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  116. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Bevan, thank you for the compliment.

    If you think me calling you Helen Clark is a compliment, then you are more deluded than I took you for.

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  117. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    “It centred mainly around Jackson’s insistence on treating ordinary workers as contractors to avoid any responsibility for taxes, ACC levies and to deprive them of holiday pay and sick leave.”

    No, it centred around the following union agendas:

    1. That all workers be forced to employment based on union stipulated terms & conditions
    2. That both workers & contractors rights to negotiate individual agreements be removed [That, Maggie, was through the union demand that ALL workers on the productiotn must agree to contract under the collective agreement.]
    3. That workers/contractors who do not wish to be represented by any union have no rights – again shown by 2. above
    4. That achieving the collective agreement which ALL workers/contractors had to submit to would create a precedence for other negotations across any industry
    5. Leveraging the value of a major production to achieve 1-4 while knowing that a single film production was in no place to negotiate industry-wide terms and conditions
    6. To reassert union power through the use of the greatest standover tactics available – in this case a global boycott on the production
    7. To undermine the Key govt in retaliation for recent initiatives interpreted as ‘anti-worker’ by the unions [This, I suspect, was Helen Kelly's overarching objective.]

    It was all about union coercion of all workers and employers.

    PJ and all of the other contractors & workers were pawns in this stupid game by the unions. It was a poorly devised strategy that was woefully executed.

    The NZ unions tried to play in the ‘bigs’ and found that it is a-whole-nother ballgame.

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  118. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Hilarious Maggie, you’re Redbaiter in drag right? You’re spouting that drivel to push the centrists to the right aren’t you?

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  119. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Jackson’s workers wouldn’t even pass the first test to become contractors. They have no control over what they do, or when they do it. They are workers turned into contractors for an employer’s convenience.

    KIA, you put so many words in my mouth you are unbelievable. If you want any credibility deal with what I actually say, not some fevered imaginary version.

    RightNow (and others), personal attacks don’t damage me, they just make you look petty.

    The dispute is settled and yet the threat remains. The threat will be sorted when Key throws money at Jackson and Warner. Your money, each one of you. Not mine, I live in Australia.

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  120. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    maggie
    Your last post rather made my point. You still consider the current situation with Jackson in NZ illigitimate and you reiterate the threat – because nowhere have you condemned the threat I believe you supported it when it was made and still would gladly deploy it to achieve MEAA’s ends. There would be no extra money paid if you Aussie thugs hadn’t got involved.

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  121. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Well if you’re serious: 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.
    None of those other people had any problems with their working conditions, and Jackson offered fair terms. Yet this small unrepresentative group threatens their jobs and their industry.

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  122. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    “They are workers turned into contractors for an employer’s convenience.”

    They are people who choose to be contractors for their own convenience.

    1. Contractors earn more per hour than employees – permanent or fixed term
    2. Contractors have the benefit of contracting their services out to anyone who will pay at any time
    3. Contractors have greater flexibility to contract individual conditions
    4. Contractors are able to exercise advantages of self employment – investment, claiming of expenses, GST registration (claiming GST from expenses paid), an ability to grow their own business (that are not limited to contracting solely their own labour)
    5. Contractors are a high demand resource as the term flexibility enables business to align their costs with revenue and demand (which is a primary reason why business are prepared to pay more for contractors – they don’t carry any cost when the contractor is not required.)

    Contracting is a popular resourcing approach for both businesses and contractors. One only need look at the IT resource market to see that.

    Your argument Maggie just shows up how the unions were looking to unionise labour in this instance – they were looking to force all labour to contract to union negotiated terms & conditions under a collective contract. That is coercion Maggie and a denial of those contractors’ right of freedom of association (which fundamentally has to also include the right to not associate.)

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  123. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    “If you want any credibility deal with what I actually say, not some fevered imaginary version.”

    Because you’re not at all making up a load of rubbish about this situation in your own fevered imagination are you? Still banging on the same old line, despite the fact that it just isn’t true, and has been shown repeatedly to be untrue. Never let the facts get in the way of a good grudge. Hypocrite!

    “RightNow (and others), personal attacks don’t damage me, they just make you look petty.”

    But you are are a saint for clubbing anyone who isn’t like you together and attacking them en-masse? Your sheer gall is staggering.

    “The dispute is settled and yet the threat remains. ”

    No it isn’t. The union called off its boycott becuase it ended up looking moronic and petty – which it was. As yet they have categorically refused to accept that they were wrong to demand that Jackson “just talk” about agreeing T&Cs for an entire industry for a tiny minority of actors who were not even involved in his production. There never was a dispute about The Hobbit – there was a bunch of actors who thought they were important enough to use The Hobbit as a means to end, and to hell with anyone else. They were outclassed and outgunned, and have been crying about how unfair it all is ever since.

    The threat is having to be dealt with because these people caused a worldwide boycott. Now everyone else has to clean up after them. It makes no difference that they called off the boycott. The damage was done – don’t complain now that people are working so hard to deal with the outcome. You demean them, and they do not deserve your contempt.

    “The threat will be sorted when Key throws money at Jackson and Warner. ”

    And what if he doesn’t? Just asking – I have no idea weather he will or not (and I’m pretty sure you don’t either) – but what will you complain about if he actually doesn’t give them these mythical extra tax breaks they haven’t actually asked for except in this “fevered imagination” you and a lot of people seem to have.

    “Your money, each one of you. Not mine, I live in Australia.”

    ROFLMAO. If we do have to pay these as yet still mythical tax breaks – I think we should send the bill to the Aussie Union. Maybe that will teach them to keep their noses out of NZ business.

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  124. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    @ BHudson “Contracting is a popular resourcing approach for both businesses and contractors. One only need look at the IT resource market to see that.”

    This is exactly what we have done. Hubby has become a contractor after we realized that employment law for employees is really pretty poor in New Zealand. BTW – these are laws that were in place under the last government – one which was technically supposed to look after workers. Its not a situation that has been caused by a new “right wing” government.

    As a contractor – he gets paid more, has more flexibility, can afford to go back to getting 5 weeks holiday, and no longer has to deal with managers who can make his life hell cos he gets paid more than them. This is a choice we make, and right now a choice we have the right to make. Yes we have to budget for lean times if theres a quiet spell, but to have the right to determine our own future is not one we would want to give up.

    Being a contractor (at least for us – I will not speak for anyone else) is a huge bonus. Being forced to be “an employee” – becuase someone else thinks thats unfair – would be a huge backward step – its not all its cracked up to be for us.

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  125. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Maggie,
    There must be a lot of amusement over the Tasman given that the NZ PM feels your film industry is trashed (send that man an invite to the AFI awards) and there being taxpayers money being splashed out because of lingering bad feelings from a dispute that was resolved 10 days ago. Oh and the actors guild in the US can feel chastened because Universal have found a government on the other side of the globe happy to legislate them out of existence!

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  126. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    bchapman,

    If the unions do not want a backlash (from private sector, the public, or govt) they would be well advised not to lob nuclear [boycott] bombs as negotiating weapons.

    To repeat: The unions & activists caused this problem. Them and them alone. If they now suffer repercussions (and who is to know if they really will, or the extent of those) then it is of their own making.

    As I noted above – they tried to play in the ‘bigs’ and found it was a-whole-nother ballgame. Perhaps their members could sue the union leadership for gross negligence given the inept way they handled things.

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  127. James (1,338 comments) says:

    So the union line is that Warners managed somehow to get actors equity etc to drop the boycott bomb when Warners were going ahead with shooting the Hobbit here anyway under pre existing conditions just so they could wangle a bigger tax break…..cookoo! cookoo!

    The unions fucked up and if anyones responsible for Warners being offered an additional sweetener that they weren’t expecting its Helen Kelly,Robyn Malcom and Simon Whipp…..fuckwits.

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  128. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    The truth will emerge in a few days. Warners will suddenly stop being worried about possible disruption because the government has given them a huge bag full of money.

    The spin on that should be fascinating.

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  129. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    Damn maggie, how did you figure it out? Is it because one of the Warner guys is an old mate of John Key?
    I bet you can’t figure out how we got Helen Kelly to play along though can you?

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  130. tvb (4,205 comments) says:

    John Key has clearly rules out getting into a bidding war on the issue of money. What you should be worried about Maggie is whether John Key can use this situation to smash the Unions by legislating on the rights of independent contractors to be conclusive if the contract states it so. That gets rid of trades hall and a whole lot of other garbage the Unions want.

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  131. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    “The truth will emerge in a few days. Warners will suddenly stop being worried about possible disruption because the government has given them a huge bag full of money.

    The spin on that should be fascinating.”

    If the govt offers further incentives to keep the production here, it is solely the fault of the unions and they should be invoiced for those additional costs to the country.

    It may yet come to pass that this union fiasco leads to some employment law changes…

    To repeat [again]: The unions & activists caused this problem. Them and them alone. If they now suffer repercussions (and who is to know if they really will, or the extent of those) then it is of their own making.

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  132. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    Maggie (78) Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    KIA, I have been involved in unions most of my life and can count on the fingers of one hand unionists who “hate capitalism”. But most did believe, as I do, that the system needs tightly regulating because it is inherently exploitative.

    Maggie I’ve dealt with unions most of my working life and if both my hands were cut off I’d still have too many fingers to count those union reps, who were not either anti-capitilism or completely in it for their own power trip.

    Very few I’ve met would even understand “inherently exploitative”, most would never have thought that deeply and the few who did understand it or thought about it were reflecting on their own reasons for being union reps in the first place.

    The only good that will come out of this catastrophe is that the forces of right and good will now have a reason for crushing scum unions (and unionists) for ever.

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  133. shady (251 comments) says:

    Can I just point out to those who are complaining about the tax payers money being paid to Warners. There is no taxpayers money going to Warners. They are talking about tax rebates – money that will never come to New Zealand in the first place if the film is not made here. If they end up being rebated (able to keep more of their own money) more than what was in the original agreement, there is only one group of people at fault here – Simon Whipp, Helen Kelly of the CTU, MEAA and NZAE.

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  134. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    So to recap…….

    MEAA whips up NZAE by contacting individual producers rather than deal with SPADA, even though SPADA has been trying to deal with NZAE for years, in the process issues a global boycott, which NZAE denies existence of, even though the notice is posted on the SAG website.

    CTU sticks oar in, gets Robyn Malcolm in firing line, insults Peter Jackson.

    Warners, who have green lighted project, come to NZ to investigate moving location.

    Helen Kelly says issue is resolved :0

    Labour says National has not done enough to keep movie in NZ.

    Brownlee says there was no need to do anything until Whipp, Malcolm and the CTU stirred things up.

    Lefties now wary of government spending more money to keep movie in NZ

    Labour implying Government may have to sweeten pot to keep movie in NZ

    Labour criticising government for having to sweeten pot,

    Labour crtitcising government for not sweetening pot enough,

    Goff flees across Tasman

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  135. Roflcopter (424 comments) says:

    Reporter: Do you wish you had handled things differently?
    Whipp: No

    Reporter: Will you feel guilty if The Hobbit is removed from NZ to somewhere else?
    Whipp: No

    Says it all really.

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  136. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    No-one can explain how a company’s concerns about industrial disruption can suddenly disappear when money is thrown at it.

    The only possible explanation is that the concern didn’t exist in the first place and was just used as a bargaining tool.

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  137. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    “No-one can explain how a company’s concerns about industrial disruption can suddenly disappear when money is thrown at it.”

    I’m sorry, but that is pure unadulterated ignorance.

    The industrial disruption threatens the investment – more particularly, the return on that investment. That is the real risk – the erosion on the investment, not a bunch of people making noise. If the production company is given incentives great enough to cover that financial risk then the problem is removed.

    It’s not that the disruption isn’t important – it is that the impact can be addressed through commercial consideration (in this case, likely to be greater tax incentives.)

    Which also means, Maggie, if the industrial disruption hadn’t occurred in the first place, there would have been no risk and therefore no further incentives

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  138. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Okay clever dick, then explain this:

    The USA has no national system of tax incentives for the film industry apart from a deal which allows tiny film makers to write off $15m.

    The industry has a recent history of industrial disruption which makes the Hobbit dispute look like a pin prick.

    Yet Warner, and many others, happily go on making film after film in the USA without constantly demanding more and more taxpayers’money.

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  139. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Avalon, I take your point. Some people are happy as contractors, they enjoy the freedom, although in many cases this is illusory as contractors aren’t free to contract with someone else if they are unhappy.

    But many people don’t want the hassle of having to sort out their own taxes, ACC levies and GST. The Telecom maintenance people were an example.

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