The Hobbit e-mails

February 27th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

Sir Peter Jackson was so frustrated by a “snake” union official he was unable to think about for three weeks.

Documents released under order by the Ombudsman reveal the award-winning director said Cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee was “played like a fool” by Simon Whipp, a former director of Australian union Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (). …

The Government had “engaged with a snake, who now feels quite fearless”, Sir Peter said.

“I really can’t [take] much more of this toxic nonsense. All I want to do is make films! I haven’t been able to think about the movie for 3 weeks.”

The full e-mails are here. I think they show the incredible strain that Jackson was under, caused by one Australian union official aided and abetted by barely a dozen locals. MEAA is not an NZ union, and it controls the NZ Actor’s Equity which represents less than 10% of NZ actors. It was a classic case of destructive behaviour and you see what was really driving it was MEAA trying to establish a massive income stream for itself.

The e-mail from New Line Cinema is also revealing. They state that “momentum was growing to find alternatives – including New South Wales” and detail how there would be less risk there. Anyone who claims the films were in no danger of moving is dreaming.

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71 Responses to “The Hobbit e-mails”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Yes, they were so sick of this Australian union that they were considering moving to….Australia

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  2. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    The fucktard union hack on TV this morning says that they weren’t going to move because he spoke to people over there who would have been contacted if they were considering it. He blamed Peter Jackson for the whole thing and basically said he was full of shit. Lets see should I believe the director who has been knighted, generated billions of dollars for NZ and helped create an industry worth massive amounts of money or some fuckwit unionist?? That’s a tough one….

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  3. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please let the green party make a statement about how nasty it is to call someone a snake. :)

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  4. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    The Hobbit should have been a slam dunk case — we had a brilliant worldclass director who so fortunately for us happened to be a kiwi and wanting to make one of the worlds great fantasy stories right here in NZ.

    Then, we had an aussie scumbag envious of kiwi success who tried to sink our industry. I can completely understand why Jackson was so peeved.

    Here is the classic Aesops fable. Replace “DOG” with “Actors union”, “Butcher is PEter Jackson”, “Bone= money and fame”……..

    A Dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone, was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy Dog thought he saw a real Dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own.

    If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been.

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  5. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    from The Herald:

    The documents also revealed the minister was aware that a union blacklist – an international ban on actors working on The Hobbit on non-union terms – was lifted on October 18. At the time, the Government denied that the boycott had ended.

    from Helen Kelly:

    the documents confirm that the dispute was settled on the 18 October well before Warners came to New Zealand and before Wellington film workers were told on 20 October that they should demonstrate to lift the boycott. Minister Gerry Brownlee now needs to explain to the public why he too joined in this fiction.

    but the date when SAG lifted the boycott: October 20, 2010, 8:08pm. Auckland is 21 hours a head of LA making that 5 PM 21st Oct here. The Thursday. The film workers’ march was earlier on the previous day.

    http://www.sagaftra.org/sag-members-may-accept-engagements-%E2%80%9C-hobbit%E2%80%9D?page=0%252C0%252C20

    Today, our sister union, New Zealand Actors Equity (NZ Equity) recommended that all international performers’ unions withdraw their advisories prohibiting members from accepting engagements on the feature film production The Hobbit.

    So it’s hard to see where The Herald gets the idea that SAG lifted the blacklist on the 18th, and it was quite correct at the time for the govt to say it hadn’t been.

    As for Helen Kelly, she never knew what she was talking about. The blacklist was still in place when the film workers marched – they had good reason to believe their jobs were still at risk. Seems those workers weren’t of much concern to the unions.

    And now Actors Equity has a spokesperson who thinks Judi Dench could be replaced by any ol’ actor. No learning going on there.

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  6. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Yes, they were so sick of this Australian union that they were considering moving to….Australia

    a range of countries were considered not just Oz.

    what are the chances that the Australian union might be less destructive in Australia once they got the film moved from NZ.

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  7. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    oh come on now DPF, you really are clutching at straws now. What those emails reveal is how manipulative Sir Peter is. They reveal how NZ was played for a fool. They reveal that there was no chance the movies were going offshore. Not to NSW, or the UK, or Eastern Europe (notice how they couldn’t seem to get the story straight as to just where the movies might be off to).

    Fact is there was no way the movie could be filmed elsewhere if they wanted to keep to their schedule. Fact is there was no necessity to change the employment law. The documents also reveal how Sir Peter, and even the the govt is appears, continued to claim a boycott was in place after it had been lifted, and disturbingly, the emails reveal the extent of Sir Peter’s narcissism, as when he pontificates thusly on Whipp “He is in revenge mode, intent on inflicting as much damage as he can, to our film, to our film industry, to our country”. Grandiose, much?

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  8. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    And Helen Kelly has some weird idea that she would like to stand for Labour in Rongotai. And Grant Robertsonn shows he has not really got his heart in Wellington.

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  9. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    continued to claim a boycott was in place after it had been lifted

    Yea… na.

    The problem with that is that it’s up to those who setup the boycott to make sure everyone knows it’s finished.

    Also, there was a boycott. Did you notice that?

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  10. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    I think it was a conspiracy, the Aussie based union guy was actually trying to stop the movie being made SO that it would be made in NSW.

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  11. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    the SAG boycott was still in place, it’s easy enough to go to their web site and check when it was lifted.

    There’s a fair amount of misunderstanding about how SAG works – it’s not really like here in NZ. When SAG advises not signing to a movie such as the Hobbit that’s not just some “please don’t”. The penalty for going against such an advisory is being stripped of union membership which in the US system means not being able to work on union films – and most studio films are union.

    It’s worth noting that major roles such as Martin Freeman were signed the very next day after the boycott was lifted. They almost missed out on him because he was signed for Sherlock as well.

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  12. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Lets see should I believe the director who has been knighted, generated billions of dollars for NZ and helped create an industry worth massive amounts of money or some fuckwit unionist??

    Arse licking, much? You’ve conveniently ignored the fact that said director whined like a child until he and Warners got taxpayer handouts. There’s nothing quite like the sight of the public sector propping up the private sector…I’m suprised DPF isn’t outraged.

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  13. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    What was Grant Robertson doing on the television last night? He is supposed to represent Wellington Central, which happens to be my electorate and where a lot of his constituents are involved in the movie industry. Instead he was supporting an Australian union thug and an Auckland actress who happens to be a Green Party spokesperson. It is pretty obvious his primary loyalty is to international unions, and the people he represents come a distant second.

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  14. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    So – Sir peter Jackson – the guy hailed as a master businessman and the saviour of the worlds (well if not the worlds, then at least that of the english speaking world) cinematic industry – couldnt think of the hobbit for 3 weeks……..

    complete and total bullshit.

    He must be weak in the brain if this was even half true.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It’s worth noting that major roles such as Martin Freeman were signed the very next day after the boycott was lifted. They almost missed out on him because he was signed for Sherlock as well.

    What’s worth noting is that Warners had spent a shit load of money pre-production and there was no way it was going to pull the plug on the project. But faced with a weak and compliant government, it knew it could screw taxpayers with a little scare-mongering.

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  16. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    Brahahaha
    The hobbit hating minions are coming out and are spitting forth their bile.

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  17. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    @barry:

    Tell me the clever things you’ve done in your life that gives you license you to pass such judgement.

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I note that the Estate of Tolkein are suing Warners et al for US$80 million.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/tolkien-estate-sues-warner-bros-393212

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  19. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    What’s worth noting is that Warners had spent a shit load of money pre-production and there was no way it was going to pull the plug on the project.

    my point was more that SAG’s actions aren’t that well understood here. Getting actors to sign away years of their working career, to quite possibly forego other films isn’t an easy exercise and it was made much harder by the boycott.

    Warners would have moved if they thought it was in their interests to do so. I haven’t noticed any sentimental attachment to NZ on their part.

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  20. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    MEAA is not an NZ union, and it controls the NZ Actor’s Equity which represents less than 10% of NZ actors. It was a classic case of destructive behaviour and you see what was really driving it was MEAA trying to establish a massive income stream for itself.

    The e-mail from New Line Cinema is also revealing. They state that “momentum was growing to find alternatives – including New South Wales” and detail how there would be less risk there

    You mean that because of MEAA Warners were thinking of shifting filming to Australia, home of MEAA??

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  21. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Another movie in the franchise will have to be really good cause the last one was close to bombing

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  22. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Radio Live hosts describe Peter Jackson as the Don Corleone of the film industry.

    I suspect they think that hes using the same tactics as the mafia (about the same level of integrity as the unions I guess…)

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  23. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    here’s more details of the court case our Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit was getting his jocks in a twist over

    http://rwmjohnson.blogspot.co.nz/2010/10/facts-of-bryson-vs-three-foot-six-ltd.html

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  24. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    mickysavage>You mean that because of MEAA Warners were thinking of shifting filming to Australia, home of MEAA??

    If the film was made in NZ then the Australian union (and their Green Party supporters) were going to use their union muscle to make it difficult for them by organising boycotts and bans. But if the film was made in Australia then those difficulties would disappear.

    I though you were involved in the Labour Party and the union movement? I’m surprised you haven’t worked out how this sort of protection scam works.

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Warners had invested US$45 million before a single frame was shot…were they ever going to put that at risk?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hobbit-peter-jackson-warner-bros-379301?page=3

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  26. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    This whole episode shows that Labour simply doesn’t understand the film industry.

    There is no way this country has nearly enough actotrs to fill the books for a movie such as this, whether they are “big name” actors, or others. Yet, all or most of the extras were from NZ; it’s just that the lead stars were from overseas.

    That’s understandable. Except for a few actors (Martin Henderson, Tem Morrison, Martin Csokas, Cliff Curtis and maybe Lucy Lawlesss) NZ has no international stars. New Line would never promote the Hobbit starring “Angela Bloomfield” or “Blair Strang” so the vast majority were always going to be found overseas.

    But what the movies did do was provide 000’s of jobs for crew members – most of which were New Zealanders. That’s the benefit to the country that Labour, which claims to be pro jobs, should be trumpeting. Instead they simply moan, whinge and…..walk down the red carpet at the premier in Wellington.

    This from a party that has 3 Arts spokespersons in its new shadow cabinet.

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  27. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    All I see from the union gangsters trying to pretend their gang wasn’t in the wrong is the assertion that the movies were never at risk of being filmed anywhere but NZ. I think there was a risk, but I also think that’s just a diversion from the real repugnant issue, and that is unions acting like gangsters using standover tactics to extort money from a business enterprise. And that’s exactly what this was – an attempt at extortion headed by Simon Whipp at MEAA and abetted by Helen Kelly. Robyn Malcolm may have had good intentions in which case she’s been used as a useful idiot. And that’s a generous view.

    Unions – gangsters running protection rackets.

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  28. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Warners had invested US$45 million before a single frame was shot…were they ever going to put that at risk?

    $9 million was spent on sets so they would have taken a hit. But much of that pre-production spending would have been on things like camera equipment, costumes, software development etc that could have been moved at not great cost.

    I’m not sure how much of that US$45 million was on legal fees, I know they spent in total $100 million on that. It wouldn’t have made much difference where ever the film was shot.

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  29. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    From my perspective Peter Jackson fought hard to ensure the movies weres made here in New Zealand to the overall benefit of New Zealanders. He is being attacked by idealogically driven selfish people. He must wonder why he even bothers. From what I can see the whole thing was driven by “self serving” unionists and a small group of actors/industry people who were not even employed on the movie. The arrogant Australian union MEAA came here to try further its own cause with no regard to the impact on New Zealand and the majority of industry workers who did not want a bar of them. Helen Kelly and the greenie anti everything to do with the National government and piss poor actress whatever her name is were the MEAA’s stooges.

    For those who think Peter Jackson did this just for the money – Im sure he still could have gotten his fee no matter where in the world the movie was made – he choose to fight to have it made in New Zealand, I respect and support him for that.

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  30. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    Of course the movies were always going to be made here. Suggestions it could be shifted overseas, to the UK, Eastern Europe, or even NSW are laughable. But the desperation of some in here to still cling to that possibility is understandable. Those abusive comments and emails sent to Robyn Malcolm or Jennifer Ward-Lealand cannot be undone. Those mass rallies, and those cringeworthy banners proclaiming “NZ is Middle-Earth” happened. Sir Peter did send a message telling us the Hobbit was in “our DNA”, and we did cheer as it was read out. Sir Peter of course does not personally attend rallies featuring the great unwashed. And to be fair, NZ is a small, insecure nation. The possibility the Hobbit movies could be taken away, however remote, was always going to cause national panic and hysteria. Sir Peter and Warners played their hand brilliantly. The govt had little choice but to grovel, and Sir Peter and Warners were able to get the total control they craved. There is little point in continuing to deny that this is what happened. We are only fooling ourselves by continuing to insist that this whole unfortunate saga was some kind of triumph over evil and jealous ockers and their union.

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  31. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Actually pap, it was a triumph over the gangsters. The good guys won!

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  32. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    You can go to sleep tonight Dean believing that if you like. Sweet dreams I guess. It just shows how far removed from reality the Left is.

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  33. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I can see the concept of civic pride confuses you Dean…?

    This country owes Sir Peter a great deal.

    It’s time for union maggots to crawl back under their rocks, and enjoy the damp and the cold…

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  34. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    Has Helen Kelly ever had a real job that does NOT involve being paid out of union dues?

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  35. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    ross69 – re Tolkein Estate suing Warners for $80M – not particularly relevant here. Peter Jackson also had a bust-up with Warner’s New Line over shonky accounting allegedly reducing his ‘cut’. They had to patch up with Peter – Hobbit without Peter Jackson would have been meaningless. Tolkein Estate seems to have a good point and IMO a settlement seems likely.

    An interesting bit of history – UK’s Labour Government though they would screw the rich with a 97.5% marginal tax rate – it had the unintended consequence of hitting authors very hard since most of their income falls into a few tax years. Tolkein was pretty well forced to sell LOTR and Hobbit film rights for 10,000 pounds to pay his tax bill – some of the family are very bitter and twisted over this.

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  36. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    The left what? I don’t get this left and right stuff, it’s all pointless, and rather inane dogma to me. NZ is not the USA, in case you hadn’t noticed. But deep down you know I am correct, although naturally none of you are man enough to admit it. It takes a true man to admit he is a tool, and none of you are up to that, clearly. But what dissapoints me most about this whole unfortunate affair is Sir Peter. I really do want to like him, because he has no doubt done a lot for NZ. So it is disappointing to see that, because it suits his ends, Sir Peter is willing to sit on the sidelines and watch while NZers turn on each other. I’d expect more form an esteemed Knight of the NZ Order of Merit, but instead Sir Peter comes across more as a whiny little bitch.

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  37. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    You really think you’re correct pap? You’re a tool.

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  38. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    From my perspective Peter Jackson fought hard to ensure the movies weres made here in New Zealand to the overall benefit of New Zealanders.

    Really? How did the movies benefit 4 million NZers? In fact, the government’s craven attitude to Warners ensured taxpayers were rorted.

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  39. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Sir Peter comes across more as a whiny little bitch.

    He certainly does, but I doubt it was always like that. Isn’t it sad that when a working class person makes it big, their ego sometimes gets the better of them and they turn on the very people who helped them get to where they are.

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  40. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    yeah thats the one, its peter jackson who turned on his ‘working class’ roots. not at all the jealousy and egos of petty small minded ‘working class’ people trying to drag him down for daring to not stay as one of them and pay tribute to the collective.

    fuck the unions and good on peter and the national govt for staring them down.

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  41. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Breaking news: Sir Peter Jackson really gives a shit what some whiny little union bitches think.
    “I was having a shit while flying in my G550 and it just made me think of those whiny little bitches from the unions” Jackson was quoted as saying.

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  42. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    The odd thing is that this fiasco was the result if a very few union leaders acting with no mandate from any if their members. It should not have been hard for for someone in the union movement or Labour to offer some wiser advice.

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  43. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Ross69:
    their ego sometimes gets the better of them and they turn on the very people who helped them get to where they are.

    It’s funny, I thought exactly the same thing when I heard a fucking UNION was trying to stiff this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Sir Peter has given us, to get Massive Hollywood films made here in NZ!

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  44. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Sir Peter has given us

    I thought LOTR was a once in a lifetime opportunity? Apparently there are lots of these opportunities…as long as taxpayers front up.

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  45. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Ross69 – you are right there are many opportunities thanks to Peter Jackson John Key and co and as long as they continue to block the self serving unions and thier small number of stooges attempts to stymie them

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  46. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    LOTR – then Avatar – then Hobbit.. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence they all came here. It is all one good thing.

    But we are helluva lucky… we are a long plane ride from anywhere, and we don’t even have proper internet. So the whole thing is fairly precarious. “Hey let’s do it in NZ!” was a pretty out-of-the-box idea.

    So if someone stuffs it up I doubt they will be back.

    So yes, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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  47. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Peter Jackson informed the government that the boycott wouldn’t affect the film being made here. And he advised the government on October 18 that the blacklist had been lifted. Gerry Brownlee seems to have caught the PM’s disease of being unable to tell the truth.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/247418/hobbit-govt-knew-union-ban-lifted

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  48. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    really ross69? You should read this then:
    http://www.sagaftra.org/sag-members-may-accept-engagements-%E2%80%9C-hobbit%E2%80%9D?page=0%252C0%252C20

    October 20, 2010, 8:08pm – in a US time zone as NeilM pointed out earlier: “Auckland is 21 hours a head of LA making that 5 PM 21st Oct here.”

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  49. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    “And he advised the government on October 18 that the blacklist had been lifted.”

    Jackson said that because the unions had said that was when it would be lifted. In fact it was not lifted till the 21st. There’s a link above to that advisory on the SAG site. Check for yourself. Don’t forget to allow for the time difference.

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  50. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    NeilM>The odd thing is that this fiasco was the result if a very few union leaders acting with no mandate from any if their members.

    I went to the protest rally in Civic Square. It was great to see and hear from the film workers fighting to save their jobs from the actions of the Aussie unions, Auckland actresses, and the Green Party. Even Celia Wade Brown was there and put a boot in to the union, to her credit. Grant Robertson wasn’t.

    We all heard about the actions of the waterfront union in Auckland recently. Of workers being threatened, and subject to intimidating acts with machinery that could kill or injure. Union members also urinated in the worker’s barbecue. You might also have heard of a recent dispute between workers and unions in Auckland where union members smeared excrement on train controls.

    What NZ needs are laws to protect workers from union thugs and bullies. Unions need to be fined when they bully or threaten workers. The Ministry of Health needs to clamp down on the use of urine and excrement in industrial disputes. And the labour inspectors need to regularly inspect unions and union members to ensure they aren’t bullying workers or creating unsafe workplaces in order to intimidate workers.

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  51. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    And the labour inspectors need to regularly inspect unions and union members to ensure they aren’t bullying workers or creating unsafe workplaces in order to intimidate workers.
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    Yep and don’t forget a good audit of their finances as well.

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  52. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Peter Jackson made it very clear: “There is no connection between the blacklist and its eventual retraction and the choice of production base for The Hobbit.”

    In other words, the blacklist was a non-issue. The government knew that and so did Jackson. However, both failed to inform a guillible public. The guillibility of some is evident here with their anti-union rants.

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  53. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Yes ross69, I relish any opportunity for a good old union bashing. They’re done, they’ve outlived their usefulness, and now they’re just thugs. MEAA wanted a piece of the vig, that’s all there is to it. Whatever the means I’m happy they had the door shut in their face, there’s no place for that kind of shit here.

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  54. RF (1,398 comments) says:

    The dark side of NZ.. Hobbit Haters, Union Scum and left wing retards. Real 1930s crap. The only bright side is reading the cry baby comments on the standard. The left is in a spiral dive with no hope of recovery.

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  55. big bruv (13,901 comments) says:

    I simply don’t care if there was a possibility of this film being taken off shore.
    I simply don’t care if the government told one or two fibs.
    I simply don’t care if we changed the law to accommodate Hollywood.
    I simply don’t care what Helen Kelly has to say about this.

    All I care about is that the union scum lost. The behaviour of Kelly and co hammered another nail into the corrupt coffin of unionism and that is always a good thing.

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  56. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Of course the movies were always going to be made here. Suggestions it could be shifted overseas, to the UK, Eastern Europe, or even NSW are laughable.

    There’s no “of course” about it, Dean Papa. Just ask the hundreds in Sydney who lost their jobs when pre-production on Green Lantern was shut-down and the whole dog-and-pony show moved to Louisiana.

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  57. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    Craig, just man up and admit you were duped too.

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  58. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    @Dean Papa. I don’t need to “man up” – I could cut myself in half and still be more of a man than you’ll ever be. Pardon me if I don’t retire to the fainting couch, clutching my pearls and crying for the smelling salts, at the stunning revelations that 1) Peter Jackson wouldn’t have hit the brakes if Simon Whipp walked in front of his car. (Know more than a few actors who’d heartily agree.) 2) Film studios are in business to make profit. 3) There was a lot of spin, counter-spin and flat out economy with the veritas (as Winston Churchill put it) going on all over the place.

    I’ve read these documents, and never expect they’d change anyone’s mind really. They’ve certainly not changed my view that industrial relations isn’t for the faint-hearted, and in this case I hope all parties could admit, if only to themselves, there were things everyone could have done better. And I still think Peter Jackson is neither Evil Incarnate or some Flawless Flower.

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  59. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Yes ross69, I relish any opportunity for a good old union bashing.

    Tell me something I don’t know. :)

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  60. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Craig,

    Your comment about the Green Lantern was a little cute. How about telling us why the film was moved.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/film/green-lantern-may-fly-from-sydney/2009/08/26/1251001943980.html

    Garry Maddox
    August 27, 2009

    FOUR months after the movie Green Lantern was trumpeted as a coup for the NSW economy, there are doubts whether it will be shot in Sydney.

    The film’s studio, Warner Bros, is reportedly seeking extra concessions from the State Government after the rising value of the dollar added up to $US25 million ($30 million) to the cost of production.

    The film industry was buzzing yesterday with speculation that the movie could be lost to a cheaper filming location, possibly in North America.

    Green Lantern was due to be shot on a reputed budget of more than $US150 million at Fox Studios this year but was postponed until early next year to allow more work on the script.

    The Premier, Nathan Rees, announced in April that the movie would create 500 jobs.

    An 11 per cent rise in the value of the dollar has tested the commitment of Warner Bros and DC Comics to Sydney.

    The website Inside Film reported that the studio was negotiating with the Government over extra concessions that would allow it to claw back between $US15 million and $US25 million in value eroded by the currency gains.

    To be directed by Martin Campbell, best known for GoldenEye and Casino Royale, Green Lantern will star Ryan Reynolds as a test pilot who uses an alien ring to fight crime.

    ”We’re doing everything we possibly can,” said one industry executive about keeping the movie in Sydney. ”We won’t go down without a fight.”

    A Warner Bros representative in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment.

    A spokesman for the Premier would not be drawn on discussions with the studio or what incentives had been provided to the movie.

    So, the reason Warners shot through was because of a rise in the exchange rate, not because of uppity unionists who don’t know their place. Interestingly, Warners also wanted concessions to “claw back between $US15 million and $US25 million in value eroded by the currency gains”. That sounds suspiciously like the situation re the Hobbit, except that Warners had spent at least US$45 million on the Hobbit before shooting even began. I don’t think Warners was going to throw that investment away.

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  61. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    THR is confirming what everyone already knew: “Green Lantern” is not filming in Australia due to the falling U.S. dollar. Last Friday, the Australian dollar hit a 27-year high against the U.S. dollar, and Australia is not alone, as the dollar is falling against every other countries currency. What this means is…”Green Lantern” will likely film in the United States in whatever area gives the production the biggest tax incentive. But I should mention THR is saying it’ll probably film in Mexico or Canada.

    http://collider.com/green-lantern-officially-leaves-australia/

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  62. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    @Craig Ranapia. I could have sex reassignment surgery, change my name to Patsie, win the transgender Miss Universe competition, and still be more of a man than you. Nyah nyan nyah!

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  63. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Have just had a read of the emails released by Helen Kelly – in The Standard lol.

    She continues to maintain the boycott was lifted on the 18th when it’s a matter of public record that it was lifted on the 21st.

    What she and the emails are referring to is the negotiation over a possible joint the press release – not the lifting of the boycott.

    The unions were holding out for a press release that implied Jackson was partly to blame and the unions were the aggrieved party. Not surprisingly Jackson objected.

    The unions could have at any time lifted the boycott but instead they kept holding out for some face-saving mechanism – ie they wanted the lifting of the boycott to be conditional on them getting from Jackson an admission that the union had acted in good faith. Their position was – once we get that then we’ll lift the boycott.

    Jackson would have none of that and eventually the union backed down and lifted the boycott on the 21st. And no joint press statement was released.

    So at the time of the march the boycott was still in place and there was no indication as to when it was going to be lifted.

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  64. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    This has really been a one sided contest, and the TU/Left supporters will not like the scorecard:

    DPF – for excellent analysis and posting – 10/10

    Pete Jackson – for guts and principles – 10+/10

    Deano, et al – for being plain dumb and incapable of knowing that they are – 0/10

    Kelly – for lies and contortions – -5/10

    Ross69 – for proving, yet again, that he is a serial liar (remember Nostalgia-NZ, Kanz and Rowan rossie?) , and as thick as pig shit – -10/10

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  65. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Drinnan in the herald:

    Bloggers with buddies in the self-employed industry were outraged that organised labour might be allowed in.

    wow, really.

    the Ombudsman has forced the Government to reveal that boycott action had been lifted two days before the march had even begun.

    that’s just not true and any journalist should be able to go to the SAG site and check for themselves

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  66. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    NeilM..

    Yep, simply more 2013 Herald drive l (aka Drinnan?). And confirmation of Rudman

    I guess it is simply part of the white shoe brigade’s hate of any success south of Bombay…. :)

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  67. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that no one in the media has bothered to check when the boycott was lifted and keep repeating Kelly’s line as fact.

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  68. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that no one in the media has bothered to check when the boycott was lifted and keep repeating Kelly’s line as fact.

    I’m surprised you keep defending the government’s shocking handling of the issue and their ongoing lies. I guess you don’t like admitting you were played…

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  69. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Tim Watkins over at Pundit has summed up the facts well and asks some relevant questions:

    Emails between the CTU and Warner Bros show that a settlement had been negotiated by the Sunday 17 or Monday 18 October, 2010, depending on which timezone you were in. Actors’ Equity had agreed to lift the boycott. It was over bar the shouting.

    But the shouting was delayed by Warners and, it seems, Jackson. They wanted time before releasing a public statement and the unions agreed. Thing is, at this point it seems that all the parties lined up against the unions cynically used this delay to their political advantage.

    AFTER the boycott had been lifted that – but BEFORE the public had been told – Jackson continued to strongly criticise the unions, Taylor and his Weta Workshop employees held their impromptu and angry march through Wellington, and National ministers met with Warner Bros and agreed to change employment law and pay out 20-something million dollars in order to keep the movies in New Zealand.

    All of that happened AFTER the dispute was over. So now it’s time for long overdue questions to be asked, such as:

    • Had Warner Bros told Jackson the dispute was over and was he quibbling over the wording of the statement as the emails suggest?
    • If he knew the boycott had been lifted, why did he not stop his attacks?
    • Was Jackson out of the loop by the end and were Warners lying to the CTU or was Jackson lying in his subsequent public statements?
    • Why did Weta staff and others march in protest at a dispute that had already been settled?
    • Did Taylor know that? Did his staff? Or were they misled?
    • Why did National hand over millions of taxpayers dollars to settle the dispute when the unions had already caved?
    • And why did ministers change the law to retain the movies when Warners had no reason to move them elsewhere?
    • Was there miscommunication? Is there some innocent explanation? Or was this blatant political manipulation?

    At face value, New Zealanders have every reason to feel angry and betrayed by their leaders and indeed movie-makers, who until now have been feted and even knighted. I hope they have an explanation and I hope they make it promptly. Because the timing of these emails calls their integrity into question and must be addressed.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/the-hobbit-time-for-answers-john-peter-richard

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  70. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    All of that happened AFTER the dispute was over.

    So those people who thought their livelihoods were about to be stuffed by the actions of union parasites, should have just been GRATEFUL when the parasites munificently agreed not to stuff people’s livelihoods after all, and instead of moaning they should have paid their union dues and gone back to work like good little worker bees?? :???:

    Happy in the knowledge that the Union knows best, the Union is on our side, where would we be without the Union?

    Fuck me… and you probably wonder why union stirrers in the 1930s ended up in ditches with an un-countable number of bullets in them.

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  71. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Once again the claim is being made that the boycott was lifted on the 18th. Tim Watkins should check the SAG web site. It’s not hard to do.

    The boycott was lifted the day after the march.

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