The $676 million we almost lost!

October 6th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Making the movie trilogy  has cost more than half a billion dollars so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the “The Lord of the Rings” series.

That figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn’t include an additional two months or so of “pick-up” shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed.

Through March 31, production had cost NZ$676 million New Zealand dollars, according to financial documents filed Friday.

Are Labour still vowing to reverse the law change that helped keep The Hobbit in New Zealand?

I can’t wait for The Desolation of Smaug in December.

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90 Responses to “The $676 million we almost lost!”

  1. Michael (909 comments) says:

    Impress your friends with this magic trick.

    1. Get on a plane to North America.
    2. Go visit a store that does service. Like a small Mom and Pop operation.
    3. Start chatting to a staff member so they hear your accent.
    4. When they ask say you are from New Zealand. Say nothing for three seconds…

    And the person will say “Lord of the Rings – it so beautiful, I want to go.”

    100% Guaranteed.

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  2. wiseowl (887 comments) says:

    There are export businesses producing that income every year for NZ without subsidies or tax advantages.

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  3. Daigotsu (456 comments) says:

    I thought The Hobbit was quite average actually, not much looking forward to Desolation of Smaug, especially since it is mostly Peter Jackson’s Tolkien fanfic.

    But I guess I’m not as easily impressed by pop culture as DPF is.

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  4. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    I’m for the movie tax breaks, we should keep them, but that shouldn’t mean paying out more than you have to when Warners/Jackson make empty threats to take a movie overseas. ‘Almost lost’. No. We were all scammed.

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  5. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @wiseowl,

    It may have escaped your attention that the income generated through the like of The Hobbit is not at the expense of the export businesses you refer to.

    It’s “and, and” not “either, or”

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  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Michael – correct.

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  7. Than (472 comments) says:

    Daigotsu, I agree the Hobbit movie wasn’t great. It struck me as like watching one of the Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings movies, filled with extra material that (at least for the average viewer) would have been better cut for time.

    But that doesn’t negate the economic benefits, that we almost lost thanks to union interference.

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  8. tas (625 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens should really get more flak for this. I would love to see security kicking a few of their MPs out of the premiere.

    Loved the book. Loved the first movie. Looking forward to the next installment.

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  9. mandk (992 comments) says:

    @ Wiseowl
    Quite right, but the movie industry is footloose. It could easily go elsewhere without tax advantages. We compete against Aus, UK, Canada, S Africa and a host of other countries that would be delighted to offer tax breaks to get the filming done on their patch.

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  10. tvb (4,415 comments) says:

    Investment is a fickle thing and it does not take much to scare it away. The Labour Party does not get this. That Kelly woman would rather have the economy in ashes than concede any of her trade union demands.

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  11. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Bhudson – absolutely. It is interesting that people think we are doing so well that they think we could just forego that sort of income.

    But, never mind. When the Greens get in, Peter Jackson will be declared an enemy of the people and be banned from making movies ever again. The same with Warners.

    And any other company that wants to come to New Zealand will have to hire all their actors in New Zealand, only union members (the union will select the actors), as permanent employees, and won’t just be able to sack them when the movie is done – Yes, even bystander#2 in the crowd scene, Comrade.

    Of course, movie companies will be rushing to NZ to take advantage of this because of all our nice scenery, and just “wouldn’t” take their movies overseas. That’s just neolib propaganda.

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  12. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    tvb – Unfortunately, the country seems to be determined to put their hand in the fire, so we might get to see that first-hand.

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  13. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    Nope- It is not the government’s role to invest in movies. If there is benefit in having a movie made here then the sectors that benefit should form an investment group and put their own money up.

    This is just crony capitalism. A bad thing for so many reasons.

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  14. mandk (992 comments) says:

    @ Redbaiter,
    The government didn’t invest in The Hobbit. It adjusted the tax settings to ensure that the private investment happened here rather than elsewhere. That’s its job. And the pay-off has been handsome.

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  15. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    There is plenty of backlash within the film industry against these subsidies, they provide a massive distortion to the market place with companies regularly going to the wall simply because another country or US state offers a bigger subsidy and the work moves.

    VFX companies have been particularly hard hit with the recent winner of the VFX oscar for ‘Life of Pi’ in receivership as they received the award.

    DPF crows about the subsidies that NZ offers for movies yet also rallies against subsidies for farmers in the US and Europe.

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  16. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    “winner of the VFX oscar for ‘Life of Pi’ in receivership as they received the award.”

    Maybe they should have made the film in New Zealand and asked for a tax break? :-)

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  17. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    “That’s its job.”

    That is not the government’s job. If it is then you can’t complain when Labour gets into power and starts interfering in business.

    Which is a connected point.

    National is infested with too many left wingers who should be in the Labour party.

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  18. Daigotsu (456 comments) says:

    Red, lowering taxes is not a subsidy.

    Jesus man, you call yourself a conservative? Edmund Burke would be disgusted at you.

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  19. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    “Red, lowering taxes is not a subsidy.”

    I don’t agree but what ever you want to call it, its just a minor point.

    Whether some company wants to make a movie here should be stuff all to do with the government.

    You want Labour to be making these kind of decisions???

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  20. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Daigotsu – Edmund Burke. Thanks for that. I particularly like this one:

    “It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare. – Edmund Burke. – Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edmundburk134241.html#6wZmHr59ljct7bMZ.99

    Did they have a Green Party in those days as well?

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  21. Chris R (70 comments) says:

    @redbaiter. I agree with your final sentence.

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  22. mandk (992 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, the approach you seemingly prefer would have precisely the same outcome as the one the unions prefer.
    Industry moves offshore. 5,000 jobs disappear. Tax revenues down. Borrowing up. NZ the poorer.
    Great idea!

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  23. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    If you want to give the National Party the right to interfere in business then you can’t complain when the Labour party does the same.

    As for Peter Jackson, its just picking favourites and it has to stop. If tax breaks are good for one company then they are good for all.

    (It amazes me that people are using this thread to express whether they liked the movie or not. As if that has anything to do with it. Cubans.)

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  24. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Redbaiter is right about this one(!) There is nothing so special about one industry that it needs tax breaks and special exemptions from laws that apply to other businesses. Warner Brothers created a false crisis and used it to play (prey?) on John Key’s image of himself as a deal maker.

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  25. Daigotsu (456 comments) says:

    According to Red, if we don’t keep taxes at socialist levels, we are interfering with business.

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  26. Daigotsu (456 comments) says:

    As for the quality of the movie, I agree that it’s a separate issue, but to be fair, DPF raised the subject, so he’s responsible for people talking about it.

    If his OP had been all about the economics and nothing about the quality you would have a fair point.

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  27. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Yes, if you want good quality movie reviews you need to go to a different blog.

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  28. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    “And the person will say “Lord of the Rings – it so beautiful, I want to go.”

    Tell them not to believe everything they see in the movies!

    But seriously DPF, how many more times are we going to revisit this? It is of course fantastic that the movies were made in NZ, no question. But the truth, unpalatable though it is, is that those movies where always going to be made here, one way or the other. To suggest otherwise is illogical. I do appreciate that is not a pleasant consideration for the majority in here, but the brutal truth is ‘we’ ‘you’ were played by Warners, and especially Sir Peter, who took advantage of his exalted status to manipulate the situation to suit his own ends. That is not intended as a criticism of Sir Peter, he is a genius filmmaker, but like many in the profession he is a control freak, and by necessity does possess some narcissistic traits. Those former colleagues who had a few unkind words to say about him were not motivated purely by jealousy. Bottom line is Sir Peter is a winner. You guys, and me, are merely the plebs, but happy to live vicariously through the achievements of great Kiwis like Sir Peter. And are happy enough to do his dirty work for him. There’s nothing wrong in that. That is how this world operates. Winners and losers. Sir Peter is a winner. He has the power, and of course plenty of money to go with it. That is why he does not get as tense watching a close AB game than mere plebs, because in the end he is still the winner, while the self-esteem of the pleb is more often than not a function of whether the ABs win or lose.

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  29. Fox (206 comments) says:

    but the brutal truth is ‘we’ ‘you’ were played by Warners, and especially Sir Peter

    The term ‘being played’ usually entails being taken advantage of in some form of manner, and then ending up worse off than you were at the start.

    In this case we were ‘played’ and ended up with; at least 5000 extra jobs, unbelievable international tourism exposure, a greatly enhanced standing amongst international movie production companies, and millions upon millions of $$ pumped into our economy.

    Somehow it doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill……

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  30. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    The government didn’t invest in The Hobbit. It adjusted the tax settings to ensure that the private investment happened here rather than elsewhere. That’s its job. And the pay-off has been handsome.

    Big businesses should get the same tax treatment as small businesses. If that means that small businesses get a tax break, then so much the better. The government should not be giving tax breaks to a favoured few while everyone else misses out.

    Imagine the economic transformation if all businesses got the same tax breaks as Warners did.

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  31. wiseowl (887 comments) says:

    Thanks Red.
    Picking winners has been proven to be wrong before.
    Some here don’t get it.Manufacturers are told by National they are on their own , market forces , so using some of the logic here manufacturing is wrong, making movies is right.

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  32. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (888 comments) says:

    And the person will say “Lord of the Rings – it so beautiful, I want to go.”

    Sorry, my experience was different. Mom and Pop said “Land of the messiah David Cunliffe – such a beautiful communist country. I want to go”

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  33. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    Of course the way to fix this is really simple. Lower company tax rates to 10%, increase the depreciation on new plant (other than motor vehicles),to a three year total write down and then watch how the NZ economy flies.

    No favorites would be required because all the incentives would be there for companies to invest in NZ.
    and that’s the difference between NZ and Australia. Company investment.
    It would also push investment away from housing into production.

    But the Nats are too spineless to try.

    We would run out of people to do the work, and wages and productivity etc would grow rapidly.

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  34. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    Yes gazz manic
    Who is going to make up for the resulting tax short fall?
    Unless its not tax neutral it will impact else where.
    One guess
    Middle income, responsible choice, achievers.
    Big corporations employ specialist experts in tax miscounting and “how close can I get to illegal” lawyers.

    The government sponsoring the odd big contract for brand identification purposes by giving incentives seeding funding or tax breaks is similar to corporations desighn for sponsorship funding and support: Brand Identification.

    The yachts and the movies even lorde’s music emulate highlighted more values congruent to our desired international reputation than boating, pop and stunning landscapes.

    This position us as innovated, well organized and ready to take on the world in technology.

    As well as reinforce our reputation as a culture of can do achievers with a sophisticated friendly yet irreverent society in an uniquely kiwi way. :grin: :cool:

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  35. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    Grief does socialist propaganda so well.

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  36. Kea (12,777 comments) says:

    Red, what do you do well aside from shit all over the ideas of others ?

    [Hint: nothing.]

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  37. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @V2

    But the Nats are too spineless to try.,/i>

    Douglas wanted a flat 20% as far back as 1984 but Lange proved on this and many things he had no nuts, so don’t just blame National.

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  38. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    “Red, what do you do well aside from shit all over the ideas of others ?”

    The trolls have arrived en masse.

    That’s any chance of reasoned debate on Kiwiblog done for the day.

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  39. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    :lol:
    Redtard your compass is making small jerky movements again.

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  40. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    and Red

    you are so good as tearing down and being hypercritical.

    Just for once give us a plan give us your answer as to how its bad that 600 mill has been spent here, tell why its bettre that its not, ( I know I ask this of you every month but perhaps today you’ll surprise me rather than hide behind unintelligible rhetoric) – your plan not regurgitated shit from some far right American looney but the Redbaiter panacea. You’re so fucking clever give us the answers.

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  41. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    Paula, I’m always ready to deal with rational argument, but when you have so often been seen on here backing up the kind of stuff we see in Kea’s comment (12:17) then why is it you suddenly demand treatment as an adult debater and not as one of a gang of infantile trolls who cannot debate?

    Secondly, your questions show you can’t even get the core argument. Sure its good that the movie was made here. Its good that any industry occurs here. Manufacturing. Farming. Tourism. (well, I’m not so wrapt in tourism) Mining.

    Why should one industry attract subsidies not due to others? That is the question you need to answer.

    We need oil and gas so badly, but exploration companies have to pay license fees and royalties as well as tax. Why are they treated differently to the movie industry?

    What we have here is a prime example of why NZ is so economically crippled. We have a whole bunch of socialists arguing over the best way to do socialism.

    When the real problem is socialism itself.

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  42. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Oil and gas are the gift that keep on giving, ongoing taxes, royalties etc, it is not a one off gig. The material is here, its not in NSW , its not in the UK its here in NZ . The oil and gas companies have to do their exploration here. So if they want access they pay.

    The movie scene is different, all the film companies do is the same as you and I would to get our house painted, you shop around for the best deal that is going to get you the best result. If the govt has to step in to sweetened the pot to ensure monies are spent here, so be it.

    The oil companies will get concessions as well. Farming gets concessions- they are called free trade agreements rather than the old way of doing things.

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  43. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    Or maybe to put it in its most basic terms, the govt takes $70 billion out of the economy.

    Every one of these dollars is a brake on our economy.

    Singapore takes half that and has a standard of living far exceeding that of NZ. Its economy is relatively hearty.

    The bottom line is we have to get government and its legion of self serving bureaucrats and regulators off our payroll and out of our lives. That $70 billion taken is a serious brake on the economy and there’s no way it is really needed to be taken.

    Of course all of the bureaucrats who profit from it will tell you it is completely necessary, but you need to decide who to believe and when other countries take far less and are more successful it shouldn’t take much reasoning to come to that decision.

    Government is choking NZ to death and it has to be cut down to size if we are to survive.

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  44. Redbaiter (8,787 comments) says:

    “The oil and gas companies have to do their exploration here.”

    Well, there’s a good lesson for me in granting trolls the grace of reasoned debate.

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  45. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Who is going to make up for the resulting tax short fall?
    Unless its not tax neutral it will impact else where.
    One guess
    Middle income, responsible choice, achievers.
    Big corporations employ specialist experts in tax miscounting and “how close can I get to illegal” lawyers.

    There wouldn’t be one, since there would be no excuse for deadshits to not have jobs. I am talking about lowering taxes for middle income earners and small businesses.
    I also think that under the current rate if a large public company reports a before tax profit of say $1billion then they should pay $280million in tax, just like if a small company earns a $100,000 profit they have to pay $28,000 tax. No exceptions. But sadly big businesses don’t play like that.

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  46. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Red

    Harping on about Singapore again. Singapore the most vibrant example of socailisim on the planet.

    Why do you keep holding them up when they are everything you supposedly loathe?

    I know you are struggling when you try and turn this thread around to holding up the govt taking 70 billion, this isn’t about the tax take.

    Concentrate son, this is about a big spend that we would not have had without govt assistance and attempted sabotage by Kelly and other wet brains

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  47. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    PEB
    Surely the point is to ask why we subsidise the film industry and write special labour laws for that industry alone.

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  48. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    mikenmild (7,492) Says:
    October 6th, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    PEB
    Surely the point is to ask why we subsidise the film industry and write special labour laws for that industry alone.

    Yes mike, the lesson here is that we shouldn’t pick winners and the great success of the labour flexibility and reasonable tax structures offered to the Hobbit should be extended across all our industries

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  49. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    The government sponsoring the odd big contract for brand identification purposes by giving incentives seeding funding or tax breaks is similar to corporations desighn for sponsorship funding and support: Brand Identification.

    The yachts and the movies even lorde’s music emulate highlighted more values congruent to our desired international reputation than boating, pop and stunning landscapes.

    This position us as innovated, well organized and ready to take on the world in technology.

    As well as reinforce our reputation as a culture of can do achievers with a sophisticated friendly yet irreverent society in an uniquely kiwi way. :grin: :cool:

    Done wisely it is the gift that keeps on giving.

    The moneys spent on leveling the economic advantages to match those of others of other jurisdictions.

    Was spent well the returns have been satisfying to say the least.

    Like trade with china red all good

    The way to modernity of governance in china is to encourage the difference between the free enterprise china with the hinterland one step above Middle Ages serfdom.

    Grow the middle class, it is going to have the power of information.

    As trading with Cuba would bring about more democratic change than isolation and embargo.

    It is virtually impossible to have large scale of contact with the west by a middle class and them not to begin to sequester effort into striving towards our concepts of freedom and democratic power.

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  50. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I doubt that the present government has the stomach for anything like that scale of reform.

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  51. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “Well, there’s a good lesson for me in granting trolls the grace of reasoned debate.”

    Riiight Red, sure. Reasoned debate?

    Red: Here’s what I think
    Respondent: I think you are wrong and here’s why
    Red: COMMIE PROGRESSIVE *Froth froth*

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  52. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    i hate having to stick up for Reddy, but he has had a go at debating today. It’s not impossible for him to learn to have a reasoned discussion.

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  53. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    mikemild,

    Its more often the trolls replying to red that are the repetitive drones with ad hominens and nothing topical to add.

    For some reason calling him names offers the lesser minds on here some comfort.

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  54. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Surely the point is to ask why we subsidise the film industry and write special labour laws for that industry alone.

    As I think has already been explained, tax breaks are not a subsidy.

    As for the labour laws, they just confirmed our right to work for ourselves rather than for the man.

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  55. All_on_Red (1,581 comments) says:

    Surely the point is to ask why we subsidise Unions and write special labour laws for that industry alone?

    Now that version is a question Id like answered!

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  56. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    wat
    Sorry for describing the tax breaks as a subsidy. Why do we have tax breaks and special labour laws for one industry?
    All on red
    How do we subsidise unions?

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  57. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Why do we have tax breaks and special labour laws for one industry?

    Are you talking about the teaching monopoly again?

    Ba-boom, tish.

    It’s because the left has deliberately created a state which can take money from the politically unorganised – the man in the street – to the politically organised.

    Of course there shouldn’t be any bail-outs, soft loans, whatever.

    But the left keeps demanding them.

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  58. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Maybe I’m a slow learner, but you’ll have to explain again how the left asked for tax breaks and special labour laws for the film industry…

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  59. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    The left engineered the situation where the state hands out goodies to special-interest groups.

    The particulars of any particular case are irrelevent.

    It was the same with the bank bailouts. Thanks, lefties.

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  60. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So you’re an ACT diehard, or are they too pragmatic for you also?

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  61. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    “In this case we were ‘played’ and ended up with; at least 5000 extra jobs, unbelievable international tourism exposure, a greatly enhanced standing amongst international movie production companies, and millions upon millions of $$ pumped into our economy.”

    We’d have still got those, and what’s more important we’d not have had to demeaned ourselves as a country. Anyways I’m predicting a big boost in tourism because of this dude…

    http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/19245599/kiwi-brostander-trumps-lorde-as-1-new-zealand-celebrity/

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  62. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    mm,

    I’m just pointing out the facts.

    The left extended the powers of the state so it could hand out other people’s money to what it considered worthwhile causes. That other special-interest groups will organise to take advantage of this situation is as obvious as night following day.

    So try not to sound so outraged, you’re convincing no one.

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  63. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m just interest that you have no prescription for changing something you are so obviously upset about. Must suck to live in a democracy when you are so pure.

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  64. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    mm,

    As I said, I’m just pointing out the facts.

    You can respond in a mature manner, or not as the case may be.

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  65. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Dean Papa.

    Australia used to have a film industry. Much of the Star Wars prequels and the 3 Matrix movies were shot there. By Warners.

    They aren’t making movies there anymore. Care to guess why?

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  66. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    err … let me think, could it be because Oz have no equivalent to Sir Peter?

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  67. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    Wat that sounds nice history.
    Except the left was the perpetrator of Rogernomics against the protectionism and distortions created by both slides of the political fence .

    My argument is that the advertising value to New Zealand incs brand has been extremely valuable.

    The effect of the boats sailors support crews and training spent in NZ is huge Far more than the millions invsted. It was a given that New Zealand crews and boats would dominate the cup.

    The film crews production logistics value is immense the numbers involved in spending billions is multiplied by many times as the money changes hands.

    It was a good business decision to provide tax breaks and turn down the unions attempt to control labour.

    A guaranteed return.

    In both cases for the expenditure / revenue lost and capacity’s built In related industry’s

    Don’t let you ideology blind you to the economic reality of these investments.

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  68. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Some would obviously stick to their ideology regardless of evidence or practical experience. What you are arguing for Griff is a government adept at picking winning investments over the host of different opportunities that might be presented. Do you think the current government has a good record: Warners, Emirates, Sky City, Tiwai Point and whatever’s next?

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  69. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    Warners
    A movie produced by a patriotic kiwi who brings much work and good publicity

    , Emirates,
    A boat race that is much the same

    Sky City,
    gambling socially distributive.

    Tiwai Point
    co2 heavy industry owned by a harpy.

    ok answer?

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  70. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Dean Papa -“err … let me think, could it be because Oz have no equivalent to Sir Peter?”

    Well, when Labour and the Greens get in, we won’t have Sir Peter either. They made it clear what they think of him at the time and I expect they have already quietly declared him an “enemy of the people”.

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  71. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think it would take more than a change of government to stop Peter Jackson from making movies in Miramar.

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  72. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Mikenmild – “Do you think the current government has a good record: Warners, Emirates, Sky City, Tiwai Point ….”

    Yes, I do.

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  73. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    And you are confident that it has the commercial nous to continue favouring a few selected businesses with deals no one else can aspire to?

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  74. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Mikenmild – “I think it would take more than a change of government to stop Peter Jackson from making movies in Miramar.”

    Let’s see. Change of labour laws requiring all actors to be hired as permanent employees, even if they are only playing the second bystander in the crowd. Actors to be approved by the union to ensure local union members, I mean actors, are employed. Company tax jumping to 39%. Personal tax on Sir Peter jumping to god knows what. Warners executives lampooned by the government and refused visas, Helen Kelly (MP for Rongotai) interfering, I mean overseeing, the filming,…

    Of course you are right. Sir Peter would never consider doing his work anywhere else. What could I have been thinking.

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  75. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Perhaps a return to the pre-Hobbit settings would both a less bizarre and a more credible scenario. I just listened to a producer on National Radio today moaning that the government didn’t do enough to attract movie productions. The reality is that you can never do enough for one industry: they will always want more and maybe especially so from a government with ‘negotiate here’ tattooed on its forehead.

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  76. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    “And you are confident that it has the commercial nous to continue favouring a few selected businesses with deals no one else can aspire to?”

    Ah, no. But I am damn sure they have done a hell off a lot better than the opposition parties would have done.

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  77. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Maybe the opposition parties, if given the oppurtunity, would have taken a more consistent line. That’s a counterfactual, so nothing definitive can be said about that. What has happened did happen, although we can always laugh to DPF trying to match his version of history to actual events.

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  78. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    I agree the opposition parties would have probably taken a more consistent line – mainly along the lines of consistently saying no, you can’t do that. At the very least, National seem to be demonstrating a more can-do attitude. Tiwai Pt may be where they overstepped the mark, but I think there are a few people in Southland that might disagree.

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  79. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Well, that’s just what opposition parties do. You have to be in government to make these kind of decisions.

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  80. Griff (7,675 comments) says:

    “a few people in Southland”
    The hydro station is a stunning engineering achievement that should run with the odd update for a very long time
    The benefit of this resource is captured By “a few people in Southland” and the profits of an offshore resource company.
    We all pay more in electricity bills and NZ is a higher emitter of co2.

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  81. Allyson (47 comments) says:

    Can Anyone give me a good reason we should have welcomed that Aussie trade union here? Industry insiders didn’t want them and neither did our government. Well done NZ.

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  82. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Can anyone tell me whether there are still links between Actors Equity here and in Australia?

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  83. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    ” Industry insiders didn’t want them”

    Robyn Malcolm and Tandi Wright wanted them..

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  84. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Mikenmild – “Well, that’s just what opposition parties do. You have to be in government to make these kind of decisions.”

    Yep, what I meant was they would have been consistently saying no, if they had been the government, not in their existing role which is to say whatever the government doing is wrong, no matter what it is. I think they have misunderstood what being the opposition is actually supposed to mean.

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  85. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Again, counterfactual as it is impossible to say what might have been. The term ‘opposition’ is actually a clue to their political and constitutional role – to provide opposition to the programme of the government of the day.

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  86. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    I can only take the opposition parties at their word as to what they would have done and will do if a similar situation arises. Or are you suggesting they would have changed the employment law to ensure the Hobbit was made here, etc.

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  87. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m suggesting that the employment laws did not need to change and that there is nothing so special about making movies that such an activity cannot adapt to a wide variety of local conditions.

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  88. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    Hmmmm… The Herald reports something cost $676 million and DPF and commentators here somehow turn this figure from a quantifying of cost into one of income or profit. No details of even how much of this money was actually spent in New Zealand, nor how much immediately zipped overseas. And DPF seems to think ‘we’ all share in this supposed income, as if New Zealand was some sort of socialist collective. Seems a few basic lessons in economics need to be taken.

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  89. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    The fool should of left the fobbit alone and not have gone there.

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  90. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @Sam Buchanan,

    It is true that The Herald could have been more explicit as to whether all of the money was spent in NZ or not, but, in absence of any substantiated report to the contrary, that is all we have to go on.

    And that means $676m on our GDP.

    To deny that NZ benefits hugely from that is to completely reject the articles of economic faith which are the revered teachings of John Maynard Keynes.

    And all of that multiplied 5 times too…

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