Plunket on positive Wellington

December 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

writes:

Christmas came early for this past week with the announcement that the next three Avatar movies will be made here.

According to Treasury James Cameron’s apparent largesse might well come at a cost but I haven’t met a single Wellingtonian who doesn’t see it as a positive for this city.

It is a boost for Wellington.

So while this city prepares to turn blue and grow a tail Aucklanders are learning to live with their slick willy mayor and council that can do little to control him and Christchurch finds the kitty for its rebuild isn’t quite big enough to do everything it wants. Take note, John Key: in comparison to other large municipalities this capital city is hardly dying.

To be fair the PM was referring to corporate head offices leaving Wellington, and that is still happening.

We have a second-term mayor who seems to be using the word economy more often and a bunch of councillors who, if not unified, are at least pretty experienced and represent in a positive way our diverse population.

Celia’s performance, so far, has been better this term. Getting rid of some costly CCOs has been welcomed, and the Council seems more harmonious.

We’ve got parking wardens back under the control of our council which will hopefully curb some of the more market-driven excesses of those who patrol the pavements and the council’s living wage policy shows our elected city officials can get together and do the right thing.

On top of that we are building up to the International Festival of the Arts next year and the first sod has been turned on Transmission Gully.

Don’t agree on the living wage but do on the others.

In fact I’d argue there is actually more silver lining than cloud around the harbour capital right now and to repeat my exhortations from earlier in the year I just hope more of us realise that in 2014.

Yep, life in Wellington is pretty good.

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66 Responses to “Plunket on positive Wellington”

  1. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    Meanwhile Christchurch has overtaken Wellington as recipients of the taxpayer largesse.
    But, the team politbureau will put that right again. Labours on the comeback.

    According to the Herald and all its was the Wellington establishement that brow beat Cabinet into donating another tax break for those that can’t help themselves and meanwhile us producers have to find the readies to prop up the exalted part time beneficiaries of the film producers.

    Any chance of the rest of us getting a subsidy?????

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  2. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Like his late Dad, Pat, Sean has his blank spots, but overall his analysis is pretty good.

    It’s his math, and understanding of the interaction between economics and politics,that holds him back.
    That is evidenced by his assertion (albeit inferred) that the dippy red-green monsters on the WC Council know more about the living wage scam than the Treasury.

    Sean just needs to hone up on that.

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  3. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    One question: what sort of audience do the Avatar type films appeal to?

    Couch potatoes? The young and broke? Or people who are potential tourists to NZ?

    Help on this please.

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  4. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    “and the council’s living wage policy shows our elected city officials can get together and do the right thing.”

    And “the right thing” is to take more rates from people on the minimum wage so Celia can give it to 16 year old school leavers, and give herself a fussy warm feeling? Just because a Reverend says this is the magic number?

    Any excuse to redistribute, right? Why not just cut to the endgame and pay all council employees the same. Come on, you know you want to. Except the councillors of course. Some people are more “equal” than others.

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  5. lazza (381 comments) says:

    A climate take on Wellington and its contibution to Wellington being a great place to live/visit.

    I have lived in Wellington from time to time and more recently stay there for several weeks spaced throughout the year.

    My earlier residents recollections of Wellington mean autumn and winter temperatures suggest that now, Wellington is (still) windy but is also “warmer”.

    As one sure sign of Wellie warming there used to be no kerbside cafe tables … now they are ubiquitous.

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  6. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    Jack5 – Greenies.

    One film was good. I dont have any plans to watch any more.

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  7. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Lived about the same amount of time in Wellington and Christchurch.

    Despite the earthquakes, Christchurch is still ten times better as a place to live. That’s not a diss of Welly, just an upps of chch.

    Which is why it is still our 2nd highest populated city.

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  8. mandk (998 comments) says:

    @ V2
    The question to be asked is whether you want a movie industry here.
    Would you prefer the Avatar films to be made elsewhere?
    Without a shadow of doubt, this would happen if the rebate of tax on qualifying expenditure (not subsidy) was not offered.
    And it would make it likely that Jackson and Taylor would go and do their stuff in a more supportive environment, taking thousands of jobs with them.

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  9. mandk (998 comments) says:

    OneTrack: “And “the right thing” is to take more rates from people on the minimum wage so Celia can give it to 16 year old school leavers, and give herself a fussy warm feeling? Just because a Reverend says this is the magic number?”

    What makes it worse is that it is not even what Rev Waldegrave said. It’s a completely brainless policy.

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  10. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    To confirm what has been said, Brother Corpn (HO, Warehouses, etc) have decided to totally quit Wellington – all staff who wish too, and relocate to Tauranga.

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  11. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Pick winners, m and k (10.59 post), so long as you don’t pretend you are free-marketers.

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  12. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    I like Plunket and I like Wellington. I like the waterfront, Parliament buildings, all the kooky little suburbs, how people honk their horns at each other in the tunnel, the cable car with the park at the top. Notice I didn’t include Te Papa, it’s a bit av

    Plunket comes across on the radio as that rare thing in the media; a straight down the middle ordinary New Zealander. He must have struggled at Radio New Zealand.

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  13. Tautaioleua (309 comments) says:

    Avatar is the highest-grossing film of all time (in second place is Titanic; another James Cameron masterpiece).

    It’s the first film to gross more than $2 billion dollars.

    Jack5, couch potatoes and unemployable youth are not the type to pay for films anymore. The kind of audience responsible for these remarkable profit margins is EXACTLY the kind of audience that we want on our tour groups and occupying our hotel rooms.

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  14. wf (448 comments) says:

    I watched about 10 minutes of Avatar.

    Blue people? With tails? And was it underwater?

    Nah.

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  15. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I just wish the council would stop adding ammonia to our water.

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  16. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    I only ever watched the first Star Wars movie. Wasn’t too bad but a tad boring. Never really watched a movie since. Got rid of Sky Movies ten years ago. Never have worked out why sad wee bastards have to to live out their sad lives thru movies.

    Why the fuck we dish out taxpayer cash to posers like Jackson and Cameron has me fucked! :)

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  17. tvb (4,431 comments) says:

    Wellington is a town that largely relies on some sort of Government handout. The private sector is leaving except for contractors reliant on the Government. It is a vibrant city but the climate is lousy. Auckland beats Wellington for that reason.

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  18. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    I mean. If Jackson and Cameron had any real talent at all they would not need social welfare payouts to make their bloody trash! :)

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  19. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Johnboy (12,210 comments) says:

    December 22nd, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I only ever watched the first Star Wars movie. Wasn’t too bad but a tad boring. Never really watched a movie since. Got rid of Sky Movies ten years ago. Never have worked out why sad wee bastards have to to live out their sad lives thru movies.
    ****

    THERE MAY BE A FEW, BUT NOT MANY, LIKE YOU.

    A little thought will provide you with the answer – most folks dream, and watching movies is (well, sort of) like a dream.

    Your second comment is not worthy of a response. What a sad sack!

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  20. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Auckland is a cunt of a place tvb. It’s full of fucking posing Jafa’s.

    I agree however on the welfare handouts to posers based in Wellington! :)

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  21. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    You can deam (sic) as much as you like flipper.

    I believe in cold hard reality! :)

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  22. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Pre ejaculation (edit) Jonnie old cock…….
    Your world is anything but cold reality.

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  23. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Anyone who thinks that dreadful Titanic movie was wonderful is obviously a bloody retard.

    As for the crappy greeny/blue people movie get a brain transplant folks.

    Giving the Cameron shyster even more of the poor old taxpayers dosh to make even more of the same crap is laughable.

    I suspect Key and Joyce want to step on the red carpet again outside the Embassy and us fuckwits will be paying the bill for the lackys that roll it out for them. :)

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  24. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    “A little thought will provide you with the answer – most folks dream, and watching movies is (well, sort of) like a dream.”

    Dream( or deam) on silly little flipper while the real world pass’s you by! :)

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  25. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Except for central government and it’s business connection spinoffs what otherwise would keep Wellington going?

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  26. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    We on-ship freight from Auckland to South Island and reverse Gulag1917! :)

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  27. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    The power cable that takes all those megawatts north to Jafaville pass’s thru Wellytown Gulag1917! :)

    I’ll think of some other reasons if pressed! :)

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  28. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Seismic research? :)

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  29. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Wikipedia on Wellington’s economy
    Economy[edit]
    The Government sector has long been a mainstay of Wellington’s economy, being the capital of New Zealand, and as such the city’s economy has typically risen and fallen with it. Traditionally, its central location meant it was also the location of many head offices of various sectors — particularly finance, technology and heavy industry — many of which have since relocated to Auckland following economic deregulation and privatisation.[49][50] In recent years, tourism, arts & culture, film, and ICT have played a bigger role in Wellington’s economy.
    Major companies headquartered in Wellington include Centreport, Chorus, The Cooperative Bank, Datacom Group, Infratil, KiwiRail, Meridian Energy, NZ Post, NZX, Todd Corporation, TradeMe, Weta Digital, Wellington International Airport and Xero.

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  30. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    The earth moves for the rest of you when the Wellytown pollies fart nasska! :)

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  31. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Chorus, Kiwirail, NZ Post,……basket case’s! :)

    I’m surprised Solid Energy isn’t based here.

    I’m sure Pike River Coal was! :)

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  32. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    The Christchurch earthquake demonstrated that decentralisation is a necessity in a geologically unpredictable nation.

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  33. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Weta Digital is only viable because the poor of NZ keep on giving their clients huge amounts of dosh! :)

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  34. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Wellington’s Major Employers
    http://www.enz.org/major-wellington-employers.html

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  35. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Otago is the biggest most stable place in NZ if there is to be any centralisation that should be where it takes place.

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  36. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    But PG is an up and coming MP there Gulag1917…Don’t you think that may put some folks off of the area? :)

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  37. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    haha

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  38. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    mandk (493 comments) says:
    December 22nd, 2013 at 10:59 am

    @ V2
    The question to be asked is whether you want a movie industry here.
    Would you prefer the Avatar films to be made elsewhere?
    Without a shadow of doubt, this would happen if the rebate of tax on qualifying expenditure (not subsidy) was not offered.
    And it would make it likely that Jackson and Taylor would go and do their stuff in a more supportive environment, taking thousands of jobs with them.
    =========================
    Do we really care. Like JB I have yet to watch any of that trashy movie stuff. LOTR and Avatar. God what sad minds ya have.
    As for the hand outs. Well there are companies around that are Kiwi owned that export that could produce more for NZ than a hand out to the thugs at Fox etc.for the same money. Cameron was never going to fuck off. He has bought his grave plot down the Ferry. A true NZ citizen then bringing his business to NZ.
    He should take a leaf out of the book from the Chinese man who just bought Hotchens disaster.

    If their was a 5 minute preamble to the films on NZ and tourism absolutley gauranteed forever on all films,videos etc than maybe it would be worth the money but as I read it that only applies to the dvd which no one purchases anymore.

    Crappy deal.

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  39. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    Johnboy – As I read it, the Avatar deal is still a tax rebate scheme. The film companies give New Zealand heaps of tax money and we give them heaps back as a rebate. So we arent exactly losing on the deal, we just arent making as much as we might have. Happy to be corrected if this is wrong.

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  40. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    It’s social welfare for millionaires OneTrack. It can be dressed up in any clothes that Key and Joyce think will make it look good. The heaps of tax money that you say they will pay will be reduced to nothing by the tax rebates they get. Best it will do is give some losers and wannabes jobs as extras at the minimum rate and flick them back on the scrap heap when shooting is over. If any of the shite movies they were making could be classed as “classics” it may be almost worth it. Unfortunately that is not the case, the movies are crap! :)

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  41. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    V2 says it all really! :)

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  42. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    One Track posted at 3.44:

    …The film companies give New Zealand heaps of tax money and we give them heaps back as a rebate….

    Why should just the film companies get heaps back?

    A free-market government would not make any selected industry tax free. Mind you, it’s not just the film industry that’s on the State sow’s money tits. With the present charities tax rules, Ngai Tahu businesses and the Seventh Day Adventists’ Sanitarium operate tax free. Then there is State funding of Think Big fibre-to-the-door, with loans that are interest free for a few years and semi-equity (non-voting shares) taken up.

    It’s Muldoonism: centre-left soft socialism. Except for first, discrimination against men, it’s getting hard to draw a line between National and Labour. It wouldn’t be so bad if the politicians were as smart as Singapore’s and were building a thriving high-tech state.

    Is it Key’s background, or just the sort of people who have National by the balls the reason we pick wrong sorts of state intervention. We don’t match Singapore’s technology development, education,or sovereign funds external investment. The sliver of free market given to us is open slather on foreign purchases of our arable land, free-floating currency that is leading to huge reliance on one export to one market (milk powder to China), and open-door, multiculturalist immigration, which has led to voter-unendorsed ethnic re-engineering of the population without any consequent economic benefit.

    Our national debt (public plus private) is now huge and we are going into a second-half century of continual current-account deficits.

    We are obviously going to need calamity before we begin real reform.

    Meanwile, National in announcing the film subsidies, described them as incentives, a PR word for subsidies.

    For international productions,a 20 per cent rebate becomes the new base line. There is an additonal 5 per cent rebate related to a “points test relating to significant economic benefits, including the size of the proposed expenditure and activities which strengthen the industry”.

    For NZ TV productions, “support” (grants) will rise from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. For those whose cost ranges from $15 million to $50 million, it seems the Government take an equity stake.

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  43. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    For NZ TV productions read….”A vast panoply of talentless, spear-dancing, eye-rolling, tongue-poking crap” ! :)

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  44. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    I might go for a stroll up Mount Egmont next week if I can find it on the map! :)

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  45. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Then again I could sail over to Somes Island if it’s still on the charts! :)

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  46. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    If you go up Mount Taranaki, Johnboy, be careful not to piss on a taniwha.

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  47. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    I might just pop up Mount Cook and shit on it somewhere Jack5.
    Would be considered OK by Kamatua I suspect! :)

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  48. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Johnboy, if you venture into the South Island, don’t pick up greenstone. That’s Ngai Tahu taonga.

    If you really want it, buy identical nephrite from Australia, or Canada, or California, or Mexico, or Siberia. The Waitangi Tribunal hasn’t yet got around to ceding these much bigger nephrite deposits to Ngai Tahu.

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  49. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Last time I went south I ate some of their oysters taonga. That was very satisfying.

    They can stick their stone-age shit wherever they like! :)

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  50. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    jack5 – “We are obviously going to need calamity before we begin real reform.”

    We are going to get all the calamity we can handle in around ten months time.

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  51. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    The amazing thing about KB is that it brings out all the prats in society. Jackson and Camerons movies are utter crap. The last movie that Jackson ever made that was cutting edge was that sordid little slash and hack thing based in Makara.

    All you wankers laud the fellow as a great man. You laud his mates studio in Miramar as huge success.

    You laud Cameron as an example of how awfully well JK and SJ are doing to uplift the NZ economy.

    It’s all an illusion. They will screw us all for what they can get and then dump us like shitting out last nights curry.

    Dream on dickheads! :)

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  52. freemark (581 comments) says:

    Johnboy, you sound like a brainless dickhead. Like it or not, NZ taxpayer already supports hundreds if not thousands of NZ businesses, for good reason. We also completely subsidize thousands of troughers for no good reason. These films probably (or even possibly) would NOT be made here without some kind of rebate. Nobody loses, film workers gain heaps, The State in all it’s bloated form also gains heaps. If they never made another movie hewre we have all still gained something. What the fuck is it about our education or propaganda system that is so lacking, that dumb fucks like you just fail to understand really basic shit?

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  53. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    If you can explain to me in simple terms why the tax-payers of NZ should keep tossing money, on the whim of a stupid pollie, at Jackson, Cameron, Tiwai Point, Kiwirail, etc.etc, to keep their dodgy business’s afloat then go ahead freemark.

    Keep it simple since you have already decided I’m a dumb fuck product of our useless education system! :)

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  54. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Sorry, forgot about Chorus.

    JK and SJ haven’t worked out how to prop that dead dog up yet but when they do you and I will pay! :)

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  55. Manolo (13,839 comments) says:

    @Johnboy: It’s very politically incorrect to use the term Stone Age to refer to the wise citizens of Aotearoa, a great ancient civilization only second to the Greeks.

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  56. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    And we seem only to ready to bend over for them Manolo instead of them bending over for us in the good old Greek tradition! :)

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  57. Manolo (13,839 comments) says:

    I’ve been criticised numerous times for using the term Stone Ager to refer to Maori, but I think the moniker fits the bill. Let me call a spade, a spade.

    Some of the buggers are conveniently stuck in the past as a mean to get special treatment and heaps of taxpayer’s money.

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  58. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Seems like movie directors are quickly learning the old Murri cultural values too Manolo! :)

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  59. freemark (581 comments) says:

    “If you can explain to me in simple terms why the tax-payers of NZ should keep tossing money, on the whim of a stupid pollie, at Jackson, Cameron, Tiwai Point, Kiwirail, etc.etc, to keep their dodgy business’s afloat then go ahead freemark.”
    You just don’t get it do you? Apart from Kiwirail, which should never have been bought back, and is a dog, the rest have been net beneficial. Not as beneficial as the potential from an Oil strike, but still better than the alternative. What’s the bet that you are not a net taxpayer, and neither are your zealot cohorts, yet you’ll have the gall to tell us about taxpayers dollars.

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  60. Johnboy (16,684 comments) says:

    Who is “us” freemark? :)

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  61. ShawnLH (5,293 comments) says:

    Manalo said: “I’ve been criticised numerous times for using the term Stone Ager to refer to Maori, but I think the moniker fits the bill. Let me call a spade, a spade.

    Some of the buggers are conveniently stuck in the past as a mean to get special treatment and heaps of taxpayer’s money.”

    I agree, and disagree.

    I agree that Maori, and others besides, are using special pleading to get tax dollars and this is wrong.

    I disagree that this has anything to do with arbitrary notions of thus “age” or that “age”.

    Plenty of people, especially non-Maori whites, use modernity as an excuse for stealing money (taxation) or for this or that social policy (we must embrace homosexuality because it is “modern” as one example.)

    All compulsory taxation is theft and should be ended.

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  62. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Johnboy.

    If the current funding arrangement for the film industry did not exist, then the movies would not be made here, but elsewhere, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. Not just in the film industry, but also the myriad of local businesses that support it in the way of Hospitality, Builders, Drivers, Pilots, IT etc.

    All of these people pay PAYE.

    As to the other benefits of the movies being made here. Well James Cameron is on record as having had the idea for Avatar for some time, but it was only when he saw the work Weta was doing with CGI that he knew he had the technology to tell the story available, and he had to come to NZ to get it, giving us an opportunity to showcase our IT talent to the world. Now the world is coming to NZ to make it’s movies.

    At the same time, Australia used to make movies. The three Star Wars Prequels and the Matrix Trilogy were made there, but the industry was not supported by central government. Now regardless of what you think of the worth of the movies, and I think only 2 of the 6 movies listed were any good, the Aussie movie industry is in tatters.

    This gives NZ an opportunity to showcase itself, and it’s products, to a wider market than ever before. People with credibility and influence are coming to NZ and extolling it’s virtues to a wider audience and word of mouth is the best sort of advertising. As a result, people in NZ are now also becoming people of influence in the wider world. Hammond Peek, the sound engineer who won academy awards for his work on King Kong and LOTR, is now helping to promote NZ audio products to the world. The tourism benefits of Film are still ongoing. Ask Matamata.

    The wider benefits of raising our international profile are worth it.

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  63. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    I just browsed the posts on this page.

    My word! Hasn’t Kiwiblog gone down-market in a big way! Facile comments, filthy language, juvenile opinions! I’m surprised ol’ David allows some of it to remain. I can only conclude that some posters are doing so in a state of possibly alcoholic disability. (Johnboy at 6.52 excepted).

    Don’t think I’ll be wasting my time trolling through this sort of foul rubbish too much in the future.

    Get a grip of your pages David!!

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  64. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Freemark, those subsidized industries are only “worth it” if you ignore the opportunity cost. We spent billions on them, what else could we have done with the money and what impact might that have had ? It’s all too easy to calculate a benefit when you don’t count the costs fully.

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  65. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    So, if I’ve got this right, Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time taking north of $2,000,000,000 but it still needs handouts from those working in other industries to be economically viable.

    Struggling a bit with the concept.

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  66. Albert_Ross (298 comments) says:

    No, Alan at 9:29, it doesn’t need handouts “to be economically viable”. It requires the right terms //to be made here//. Without them, it will be made elsewhere. The jobs will be created elsewhere. The expertise will be developed elsewhere. The tax (for they’re not going to pay no tax at all, just less) will be paid elsewhere.

    Ed Snack at 8:25, you are quite right that opportunity costs are often ignored, but in this case that supposes that the alternative to having the films made here with a tax rebate is having the films made here without a tax rebate. That is not the alternative. The alternative is not having the films made here. What’s the opportunity cost of that?

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