Labour’s Hobbit Haters are back

July 31st, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Party wants to repeal the law changes that were ceded to Warner Bros over The Hobbit films, a move which the Government says would cripple the $3 billion screen industry.

The Greens policies will kill off the oil industry while Labour’s would kill off the film industry. Combine the two of them together, and you shudder.

A $2 boost in the to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 would mean an extra $4000 a year for those workers – but the Government was quick to dismiss this as costing up to 6000 jobs.

Why stop at $16.25? Why not $25 an hour?

Mr Bridges said the minimum wage in New Zealand was the highest in the world, relative to the average wage.

It is. The way to grow wages is to increase productivity, not by legislation.

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48 Responses to “Labour’s Hobbit Haters are back”

  1. greenjacket (486 comments) says:

    And a government Commission to establish working conditions and set wages.
    A return to the 1970s.

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  2. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It seems all our political parties want to kill off something or other.

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  3. redqueen (596 comments) says:

    Yes, but productivity takes things like technical improvement and utilisation, better management skills and behaviour, and better work skills and behaviour. Umm…since when do Labour know about any of these things? (heck, even a significant number of companies!)

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  4. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    Diversity comes to Hobbiton (under Labour/National Green).

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  5. oldpark (412 comments) says:

    just a sneaky way for Labour to tax the worker.Seems Unite Union are behind the latest tax grab by Labour if elected.Do the maths,on tax grab, for every so called TWO DOLLAR BRIBE per hour.Works out at 17.50% TAX.Sneaky unions and Cunliffe, Labour Party.

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  6. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    Would there be something wrong with the film industry having to comply with the same employment laws that apply to every other industry?

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  7. thePeoplesFlag (283 comments) says:

    “…since when do Labour know about any of these things..?”

    We’ve tried letting boss class have a go for the last thirty years and it’s been an utter disaster, so the government couldn’t do any worse and wages might actually go up! Imagine that! Decent pay rises for increased productivity, instead of a parasite capitalist class pocketing the difference!

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  8. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    “Would there be something wrong with the film industry having to comply with the same employment laws that apply to every other industry?”

    Here is the choice:

    a) do what labour want and lose the industry.
    b) say fuck it, i dont like it, but they have us by the balls and suck it up. keep the industry.

    Unfortunately movies are sexy. Politicians the world over love em. So the only way to compete is through this crony capitalism bullshit.

    The ideologue in me says – fuck it! piss off with your stinkin movies!

    But the nice, caring part of me says – that’s a lot of families without an income. KIWI FAMILIES! with CHILDREN!

    why ya so heartless milky?

    The lefty argument is – oh they wont go anywhere. LMAO cause when it comes to business, i trust a lefty, they know what they are doing.

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  9. meanybeany (31 comments) says:

    “The way to grow wages is to increase productivity”

    Yeah right:

    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/graph-of-the-week-usa-productivity-and-real-hourly-wages-1964-2008/

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  10. ManuT (56 comments) says:

    Help me out here. Who actually gets paid under $16.00 per hour? apart from after school jobs. Our receptionist is salaried $45,000 with use of the runabout car and she works about 30 hours around part time studies. Our storeman is on $24.00/hr and installers $50,00/hr. This is what our staff start on.

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  11. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    dime
    I don’t agree. The whole ‘Hobbit hating’ thing was a bit of manufactroversy to suit the film studios. We don’t offer the best subsidies and lowest wages in the world – films are made here for other reasons.

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  12. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    Help me out here. Who actually gets paid under $16.00 per hour? apart from after school jobs.

    No one stays on a minimum wage unless they are incapable of finding a better paid job due to lack of skills, lack of language or lack of ambition. If you take kids working in fast food restaurants out of the mix, the numbers are tiny.

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  13. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    Another vote winning policy by Labour!

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  14. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    Labour has long since ceased to be the party of the worker, it is the party of the beneficiary and its goal is mass dependency in order to sustain justification for its existence.

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  15. virtualmark (1,306 comments) says:

    backster,

    Labour is the party of the union official. And many unions think that one simple way to increase their own revenue – and hence pay the union officials bigger salaries – is to raise the minimum wage.

    That said, I’m not convinced that the higher dues per union member would offset the lower number of union members as people lose their jobs. But then I don’t think I’m as brain-damaged as the average union official …

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  16. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    This policy is *wonderfully* easy to debunk.

    Mary at a cafe makes “x” profit per month and employs “y” number of workers.
    If the minimum wage is raised, in order to maintain that level of profit she will have to raise her prices and/or lay off a few staff.

    *Brilliant* stuff by Labour. /sarc

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  17. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    “dime
    I don’t agree. The whole ‘Hobbit hating’ thing was a bit of manufactroversy to suit the film studios. We don’t offer the best subsidies and lowest wages in the world – films are made here for other reasons.”

    so you’re saying we have some competitive advantages outside of money. good.

    take all incentives away, do we still have those competitive advantages? doubt it. there is a tipping point.

    i just hope Murdoch gets his way and buys Warners. The left will shit bricks.

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  18. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    Note Labour also propose to increase the minimum wage to $18/hour over time.

    They want to pass a law making it illegal for a willing employer to hire a willing worker if the agreed rate is less than their arbitrary number.

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  19. flipper (4,330 comments) says:

    I know it is boring….

    But the $16 is not the end of it.

    To 16 (or whatever figure) add 8% for holidays, 6 % for sick leave, plus ACC, bereavement leave, Kiwisaver, and other overheads….. the rule of thumb is “double it.”

    And As J Key said yesterday: ” Why stop at 16 or 18? Why not make it $50??? “

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  20. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    re: minimum wage – for people in parliament who are supposed to be smarter than the rest of us, they sure are unable to grasp the simplest economic consequences of their actions.

    Higher minimum wage = less jobs. It’s not that hard to work out really, is it?

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  21. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    Higher minimum wage = less jobs. It’s not that hard to work out really, is it?

    What shits me is the Greeny Laboury types who are all gung-ho for carbon taxes and the like because, obviously, making something cost more is going to result in less of it…but somehow that same obvious doesn’t apply to jobs.

    Can’t. Have. It. Both. Ways.

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  22. altiora (279 comments) says:

    @ mikenmild: the film industry does need to comply with the laws as is the case with every industry; the ONLY difference between the film industry and other industries is that the legal default position is that a film industry worker as defined is an independent contractor, unless the parties expressly agree otherwise in their contract. This differs with other industries only in the sense that the film industry is not subject to the uncertainties of workers being able to convince the courts, based on complex case law, that they are to be regarded as an employee rather than an independent contractor. The current film worker legislation reflects that all film workers are independent contractors; that is how both the film industry and the film workers wanted it because it reflects the project based nature of the work. Up until the Bryson case, it was assumed that they were all independent contractors, but the courts held that Bryson was an employee. In so doing, it created the real risk of uncertainty, union intervention and a new avenue for aggrieved workers looking for a quick buck.

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  23. ciaron (1,448 comments) says:

    A $2 boost in the minimum wage to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 would mean an extra $4000 a year for those workers

    -what is it after you subtract taxes, $3k?

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  24. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    Yes, altiora, so legislation was passed to reverse the Bryson case and create a special form of employment relationship that only applies to the film industry.

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  25. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    ManuT (36 comments) says:
    July 31st, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Help me out here. Who actually gets paid under $16.00 per hour?

    I think there’s about 110,000 workers on minimum wage (last time I searched for stats).

    In context (of the election bribe) that’s a bit under 4% of eligible voters.

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  26. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    @RightNow – do we know how many of those are adults and the primary household income?

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  27. altiora (279 comments) says:

    Not really: the parties are able to agree whatever status they want; that is the same (in theory at least) in all occupations; the only difference is that in the film workers case the contract must expressly say they are agreeing to an employee/employer relationship. That’s not really a substantive difference, rather a procedural/evidential difference and, accordingly, it’s rather far fetched to call it a different set of rules.

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  28. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    James I think they were all adults (categorised as that anyway), but I don’t know how many were the primary household income.

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  29. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    altiora
    So in your view no legislation was required to be specific to the film industry.

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  30. Slipster (197 comments) says:

    @Milkenmind: it really should apply to all industries. I could never understand why someone who had agreed in writing to be a contractor (with corresponding advantages and pay) should be able to unilaterally turn around and declare themselves an employee *** without the other party consent ***. Why not go ahead and declare themselves to be the owners? … Oh, wait a sec… Isn’t it in fact the big Socialist dream?

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  31. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    “I think there’s about 110,000 workers on minimum wage”

    I have no sympathy for any of them.

    If a “yoof” is on the minimum wage because that “yoof” has wasted their tax payer funded education then tough. Hopefully they are still smart enough to work out that they need to invest a bit of their own time to better themselves so they don’t remain on the minimum wage for the rest of their working life.

    If they are middle aged, or elderly, and are still on the minimum wage then I have even less sympathy for them. Those who reach middle age and remain on the minimum wage are nothing more than parasites who do not deserve one cent more than what they currently receive.

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  32. Slipster (197 comments) says:

    RightNow: “I think there’s about 110,000 workers on minimum wage (last time I searched for stats)”
    … but this includes all the just-after-school kids on their first-ever shop in fast foods etc. They don’t stay that way for long. How about some serious answers please?

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  33. altiora (279 comments) says:

    I think the matter was overcooked: in Bryson the courts were quite clear that Bryson was rather unique and accordingly the case didn’t automatically apply to other film workers.

    I would probably say, initially it wasn’t needed.

    However, it is now on the books, this is an industry where the workers (if any good) are highly skilled, mobile and in high demand, and so there will be no issues of unequal bargaining power. So I’m inclined to wonder why Labour hasn’t just moved on.

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  34. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    milky – pretend for a minute you were in the private sector and you owned a business, or even making good money and really happy.

    now heres your scenario – most business people and those without an agenda are saying a law change will cost you your job… BUT the resident lefties with all their business acumen are saying “nah, youll be fine”.

    how would you think then? still side with the lefties?

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  35. Christopher Thomson (377 comments) says:

    Hey big bruv, fuck you.

    “I have no sympathy for any of them.”

    I earn the minimum wage stacking shelves at the local supermarket.

    I am 56 years old and a white male.

    I was made redundant a year ago and haven’t been able to get anything like my career back.

    Do you know what sucks even more. I have been a tax payer since I left school at 17. For the last 40 years of full-time employment I have been paying tax for every lazy bastard that took taxpayer charity.

    Now I don’t qualify for that and even if I did I would get exactly the same amount as a 17 year old leaving school with no intention of doing anything productive.

    So to make ends meet and contribute to the family I will take whatever jobs are available.

    Upskilling and changed course takes time and who wants to hire an old white guy anyway?

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  36. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    @slipster, I’m unclear what your point is, but I suggest you do the research yourself.

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  37. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    And the flow on impact is often forgotten as well. For those employees on hourly rates already above the minimum, they also want a piece f the action – you’ve just forced their colleagues / co-workers to have a raise, they want one too.

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  38. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    The Hobbit films, a move which the Government says would cripple the $3 billion screen industry.

    So the industry can’t survive in NZ without special treatment…. Lets go one better than special tax treatment and tax payer funded incentives and create KiwiFilm.

    I don’t agree with much Labour say – but I also strongly disagree with the government picking winners and losers which both Labour and National have done for Peter Jackson.

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  39. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    Christopher Thomson – that sucks.

    People hire blokes your age. I hired a 57 year old about 2 years ago. He’s my top guy. If you don’t give up you’ll crack something.

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  40. mandk (1,030 comments) says:

    @ Christopher Thomson,

    I agree with dime – it sucks. I am older than you and I have been made redundant twice in the last three years.

    However, I am now in my best and highest paid job ever. So don’t give up hope just yet.

    Anyway, older workers are getting all the new jobs now. Between the end of 2008 and the end of 2013, employment amongst people aged 50+ increased by 118,000. Employment amongst people <50 decreased by 35,000.

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  41. Lance (2,713 comments) says:

    Ah yes, the good old union dominated days.
    In the mid 1980’s I was part of a team installing RADARs on boats down at the Viaduct Basin. There was this self centered fuckwit who who stop work, drive back to the workshop (20 min) so he could have his 20min tea break and then drive 20 minutes back and fuck around with parking etc before he would carry on with the installation, buggering up the whole job. But if he wasn’t allowed to do this for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea he would get the unions involved. The fucker only did about an hours work a day.

    Yea… a friggin paradise.

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  42. hannity (152 comments) says:

    ‘Why stop at $16.25? Why not $25 an hour?’

    What a weak load of wank

    Why $14.50 why not $2 an hour ?

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  43. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    hannity

    Make the minimum wage $3,000/hour and we can all be rich !

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  44. SPC (5,664 comments) says:

    As for the facts, rather the disinformation from the religion of capitalism … whereby workers receive a declining share of profit via globalisation and anti-worker propaganda.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/11/the-evidence-is-clear-increasing-the-minimum-wage-doesnt-cause-unemployment

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  45. Richard (103 comments) says:

    Sorry to have to update y’all but Joyce has already killed the film industry. He sat on his hands for two years while being lobbied on incentives.

    Labour can’t kill something that is already dead.

    RIP, NZ film industry.

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  46. Sponge (263 comments) says:

    ‘Why stop at $16.25? Why not $25 an hour?’

    What a weak load of wank

    Why $14.50 why not $2 an hour ?

    Why not no minimum wage at all? How many people would *actually* end up working for $2 per hour? And if any did then they would be worth what they were being paid.

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  47. Slipster (197 comments) says:

    RightNow 12:19 “I’m unclear what your point is, but I suggest you do the research yourself.”

    I suggest you know very well what the point is. Namely, you wilfully ignored the fact that this was already covered before your post, pointing out that most of those jobs are short-term after-school kind of thing. And yet, you go ahead and trot out the clearly irrelevant statistics which counts those same jobs (and mostly them).

    That’s why I reapeat – how about some serious answer to the original question you were asked?
    None? Thought so.

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  48. Slipster (197 comments) says:

    hannity: “Why $14.50 why not $2 an hour ?”

    indeed, why not? No worries at all – quite simply, way fewer people would be on the (new) minimum wage, that’s all.

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