Today we learn that the government caved into another demand from Sir Peter Jackson and Warner Bros which involved bending immigration rules in their favour.
In 2010, Peter Jackson told Government Ministers that Warners were worried about our employment law, because the distinction between “contractors” and “employees” established five years earlier in the Bryson case required employers to treat him as an employee.
Bryson was not an actor, yet we changed the law because Warners said so and in doing so, removed rights for a whole category of workers.
Turns out, it was just one of their demands.
Official Information finally released, shows that the government was only too happy to fall into line with other concerns, such as the alleged visa “blockages” for overseas performers.
And hey presto : changes have been made. And they don’t only apply to actors – they apply to everyone working in the industry.
I seem to recall John Key saying this was about New Zealand jobs.
But secret deals in immigration processes like this completely undermine our immigration systems and are unfair to Kiwi workers.
The integrity of our immigration system stands or falls on transparency, but this latest revelation adds to a trend of giving privileges to the better off and a willingness to bend the rules when money is involved.
Update: You can view the OIA request here.