Red Alert

Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Dear Sir Peter and Fran

Posted by on February 26th, 2013

“Thank you for your email of 4 October 2010 raising issues of actors work permits and possible amendments to the Commerce Act 1986 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA).

Having considered the possibility of amendments to the ERA or Commerce Act carefully, our view, following extensive consultation with the Crown Law Office, is that, for the reasons set out below, it would not be appropriate to recommend such amendments.

“…….In our view, the relevant legislative provisions provide sufficient clarity such that no legislative amendments are required.”

Hon Gerry Brownlee

Hon Christopher Finlayson

This was the government’s position in mid-October 2010.  But by the end of the month, they had caved into demands to change our employment legislation to exclude film and video workers from their right to challenge the status of their employment.

The government released more information on this sorry saga today after being told they had to by the Ombudsman. It makes for fascinating reading.  Put to one side the florid and over the top language about the union and the MEAA union leader, Simon Whipp that has attracted some media comment.

Read the documents and see for yourself the hand New Zealanders were dealt by a weak government, not prepared to stand up for all of us.


NZTE Focussed; Joyce Not.

Posted by on March 1st, 2012

NZTE has just presented a stellar annual report to the Commerce Select Committee. The new CEO Peter Chrisp and Chair John Mayson deserve credit.

Costs are down, focus is up, strategy is sharper. Performance measures are more rigorous.

NZTE’s emerging success gives the lie, however, to Bill English’s comment that there is nothing to be done about economic growth “it is what it is”.

And NZTE’s focussed success contrasts with the haphazard approach taken by Economic Development Minister Joyce’s to doing shady deals with individual corporates.

None of media (Canwest); Casinos (SkyCity) international film giants (Warner Bros) feature within NZTE’s strategy for target clients.

So if they are not prioirities for the experts, why is their Minister treating them so?

Likewise on FDI, NZTE is focussed on high-spillover investment that adds value to NZ, NOT selling farmland or assets that already exist. So why are National politicians doing the opposite?


The Hobbit – We have a right to know

Posted by on May 24th, 2011

Great piece by Brent Edwards on Morning Report this morning. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport (scroll down to ‘Ombudsman backs Government secrecy over Hobbit deal’)

I listened and thought what has the Government got to hide?  $30 million of taxpayers’ money and an amendment to our Employment Relations legislation removing basic rights from all workers in the film industry under Urgency and therefore with no public input - surely we have the right to know why?

We have had a lot to say about this issue. Some examples – Darien Fenton’s April 2011 blog http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/04/12/hobbit-revisited/;  my January 2011 blog http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/01/06/honesty-and-the-hobbit//; Trevor Mallard’s  December 2010 blog http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/12/22/we-believe-in-the-right-to-unionise-some-people-dont/; Sue Moroney’s October 2010  blog http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/10/29/whos-next/ and Clare Curran’s  October 2010 blog http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/10/29/nz-law-brought-to-you-by-warner-bros/because it is an issue of sovereignty as well as an issue of (mis)use of tax payer money and workers rights.  Furthermore we are a long way from hearing the full story and there have been so many inconsistencies in what the Government has said throughout this whole sorry saga.

 For me the Hobbit saga is a clear example of the moral bankruptcy of John Key’s Government.   He still seeks to manipulate the facts as was evidenced by his appalling Budget speech which referred to Labour members as “Hobbit haters”.