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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Divide and rule manufactured crises at The Hobbit costs $34million in Corporate Welfare

Govt's Hobbit pact: One deal to rule them all
Up to $34 million in tax breaks and help with marketing costs and an urgent change to labour laws are the price of keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand.

A deal between Warner Bros executives and Government ministers was confirmed last night after two days of negotiations.

As predicted here when this manufactured crises erupted, John Key has written out a massive cheque for more corporate welfare right when he is slashing domestic welfare and he milks this by pretending this was all about the Actors Union.

This was NEVER about the Actors Union, they were a pasty for Warners to create the environment needed to justify Key into more corporate welfare while Peter Jackson earns himself a best supporting actor in a commercial negotiating tactic.

We got played like chumps and the Mainstream media should be ashamed of themselves for their union bashing, they spent more time on the death of a psychic octopus than investigate this as a manufactured crises by Warners.

John Key has decided to be as divisive on the Union movement over the Hobbit as Robert Muldoon was with anti-apartheid protesters over the Springbok tour.

We got played like a pack of hick Hobbits. Warners will be laughing all the way back to the Hollywood bank.

John Armstrong calls it the way it is...

John Armstrong: Mega-money yells, and NZ rolls over
Money doesn't just talk. In the case of outfits the size of Warner Bros, it yells.

The obvious relief that the two Hobbit movies will be made in New Zealand will be somewhat tempered by the fact that the Government has buckled and increased tax write-offs for large-budget films, benefiting Warner Bros by up to $20 million.

On top of that, the company walks away from what insiders say were tough negotiations with another $13.4 million to offset the films' marketing costs.

Far more unseemly, however, is the Government's kowtowing to Warner Bros and agreeing to put legislation before Parliament as soon as today to clarify the distinction between "independent contractors" and "employees" as it relates to the local film industry.

Not only that. The legislation will be passed straight through all its stages, which means no select committee scrutiny.

Sources close to the negotiations say the spectre of industrial disputes stopping production was absolutely bottom-line for Warners.

The Government duly delivered a guarantee that would not happen.

What kind of a country, however, sells its democratic soul for 30 pieces of silver?

..watching so many of my fellow NZers get manipulated so easily to sell their democratic soul for 30 pieces of silver for a manufactured crises is tedious.

It was NEVER about the Actors Union, it was always about the tax rebate for Warners - you got played like chumps.


At 28/10/10 9:52 am, Anonymous Steven R said...

left wing conspiracy theories...of course we got played, the unions international no work order gave Warner the opportunity to jump in. If they didnt do that, we wouldnt have to pay all this cash. UNIONS SUCK

At 28/10/10 10:02 am, Blogger Bomber said...

LMAO - left wing conspiracy? That's all you right wingers have got now to try and spin this corporate welfare bullshit? Tumeke was pointing out on the first day of this manufactured crises that it was divide and rule tactics for more tax rebate - EXACTLY what has happened with John Key pretending to have saved the Hobbit.

You are part of the problem Steven you got played like a chump into blaming the Actors Union and now you can't handle the reality of how badly you got played.

Blame Key for going along with the manufactured crises, not the left wing for pointing out that this was a farce from the beginning.

At 28/10/10 10:06 am, Blogger Bomber said...

PS - and since when the hell was John Armstrong from the bloody Herald part of the left wing conspiracy?

At 28/10/10 10:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions don't suck Steven R.

Luvvie actors who think because they are on our screens they wield more power than politicians are the ones who suck.

Robyn Malcolm and co thought they could take the piss out of John Key over climate change.
Boy, did he not fuck them over big time as payback.

Next time luvvies, stick to a script, and get the CTU involved before you take on the multi-national conglomerates.

At 28/10/10 10:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bomber, since when was Russell Brown a right-winger.
His posts, and informed comments from people in the business summed this mess up perfectly.

This ain't a class war, rather it is a fuck-up by ill informed actors, and an Australian union rep with a chip on his shoulder.

Oh, and the boycott was called in August ffs.

At 28/10/10 10:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armstrong is a foreigner with no real committment to the society whose democratic processes he is charged with reporting on. Like so many of his uncommitted ilk, his observations are inconsistent, maybe little/no empathy with kiwis.
Two bob each way migrants reluctant to commit to NZ by becoming citizens, can be journeymen of a delicate balancing act, teetering between immediate material self interest and careerist ass licking.
So direct hip pocket issues when there have been no orders from 'upstairs' can produce an alliance, albeit temporary, with the citizenry.

At 28/10/10 10:59 am, Anonymous GamerNZ said...

The Hobbit will be a momentary injection of wealth only lasting for so long. However these laws will be concrete and effect many more people that this movie will!

The movie industry is going down; people don’t go to the movies as much they use to. The real industry we should be supporting is the gaming industry. Now im not a Halo fan but Halo Reach made $200 million in the first day! More than the hobbit will in its first day! Although they can’t use our landscape or our actors, we can still harbour talent and stimulate its expansion in NZ (Just a thought).

At 28/10/10 11:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As John Armstrong wrote:
"The Government has agreed to up to $34 million in tax breaks and help with marketing costs and an urgent change to labour laws"

It seems that much of populace is behind Key. But imagine what their reaction would be if Warner Brothers was a Chinese company!

You hear all these troglodytes bemoaning possible abuse of NZ laws, and undue influence on the NZ government by Chinese companies and Chinese investors, yet when this is exactly what happens - but the pressure is applied by a US outfit, it seems most of the population is all for it!

Strange eh?

At 28/10/10 11:20 am, Anonymous Simon said...

No Bomber , it was just as well we had a negotiator of the skill and experience of John Key otherwise Warners might not have used a condom when they shafted us.

At 28/10/10 1:42 pm, Anonymous Gosman said...

Read Patrick Gower over at TV3instead.


At 28/10/10 1:47 pm, Anonymous James said...

Face facts Bomber...this was due entirely to the unions moronic attempts at "negotiation:.

Key has managed to drag our ares from the fire and actually get NZ a better deal than we were going to get before this balls up started.

Warners are getting THEIR OWN MONEY back in a tax break...IF the movies are profitable...thats not a subsidy...plaes laern the difference.

If we are $34 million down is thanks to Kelly,Malcom and the other greedy idiots who made it possible.So Warners saw an opportunity and took it....good on them...it was the unions fault after all.

At 28/10/10 6:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang on James.
You're saying that Kelly & Malcom are the ones that insisted on an extra 34 million dollar charge to the taxpayer?
So Warner Bros has no accountability?
The Unions are the ones that wanted amendments to our nations legislation that cost the average taxpayer millions & millions?.


At 28/10/10 9:01 pm, Anonymous druidaccount said...

It wasn't the Unions? The blogosphere was surely fooled by that.

At 28/10/10 11:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all Warners wanted was a promise that the filming wouldn't be disrupted and therefore required the contractor/employee laws changed, then I would tend to blame all of this on the unions.
However they required millions of dollars incentive instead. That is hardly the Unions fault.
All in all this has been a great outcome for National.

-John Key comes out looking like a hero
-The Unions come out looking like they are evil bastards out to screw the country
-A really dodgy precedent has been set by the Government, whereby a foreign company can make our own Government change OUR laws to suit themselves

I just hope that come voting day that the rest of NZ can see through this charade. I am sadly doubtful however.

At 29/10/10 10:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now ...

"The Government is keeping key details of its eleventh-hour deal to save The Hobbit under wraps as it rams through changes to the labour laws agreed with Hollywood studio bosses. "


We aren't even allowed to know just how badly we really have been shafted in this deal...

Might as well drug, rape and then steal the general public's money!!! and soo sorry but you're not allowed to know just what we DID do to you in the end...

What moron is going to roll over for another and vote National in the next election?

At 29/10/10 11:24 am, Anonymous dan said...

That Union freak from Aussie stuffed up & cost us millions by his involvement here. To defend him because he's "left-wing" shows how pathetic partisan politics really are. People fighting with each other over which is better - left or right - is part of what keeps the corporate machine's wheels greased.

At 29/10/10 4:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see my last question has just been answered...

At 29/10/10 7:18 pm, Blogger Steve Withers said...

Movie studios don't willingly negotiate with unions ever unless the union in question demonstrates is has real power and must be dealt with.

The movie studios are used to - and prefer "take it or leave it" offers they control completely. That isn't evil. It's just how it is.

Equally, if people want a better deal than "take it or leave it", they have to convince the movie makers there is no way around them.

Good on the union for making the attempt to get a better deal. But it's hard to see how the outcome could have been any different when faced with the masters of propaganda (Hollywood) allied the the (Multi-)National Party.

The only dumb thing the actors ever did was become actors in an industry in which they have little or no power.

I'm not the least bit surprised many if not most Kiwis will happily go along with this. We've been doing it ever since Lange / Douglas dumped our tariffs unilaterally and left us with nothing to bargain with in a world in which we already had little power or influence. National is no better.

That Kiwis voted for any of this merely shows how ignorant they are of how the world really works. That won't change, either.

At 29/10/10 9:53 pm, Anonymous The Hag said...

It was NEVER about the Actors Union, it was always about the tax rebate for Warners - you got played like chumps.

True; there are none so blind as those who will not see.

At 30/10/10 8:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Key's
So eager to please
Gets on his knees
"Choose us. Pleeease!!!"

Do'nt ever play poker John.
You fold when you're holding aces.

Cue Kenny Rogers "The Gambler"

"You gotta know when to hold em. Know when to fold em..."


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