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.