30 October, Wellington. Wellington’s Aotearoa is Not For Sale action group today mounted another in an on-going series of “flash occupations” – this time at Forsyth Barr, in the Vodafone Building in Lambton Quay, down-town Wellington.
It was a beautiful sunny day when about a dozen members of ANFS met at Midland Park, in front of Vodaphone House,
Debbie and Warwick, displaying the latest printed signs to be used in on-going campaigns,
Activists were all dressed in corporate-style clothing, to facilitate easier entry into company offices. (In the case of Clemenger BBDO, we were actually more stylishly dressed than the corporate staff!)
Warwick (on phone) and Richard, being photographed by Valerie,
Journalist students from Whitirea Polytech (L-R), Alastair, Anthony, and Damon, interviewing Richard to explain the rationale for flash occupations.
They presented their story online, here: Flash occupation hits key asset sales players
Lunchtime office workerswere treated to an impromptu public performance.
The group practised singing various songs, that had been amended to carry a protest message. The singing was not quite “New Zealand’s Got Talent” – but the songs were sung with enthusiasm and sincerity…
A curious moment occurred when this chap was seen photographing the group, using the smartphone in his hand. One person suggested that he was a police photographer.
He seemed intent on taking his pics and then walking away. At no time did he approach the group to discuss issues relating to the purpose of our activities…
The protest group entered the Vodafone Building – only to be confronted by two security guards.
Whether they had been pre-warned of our presence, or had spotted us ourside during our practice singing, they blocked further passage of the protest group,
The smile on one of the security guards showed the laid-back, non-threatening nature of the protest. The ANFS group at all times maintained a peaceful, non-aggressive attitude.
Undeterred, and under surveillance by a camera (top right), the group set up a protest picket-line in the lobby of the building,
One of the security guards, attempted to cajole the protest group to leave the foyer. Again, there was no aggro from either side,
Having set up a picket line (to one side of the foyer, so as not to block other peoples’ ability to move with freedom to-and-from the building), the protestors began to sing a loud and clear message; asset sales were not wanted!
Banner unfurled; signs held aloft; voices in full song – the group were getting their message across to the public,
Office workers walking past the protest,
Realising that this was a peaceful protest, the security guards stood back as the group presented it’s anti-asset-sales message, and eventually wound up the action and left without incident.
Though entry to Forsyth Barr’s offices was not gained, the mere presence of the Aotearoa is Not For Sale group was sufficient to remind those within this edifice to corporate power, that this issue will not go away.
Aotearoa is not for sale. Not now, not ever.
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Beginning of the ETS
Labour introduces and passes the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008.
As David Parker said, on 10 September 2008,
“For the first time we will start factoring in the true cost of greenhouse gas emissions into our economy. This is in line with developments in the rest of the world.
The sooner we get on top of this challenge, the sooner we can reap the benefits of providing low carbon goods and services that are attractive to affluent overseas markets. There is much to be gained by grasping this opportunity.
While there will be extra costs for some sectors, I am confident that the support the government is providing both to households and to businesses will smooth the transition we absolutely must make, if we are to play our part in the global struggle against climate change.”
National’s Track Record
13 May 2007
“In particular I’m going to speak about the biggest environmental challenge of our time: global climate change.
The National Party will ensure that New Zealand acts decisively to confront this challenge.
The scientific consensus is clear: human-induced climate change is real and it’s threatening the planet. There are some armchair sceptics out there, but I’m not one of them…
… National is committed to growing our economy. Confronting climate change will be a vital part of the policy mix for fuelling that growth…
… In the decades ahead, peoples’ perceptions around climate change will affect the brand image of New Zealand and its exports. New Zealand must take credible steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or risk becoming a trading pariah…
… National will have policies that reflect the fact that living on a diet of carbon will be increasingly bad – bad for the world and bad for our economy. We will have policy that encourages ‘climate friendly’ choices like windmills, hydro power and tree planting, and reduces the desire for ‘climate unfriendly’ behaviours, like burning coal…
… National will bring all Kiwis – industry, energy producers, farmers, mums and dads – closer to a shared and well-understood goal. We need to be united in our pursuit of a ’50 by 50′ target.“
6 May 2008
Mr Key says,
“National supports the principle of the ETS and is following the select committee process closely. National has had reservations about the timing of new taxes on motorists and households when there has been no personal tax relief for so long.”
8 April 2010
Prime Minister John Key rejects demands to amend the Emissions Trading Scheme before it takes effect on the energy and transport sectors in July despite calls from business groups, farmers, and ACT.
Key tells reporters at the launch of the Global Research Alliance’s inaugural meeting on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions,
“I’d say it’s unlikely it would be amended.”
24 May 2010
John Key states that there is “no chance” New Zealand will follow Australia and cancel the Emissions Trading Scheme and rejects assertions it will impact on New Zealanders’ pockets,
“The question is for a household, are they prepared to pay $3 a week for the insurance premium of our environment? I think the answer to that is ‘yes’.”
“Of the 38 countries that signed the Kyoto protocol, 29 of them have an ETS. All 29 have almost double the cost that we have.”
6 June 2010
Climate Change Minister Nick Smith announces that whether or not agriculture comes into the emissions trading scheme in 2015 will depend on technological advances and what other countries do.
9 November 2011
Environment Minister Nick Smith announces,
“ The scheme currently steps up on 1 January 2013 to a full obligation for the transport, electricity and industrial sectors. National’s intention is to phase this in three equal steps on 1 January 2013, 1 January 2014 and 1 January 2015 as recommended by the ETS Review Panel…
… It is not in New Zealand’s interests to include agricultural emissions in the ETS yet. The lack of any practical and real technologies to reduce agricultural emissions means it would only impose a cost or tax on our most important export industry. It would also have New Zealand too far ahead of our trading partners on climate change mitigation measures. National will review the position in 2014 and only include agriculture if new technologies are available and more progress is made internationally on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “
19 November 2011
National plans to delay implementation of the ETS until after a Select Committee review is completed, according to National-ACT coalition deal.
“Key states that he believes human-induced climate change is real and it’s still possible National will pass an amended ETS into law before next October.”
2 July 2012
National announces that farmers will not have to buy carbon credits to offset livestock and pasture emissions until at least 2015.
3 July 2012
National announces that the two-for-one carbon credit scheme for emitters such as the oil and electricity industry will remain in place instead of ending this year (2012).
“John Key says the Government will wait for other countries to follow suit before introducing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme…
…The Government says it will leave agriculture out of the ETS until at least 2015, despite 47% of the country’s emissions coming from that sector
Climate Change Minister Tim Groser told Tadio NZ’s Morning Report on Tuesday there is no point in New Zealand leading the way if other countries such as the United States and China are doing nothing.” – Radio NZ
6 July 2012
John Key announces four amendments to Emissions Trading Scheme saying that,
“New Zealand is still the only country outside Europe [see comment 24 May] to have a comprehensive ETS in place, and we’re on track to meet our Kyoto obligations for 2008-12. “
The four changes are,
- Keeping the ‘one-for-two’ obligation in place until after this year. This means participants in the scheme will continue to surrender units for half the carbon they emit;
- Maintaining the $25 ‘fixed-price option’ until at least 2015, which caps the price firms will face if carbon prices begin to rise internationally;
- Introducing off-setting for pre-1990 forest land owners, and allocating the full second tranche of compensation where off-setting is not taken; and
- Leaving agricultural emissions out of the ETS until at least 2015.
So much for Key’s statement on 8 April.
20 August 2012
National introduces “Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2012″, which will remove agricultural emmissions indefinitely, and will,
“remove a specified entry date for surrender obligations on biological emissions from agriculture”.
27 October 2012
National’s “Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2012″ passes second reading by 1-vote majority, supported by National, ACT, and United Future.
National’s rejection of the ETS for the farming industry and removing egg producers from the ETS is now complete.
It must be clear to practically everyone by now that despite National’s ongoing “firm assurances” from May 2007 to May 2010, that they would support and maintain an Emissions Trading Scheme, that their real agenda all along was entirely the opposite.
The entry of agriculture into the ETS was accepted; “reviewed”; postponed; and then cancelled altogether. Only a procedural law change now remains to make it fully legal.
It has taken four years to achieve it, but National’s pledges to commit to an ETS are now shown to be the lies that they are.
During National’s four years in office, they have broken several promises and the weakening of the ETS is simply one more on the list. It also further highlights John Key’s ability to say one thing – whilst knowing full well that he has no intention of fulfilling committments, or will do completely the opposite.
Remember what Key told reporters at the launch of the Global Research Alliance’s inaugural meeting on the ETS, on 8 April 2010,
“I’d say it’s unlikely it would be amended.”
Key’s pledge that agriculture would enter the ETS in 2015 has been broken, and our Prime Minister further shown up as the untrustworthy, lying, manipulator that a growing number of critics are labelling him.
If there is one lesson that National has learnt from our recent history is that if you’re going to break promises – do it slowly so no one notices.
Unfortunately for John Key and his cronies, New Zealanders have noticed.
Acknowledgement: Kay Jones
Unsurprising and inevitable, I guess. This was National’s agenda from Day One.
National Party: 50 by 50 – New Zealand’s Climate Change Target (13 May 2007)
Beehive Press Prelease: Historic climate change legislation passes (10 September 2008)
Parliament: Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 (25 September 2008)
NZ Energy & Environment Business Week: National-Act Coalition Deal Puts Emissions Trading Legislation On Hold (19 November 2008)
NBR: Govt keeping open mind on agriculture ETS inclusion (26 May 2010)
NBR: ETS may exclude agriculture – Climate Change Minister (6 June 2010)
National Party: Policy 2011 – Environment & Climate Change (2011)
Fairfax Media: PM accused of taking sides on mining (22 March 2012)
National Party: Government announces ETS amendments (2 July 2012)
National Party: Doing our fair share on climate change (6 July 2012)
NZ Herald: Carbon credit price crash could force sales (25 October 2012)
Radio NZ: Farmers’ ETS exemption progresses (26 October 2012)
Wikipedia: New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme
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Last year, on 19 May, Solid Energy was one of five SOEs that National announced would be partially privatised (see: Budget 2011: Govt seeks $7 billion in asset sales). Bill English announced, with a naivetee usually reserved for wildly idealistic, wide-eyed youth,
“Well targeted investment in infrastructure helps lift productivity, which over time will mean better wages and higher living standards for New Zealand families.”
To which, as the youth of today might reply,
By 29 August, this year, as demand from China lessened, and the price of coal dropped, Solid Energy announced plans to make 363 workers redundant.
CEO, Don Elder, said,
“I am very aware of the impact these decisions will have on affected staff members and our communities, but we’ve had to make these difficult decisions to cushion the impact of the market and protect as much as we can of the long-term value of the business.”
On 25 September, Key stated,
“Now that the coal price is collapsing, essentially Spring Creek is not viable.
It’s never been in the position where it was going to come on to the market today. It’s been a five-year programme, and if you ask me in three, four, five years’ time, the anwer might be different.” .
Along with Maori Treaty claims over water rights, and papers being filed in the High Court on 23 October (see: Mighty River sale paused during court action) which will see a delay in removing Mighty River Power from the SOE Act, the realisation that Solid Energy was also unsaleable under current economic conditions was another unwanted ‘hiccup’ for National.
On the same day, Solid Energy anounced that redundancies would increase from 363 to 460 and staffing levels would reduce from 1,800 at the beginning of the year, to 1,360.
Christchurch was to lose half of the 313 jobs at Solid Energy’s head office – another ‘hit’ against this quake ravaged city, along with planned school closures; problems with insurance companies; and Cantabrians leaving the area.
Remember that, ostensibly, redundancies were related to international coal prices and profit losses – not the deferred partial-privatisation of the SOE.
Yet, according to Solid Energy’s own Results Announcements 2012 report, the company’s income was actually better than the preceding year,
Good operating performance overtaken by asset write downs
• Trading performance was good in a deteriorating market with strong NZD. Underlying earnings were $99.7 million (2011: $86.2 million).
• Asset write downs of $110.6 million net of tax and other adjustments have resulted in a $40.2 million loss after tax (2011: $87.2 million).
In plain english (not the mumbled Prime Ministerial version), Solid Energy made an after-tax profit of $99.7 million – an increase from $86.2 million in 2011.
Employing a book-keeping, accountancy “trick”, Solid Energy reduced their own asset values by $110.6 million. (That’s like saying your house was worth $300,000 in 2011, but only $250,000 this year. You still have your house and you’re living in it – nothing else has changed. Only the theoretical valuation has ‘reduced’. Next year that valuation could rise back to $300,000 or even more or maybe less. That’s creative accountancy for you.)
The point is that Solid Energy’s profit rose from $86.2 million to $99.7 million.
In fact, Solid Energy’s revenue in 2012 was $978.4 million – almost a billion dollars – an 18% increase from the previous year.
The proposition that Solid Energy is more profitable than either Don Elder or National make out is born out by this interesting article, in Taranaki’s ‘Daily News‘, on 12 October this year. It appears that Australian coal mining giant, Bathurst, is experiencing a growth in share value as it discovers greater coal reserves at its Buller project on the West Coast,
Bathurst is proceeding with “an extensive drilling programme” – indicating that the company appears unphased by current coal prices and is investing long-term in recovering this resource.
So what to make of the planned 460 redundancies?
What to make of Bathurst’s share price rising and continuing to invest in a comprehensive drilling programme?
The only conclusion that one can arrive at is that planned redundancies are a covert operation to “maximise” Solid Energy’s value and “efficiency”. The cost of redundancies – estimated at around $10 million – will be paid by the taxpayer and not the shareholders of any future part-privatised company (see: Foreign workers lured by ‘work for life’ among sacked miners).
Reducing staff numbers – commonly referred to as “re-structuring” – is a common technique for companies to cut costs in an attempt to return to profitability, or to make it more attractive to potential investors or buyers.
It is interesting to note that National’s secret agenda of “re-structuring” Solid Energy, to make the SOE viable for privatisation, is a technique quite familiar to our Prime Minister, John Key,
” During Key’s brief spell for Merrill Lynch in Sydney in 2001, he helped fire 500 staff as part of savage worldwide retrenchment by the bank. In the past, Key has appeared proud of his ability to sack without feelings. He told Metro magazine: “They always called me the smiling assassin.”
These days he insists these were not cheerful sackings.
“In the end I had to carry out wider responsibilities, but I think I’m fundamentally a nice guy, but have to follow instructions,” he says. “
As Don Elder said,
“I am very aware of the impact these decisions will have on affected staff members and our communities, but we’ve had to make these difficult decisions to cushion the impact of the market and protect as much as we can of the long-term value of the business.”
460 workers face the sack.
No doubt John Key is simply “having to follow instructions“?
Related previous blogpost
The real cause for Solid Energy mass redundancies? (5 September 2012)
Sunday Star Times: Who is John Key? (3 February 2008)
NZ Herald: Spring Creek mine work suspended (29 August 2012)
Dominion Post: Miners march on Parliament (25 September 2012)
Radio NZ: Hundreds of jobs going at Solid Energy (25 September 2012)
Daily News: Bathurst lifts Buller coal totals (12 October 2012)
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From the Sunday Star Times (scanned hard-copy – on-line version locked behind a Fairfax paywall) on 14 October,
Andrea Vance is correct; most polls have shown a steady decline for National (with the exception of those at specific moments when issues surrounding Maori claims over water rights are in the headlines) since the general election last year.
John Key’s teflon coating is patchy at best, as scandals; incompetance; and a stagnating economy is showing up National as singularly inept at any measure of governance.
A TV3 poll tonight (24 Oct) was even more bad news for these ministerial muppets,
The four relevant questions asked of respondents were,
1. Do you agree National has done a good job in terms of building a brighter future?
- 49% said no;
- 46% said yes;
- 5% did not know.
- 57% said no;
- 36% said yes;
- 7% did not know.
- 58% said no;
- 32% said yes;
- 9% did not know.
- 49 percent said yes;
- 42 percent said no.
Key’s responses to each of these four questions is reported here: National’s bright future not here yet – poll
Some of his comments are laughable. Actually, no. All his comments are a joke. If anything, his responses to these poll results are a scathing indictment of National’s arrogance and disconnect from the public.
Which brings us to Peter Dunne.
National is in power only because of complicity by John Banks and Dunne.
Dunne’s history began in 1984, as a Labour MP. From there, he jumped from one Party to another; Labour; United New Zealand; United Future New Zealand; and join coalitions led by both National, then Labour, and back to National again in 2008.
Dunne is a political chameleon – able to re-shape and re-form to suit his political environment, as governments come and go. Unlike that other Great Survivor, Winston Peters, Dunne has the unmatched record of rarely having been out of government. Any government.
He has outlasted Lange, Palmer, Moore, Bolger, Shipley, and Clarke – and is now onto his seventh Prime Minister, John Key.
Whatever “political viagra” the man is on, he could make a vast fortune selling it globally, to other politicians.
Political journalist, Andrea Vance, has suggested in her 14 October article that,
“As Labour begin to pick up in the polls… Dunne is the kid on the sidelines, eyes screwed shut, willing David Shearer to pick me, pick me”.”
For many people in this country, and this blogger included, Peter Dunne has burnt his bridges with the social democratic left.
His vote in Parliament, to enable the passing of legislation to facilitate the 49% sell-down of Mighty River Power, Genesis, Meridian, Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand, is a step too far. (See: The asset partial sell-off can begin)
With the passing of the Mixed Ownership Model Bill into law on 27 June, Peter Dunne well and truly nailed his colours to the mast – despite even a poll on his own website receiving an over-whelming ‘no’ vote, and many comments critical of asset sales.
The poll was taken down soon after it began to attract public attention. (Evidently the outcome was not to Mr Dunne’s satisfaction?)
So much for asking the public to “let us know your views“.
Unless we see a threat of a possible third term for National (and one hopes the voting public is not that capricious), Shearer, the Greens, Peters, and Harawira should have nothing to do with Dunne.
His politics is best described as prostitutionism – with about as much ethics shown as a Wall Street banker or back street crack-dealer.
Dunne has utterly betrayed his own country by supporting the sale – theft - of state assets. Considering he has been part of three terms of a Labour-led government – to then support neo-liberal policies shows a lack of principled behaviour.
What was he doing in a Labour-led government in the first place?
What else is he willing to do to keep ministerial “baubles of power”?
A new Labour-led government, starting afresh and addressing many of the social inequities and economic imbalances afflicting our country, should leave behind the dross of previous administrations.
The next government should be a principled one. And Peter Dunne has none of the necessary qualities that would make him a credible fit with such a new administration.
Take note, Mr Shearer; you need to start your new Administration on the very best footing. Peter Dunne will provide the opposite.
Mr Shearer; do you really want the left-overs of a failed National “government” at your Cabinet table?
As the Member for Ohariu once said,
” We understand clearly that the only reason for our existence is to represent the voice of the people in our parliament. We believe that any party that is not constantly in touch with the views of the people is simply not doing its job. In this space you can read what others think on key issues, and you can let us know your views.” – Peter Dunne, “Have your Say Polls”, United Future website (since deleted)
Clean sweep, Mr Shearer, clean sweep.
Whilst Dunne’s website has closed down the Poll and the many posted comments are lost on his website, Blogger Robert Guyton had the presence of mind to C&P and re-post many of the posted comments on his blog.
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- 20 October 2012 -
- Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning -
Issue 1: Is a WINZ kiosk less leaky than a GCSB staff meeting? What to make of the security lapse at the Ministry of Social Development?
Issue 2: Where does the Kim Dotcom case end?
and Issue 3: Government tells Maoridom to get lost over the sale of Mighty River Power – what now for the Maori Party and asset sales?
Acknowledgement (republished with kind permission)
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Hark back to 11 November 2011; two men met at a cafe for a chat over a cuppa tea.
Nothing unusual about that, you might think?
Except that the men were John Banks and John Key; leaders of two political parties; campaigning for an upcoming election; and about 40 journalists were present to record the event and report it for their respective media outlets.
The publicity stunt went awry when a recording device was discovered on their table, and Dear Leader was not impressed,
“ John Key remains intractable today about the teapot-tape fiasco, maintaining and repeating his line that he is a victim of a deliberate attempt by the Herald on Sunday to covertly record his conversation with John Banks. .
Continuing on from his defiance yesterday, the Prime Minister reiterated on Firstline his stance against “News of the World tactics” and said he went to the police because it was “a matter of principle”.
Firstline host Rachel Smalley, who has seen part of a transcript of the conversation, told Mr Key that hacking into the phone of a family whose child has been murdered, like the News of the World did, is very different to mistakenly leaving a microphone on a table.
“No it’s not,” Mr Key replied, “it’s an illegal attempt to get information and that’s the principle”.
“I have a totally clear conscience about what I’ve done, I think it’s the Herald on Sunday and the cameraman that may not have a clear conscience and in the end, they will have to answer to the police,” he said.
“There are many times where I am in a public place but that doesn’t mean I can be taped…I don’t care about the tape, I haven’t heard the tape but my recollection of the conversation was that it was pretty bland”. ” – Source
John Key was fairly adamant; he was outraged that he had been recorded without his knowledge and point-blank refused to permit the contents of the tape to be made public. On 30 November he made his Royal Displeasure further known when the coercive arm of State authority – the NZ Police – raided the offices of Radio New Zealand, searching for copies of the “teapot tape”.
Further raids on other media followed.
Contrast Key’s wrath with his attitude toward the alleged video-taping of his meeting with the GCSB on 29 January, this year. In response to allegations made by David Shearer, Key responded on 16 October,
“There was no tape, to say the GCSB erased it is a very serious allegation and he should put up or shut up, he should apologise.” – Source
Does such a tape or any other form of recording exist?
We don’t know. The GCSB says it has searched and “found nothing”.
But most pointed is that a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said on 12 October,
“We are checking that there is no recording that GCSB made. ” – Source
On 29 January, Key visits the GCSB for a briefing. He makes some sort of speech in the GCSB cafetaria.
On 11 October, Key is interviewed by TV3 where he stated point-blank that he was unaware of any recording made of his visit to GCSB HQ on 29 January. (See: Secret GCSB recording catches Key out – Labour)
On the same day, GCSB boss, Ian Fletcher, states categorically,
“The department has made exhaustive enquiries of its records and its IT systems, and can find no audio-visual recording of the Prime Minister’s visit to GCSB on 29 February 2012.” – Source
On 12 October, Key’s office announces that they are “checking that there is no recording that GCSB made“.
On 16 October, Key invites the Labour leader to present any recording, “and he should put up or shut up“.
This seems a remarkable turnaround for our Prime Minister?!
He obviously wasn’t aware that he was being recorded – and yet, after checking with the GCSB – is agreeable to Shearer releasing any recording that might be in his possession?!
This seems in stark contrast to Key’s anger at being recorded last year, in Epson – also unknowingly - when he not only refused to release the tape – but called in the police to enforce his diktat.
Key was obviously having none of it.
So why the sudden change of heart at being unknowingly recorded in the GCSB’s cafetaria?
What happened between 12 October and 16 October that allowed Key to comfortably challenge Shearer to “ put up or shut up“?
Fairly bloody obvious, I would think.
The GCSB found the recording before copies could be made (otherwise it would have leaked by now); deleted it; and then advised the Prime Minister “that no recording existed”.
There is simply no other way to explain Key’s inexplicably contradictory responses on being unknowingly recorded on two separate occassions, only 110 days apart.
NZ Herald: Bugged in the Act
NZ Herald: PM blocks release of chat tape
Dominion Post: Radio NZ hands over ‘tea tape’ interview
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First they came for the “Maori radicals”, and I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t maori or a “radical”…
Then they came for the alleged cyber-pirate from Germany, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a cyber-pirate or German,
Then they came for the botanists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a botanist,
Then they came for me, and no one else spoke out, because they didn’t give a shit either…
[Acknowledgement to Martin Niemöller ,1892–1984]
The raids on the Ureweras (and elsewhere in NZ on the same day); Kim Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion; and Graeme Platt’s homes all had one thing in common; a gross mis-use of para-military power in a country that has not seen such events since the Land Wars in the 1800s.
If middle-class New Zealanders believed that the Urewera terror raids (the terror being caused by black-garbed “ninja police” on a sleepy little backwater village) was a one-off exercise, then that belief was greatly misplaced.
The State attempted to depict Tame Iti and his colleagues as homegrown “terrorists”, planning some mysterious, spectacularly catastrophic, event involving catapulting a bus on to US President Bush. (I kid you not. See: Protest highlights terror raid case)
But no terrorism charges were ever laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, and the 18 defendents were eventually ‘whittled down’ to just four (one died awaiting trial). Those four were convicted on more mundane firearms charges.
Hardly the stuff of Al Queda operations planning mass-destruction.
Since then, we have witnessed no less extraordinary events in January this year, when more para-military “ninja-police” in vehicles and helicopters, armed with high-powered automatic weapons, raided a mansion in Coatsville.
There has never been a satisfactory explanation given as to why such a high degree of force was necessary.
Recently, on 11 October, the home of botanist Graeme Platt (71) was raided by six carloads of police and Ministry of Primary Industry officials. Evidently the police and officials were searching for a tree ?! (Terrorist trees?)
It is rapidly becoming evident that something mad and sinister is happening to our once easy-going, laid-back society.
Gone are the days of “she’ll be right, mate“. When is the last time you heard that phrase?
Now it’s more like a growing intrusion of State power.
Once upon a time, the growth of police power was justified by our politicians as the fight against drugs and organised crime.
Since the early 2000s, that justification has been redefined as the fight against “terrorism”.
This is not just about the covert monitoring of New Zealand citizens and residents. We are now witnessing the open use of raw, naked, State power, in the form of the Armed Offenders Squad and the Special Tactics Group ( formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad) bursting into people’s homes.
These paramilitary forces – once used solely against drug rings or homocidal nutters with small armouries – are now being employed more and more in situations which seem hard to justify or understand.
It has been said that the raids on the Ureweras (and elsewhere in NZ, on that day) and Kim Dotcom, was carried out to impress our American cuzzies in the United States. Evidently, the boys in blue at Police National HQ wanted to show the FBI, Hollywood, White House, and anyone else who happened to be watching that we were ‘serious players’ when it came to dealing with terrorists and other assorted evil-doers.
In their eagerness to impress the Yanks, it became readily apparent that our politicians, police, and miscellaneous bureacrats have moved New Zealand to become a mini-America clone; gun-happy and willing to use over-the-top force with or without justification.
The dawn raid on a botanist’s home, by six carloads of government officials and police, in search of a damned tree, should be a clear wake-up call for all New Zealanders. The choice we face is fairly simple and clear-cut;
- We keep going the way we are; with excessive State power being used and mis-used; more surveillance in our daily lives; armed police raids on the flimsiest excuses; until none of us are safe and we end up living in a country that is unrecognisable and alien to our parents.
- We take stock of where we are with our laws and culture of State power, and declare that enough is enough.
The use of force shown in the last few years, I submit to the reader, should be sufficient to turn the stomach of all but the most ardent supporter of the fascist state. Unless New Zealanders are looking forward to living in a police State, it is my contention that, as stated in Option #2 above, enough is enough.
It should be the priority of an incoming government in 2014 (or earlier) that a full review of legislation such as the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, Surveillance Act 2012, and any similar laws, should be undertaken.
It is my contention that these two laws should be repealed forthwith, as they are abhorrent in any society that professes to respect freedom. It is further my contention that such laws serve no useful purpose except to create a mindset and culture in our Government that there is no limit to the exercise of state power through the use of force against citizens who may come to the attention of police and bureacrats.
To those people who might be fearful in ridding ourselves of these laws, it should be remembered that no one has ever been charged under terrorism legislation and that the used of armed police in dawn raids has yet to be justified.
We are simply giving the State – and it’s myriad of officials, bureacrats, police, spies, etc – the power to act with little restraint, as if they are authorities beyond public control.
Such a state of affairs, my fellow New Zealanders, is what it looks like; the germination of a police state.
In case the reader believes I am over-reacting, consider that the raid on Graeme Platt’s home was not looking for bombs, guns, subversive literature, Al Qaeda operatives, etc.
They were looking for a tree.
NZ Herald: ‘Plant Nazis’ hunt for outlawed trees
Parliament: Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
Parliament: Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill
Parliament: Search and Surveillance Act 2012
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As predicted a week ago,
“The Prime Minister has not been upfront with the people of New Zealand. This blogger believes there is more to come out, and furthermore that we will see some damning revelations disclosed to the public.“
See previous blogpost: Dear Leader, GCSB, and Kiwis in Wonderland (Part Rua)
Now, a week later, it appears that further damning revelations are indeed starting to seep through the cracks, into the full glare of public attention,
John Key has contradicted himself – David Shearer
The Labour Party is claiming the Prime Minister addressed GCSB staff on February 29, and referred to the spy agency’s work on the Dotcom case.
That’s six and a half months earlier than when the Prime Minister has previously said he knew anything about the GCSB’s illegal spying on Dotcom.
Leader of the Labour Party, David Shearer says John Key has contradicted himself.
What we understand is at that John Key made a direct reference to Dotcom and GCSB’s involvement with Dotcom. That completely contradicts… that he had no recollection of being briefed.”
Mr Shearer says he is not making accusations, he is asking questions and wants to see a video taken by a staff member at the event. However he doesn’t know if the video exists and wants someone from the GCSB to come forward and give some answers.
If it exists, he says John Key should release the video to clear up what has happened once and for all.
“This cuts directly to John Key’s credibility, he keeps forgetting things.”
It seems unlikely that allegations of a video recording would be falsified – it would be of little value to Labour to make such allegations knowing it could never be backed up.
And as Duncan Garner himself commented earlier today (10 Oct) – why would the GCSB conduct a seizure and search for a video on a hard-drive, if, as they claim such a video did not exist?
This issue has now cast serious doubts on the Prime Minister and the GCSB hierarchy. Something is definitely rotten here.
If that video surfaces – it will mean the resignation of John Key as Prime Minister and this government will fall.
National is Dead Party Walking.
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Previous Blog Post
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The latest Roy Morgan poll has National continuing to fall in the polls.
The “dead cat bounce” previous rise – due mostly to redneck kneejerk reaction to Maori water claims – appears to have been only a temporary respite for this lame-duck administration.
The poll results,
National Party to 41.5% (down 2%) – 50 seats
Maori Party 1.5% (down 1%) – 3 seats?
ACT NZ 0.5% (unchanged) – 1 seat?
United Future 0.5% (up 0.5%) – 1 seat?
Total National-led coalition-bloc: 55 seats (?)
Support for Labour is 33.5% (up 0.5%) – 41 seats
Greens are 13.5% (up 2%) – 17 seats
New Zealand First 6.5% (up 1.5%) – 8 seats
Mana Party 0% – 1 seat
Total Labour-led coalition-bloc: 67 seats (?)
Without much doubt, National is on it’s way out – a two-term “government”.
The question is – how much damage will this inept, unfocused, “government” cause before they are thrown out at the next election?
At this point, the only thing we can look forward to is a by-election or a defection from the National-led coalition.
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From the ACT Party website,
“When Labour abolished the youth minimum wage in 2008, youth unemployment soared. A study by the former Department of Labour found that abolishing the youth wage resulted in a loss of up to 9000 jobs. Removing the youth minimum wage priced young people out of the market. “
What nonsense. The rise in youth unemployment post-2008 was due to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
In February 2009, the DoL (former Department of Labour) website reported,
“Unemployment has risen across the OECD
9. Statistics New Zealand reports that New Zealand’s unemployment rate is the tenth
equal lowest of the 27 OECD nations with comparable data. The Netherlands and
Norway have the lowest unemployment rate at 2.7%, with South Korea,
Switzerland and Austria also below 4%. The OECD average unemployment rate
was 6.5%, up from 6.0% when the September 2008 quarter HLFS was released.
10. New Zealand has so far not been affected as much by the global financial crisis as
some other countries. Furthermore, it is in a relatively better position due to a
strong starting point, fiscal stimulus and large decreases in interest rates. In the
United States, the unemployment rate has risen from 4.8% in February 2008 to
7.2% in December 2008, a 15-year high. Unemployment has increased in other
developed nations, particularly Ireland (to 8.2% in December 2008, from 4.7% a
year earlier) and Spain (to 14.4% in December 2008, from 8.7% a year earlier).
15. Youth are often the most at risk during a recession and their unemployment rate is
expected to rise further over the next year. This can be attributed to them having
low levels of experience, but also because those aged 15-24 years old are two to
three times more likely to be unemployed in general. In the early 1990s recession,
the unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds rose from 13.3% in early 1990 to
19.5% in early 1992.”
The DoL website also stated that “Maori and Pacific workers are also expected to be affected by the downturn. These groups have a greater proportion of youth relative to Europeans and also tend to be disproportionally employed in low-skilled and semi-skilled occupations, which are often more affected in a recession“.
Does ACT have a policy advocating a lower wage rate for Maori and Pacific islanders, based on their ethnicity?
After all, if one can discrimiminate on age – why not race?
It is dishonest to lay fault with a previous government’s policy when facts point to a completely different cause and effect scenario.
ACT should learn to be a bit bit honest with the facts rather than re-writing history, Orwellian-style, to suit some confused ideology.
But then again, this is John Banks’ Party. ’nuff said.
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This was one of National’s election hoardings in 2008,
National made a big deal of New Zealanders migrating to Australia. Essentially it became an election issue, with John Key painting our population loss to Australia as a “vote of no confidence” in the incumbent Labour government.
As Key said,
“The brain drain worries the hell out of me. I have no doubt we can kiss goodbye to at least half of you in the next five to 10 years.” – John Key, 31 May 2007
” When the going gets this tough, is it any wonder that Kiwis look longingly at our Aussie cousins? Our Aussie cousins, who get paid a third more than us for doing the same job. Our Aussie cousins, who have been given a tax cut in every Budget for the past five years and who will continue to have their taxes cut for Budgets to come.
Too many Kiwis are looking at those stats and choosing to join their cousins across the ditch. We have to give them better reasons to stay. ” – John Key, 29 January 2008
Key and the Nats made a nice little ‘song-and-dance’ about the brain-drain to Australia. They pledged to voters that, once elected, would set about enacting policies to encourage New Zealanders to stay and help build our economy.
So, how did it work out?
Hmmmm, it’s only been a year for Dear Leader and his
cronies colleagues. Let’s be fair and give them more time…
Uh oh. Still not looking terribly ‘flash’, is it? Well, it’s only two years since the Tories were elected on a promise to engage with New Zealanders and create a country that, as Dear Leader Key said in January 2008, “we have to give them better reasons to stay“.
Maybe next year?
Let’s wait and see…
Oh well. Maybe next year?
Well, that seems to have flopped. Majorly flopped.
So what is National’s response to such an utter failure of their policies? What new initiatives did Dear Leader and his well-paid, well-staffed Ministers come up with?
This is their master-stroke solution,
So this is National’s ‘Plan B’? Instead of calling the mass exodus of New Zealanders a “brain drain”; lamenting the loss of our “best and brightest”; National’s spin-doctors (paid out of yours and my taxes) have re-labelled the slow de-population of our nation as a “brain exchange”?!
Damn clever these spin-doctors, eh?
Just imagine; the re-spinning of all our social and economic problems can be overcome in precisely the same ‘clever’ way. Just slap something with a re-label, and hey, ‘bob’s-your-aunty’.
As Dear Leader Key tells us,
“Yup, we started that debate, but the truth is our population has been rising. At the very minimum you could say it’s a ‘brain exchange’ because there’s quite a lot of bright people arriving into New Zealand.” – John Key, 7 October 2012
Except, it’s not ‘sorted’. Nowhere near ‘sorted’.
Key is correct; New Zealand’s population continues to “grow”. But only because the rest of the global human population is only too willing to migrate to New Zealand from various Third World nations; poverty-stricken societies; and hell-holes like Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, etc.
This blogger has no problem with immigrants – my own parents escaped from an Eastern European nation after the Red Army rampaged through the capital city, shooting and killing.
This blogger, does, however, have a problem with a Party that was elected to power on certain promises – and has failed spectacularly at every level to make good those promises.
It is my contention that New Zealanders have ‘jumped the ditch’ – not simply because of the lure of jobs and higher wages in Australia – but because, as a nation, we have failed to instill a sense of belonging in many of our young people.
Since the tsunami that was Rogernomics swept away many of our old values, and replaced our sense of nationhood with an odious philosophy of individualistic Me First, it is my contention that we have taught this generation to ‘follow the money’. Citizenship; a sense of belonging; and valuing and being valued, is way down on a list of priorities for many folk. Or non-existant.
I share this with the reader,
“ A Victorian-based Kiwi with a student loan debt, who did not want to be named because he did not want to be found by the Government, said he did not intend to pay back any of his student loan.
The 37-year-old’s loan was about $18,000 when he left New Zealand in 1997. He expected it was now in the order of $50,000. The man was not worried about being caught as the Government did not have his details and he did not want to return to New Zealand.
“I would never live there anyway, I feel just like my whole generation were basically sold down the river by the government. I don’t feel connected at all, I don’t even care if the All Blacks win.
“I just realised it was futile living [in New Zealand] trying to pay student loans and not having any life, so I left. My missus had a student loan and she had quite a good degree and she had paid 99c off the principal of her loan after working three years”. “
I offer this salient piece of advice to Dear Leader andf the National Party; if we expect committment from New Zealanders – then, as a nation, we must show committment to our young folk, and to each other.
That involves old fashioned concepts and values such as pride in our country. Not just our flag or rugby team or latest successful movie by Peter Jackson – but pride in a nation that invests in each citizen with universal, free education; food in schools programmes; decent housing; comprehensive free healthcare for our young people; fair wages sufficient to raise a family on; everyone paying their taxes (no exceptions for capital gains, sorry), and ensuring that no one is left behind.
Our Scandinavian cuzzies have achieved this model of society. Even we used to have something similar once upon a time.
Building a sense of nationhood, therefore, is not about building personal fortunes or buying the latest consumer gadget.
After thirty years of experimenting with the doctrine of Individualistism and Me First, I think it’s fairly obvious that it has failed us. We may have state-of-the-art flatscreen TVs – but our kids are not watching them with us. They’re skyping us from Australia, or where-ever.
If we want a sense of nationhood, it cannot be purchased; imported; traded on the sharemarket; sold; or commodified. It is something deep and innate within us that has to be nurtured by a sense of belonging.
And judging by the exodus from these islands, you really have to ask yourself how strong that sense of belonging is, any more.
The final wave goodbye from many of our fellow Kiwis,
Exodus to Oz continues unabated (27 Feb 2009)
Kiwis move to Aussie in record numbers (29 Sept 2010)
Kiwi exodus to Australia nears record levels (23 Nov 2011)
Kiwis still flocking across Tasman (23 June 2012)
Key changes tack with ‘brain exchange’ tag (7 Oct 2012)
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- 4 October2012 -
- David Slack & Selwyn Manning -
Issue 1: two inquires, one Police investigation , spies meeting in Wellington, Key visiting Hollywood and an official apology – how much more weird can the Kim Dotcom scandal get?
Issue 2: Does the Education Ministry’s handling of school closures in Christchurch make the GCSB illegal spying look competent?
Issue 3: If crime is down, why are we building a new billion dollar private prison?
Acknowledgement (republished with kind permission)
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In politics, there are several ways to discredit your opponant or critic;
David Lange was the past-master of the one-liner riposte. His classic, “I can smell the uranium on your breath”, is now firmly ingrained in our culture.
- Attack Reputations
A favourite of Robert Muldoon, who had little reservation in undermining, or even destroying, a person’s reputation if they crossed him.
- Buy them off
Our best and most experienced journalists gave up their professions to join the Dark Side of politics, and become Press Secretaries and spin doctors for politicians, government departments, SOEs, and corporations.
Some of the most well-known media names from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s now work for employers who do not want the public truthfully informed on certain matters.
- Deride & Dismiss
If you can successfully paint your critic or political opponant as a “loony”, incompetant, naive, or possessing some other faulty character-trait, then you may persuade the public not to listen to them.
The Right deride the Greens as “tree hugging socialists” – and other epithets – when attacking their policies. Even when said policies are clearly delineated and sheer common sense – the derision and dismissive retorts are by now an automatic kneejerk from the Right. No thought required.
- Off to the Gulag!
Very popular with the old USSR, and still in heavy usage in the last remaining Stalinist regime in North Korea. The Chinese have their own Labour Camps (prisons) for their political prisoners. And even the United States – the Land of the Free – has their own dirty little ‘secret’ at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Probably not feasible for dear little New Zealand… yet.
National’s tax-payer funded spin doctors have been working overtime this year on new angles for their Ministerial Masters to use to dismiss the growing clamour of criticism against their policies, and more increasingly, criticism of John Key’s style of leadership.
With National dropping in the polls and Key’s popularity not what it once was, it is fairly obvious that critics are starting to hit home – and the Tory hierarchy is worried.
One response has been the Deride & Dismiss tactic.
Increasingly, Dear Leader and his ministers have taken to referring to critics and political opponants as “conspiracy theorists” – a jibe designed to make someone appear to be on the fringe of politics; slightly unstable; not thinking rationally; and espousing ideas unsupported by facts.
It’s like suggesting that your opponant or critics believes in fairy tales. And it’s becoming more and more common,
“Mr Key is rejecting all their allegations.
“It went through the normal tendering process, Sky City was the only bidder prepared to look at a deal that didn’t involve government resources. They can run around as much as they like looking for conspiracies but they’re never going to find one”. ” – John Key, MSN News, 19 April, 2012
“ But despite the paper, he denied there was any connection between him calling off the business case and SkyCity indicating it was considering extending its centre. “Not despite your wildest conspiracies, no,” he said. ” – Dominion Post, 24 April 2012
“But I would say it’s a really positive thing to do. You can make a difference. And it’s like the convention centre. People want to chase their tails in conspiracies. There is no conspiracy. The conspiracy is we haven’t had a convention centre for decades. We will get 160,000 visitor-nights. They will spend roughly twice as much as everybody else. The Government has got no money to pour into it.” – John Key, The Listener, 23 June 2012
“There is no conspiracy here. There’s a failure by an individual, there’s a cock-up, but there’s not a conspiracy.” [re, GCSB] – John Key, TV3, 29 September 2012
“Yeah the conspiracy theorists won’t like it they’ll be on TV tonight saying ‘yeah you know Dotcom’ and all this sort of carry on but they live in fantasy land.” – John Key, TV3, 1 October 2012
“There’ll always be conspiracy theorists out there but I’m interested in jobs, not people who live in Fantasyland and want to make things up.” – John Key, Fairfax media, 2 October 2012
” Meanwhile Mr Key is writing off the concerns around Dotcom as “conspiracy theories”.
“I’d caution New Zealanders not to buy into conspiracy theories too much,” he says. ” – John Key, TV3, 4 October 2012
Even Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald columnist and bearer of the Honorary Captain Key De-Coder Ring, joined in to support National’s spin-dictoring.
“The conspiracy allegations against Key are over-egged.” – Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald, 3 October 2011
As these quotes show, Key has been using the “conspiracy” pejorative as often as he can get away with it.
Without indulging in conspiracy theories, one could almost come to the conclusion that “Conspiracy” and “conspiracy theorists” are the magic words in 2012 – as determined by National’s back-room spin doctors. These guys have been racking up serious over-time to create the right things for Key and other National ministers to say.
Anyone criticising Dear Leader is engaging in “conspiracies” and accusations against National are “conspiracy theories”.
Otherwise it’s off to the Gulag for you!
Meanwhile, here is one example of pre-scripted spin being delivered incompetantly, by an incompetant Minister. Listen and weep, for our taxes are paying for this woman’s salary,
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And now something from the political Twilight Zone of weirdness. Herein is reproduced, in full, a recent column-piece by NZ Herald political commentator, John Armstrong,
Finally, some answers. What’s more, some answers about who knew what and when; some answers which should leave the Prime Minister’s face as red as his favoured pinot noir.
Despite John Key’s insistent denials, it now seems to be the case that he actually was briefed by the GCSB on its eavesdropping on Kim Dotcom at a session in February which outlined the spy agency’s wider roles and capabilities.
Key cannot remember. Neither can Ian Fletcher, the GCSB director. But others present confirmed there was brief mention of the Dotcom saga. Key has had to accept their word.
He knows that he consequently emerges battered from this affair; that the Opposition parties have landed their strongest hit on him since he became Prime Minister. He will roll with the punches, however. He has little choice. Opposition parties are claiming the episode demonstrates the real level of incompetence within Key’s Government.
Any incompetence in this case, however, should be sheeted home to the bureau. It has taken more than two weeks to provide Key with basic information. Its inertia has dumped Key right in it. His demands that it move with greater speed appear to have gone unheeded.
Essentially, there has been a culture clash between the slow, methodical GCSB and the frantic world of politics.
As a result, Key has called in Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge to sort out the GCSB. He clearly no longer trusts the bureau.
Key is likely to feel obliged to apologise to Parliament for the inaccuracy of some of his statements to the House. But the worst looks to be over for National.
“Any incompetence in this case, however, should be sheeted home to the bureau. It has taken more than two weeks to provide Key with basic information. Its inertia has dumped Key right in it. His demands that it move with greater speed appear to have gone unheeded.”
Mr Armstrong – you must be joking?!?! Are you for real? Do you really think that it is the responsibility of civil servants to ensure that the Prime Ministers’ memory is in good working order???
Since when has the Prime Minister’s brain-fade been the responsibility of others?!
Key should have realised that the GCSB had been illegally involved in spying on Kim Dotcom during the Feb 29 briefing – only 40 days after the massive, Police ninja-raid on the Coatsville mansion. Surely, when the PM saw Dotcom’s image on the GCSB report, alarm bells would’ve rung in his mind??
At the very least, one would’ve thought that Key might’ve turned to his Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, and queried the matter?
Sorry, Mr Armstrong – but trying to deflect blame for what Key can/can’t remember is just a step too far. If Key’s mental stability relies on others, then he is in bad shape and not fit to be PM.
Key’s ministerial responsibility for overseeing the SIS and GCSB appears similar to his ministerial responsibility as Minister of Tourism; The Prime Minister has left the country.
Perhaps the most ludicrous of Armstrong’s comments is when he suggests,
“But the worst looks to be over for National.”
On Planet Key, maybe, Mr Armstrong.
But we do things differently, here on Planet Earth.
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Two years ago, what should have been a relatively minor industrial negotiation between Actor’s Equity and and SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association) turned into a major incident, both local and international.
The dispute swelled into a mass-panic as New Zealanders’ believed that they were about to lose their precious – the ‘Hobbit‘ movies. There was talk of production moving to Australia (which is evenly more heavily unionised than NZ) or Eastern Europe, or Outer Mongolia or wherever.
Tension escalated. Death threats were made. Union officials were harassed and threatened. Hysteria reached moral-panic proportions not seen since the 1981 Springbok Tour Days.
Then, on 27 October 2010, the Wide Boys from Hollywood rode into town. Their boy, John Key, was on hand to greet them and taxpayer funded limousines were made available to chauffeur the Warner Bro’s to Premier House,
It was High Stakes time (or so we were led to believe). It was actually more like Herding Sheep time.
And we were the sheep.
Key was sternly adamant; Warner Bros would not screw another cent out of the New Zealand tax-payer. There were already generous tax breaks in place. So said Dear Leader at 11.45am, on the morning of 27 October,
“They’ve got movies to make and in the end, money talks in Hollywood. That’s just the way it works. We can’t stop other countries around the world putting up much better and more financially-lucrative deals. If it’s just simply a matter of dollars and cents, I’m just not going to write out cheques that New Zealand can’t afford.” – Source
By 7.38pm – barely eight hours later – Key had pulled out the taxpayer chequebook,
” Tax rebates will also be changed for Warner Bros, which will mean up to an extra US$7.5m per movie for Warner Bros, subject to the success of the movies…
… The Government will offset US$10 million of Warner Bros’ marketing costs as part of the strategic partnership. ” – Source
As Key lamely explained,
“It was commercial reality. We did the business.” – Source
Two years later, Key is once again off to meet with Warner Bros as well as other Hollywood execs,
Every time Key consorts with Corporate Wide Boys, we end up paying, one way or another. So how much will it cost us this time, Dear Leader? What are you preparing to give away now?
“The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson released a statement and his wife and film partner Fran Walsh overnight saying the film’s producer, Hollywood studio Warner Bros, was concerned at the ongoing dispute and preparing to move production away from New Zealand.” – 21 October 2010
“An email from Sir Peter Jackson shows union action had nothing to do with Warner Bros.’ decision on whether or not The Hobbit would be filmed in New Zealand, says Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly.” – 21 January 2011
NZ Herald: PM – I’m not going to write cheques NZ can’t afford (11.45AM, 27 Oct 2010)
NZ Herald: Hobbit to stay in NZ (7.38PM, 27 Oct 2010)
NBR: Key on Hobbit deal: ‘It was commercial reality. We did the business.’ (31 Oct 2010)
Fairfax: PM’s ‘special’ movie studio meeting (19 July 2011)
Radio NZ: No extra incentives for US movie companies, says PM (2 Oct 2012)
TV3: Copyright lobbyist on Key’s Hollywood agenda (4 Oct 2012)
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