The Hobbit

Who’s number one?

new-zealand-01

No not blogging…the number one country in the world, the hottest country to visit right now?

New Zealand is the hottest country in the world right now, according to Virtuoso — a network of luxury travel advisors and travel providers. Using data from its worldwide travel agency members, Virtuoso tracked the destinations experiencing the largest year-over-year growth, based on $32 billion in client transactions.

It’s no surprise that this Kiwi country topped Virtuoso’s Hot List, given its exposure in movies like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” — and its untouched beauty. “There is a race towards trying to get to some of the more pristine places because of the rise in mass tourism and globalization,” said Virtuoso chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch.

[…]

1. New Zealand (+ 196%)

Far out-pacing the numbers of any other country on this list, with a staggering 196 percent increase in spending, New Zealand swept Virtuoso’s Hot List. And with the upcoming release of the latest installment of “The Hobbit,” expect “Middle Earth” to continue its global domination.

Read more »

Labour relaunches their Hobbit Hater policy

Labour has re-launched their Hobbit Hater policy at the behest of the unions, proving that their investment in purchasing David Cunliffe and the 20% vote for the leadership has provided a cash for policy arrangement that is giving their leaders sticky knickers.

The Labour Party wants to repeal the law changes that were ceded to Warner Bros over The Hobbit films, a move which the Government says would cripple the $3 billion screen industry.

Labour leader David Cunliffe and MP Andrew Little launched the party’s work and wages policy yesterday, which included a boost to the minimum wage, and a commission of inquiry into workplace conditions.

Here’s an idea…why don;t they just declare a wages crisis, and in short order National will fix the problem. Seems to have worked for manufacturing and housing…it’s worth a crack.

So Labour wants to kill off the film industry in NZ, Dotcom’s party just wants to steal it, and the Greens want to destroy the oil and gas industry.

They really are the wrecking ball of the NZ economy.

But wait it gets worse…Labour also wants to kill jobs.  Read more »

And to think Labour and the unions didn’t want the movies here

I wonder if Helen Kelly or the political branch of the CTU would care to comment, that is the ones that aren’t holidaying after being back at work for two weeks.

The Hobbit movies have injected a massive boost into tourism.

Middle-earth marketing of New Zealand has spurred on “remarkable” growth in overseas tourism, new research says.

A report just released by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) found that Hobbit-inspired marketing of New Zealand attractions had helped push the growth of the tourism industry beyond any projections.  Read more »

Those goddamn Hobbit movies – keeping too many Kiwis employed & regional economies vibrant

The opposition parties objected tot he making of the Hobbit in NZ, the unions tried to stop after being hijacked by Aussie union bosses.

The movies however continue to deliver, keeping Kiwis employed and regional economies vibrant.

The lure of Middle-earth is helping sway increasing numbers of tourists to make the long journey to New Zealand.

Visitor arrivals in February were the highest ever for the month, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday, with the 301,200 visitors being about seven per cent more than February 2013.

Although arrivals from China and Hong Kong were down due to the earlier Chinese New Year, there were more from Australia, the United States and Germany.

The 2.77 million visitors who arrived in the year ended February was also up about seven per cent.  Read more »

Billy Connolly on The Hobbit and Parkinson’s

Ah, Billy. Age is catching up my friend…

Bludging filmmaking ratbags still sticking their hands out

Subsidies are evil, no matter who gets them.

I fail to see why the tax breaks and law changes put in for The Hobbit weren’t able to flow through tot he rest of the economy. Surely if they are good for film-making then they are equally good for other industries.

Governments should not be in the business of picking winners…as generally they pick losers…or worse the private owners pocket the corporate welfare when they sell out.

The Herald has a story of cry-baby film-workers.

New Zealand’s high exchange rate going back several years has been a big factor in the pull-out by foreign studios.   Read more »

The film that Helen Kelly and Labour didn’t want

Keeping in mind, most of the money was spent in New Zealand, this phenomenal success was well worth some tax and employment law changes.

Making the movie trilogy The Hobbit has cost more than half a billion dollars so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the “The Lord of the Rings” series.

That figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn’t include an additional two months or so of “pick-up” shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed.   Read more »

Hobbit Haters Will Hate This

The Labour party and the unions went out of their way to hate on The Hobbit.

To this day they accuse John Key of selling out our laws despite the massive benefits that have flowed as a result of the deal.

HOBBIT fans are helping New Zealand to a mini-tourism boom as they flock to the island country in search of locations used in the film.

Holiday arrivals for the first four months of this year were up 10 per cent compared with the same time last year following the first film in the trilogy’s release in December, International Visitor Arrivals data shows. More than 13 per cent of international visitors took in a Hobbit experience while in New Zealand, including group tours to film sites or visiting the Hobbiton set at Matamata, which gets more than 100,000 visitors each year.   Read more »

Hobbit surge in tourism, and the haters wanted to spike it

The Hobbit is driving a large surge in tourism with almost one in 10 people saying thy are coming here because of The Hobbit.

Helen Kelly and the rest of her union Hobbit haters along with the Labour party wanted to spike this deal. THey still go on and on about it in parliament and in the media any chance they get. They use The Hobbit as a crutch to support their contention that John Key is into crony capitalism.

This is what the deal is delivering us:

It’s not just Bilbo journeying there and back again through Middle-earth – almost one in 10 international visitors are here for the same reason.

Tourism New Zealand figures published yesterday show overseas tourist arrivals were up 10 per cent from 2012 for the first four months of the year.

Of the one million international visitors in those months, 8.5 per cent said The Hobbit was a factor in their choice.

For one in eight tourists, a Middle-earth experience, such as visiting Hobbiton, near Matamata, was high on the to-do list.

Hobbiton manager Russell Alexander said the film set was “at the coalface” of the tourist boom, with January-March visitor numbers almost double the previous year’s. “It’s been a fantastic summer.”

All of those visitors have to stay somewhere, eat somewhere, be transported somewhere and do other things while they are here.

With the release of the second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, six months away, the boom looked here to stay, he said.

As the “middle of Middle-earth”, Wellington was also enjoying the tourist surge. Wellington Rover Tours’ Lord of the Rings trips were so popular this summer that people were turned away every day, guide Nathan Clear said. “We were looking at least 20 or 30 per cent up.”

The continuing production and filming of the trilogy – a final 10-week shoot started in May – was also bringing in tourists.

“What you’re getting now is a lot more general interest, rather than the big fans. Now you’ll get people who’ve not seen the films, where friends or family members demand they do a tour because they couldn’t come.”

Weta Workshop, a popular stop on any Hobbit tour, is expecting an extra 40,000 people through its doors this year. “Middle-earth is popular in Europe, America, Asia, Latin America, Africa – it really has a global popularity,” manager Tim Launder said.

Next month, Weta will collaborate with Tourism NZ at San Diego’s Comic-Con to attract future Middle-earth travellers.

“New Zealand already has a wonderful image – [The Hobbit] pushes them over the line.”

Prime Minister John Key said the latest figures were “further vindication” of the Government’s efforts to keep the filming of The Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand.

Vindication? You bet, well worth the effort of a little law change to stop unions trying to bleed the producers pockets dry.

Helen the Hobbit Hater at it again with the Horrid

Aided and abetted by the Herald on Sunday there is a something nothing article featuring chief Hobbit Hater Helen Kelly, moaning yet again about Weta and employment issues.

Foreign workers are being targeted for more than 500 visual-effects jobs for the production of the next mega-movie in The Hobbit series.

Wellington-based special-effects giant Weta Digital, co-owned by Sir Peter Jackson, has asked Immigration New Zealand for approval in principle to outsource 526 positions.

Weta says most are just extensions to visas that are about to expire and the company has a great record of hiring Kiwis, but Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly is questioning the company’s commitment to the local industry.

Apart from ads on the company website, she could not find evidence Weta had let Kiwis know opportunities were available, and questioned why another application was being made when Weta asked for 369 temporary work visas last year.

“They’ve done very little to bridge that gap. They don’t want to invest in (our) people.”  Read more »