The Hobbit stays but I have a few questions

John Key has announced that The Hobbit filming will stay in New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key announced tonight that The Hobbit movies – a $670m project – will be made in New Zealand.

Government ministers – including Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson – and Warner Bros executives have been locked in negotiations all day.

Mr Key made the announcement at a press conference this evening. Tomorrow morning he is due to leave for Vietnam for the East Asia Summit.

“I am delighted we have achieved this result, said Mr Key. “Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in once again promoting NZ on the world stage.”

The Government will introduce legislation tomorrow to clarify the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film industry only.

“The industrial issues that have arisen in the past several weeks have highlighted a significant set of concerns for the way in which the international film industry operates,” Mr Key said.

“We will be moving to ensure that New Zealand law in this area is settled to give film producers like Warner Bros the confidence they need to produce their movies in this country.

“This will guarantee the movies are made in New Zealand,” he said.

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.

Now that all sounds great but I have a few questions. I doubt we will get any answers.

If it is good for the film industry to have legal issues surrounding contractors v. employees sorted then why isn’t it a good idea to do the same for all industries?

Surely all of our industry can benefit fromt he same clarity?

If it is a good idea for tax rebates to encourage the film industry then why not for any other industry that stands to earn New Zealand similar amounts?

Why not tax rebates for all industry?

The film industry does not stand alone, it uses almost every other industry to provide their product, how come those industries don’t get tax breaks or employment contract law sorted for them?

Winston Peters got massive tax breaks for the bloodstock industry on the premise that it too was vital for New Zealand, how come other industries which employ far more people than both the film industry and the bloodstock industry arem\n’t treated the same?

Next time a union busy body mentions anything they should be shouted down with three simple words….no…not “Get f*cked loser”…”Remember The Hobbit”.

The CTU and the union pals across the Tasman very nearly de-railed this movie. Watch now though as Labour jumps on the band wagon to try and get some reflected glory despite their utter silence through-out the whole issue.

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