They can stop bludging too

I hate subsidies and I fail to see why movie moguls, who make billions, need us to subsidise their movies. It is just corporate welfare and they need to stop bludging too. Bludgers are bludgers no matter what they look like:

The Government is under pressure to raise the 15 per cent subsidy it offers to lure foreign film and television companies, to compete with an Australian proposal raised by Hollywood heavyweights who dined with the Prime Minister this week.

John Key met the heads of Fox, Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Sony and MGM studios at a dinner hosted by Avatar director James Cameron and his associate John Landau on Thursday with actor Cliff Curtis and Weta supremo Sir Richard Taylor.

The meal followed a day of meetings in Hollywood for Mr Key, including a visit to the set of TV show Body of Proof, where he was introduced to the cast, including former Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany.

Up for discussion at Thursday’s dinner at the Landau home were alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the 15 per cent subsidy NZ pays film companies to secure their business.

Taxpayers have spent more than $500 million in the past decade subsidising Hollywood productions, including Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Subsidies for The Hobbit are expected to reach $60 million.


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  • Wish they’d stop calling it “subsidy”. Its a bribe. Pure and simple.

    • Hard1

      Good . We want them here , without union involvement . Wellington was bursting at the seams while the Hobbit production was on . There was a lot of happy people.
      Weta and Sir Peter are fabulous assets for the whole nation . You anal pricks knocking Key for helping strengthen the economy and the people involved in it are too much . You want only misery . Well , you’ve already got it in your own life . Keep it there .

      • nzd.gbp

        couldn’t agree more. i reckon lowering tax breaks across the board rather than being selective is even better though. we know it works so why not apply it?

        • Hard1

          Taxes at present are quite low .my father was paying 60% under Muldoon .
          To put the ‘bribe’ debate into perspective ,we built the Manapouri dam for Comalco , for the jobs.
          As one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the history of New Zealand , the smelter sucked up enough electricity from hydro to figure at around 10% of national consumption , from memory.
          And it’s still going . With tax breaks .

          Kiwis have short memories

          • jonno1

            And Muldoon put a 10% “surcharge” on that rate in 1985 that didn’t stop till (I think) 1990 when it dropped to 33%. Then a decade later Dear Leader put it back to 39%. Unfortunately I seem to have hit these high marginal rates all my working life!

          • whalewatcher

            Muldoon didn’t do anything in 1985 – he was sitting in Opposition. Douglas was on the treasury benches..

          • jonno1

            Whoops! Thanks ww. I meant 1982 for when the 66% rate kicked in on incomes above a measly $22k (where the marginal rate was already 60%). But of course, Lange/Douglas didn’t revoke it either.

    • kehua

      It is “incentive“ DB and it is `sensible` ask the Wellington business people what they think of it after the Hobbit Premiere.

  • OldMichael

    It is not a subsidy. Subsidies are paid to businesses that would fail without them, in the hope that they would grow strong enough to add to the economy. This is an “incentive” (bribe) to a foreign company to get them to do business in New Zealand, with the hope that the profit from the business exceeds the size of the bribe.

    • Hard1

      Surely the NZ govt. is giving them tax breaks on money to be earned here ? Costing the govt nothing at all ? Because if the movies are made in Europe as proposed , the money wouldn’t be earned here . Or is Key handing over actual taxpayer cash ?
      Movies being made in NZ are good for people here across the spectrum . You hemorrhoids blasting Key for doing something good for the country at no material cost , are quite frankly , fucking boring .

      • OldMichael

        I’m not against the idea of attracting business. I have reservations though – the bribe must be repaid (i.e. the economy must show a net profit from the new business), and the PR must be managed. The Key government is not really managing the PR well – they assume everybody understands the economical situation and approves. The left are baying for blood, and few people who listen to their propaganda are well-informed. The government should realise that they need counter-propaganda to sell their story, instead of relying on the intelligence of voters.

  • Gazzaw

    It’s just business FFS. If I was negotiating on behalf of Warners my opening ploy would be for an increased subsidy. Hell you may as well ask, if you don’t you won’t get it. At the very least you will get some sort of concession. Let’s see what JK goes back with. It’s called negotiation.

    • fozzie

      No Gazzy – the Government and sweet Johnny are picking winners and letting large corporations dictate who we tax and who we don’t. The jobs they create here are temporary and most of the profits are sent off shore.
      We change our employments laws for them, we have our police, secret service do their dirty work for them, we give them tax breaks that many hardworking well run Kiwi businesses, who create good and stable employment – for what ?
      All I can see in John Key mincing down that runway and maybe this is all about his next great ambition…

      • nzd.gbp

        all jobs are temporary. you take a temporary job and build on it and gain experience and then take another, hopefully better temporary job and so on. what’s the alternative?

        I agree with your second paragraph but then your key derangement syndrome kicks in and spoils it for me. You really hate him huh? I mean personally. as a person.

        • fozzie

          nzd when you are running a sustainable business, jobs aren’t temporary because you need your employees and their skills to make it happen. Stable businesses stable workforces build stable families and communities.
          Kiwis has to decide what is important, what type of society we want to live in. NZD, as I tell my children every day you hate nobody, but you are right to disagree with their ideas.

          Key sees nothing of this because all he knows is about temporary and ambition. Great if you are planning your personal affairs – but highly destructive if you are running a country !

          • nzd.gbp

            You need to stop calling things like this sustainable. Jobs and business sustainability can only be seen in retrospect and it’s got nothing to with with environmental sustainability, which is what is normally meant.
            A job or business is built on service to others. If you’re of no use to others then there is no job or business. Sustainability makes no sense if you’re of no use to others.

          • fozzie

            You miss my point. I work with hundreds of small and emerging businesses, probably like yours, over the course of a year. These are businesses that make a profit, pay their taxes and help grow our economy. They ask for no special hand outs, employ staff and pay them well. They are innovative and forward thinking. Sustainable because they look after themselves. They understand the market that they are in, see the pits in the road that they may not be in charge of – down turn in demand price or currency- but they have a business plan that relies on them and their decisions. Be good to see some big corporations like Warner brothers Rio Tinto etc who beg for government handouts when things don’t go their way follow their lead.

          • nzd.gbp

            and another thing, I think therefore I am. If my ideas are hateful then I am hateful. It’s okay to hate, in fact, it’s crucial.

          • fozzie

            Sad to see you need to feel that way. it’s good to acknowledge that we might disagree, but hate is a very destructive.

          • nzd.gbp

            Yeah we can disagree and we will. I don’t get this notion that you can hate someone’s world view and what they feel entitled to extract from others without hating them. It’s not a permanent state. It only lasts as long as their hateful opinion. It doesn’t mean you have some right to do anything other than argue. It’s better to hate than to be indifferent.

          • fozzie

            As say to my kids I may disagree with that you do but I will always love you. Hate is a destructive emotion. It puts up barriers it assumes that there is no redemption.

          • fozzie

            i hate nothing. I disagree. Hate is a destructive force, it alienates people, paints them as bad. We have different world views. I accept that, but I don’t hate that. Hate is what fuels wars. Hate is what drives others to kill. It’s OK to disagree – it is NEVER OK to hate.

        • 2ndAmendment

          what’s the alternative?

          Bludging of one sort of another. Dole. Codger Dole. Civil Service. State-socialist teacher or doctor.

      • Hard1

        “most of the profits are sent off shore.” That would be true for our banks , telcos etc. Nothing to see here.

        “The jobs they create here are temporary” Not if we are attractive enough to keep getting more productions based here , which will happen as our talent pool becomes deeper .

        You don’t need to be so cynical about this , Fozzie . Having NZ as a world class , permanent , movie production hub is a lot more forward thinking than just exporting stuff we grow .

        • fozzie

          thing is Hard1 the idea of this being permanent is only as good as we kow tow to the movie barons – best we be in control of our own destiny and grow our own businesses.

          • Hard1

            You do realize that your wording “kow tow to the movie barons” is something that an old commie like McCarten or Kelly would use to rouse the faithful .
            That’s pub talk , Fozzie .
            Hardly anyone possessing a forward thinking , logical mind would think that John Key , by negotiating a deal with positive benefits to this nation , is on the receiving end of a demeaning grovelling whipping .
            And NZ gets to make more movies by losing tax we never would have got in the first place !
            Unless , of course , you are willing to undermine the economic health of the country to undermine Key himself .

            There is something about the Kiwi psyche that absolutely hates change , and Kiwis , like all good alcoholics , hate being told what to do .
            So you socialists choose to perceive that Key is being bossed around , because you are addicted to your ideals without even knowing why .
            I’ll tell you why . You think someone else’s money stinks .
            And I’ll tell you how your Soviet Communist Party masters lived , while you were all running around saving the world .
            They lived like Kings . All of them .

          • fozzie

            Mmm will by pass the rant Hard1 – maybe you have had a few too many tonight. If you think Johnny cuddling up to the movie barons is a growth strategy then go back to Go and start Economics 101 again.
            Movie making does not produce long term sustainable jobs, hell this government has already undermined the people who work on these movies by removing the basic wage and conditions. We are a smart innovative people – we need to grow smart and innovative businesses in technology, science and manufacturing. Yeah the odd movie would be good, but it cannot be our future.

        • Gazzaw

          ‘most of the profits are sent offshore’ – OK, if that’s an objection lets tell Rio Tinto to fuck off then. I’m sure that the EPMU will be delighted as will the hundreds of Ti Wai Point workers whose ‘temporary’ jobs were created 41 years ago.

          • fozzie

            Well the story of the smelter is a long one. We attracted this business with cheap power. Now they want it cheaper ! Commodity prices are down so who should wear that – why the NZ taxpayer and NZ power consumers. Seems to me these ‘corporate flyers’ only have a plan when the price of their goods goes up. They like many of our commodity industries, as soon as there is a twitch in the market they are screaming for a subsidy or hand out. Even small businesses know they have to plan ahead for the ‘rainy day’ Business 101, why can’t they ?

          • Gazzaw

            FFS fozzie. I don’t want a history lesson. I worked on the Manapouri project in my student holidays – yes, I was a union member too. Probably a lot closer to the whole issue than you will ever be. Rio Tinto and their corporate forebears have always been tough negotiators over power prices & they’ve threatened to take the business away every time there’s a trough in aluminium prices. It’s called negotiating, it’s what businesses do.

          • fozzie

            ‘FFS’ Gazzy does working on a project somehow make you a luminary on the subject (apart from the union membership). Problem we now have is that this giant corporate is now using their muscle to force Meridian to drop their price – have a line to the factory that cannot easily be redirected into the national grid. If we as a country continue to put all our eggs in the commodities basket – be it aluminum, dairy or movie making – then we will get what we have always got .

  • Young and Dumb

    Maybe Key is trying to use Dotcom as a bargaining tool to these network heads?

  • nzd.gbp

    The govt lets them keep more of their own money you mean? And if they know that it creates an incentive to do business then why not cut the company tax rate across the board?

    • Hard1

      The tax breaks do not create an incentive to start the business . The tax breaks are to locate the movie productions here . Which you already know .
      Then you write “why not cut the company tax rate across the board?”

      How does that relate to the subject at hand , which is using tax breaks to bring overseas companies to our shores ?

      • nzd.gbp

        each film is a new project so it could be argued that a tax break actually does create an incentive to start the business.

        I don’t know what you mean by your question.

      • kehua

        Exactly H1 if only some of our smaller councils did the same with Rate relief for Business/ Manufacturers to relocate to provide employment in their area.

  • Tristanb

    It’s government intervention who thinks it knows better than the free market.

    If they don’t want to film here with our scenery and relatively cheap labour, then fuck ’em. And get rid of NZ on Air funding too.

    Personally I think that anyone who accepts government funding to make their “story” should forgo any copyright on it.

  • Meg

    Gee what a surprise. Last time it was change your laws and give us a nice bribe. So Key did.

    And now they are asking for another bribe from Key.

    Who didn’t see this coming with jellyfish spine Key.

    • Hard1

      Let’s shrink wrap the country and run out of air .

      • Mully

        And let John Key pander to the big shrink wrap businesses? That’s exactly what he wants you to do…

  • cows4me

    Perhaps if the government didn’t relieve us of so much of our wealth we wouldn’t have to bribe others to do business here. Fuck how much tax does small business pay in various forms of tax. Some say the government are paying bribes to bring business here, this is totally incorrect. The government isn’t paying a fucking cent you and I are. If all were treated fair and tax rates were not the robbery they are business would want to come because conditions would be much more business friendly. So JK has done a deal, yeah right, and how many pieces of sliver will these Hollywood con men require next year so we can be graced with there presence.

    • whalewatcher

      I am a small businessman, and am sick of working as an unpaid tax-collector for the Govt (collecting GST), having to pay staff to do the numbers, then pay my accountant even more to tidy it up lest I make a mistake and get penalised by IRD for getting it slightly wrong – all the time I am working gratis for the buggers.

      I have a mortgage and drive a 10 yr old Falcon, and I’d love a tax break. The money would be spent here not exported to LA to fund movie moguls’ limos and mansions.

      I have a good mind to invoice the IRD for the cost of tax collecting on their behalf, give them a 30-day reminder, then debt-collect them when they don’t pay … trouble is they’d be up me like a dose of salts until the day I retire.

      Perhaps if a few of us GST-collectors did this, we might get somewhere

  • Hagues

    So high taxes make us uncompetitive and companies don’t want to bring their business here, but cutting taxes results in jobs and contributions to the economy. No shit, so why doesn’t the government move to apply this across the board all the time?

  • johnboy

    I haven’t been to a movie in thirty years. Being stuck in a large room with all those proletariat puts me off. Good on Jackson if he can make money from his crap. Good on Key if he can con a few million out of the Studios.

    • Gazzaw

      Right on johnboy. It used to be that the rustling of chip packets deterred me from going to the movies now they tell me it’s dickhead texters with cellphones that are the problem. Nothing like the big TV screen, a Blu Ray & some solitude.

    • fozzie

      But he doesn’t con money from them – he gives them yours !!

      • davcav

        So, how much taxpayer money HAS the government PAID Hollywood production companies?

        • Ronnie Chow

          None. Seems to be a secret.

  • blazer

    love the way those Hollywood film makers refer to kiwis….’mexicans….with cellphones’!

  • Anonymouse Coward

    About that employment law change to suit Hollywood.

    I recall a radio interview with the lawyer who represented the studio employee who took on the studios and won. He said that the law change was completely unnecessary as the judge in the relevant decision advised that a simple rewording of the contract would have made clear whether or not the studio employee was a contractor or not.

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