The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Press Release: PROTEST AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND!

1 November 2010

PROTEST AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND!

“Auckland Council Inauguration”
WHEN: MONDAY EVENING 1 NOVEMBER 2010

TIME: 5.30PM

WHERE: OUTSIDE AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
QUEEN ST, AUCKLAND CITY

“Serious questions regarding major conflicts of interest, lack of transparency and arguably corrupt practices regarding the Auckland $UPERCITY have still not been answered,” says Water Pressure Group Media Spokesperson Penny Bright.

“That is why, as a registered attendee, I will be raising these, and other questions at Transparency International’s 14th Conference in Thailand from 10 -14 November.

I will be seeking advice from anti-corruption international ‘heavyweights’ on whether the following constitute potentially corrupt practices.”

1) “How did Mark Ford, Executive Chair of the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA), tasked with setting up the ‘Supercity’ framework, end up with two of the ‘top jobs’ himself?

CEO of Watercare and Chair of the ‘statutory entity’ – Auckland Transport?

How was this not a clear ‘conflict of interest’?

2) Why did Mark Ford, as CEO, appoint water privatisers to key executive staff roles in publicly-owned Watercare Services – the ‘wholesale’ water/wastewater ‘ services provider to the Auckland region?

ie: David Hawkins, the former Mayor of Papakura District Council who played a pivotal role in privatising water services to United Water, now 100% owned by Veolia Water – the world’s biggest water multinational.

ie: Graham Wood, former Managing Director of United Water South Australia, to the position of General Manager Operations of Watercare Services, in or about 2007.

3) Why won’t Mark Ford disclose what, (if any) interests he had or may have, either pecuniary or non-pecuniary with:

1) United Water;
2) Veolia Water,

3) Veolia Transport (who have the contract with ARTA (of which he was Chair since 2007) to operate train services on the Auckland Passenger Rail Network.

4) Why, on the Watercare Services Ltd website, when Mark Ford was previously CEO, there was no section which covered the Watercare Shareholders Group,(the governing body made up of representatives of the Councils which own Watercare Services Ltd) to make the following information publicly available: SRG meeting minutes; SRG reports ; information about which elected representatives were actually members of the SRG, and the like.

How was (is) this ‘transparent’?

5) Where is the information which tells residents and ratepayers of the Auckland region where EXACTLY our monies are being spent?

From Franklin to Rodney, where is the publicly available information which shows over a range of 112 possible Councils services, which services are provided ‘in-house'; which are provided by CCOs; which services have been contracted out?

For council services which have been contracted out, where is the publicly available information which gives the name of the contractor, term, value and scope of the contractor?

If information detailing where public monies are being spent is not publicly available for public scrutiny – how is this ‘transparent’?

6) Where is the ‘Register of Interests’ for the Auckland Council elected representatives and their spouses; and council staff responsible for signing off contracts worth hundreds of millions of citizens and ratepayers hard-earned dollars?

HOW CAN CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS BE CHECKED IF THEY ARE NOT DECLARED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

If such ‘Register of Interests’ do not exist, or are not publicly available – how is this ‘transparent’?

7) Why has there has never been any ‘due diligence/ cost-benefit’ analysis since the last council amalgamations; of the ‘contracting-out’ model; or of the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model – yet the Auckland $UPERCITY has been forced upon the public of the Auckland region without a binding vote of citizens and ratepayers?

If such changes are forced upon the public, without any evidential basis to support that they will benefit the public majority – how is this not a form of ‘misuse of public office for private gain’ – it the beneficiaries of such changes are going to be the private sector?

How is this not corrupt?

Yet, according to Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – New Zealand, along with Denmark and Singapore is currently ranked as the least corrupt country in the world?

If New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be one of the least corrupt countries in the world – then arguably – shouldn’t we be the most ‘transparent’?

These matters that pertain to the Auckland $UPERCITY, and others I intend to raise at the Transparency International Conference – to help provide a New Zealand corruption ‘reality check’ against the New Zealand corruption ‘perception’.”

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson

Water Pressure Group

Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ for Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

“Anti-corruption http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825

021 211 4 127

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Metrowater, Stop the $uper City | Leave a comment

PROTEST! AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND! Monday evening 1 November,5.30pm outside Auckland Town Hall

31 October 2010

PROTEST!

AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND!

“Auckland Council Inauguration”

WHEN: MONDAY EVENING 1 NOVEMBER 2010

TIME: 5.30PM

WHERE: OUTSIDE AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
QUEEN ST, AUCKLAND CITY

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Stop the $uper City | Leave a comment

Placebo fraud rocks the very foundation of modern medical science; thousands of clinical trials invalidated!

30 October 2010

This is a BIGGIE.

Consider the BILLION$ spent worldwide on pharmaceuticals pushed by the
‘Big Pharma drug barons’?

How can the public have confidence in the ‘tests’ that are supposed to prove the safety and efficacy of these pharmaceutical products if ‘clinical trials have been faked with placebos’ rendering ‘thousands of trials invalid?

www.naturalnews.com/030209_placebo_medical_fraud.html

Placebo fraud rocks the very foundation of modern medical science; thousands of clinical trials invalidated

Thursday, October 28, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of Natural News.com (See all articles…)

(Natural News) You know all those thousands of clinical trials conducted over the last few decades comparing pharmaceuticals to placebo pills? Well, it turns out all those studies must now be
completely thrown out as utterly non-scientific. And why?

Because the placebos used in the studies weren’t really placebos at all, rendering the studies scientifically invalid.

This is the conclusion from researchers at the University of California who published their findings in the October issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They reviewed 167 placebo-controlled
trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals in 2008 and 2009 and found that 92 percent of those trials never even described the ingredients of their placebo pills.

Why is this important? Because placebo pills are supposed to be inert. But nothing is inert, it turns out. Even so-called “sugar pills” contain sugar, obviously. And sugar isn’t inert. If you’re running a clinical trial on diabetics, testing the effectiveness of adiabetes drug versus a placebo then obviously your clinical trial is going to make the diabetes drug look better than placebo if you use sugar pills as your placebo.

Some placebo pills use olive oil which may actually improve heart health. Other placebo pills use partially-hydrogenated oils which harm heart health. Yet only 8 percent of clinical trials bothered to list
the placebo ingredients at all!
…………………………………………….

(Full article later in this post).

Abstract of the study
Here’s some of the text from the abstract of this study published in
the Annals of Internal Medicine
(http://www.annals.org/content/153/8…)

What’s in Placebos: Who Knows? Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials

1. Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD;
2. Laura C. Erickson, BS;
3. Sabrina Koperski, BS;
4. Deanna Sack, BS;
5. Murray Enkin, MD; and
6. Jeremy Howick, PhD

Background: No regulations govern placebo composition. Thecomposition of placebos can influence trial outcomes and merits reporting.

Purpose: To assess how often investigators specify the composition of placebos in randomized, placebo-controlled trials.

Data Sources: 4 English-language general and internal medicine journals with high impact factors.

Study Selection: 3 reviewers screened titles and abstracts of the journals to identify randomized, placebo-controlled trials published from January 2008 to December 2009.

Data Extraction: Reviewers independently abstracted data from the introduction and methods sections of identified articles, recording treatment type (pill, injection, or other) and whether placebo
composition was stated. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.

Data Synthesis: Most studies did not disclose the composition of the study placebo. Disclosure was less common for pills than for injections and other treatments (8.2% vs. 26.7%; P = 0.002).

Limitation: Journals with high impact factors may not be representative.

Conclusion: Placebos were seldom described in randomized, controlled trials of pills or capsules. Because the nature of the placebo can influence trial outcomes, placebo formulation should be disclosed in reports of placebo-controlled trials.

Primary Funding Source: University of California Foundation Fund
3929 — Medical Reasoning.

Articles Related to This Article:
. Psych Drug Shocker: Antidepressant Drugs Work No Better than Placebo; Big Pharma Hoax Finally Exposed

. The Case for Homeopathic Medicine: Consider the Historical and Scientific Evidence

. Acupuncture Proven to have an Effect beyond Placebo, Harvard Study Concludes

. Placebo Effect Regularly Beats Pharmaceutical Drugs

. Placebo treatments much stronger than previously thought

. New Study Shows Genes may be Responsible for Placebo Effect

_______________________________________________________________________________

Hello Fellow Placebos,

This is a very well put together article.

The sadness that abounds circles around my transcription of Crookshank
who was telling us 120 years ago the same things we are saying today
regarding vaccination. Dr. Theron Randolph came out against Placebos
in the 1960s and also attempted a presentation before Congress on the
dangers of CORN DEXTROSE used in Intravenous Solutions since he had
evidence that it could provoke psychiatric derangements. Of course
the Corn Council shut him out of his testimony.

Corn sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar. It does matter if a placebo is
made out of sugar but it also matters which source the sugar comes
from.

If you are diligent enough to read to the bottom you will see that
there is an implication of genes in the placebo effect, but what is
never talked about is that it is not inheritance at issue but the
epigenetic effect of triggers like placebos that are not placebos.

Definitely Black Magick at work here.

______________________________________________________

http://www.naturalnews.com/030209_placebo_medical_fraud.html

Placebo fraud rocks the very foundation of modern medical
science; thousands of clinical trials invalidated
Thursday, October 28, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

(NaturalNews) You know all those thousands of clinical trials
conducted over the last few decades comparing pharmaceuticals to
placebo pills? Well, it turns out all those studies must now be
completely thrown out as utterly non-scientific. And why? Because the
placebos used in the studies weren’t really placebos at all, rendering
the studies scientifically invalid.

This is the conclusion from researchers at the University of
California who published their findings in the October issue of the
Annals of Internal Medicine. They reviewed 167 placebo-controlled
trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals in 2008 and 2009
and found that 92 percent of those trials never even described the
ingredients of their placebo pills.

Why is this important? Because placebo pills are supposed to be
inert. But nothing is inert, it turns out. Even so-called “sugar
pills” contain sugar, obviously. And sugar isn’t inert. If you’re
running a clinical trial on diabetics, testing the effectiveness of a
diabetes drug versus a placebo then obviously your clinical trial is
going to make the diabetes drug look better than placebo if you use
sugar pills as your placebo.

Some placebo pills use olive oil which may actually improve heart
health. Other placebo pills use partially-hydrogenated oils which harm
heart health. Yet only 8 percent of clinical trials bothered to list
the placebo ingredients at all!

Stay with me on this placebo issue… because it gets even more bizarre…

There are no FDA rules regarding placebos in clinical trials
It turns out there are absolutely no FDA rules regarding the choice
or composition of placebos used in clinical trials. Technically, a
clinical trial director could use eye of newt or lizard’s legs as
placebo and would not even be required to mention such nefarious
details in the trial results. That would cause trouble, trouble, boil
and bubble! (Shakespeare reference for all you literary fans…)

We already know that clinical trials are rife with fraud. Most of
the clinical trials used by pharmaceutical companies to win FDA
approval of their drugs, for example, are funded by pharmaceutical
companies. And it is a verifiable fact that most clinical trials tend
to find results that favor the financial interests of whatever
organization paid for them. So what’s to stop Big Pharma from scheming
up the perfect placebo that would harm patients just enough to make
their own drugs look good by comparison?

Fact: Placebos are usually provided by the very same company funding
the clinical trial! Do you detect any room for fraud in this equation?

How drug companies can fake clinical trials with selected placebo pills
Placebo performance strongly influences whether drugs are approved
by the FDA, by the way. As the key piece of information on its
regulatory approval decisions, the FDA wants to know whether a drug
works better than placebo. That’s the primary requirement! If they
work even 5% better than placebo, they are said to be “efficacious”
(meaning they “work”). This is true even if the placebo was selected
and used specifically to make the drug look good by comparison.

You see, if there are no regulations or rules regarding placebo,
then none of the placebo-controlled clinical trials are scientifically
valid.

It’s amazing how medical scientists will get rough and tough when
attacking homeopathy, touting how their own medicine is “based on the
gold standard of scientific evidence!” and yet when it really comes
down to it, their scientific evidence is just a jug of quackery mixed
with a pinch of wishful thinking and a wisp of pseudoscientific
gobbledygook, all framed in the language of scientism by members of
the FDA who wouldn’t recognize real science if they tripped and fell
into a vat full of it.

Big Pharma and the FDA have based their entire system of scientific
evidence on a placebo fraud! And if the placebo isn’t a placebo, then
the scientific evidence isn’t scientific.

Oh, but wait. They’ll call it science because they wish the placebo
to be a placebo. Yep — the clinical researchers are now psychics,
mediums and fortune tellers who simply decree that little pill of
olive oil to “be a placebo!” while waving their hands over it in a
gesture borrowed from David Copperfield.

James Randi may have never seen a psychic transmute lead into gold,
but he’s no doubt seen doctors transmute biochemically active
substances into totally inert materials merely by wishing them so!
It’s so amazing!

And this brings me to the really interesting “how-to” part of this article…

How to make your own placebo just like clinical researchers do
Are you wondering how to make your own FDA-approved, scientifically
validated placebo? It’s easier than you think.

Step 1 – Find something shaped like a pill. It could be a pill full
of olive oil, white sugar, palm oil, fluoridated water, chalk dust,
synthetic chemicals or just about anything you can imagine.

Step 2 – Close your eyes and get ready to concentrate.

Step 3 – This is the important part – Repeat out loud five times
while turning counter-clockwise, “I am a scientific researcher
practicing evidence-based medicine!” You must say this until you
really, truly believe it. If you don’t believe it strongly enough, the
placebo effect will be ruined.

Step 4 – Thrust your palm in the direction of the placebo pills and
shout, at the top of your voice, “You are now placebo!” You may feel a
shiver of energy coursing through your body. That’s the power of
placebo reaching out to the pills.

The process is now complete. You may now use these placebo pills in
any clinical trial and expect full approval of such use by your
colleagues, famous medical journals and FDA regulators. (This is not a
joke. This is the state of the art today in conventional medicine.)

Hope also has a huge role to place in all this. The more you hope
your placebos are really placebos, the better results you’ll get. In
fact, in reporting on this whole fiasco, the lead researcher of the
study uncovering all this, Dr Beatric Golomb, said, “We can only hope
that this hasn’t seriously systematically affected medical treatment.”

But of course it has. (And by the way, no disrespect toward Dr
Golomb. She deserves kudos for being willing to tackle this subject
which will no doubt make her very unpopular among the cult of
Scientism as practiced by conventional medical researchers today.)

How to improve your clinical trial results
For improved results, try to use the most harmful placebo substances
you can. For example, in real clinical trials involving AIDS patients
— who tend to be lactose intolerant — researchers have used pills
made of, guess what? Lactose!

That’s sort of like running a clinical trial on a cure for heroin
addiction and using heroin as the placebo, isn’t it? Gee, somehow our
drug worked “better than placebo.” Funny how that works, isn’t it?

And if you still don’t get the results you want, just start
inventing your own data like other clinical trial researchers do.
Remember Dr Scott Reuben? This highly-respected clinical trial
researcher faked at least twenty-one clinical trials for Big Pharma
(http://www.naturalnews.com/028194_S…). His fraudulent clinical
trials are still being cited to sell prescription medications!

Heck, who needs placebo when you can just invent the data?

Come to think of it, who needs science when you can just use
anything you want and call it placebo in the first place?

Conventional medicine operates clinical trials in the same way that
banks and securities firms handle mortgage documents. They all just
sort of make things up as they go along, committing felony crimes on a
daily basis while hoping nobody notices. On that note, check out this
amazing story by Greg Hunter called The Perfect No-Prosecution Crime
(http://usawatchdog.com/the-perfect-…).

Where on the skeptics when it comes to Big Pharma science fraud?
Seriously, you just gotta love the state of medical science today.
I’ve never watched a more hilarious group of nincompoops reassure each
other that they’re all so scientific while practicing the most
quack-ridden chicanery imaginable. The stuff being pulled off today in
the name of Big Pharma’s clinical trials makes psychic detectives and
tarot card readers look downright scientifically gifted by comparison.

It really makes you wonder about so-called “skeptics,” doesn’t it?
If they’re skeptical of homeopathy, tarot cards, psychic mediums and
people who claim they can levitate, I can at least understand the urge
to ask tough questions about all these things. I ask tough questions,
too, especially when people tell me they’ve seen ghosts or spirits
coming back from the dead or other unexplained phenomena. (And I’ve
already publicly denounced so-called “psychic surgery” which it quite
obviously little more than sleight-of-hand trickery combined with
animal blood.)

But most conventional skeptics never step out of bounds of their
“safety zone” of popular topics for which skepticism may be safely
expressed. They won’t dare ask skeptical questions about the quack
science backing the pharmaceutical industry, for example. Nor will
they ask tough questions about vaccines, or mammography, or
chemotherapy. And you’d be hard pressed to find anything more steeped
in outright fraudulent quackery than the pharmaceutical industry as
operated today (and the cancer branch of it in particular).

That’s why I’m skeptical about the skeptics. If a skeptic doesn’t
question the loosey goosey pseudoscience practiced by Big Pharma, then
they really have no credibility as a skeptic. You can’t be selectively
skeptical about some things but then a fall-for-anything fool on other
scams just because they’re backed by drug companies.

But getting back to this study in particular…

Abstract of the study
Here’s some of the text from the abstract of this study published in
the Annals of Internal Medicine
(http://www.annals.org/content/153/8…)

What’s in Placebos: Who Knows? Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials

1. Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD;
2. Laura C. Erickson, BS;
3. Sabrina Koperski, BS;
4. Deanna Sack, BS;
5. Murray Enkin, MD; and
6. Jeremy Howick, PhD

Background: No regulations govern placebo composition. The
composition of placebos can influence trial outcomes and merits
reporting.

Purpose: To assess how often investigators specify the composition
of placebos in randomized, placebo-controlled trials.

Data Sources: 4 English-language general and internal medicine
journals with high impact factors.

Study Selection: 3 reviewers screened titles and abstracts of the
journals to identify randomized, placebo-controlled trials published
from January 2008 to December 2009.

Data Extraction: Reviewers independently abstracted data from the
introduction and methods sections of identified articles, recording
treatment type (pill, injection, or other) and whether placebo
composition was stated. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.

Data Synthesis: Most studies did not disclose the composition of the
study placebo. Disclosure was less common for pills than for
injections and other treatments (8.2% vs. 26.7%; P = 0.002).

Limitation: Journals with high impact factors may not be representative.

Conclusion: Placebos were seldom described in randomized, controlled
trials of pills or capsules. Because the nature of the placebo can
influence trial outcomes, placebo formulation should be disclosed in
reports of placebo-controlled trials.

Primary Funding Source: University of California Foundation Fund
3929 — Medical Reasoning.

Articles Related to This Article:
. Psych Drug Shocker: Antidepressant Drugs Work No Better than
Placebo; Big Pharma Hoax Finally Exposed

. The Case for Homeopathic Medicine: Consider the Historical and
Scientific Evidence

. Acupuncture Proven to have an Effect beyond Placebo, Harvard
Study Concludes

. Placebo Effect Regularly Beats Pharmaceutical Drugs

. Placebo treatments much stronger than previously thought

. New Study Shows Genes may be Responsible for Placebo Effect

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

Will the UN Secretary-General ask John Key why NZ hasn’t yet ratified the UN Convention vs Corruption?

www.nbr.co.nz/article/key-meet-un-secretary-general-132312

“Key to meet UN Secretary-General
NZPA | Thursday October 28, 2010

Prime Minister John Key is to meet United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Vietnam tomorrow.
………………………..”

Comments

Will the UN Secretary-General ask John Key why NZ hasn’t yet ratified the UN Convention vs Corruption?

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html

Denmark Signed 10 Dec 2003 Ratified 26 Dec 2006

Singapore Signed 11 Nov 2005 Ratified 06 Nov 2009

New Zealand Signed 10 Dec 2003 Ratified

How come New Zealand – first equal with Denmark and Singapore in Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ hasn’t yet ratified the UN Convention vs Corruption?

If the UN Convention against Corruption, is ‘ the only global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption’ – and NZ hasn’t ratified it because our domestic legislation doesn’t yet comply with that framework
– then how on earth does NZ warrant that top-ranking ‘Corruption Perception Index’ status????

Wonder if CEOs of major NZ companies are calling on our NZ government to ratify the UN Convention vs Corruption?

Especially CEOs of NZ companies in the Finance sector? ;)

CEOs call for greater adherence to UN anti-corruption Convention New York,
7 May 2009

www.iccwbo.org/policy/anticorruption/index.html?id=29938

“Transparency International advocates stricter implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, the only global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption.”

First step?

RATIFY the UN Convention against Corruption?
_______________________________

Penny Bright
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

waterpressure.wordpress.com

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ | 1 Comment

Employee or Independent Contractor? ‘Traditional tests’ already available – so why the need for legislation?

www.nbr.co.nz/article/can-they-seal-deal-govt-starts-hobbit-law-hustle-132202?headsup=1

28 October 2010

Is the proposed legislative change going to enforce that the ‘traditional tests’ (see following ‘checklist’) will continue to be used in establishing the true relationship between the parties, in determining whether or not the person hired is an ‘independent contractor’ or an ‘employee’?

(ie; Just because the words ‘Independent Contractor’ have been written on a contract – does not make it so.

The “Real nature of the relationship test” is what counts.)

Surely, if the producers, actors and their agents were all VERY clear on these ‘traditional tests’ for establishing whether or not someone was an ‘independent contractor’ or an ‘employee’ – then this legislation would not be necessary?

Perhaps the mandatory use of such a ‘checklist’ before the signing of such contracts would be helpful in establishing whether or not someone was in fact ‘independent contractor’ or an ‘employee’?

www.google.co.nz/#hl=en&expIds=17259,23864,24813,26637,27059,27164,27182,27284&xhr=t&q=SPADA+UPDATE+ON+THE+BRYSON+DECISION&cp=0&pf=p&sclient=psy&site=&source=hp&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=41931bfb1b1f1963

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd [2005] NZSC 34 has confirmed that the traditional tests (see the attached checklist), will continue to be used in establishing the true nature of the relationship between parties.

SPADA UPDATE ON THE BRYSON DECISION

“Minter Ellison has set out relevant questions for applying the traditional tests (see the attached checklist) when considering the real nature of the relationship between parties.

There are a number of questions to be asked, the answers to which will help to establish whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

As a general guide, if you have more ticks in the “YES” column then there is more prospect that the status of a worker is that of a contractor; if you have more ticks in the “NO” column then there is more prospect that the status of a worker is that of an employee.

Relevant questions to ask:

YES Indicates Independent Contractor

NO Indicates Employee

“Real nature of the relationship test” – look at the contractual wording, industry practice and any other relevant factors, as well as the following tests to determine what the “real nature” of the relationship is:

“Control Test”: how much control does the worker have?

Does the worker have control over his or her hours?
Does the worker have control over where the work is done?
Does the worker have control over what work is done?
Can the worker be dismissed without a good reason?

“Integration Test”: is the worker a part of the “employer’s” business?

Does the worker charge the principal GST?
Does the worker invoice the principal?
Does the worker have his or her own client base?
Does the worker pay his or her own ACC levies?
Does the worker pay any overheads related to the job?
Is there anything preventing the worker from having the benefit of “minimum entitlements” such as paid holidays, paid sick leave and paid bereavement leave?

“Fundamental (or Economic Reality) Test”: is the worker in business on his or her own account?

Does the worker provide his or her own equipment?
Does the worker hire his or her own helpers?
Does the worker take any responsibility for investment and management?
Does the worker have the opportunity to profit from sound management and performance of his or her tasks?
Does the worker undertake any financial risk him or herself?

Other relevant factors may include the following

Does the worker claim for expenses off his/her tax (eg tools, equipment, clothing, transport costs etc)?
Does the worker operate as a company?
Does the worker invoice for his or her services? “

Penny Bright

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Human rights | Leave a comment

‘Open Letter’ to NZ Prime Minister John Key -remember National’s 2008 industrial relations’ policy?

from Penny Bright
to j.key@ministers.govt.nz
cc Penny Bright
date Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 5:30 PM
subject ‘Open Letter’ to NZ Prime Minister John Key -remember National’s 2008 industrial relations’ policy?

27 October 2010

‘Open Letter’ to NZ Prime Minister John Key
– remember National’s 2008 industrial relations’ policy?

Dear Prime Minister,

May I respectfully suggest that you should refresh your memory on what YOU stated was National’s 2008: Employment & Workplace Relations Policy?

Or is this yet again – another broken promise from the National Government YOU lead?

Also – now you have seemingly become the ‘Minister for Industrial Relations’, may I respectfully suggest that perhaps you get a firmer grasp on the underpinning principles of ‘good faith bargaining’?

www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28271

2008: Employment & Workplace Relations Policy

by Rt Hon John Key, Labour & Industrial Relations

24 July 2008

EXPANDING JOB OPPORTUNITIES, LETTING BUSINESSES GROW

National believes employment law should treat all parties fairly.
…………………….

• Protect employees and employers.
……………………….
• Continue to support the social partnership with Business NZ and the CTU. …………………”

In order to assist – I have taken the liberty of ‘cutting and pasting’ some of the underpinning basic requirements of ‘good faith bargaining':

www.ers.dol.govt.nz/bargaining/good_faith.html

“The Employment Relations Act 2000 sets out some basic requirements for good faith bargaining.
In summary, employers and unions involved in collective bargaining must:

* use their best endeavours to agree to an effective bargaining process

* meet and consider and respond to proposals made by each other

………………
* not do anything to undermine the bargaining process or the authority of the other’s representative.”

The duty of good faith also means that an employer must not advise an employee or seek to induce them not to be covered by collective bargaining or a collective agreement.

An employer is also prohibited from passing on conditions in a collective agreement to an employee not covered by the collective bargaining terms where the effect of passing on would undermine the bargaining or intends doing so.

If the pass on occurs with the agreement of the union concerned, it is not a breach of good faith.”

Code of Good Faith in Collective Bargaining:

(May I respectfully suggest that you make some time to get up to speed with this as well – if you are going to play such a major role in NZ ‘industrial relations’?)

www.ers.dol.govt.nz/goodfaith/code.html

“Text of the code of good faith

Section 1 Introduction

1.1. The purpose of this generic code is to give guidance to employers and unions (‘the parties’) on their duty to act in good faith when bargaining for a collective agreement or variation to a collective agreement under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (‘the Act’).

1.2. This code is not a substitute for the Act.
However, the Employment Relations Authority (‘the Authority’) or the Employment Court (‘the Court’) may have regard to it in determining whether or not the parties have dealt with each other in good faith in bargaining for a collective agreement.

1.3. Good faith under the Act requires the parties to an employment relationship to be active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a productive employment relationship.

This includes a requirement that the parties are responsive and communicative and do not do anything likely to mislead or deceive each other.
………………………… ……”

How is it ‘fair’ for you as NZ Prime Minister John Key, to be so openly biased towards film industry employers in this Hobbit matter?

The NZ Companies Office – provides the evidence that Peter Jackson is both a shareholder and Director of Wingnut Films – which has already publicly advertised for acting staff for the Hobbit.

Richard Taylor is a Director of Weta Ltd – which has already carried out work for the Hobbit.

So – both have a direct pecuniary interest in the Hobbit on the side of film industry ‘employers’.

With all due respect Prime Minister, it is my considered opinion that the attacks on Actors Equity, MEAA and those advocating on behalf of their members by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and yourself, have been a disgrace.

To help close the wages gap with Australia – I respectfully suggest that as Prime Minister, you should be helping to implement legislative change which encourages unions’ ability to achieve collective bargaining and collective agreements.

Unless of course ‘closing the wages gap with Australia’ is yet another hollow, broken National Party promise?

BACKGROUND INFORMATION WHICH PROVES AUSTRALIAN WORKERS ARE BETTER OFF IN UNIONS WITH REGISTERED COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS:

“Australian Bureau of Statistics figures published in March 2005 show that hourly wages of workers on AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements) were two percent lower than the hourly wages of workers on registered collective agreements, mostly negotiated by unions.[3]

[ 3. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. ABS Statistics show a two percent disparity in wages between AWAs and collective agreements – Page 11.]

For women, AWAs paid 11 % less per hour than collective agreements.[4]

[ 4. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. Women’s earnings 11% less under AWAs on Page 11.]
______________________________________________

Australian workplace agreements (AWAs) were formalised individual agreements negotiated by the boss and employee.

Employers could offer “take it or leave it” AWAs as a condition of employment.

They were registered by the employment advocate and did not require a dispute resolution procedure.

These agreements operate only at the federal level. AWAs were individual written agreements on terms and conditions of employment between an employer and employee in Australia, under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. An AWA could override employment conditions in state or territory laws except for occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation or training arrangements.

An AWA was required to meet only the most minimal Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard. Agreements were not require to include effective dispute resolution procedure, and could not include prohibited content. Agreements were for a maximum of five years; approved, promoted and registered by the Workplace Authority; operate to the exclusion of any award; and prohibit industrial action regarding details in the agreement for the life of the agreement.

The introduction of the Australian Workplace Agreements was a controversial industrial relations issue in Australia.

During a Senate Estimates hearing on May 29, 2006, Peter McIlwain, Head of the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) detailed that from a sample of 4 per cent, or 250, of the total 6,263 AWAs lodged during April 2006 after WorkChoices was introduced, that:

100% of AWAs removed at least one protected Award condition;

64% of AWAs have removed annual leave loadings;

63% of AWAs have stripped out penalty rates;

52% of AWAs have cut out shift loadings;

40% of AWAs have dropped gazetted public holidays; and 16% of AWAs, have slashed all award conditions and only the Government’s five minimum conditions are satisfied.[6]

[6. ^ Percentage of Union and Non-union Certified Agreements in the Federal Public Service from Union gets ready for hostile Senate by Verona Burgess, Australian Financial Review, 8 April 2005, as published in CPSU bulletin April 2005 ] “

Arguably, the best way to help close the ‘wage gap’ between Australia and New Zealand, is for NZ to emulate effective Australian unionism, and legislation which enables and protects union organisation and collective bargaining?
Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

__________________________________________________________________________________

FYI – recent and current debate on the NBR on the Hobbit:
www.nbr.co.nz/article/weta-digital-could-lose-all-hobbit-work-fans-told-132079?headsup=1
Weta Digital could lose all Hobbit work, fans told
NBR staff | Tuesday October 26, 2010

It is a “50/50 call” whether The Hobbit stays in NZ, according to prime minister John Key.

Mr Key is due to meet with Warner Bros executives today. On the agenda: labour stability and possibly, a tax break beyond the 15% already on the table.

The Hollywood brass arrived yesterday, amid a series of “Keep the Hobbit Film Shoot in NZ” rallies in Auckland, Matamata, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, which collectively attracted thousands of fans.

A Facebook page dedicated to the rallies drew more than 11,000 fans.

In Hamilton, protestors were told by a Weta Digital staffer that the company could lose its special effects contract if the production is taken off shore, co-organisor Grant Smith told NBR.

The Wellington rally – the largest, with around 2000 present – was told a similar story by Sir Richard Taylor, who said Weta Digital and Weta Workshop were in danger of losing post-production work – or even get cut out of the picture altogether.

Was there a danger that the pro-Hobbit protests may have backfired, giving the Warner execs an impression of general unrest?

“I’m so over people trying to put a negative spin on this. It was awesome event. Full Credit to [actor and national organisor] Mark Harrison,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith is also encouraging people on Twitter to chance their Twitter profile picture to a “Please keep The Hobbit in NZ” image, and to leave positive messages of support on Warners’ offical Facebook page.

ABOVE: Fans gather in Hamilton in one of five rallies timed to coincide with the arrival of Warner Bros executives from the US. Photo courtesy Grant Smith. The main organiser of the Waikato rally was Paul Barlow (chairman of the Film Waikato Charitable Trust and Hamilton manager of the V 48 Hours film making competition).

RAW DATA: Sir Peter’s letter to fans

Below is the message from Peter Jackson that was read to protestors at “Keep the Hobbit Film Shoot in NZ” rallies yesterday:

I have always seen the New Zealand film industry as a large, noisy, growing family. And I have always known the debt of gratitude I owe to the talented people who make up that family: from the grips to the gaffers, drivers to set builders, costume makers to camera operators, model makers, sound recordists, editors, digital effects artists, and of course – the many wonderful kiwi actors who help to bring our films to life.

All these people care deeply about our industry; they love their work, they love making films and being part of a creative community. That love ends up on screen, and I truly believe it sets our films apart from those made in any other country. You cannot buy passion and commitment – it is a precious energy, freely given, and it is the life blood of our industry.

I believe the Kiwi way of doing things should be protected and celebrated. Turning us into another State of Australia, under the sway of a destructive organisation, carries the very real risk of destroying the great big heart that beats inside our films.

As an industry we are perfectly well equipped, through our various guilds, to provide excellent terms and conditions for all our film workers. If there are problems, it is up to us to use our guilds to resolve them – that is what they are there for. We don’t open the door to an Australian trade union, who will never put the interests of Kiwis first, and invest that union with the power to destroy everything we have built.

On behalf of all those involved in trying to get The Hobbit off the ground , I would like to thank the many people who have taken the time to contact us. Every card, every letter, every email reminds us just how much people care. It has been incredibly heartening to read your messages of support. And a special thank you to the fans, whose enthusiasm for these films has never wavered, even in the darkest hours.

Lastly, I want to thank each and every person who has come here today. This is your rally, it is your moment to let your voice be heard, and I know your message to the studio will not go un-noticed.

You have said loudly and cleary New Zealand is where The Hobbit films should be made; their creative DNA is here.

This is where Middle-earth was born and this is where it should stay.

Peter Jackson,

BELOW: Ross McLeod steps out in wrought iron at the Hamilton rally:

Follow NBR on Twitter

* Print
* Share or email

Post to:

* Twitter
* Facebook
* Linked In

Comments
I think it is all OK. When I

I think it is all OK. When I was away over the long weekend I think I saw a little Hobbit being chased by a Dragon.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Bud Fox at 09:08 am on October 26, 2010
Clark & Goff

I didn’t know Helen Clark was back for the long-weekend but could well have been her chasing Goff around Chew’s Lane around midnight??

* reply
* report this

Posted by Happie Chappie at 10:36 am on October 26, 2010
I bet if kiwi and aussie

I bet if kiwi and aussie actors were invited to perform in a movie filmed in India they would expect to receive kiwi rates and work conditions rather than the much lower indian ones for the same roles and they would not have union meetings to ask for the same conditions of indian actors. So why do they think it is wrong to pay foreign actors their own country rates and conditions.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 10:43 am on October 26, 2010
Happie, yes I think you are

Happie, yes I think you are right, to be fair I had just had half a dozen heinies. The interesting thing about that is it didn’t make Helen look any less Dragon like?

* reply
* report this

Posted by Bud Fox at 10:45 am on October 26, 2010
This whole saga just goes to

This whole saga just goes to prove how caustic and destroying Unions / Labour actually are. From good intentions spring a monster more hideous than medusa – with each head and mouth piece pushing their own agenda – using the workers as pawns as they attempt to leverage any form of credibility through their parasitic existence, spouting all kinds of propaganda to the less fortunate who lack the ability to think for themselves.

Every single other industry in NZ has the same faint undercurrent and waft of deceitful, belligerent behaviour to deal with. NZ Inc as a country doesn’t need it. Nor do any industries or individual business’s or their owners.

It’s about time we as a country outlawed Unionism everywhere… and let them grow their membership’s by the quality of their offerings to their members (Yeah Right!) – or let them fester in their own swill, hopefully dying a long suffering decline choking on their own propaganda, stabbing themselves in the back and through multiple foot wounds.

* reply
* report this

Posted by anony mouse at 10:57 am on October 26, 2010
Dont bluff against the chip leader…

The sad but sorry truth is that this fiasco is typical of the current kiwi phsyche. If these unionist’s had any commercial bone in their body, they would have understood the risk they were taking in erasing the single major competitive advantage this countries film industry has – reduced over heads. Unions have their place, however get rid of the simple, academically challenged, single minded half wits that run them – these movements provide the catalyst for economic pain that can prove hugely more detrimental than the outcomes they were originally seeking to achieve!

* reply
* report this

Posted by Grievous at 11:07 am on October 26, 2010
The Good, Bad and Manipulated.

Only a top Film Director and a major Hollywood Studio could create such a great fictional narrative. Only the NZ Media could be so pliable.
This piece of Union bashing is a play to get more money out of Bill English. Key will get to play the hero and bash workers. English will write a cheque for another US$30m. Jackson should get an Oscar for THIS performance.

mmmmMaybe there is the makings of a movie in this: The Good, Bad and Manipulated.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Alfred Hitchcock at 11:08 am on October 26, 2010
Dont try and bluff the chip leader

The sad but sorry truth is that this fiasco is typical of the current kiwi phsyche. If these unionist’s had any commercial bone in their body, they would have understood the risk they were taking in erasing the single major competitive advantage this countries film industry has – reduced over heads. Unions have their place, however get rid of the simple, academically challenged, single minded half wits that run them – these movements provide the catalyst for economic pain that can prove hugely more detrimental than the outcomes they were originally seeking to achieve!

* reply
* report this

Posted by Grievous at 11:10 am on October 26, 2010
earn more by working less …

only in the unions’ insane world.

Only bettered by the parasites in govt. and banks.

* reply
* report this

Posted by sceptic at 11:26 am on October 26, 2010
Alfred – you may be right

Alfred – you may be right about Jacksons/studios intentions but the Unions have played right into their hand.

If the studios are looking for an excuse to stay in NZ, you dont offer them an excuse to leave in its place.

And if you are complaining about the money, an extra $30m into this will bring greater rewards than the money the Govt has put into the Rugby World Cup.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 11:40 am on October 26, 2010
Unions

The unions want to destroy anything productive. Join one and hear what they say at their meetings. Horrendous rants from horrific scum.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Fabia-anus at 12:04 pm on October 26, 2010
Seeking TRUTH from FACTS – what Actors Equity wanted

What was so unreasonable about Actors Equity wanting to discuss the requirements for minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers on The Hobbit.?

Here is – word for word – the resolution passed at the meeting of Actors Equity on 29 September 2010:

http://www.alliance.org.au/

Wednesday 29 September 2010

“The Hobbit

Four hundred actors attended a meeting in Auckland last night to discuss the requirements for minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers on The Hobbit. At the close of that meeting, the following statement was made by Jennifer Ward-Lealand, president of NZ Actors’ Equity.

“As a result of tonight’s meeting New Zealand Actors’ Equity members have overwhelmingly resolved that its delegation continue to seek a meeting with the producers of The Hobbit, and to hold negotiations in good faith on the terms and conditions for performers working on the production.

We have no desire to jeopardise the production or create instability in any way. Our members are simply seeking fair and equitable employment terms and conditions for New Zealand actors – the same terms that their colleagues elsewhere in the world enjoy.

We believe a solution can be found by sitting down together with the producers, and talking through the issues. We all have the same goal in mind – to get The Hobbit made, here in New Zealand.

Until we reach a fair and equitable solution, we recommend that all performers wait before accepting any engagement on The Hobbit.”

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Hobbit: Australian actors support NZ actors’ strong stance

Four hundred New Zealand performers have passed a resolution calling on The Hobbit’s producers to hold negotiations in good faith on their terms and conditions of employment and recommending all performers wait until this occurs before accepting any engagement on The Hobbit.

Simon Whipp, Assistant Federal Secretary of Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance said:

“The resolution made by New Zealand performers last night has the full support of Australia’s acting community. What they are asking the producers to do – sit down and discuss the employment conditions of New Zealand performers – is a reasonable, and lawful, request.”

For further updates, including recent letters of support from the international acting community, the resolution of last night’s meeting in full and a video of Jennifer making a statement to the media after the meeting, See actorsequity.org.nz “

How SCARY should that request have been to a reasonable ‘employer’?

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 12:18 pm on October 26, 2010
The scary thing was

the blacklist and the related condition for lifting it. This blacklist was only to be released if the producers agreed to a meeting re collective bargaining. The producers could not as they would be breaking NZ law re independent contractors. I imagine it is quite scary to an employer to have a union try to force them to do something illegal under NZ law?

* reply
* report this

Posted by sigh at 12:30 pm on October 26, 2010
Penny Bright

Penny, if Warners thought they were dealing with a “reasonable” organisation making “reasonable” requests they probably would have made films in Australia for the past 10 years. They haven’t. And now Actors’ Equity’s tacit endorsement of Simon Whipp as someone appropriate to negotiate on our actors’ behalf risks having Warners walk away from NZ too. You may not be aware that Disney blacklisted NZ as a place to make films three years ago – coinciding with the involvement of Simon Whipp with Actors’ Equity. The “reasonable” man you’re standing up for is known across the world as an unreasonable zealot prone to pulling public stunts and driving films offshore. You’re standing up for a destructive idiot, not someone with local actors’ best interests at heart.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Avid Reader at 01:25 pm on October 26, 2010
Penny Bright

Penny, you have to pick your battles, when to scurmish, when to engage, when to tactfuly withdraw, and when to shut up.

The NZ actors were out played, first by some Aussie lefties, and then by Peter Jackson, and even he might be out flanked by Warner Brothers.

What to do
– emphatically cut ties with Aussie connection
– bow and scrape
– pray

There is a very real chance WB will move the entire production and all future productions of this type from NZ. Years of work destroyed in a game of one upmanship where the Unions representing the workers (hesitate to use the word workers) / actors have failed to understand the rules of engagement. As a consequence they have been out manouvered and marginalised, and if the film(s) go offshore some actors etc will be oustrocised to boot.

For most of us employers, this public blood letting has at least brought many Kiwis into focus about what is important going forward A JOB, REGULAR PAY in exchange for GOOD WORK.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Chris at 01:26 pm on October 26, 2010
The place of unions

Comment after comment on how terrible unions are and how they are so manipulative. Most I am certain are from people who: work an 8 hour day, earn above the average wage, are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave, are allowed a lunch break and morning tea are entitled to 7-10 days sick leave per year, who are also entiltled to parental leave, etc etc. Working conditions most think they are fully entitled to. How on earth do they imagine these conditions arose in the first place? Did the Peter Jacksons of the world simply handed them out? Was there some jolly little rule book or writ from above?
No, unions and collectives negotiated and fought for these standards and still fight to protect them, in spite of indifference from rather complacent bunch of their fellow New Zealanders

* reply
* report this

Posted by Wake Up at 01:29 pm on October 26, 2010
Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd:Employee or Independent Contractor?

Under NZ law’ ‘sigh’ , it has been determined that at least one ‘employee’ of Three Foot Six (previously involved in the production of Lord of the Rings) had been hired as an ‘independent contractor’ – when he was NOT.

So – arguably this employer acted ‘illegally’ of their own accord.

FYI.

SPADA UPDATE ON THE BRYSON DECISION

In the aftermath of the Bryson Supreme Court decision of 16 June 2005[1] some media articles appeared predicting a shake up for the industry.

More balanced articles ensued, outlining what the Court had actually decided and why, including commentary from lawyers who work with the screen industry.

SPADA, with the assistance of Minter Ellison has prepared this update for members. This is the third update in a series that SPADA has put out since the Bryson case began its trajectory through the courts.
The main message remains the same: there has not been any recent material change to the law regarding the status of workers as employees or contractors.

However, the Bryson decision is a timely reminder that production companies need to make sure that their contractual documentation is clear and that it is consistent with what happens on a day to day basis between the parties.

For your guidance, Minter Ellison has set out relevant questions for applying the traditional tests (see the attached checklist) when considering the real nature of the relationship between parties.

[1] Supreme Court of New Zealand Media Release (16 June 2005)

James Bryson v Three Foot Six Limited (SC CIV 24/2004) [2005 NZSC 34]
EMPLOYEE OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?

Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 governs whether an individual will be found to be an employee or an independent contractor. If there is any dispute as to status, it is up to the Employment Court or the Employment Relations Authority to determine the “real nature” of the relationship between the parties.

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd [2005] NZSC 34 has confirmed that the traditional tests (see the attached checklist), will continue to be used in establishing the true nature of the relationship between parties.

In addition, the intention of the parties continues to be relevant, but not determinative. One indication of the parties’ intention is the contractual wording.

Another relevant factor may be industry practice, although, again, this is not determinative (Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd [2003] 1 ERNZ 581(EC)).

There are a number of questions to be asked, the answers to which will help to establish whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

As a general guide, if you have more ticks in the “YES” column then there is more prospect that the status of a worker is that of a contractor; if you have more ticks in the “NO” column then there is more prospect that the status of a worker is that of an employee.

Relevant questions to ask:

YES Indicates Independent Contractor

NO Indicates Employee

“Real nature of the relationship test” – look at the contractual wording, industry practice and any other relevant factors, as well as the following tests to determine what the “real nature” of the relationship is:

“Control Test”: how much control does the worker have?

Does the worker have control over his or her hours?
Does the worker have control over where the work is done?
Does the worker have control over what work is done?
Can the worker be dismissed without a good reason?
“Integration Test”: is the worker a part of the “employer’s” business?
Does the worker charge the principal GST?
Does the worker invoice the principal?
Does the worker have his or her own client base?
Does the worker pay his or her own ACC levies?
Does the worker pay any overheads related to the job?
Is there anything preventing the worker from having the benefit of “minimum entitlements” such as paid holidays, paid sick leave and paid bereavement leave?

“Fundamental (or Economic Reality) Test”: is the worker in business on his or her own account?

Does the worker provide his or her own equipment?
Does the worker hire his or her own helpers?
Does the worker take any responsibility for investment and management?
Does the worker have the opportunity to profit from sound management and performance of his or her tasks?
Does the worker undertake any financial risk him or herself?

Other relevant factors may include the following

Does the worker claim for expenses off his/her tax (eg tools, equipment, clothing, transport costs etc)?
Does the worker operate as a company?
Does the worker invoice for his or her services?

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 01:31 pm on October 26, 2010
Yes Penny that person was found to be an employee

but as you have attached that determination was made by the court on the specific facts surrounding that contract and the work duties involved. The same factors are not present in the actors’ case and therefore they can not be treated by the producers as they are not legally employees (unless later determined in a test case by the court). For the producers to go ahead and collectively negotiate with the actors would breach NZ law as stated above.

* reply
* report this

Posted by sigh more at 01:43 pm on October 26, 2010
Peter Jackson was WRONG about Disney and the MEAA.

“You may not be aware that Disney blacklisted NZ as a place to make films three years ago – coinciding with the involvement of Simon Whipp with Actors’ Equity.”

Got some FACTS to back that up ‘Avid Reader’?

Peter Jackson certainly didn’t have his facts straight when he stated:

“- Why is this endangered? Because the “demands” of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered – by law – and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe.

It could so easily happen. I’ve been told that Disney are no longer bring movies to Australia because of their frustration with the MEAA.”

Responds to Unions About The Hobbit
Source: Peter Jackson
September 27, 2010

THE CHAIR OF THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PUBLICLY CORRECTS PETER JACKSON:

Rich Ross, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, dismissed claims by New Zealand director Peter Jackson that Disney is avoiding bringing its productions to Australia due to problems with unions, but admitted that it is “challenging” due to the exchange rate.

“It’s not the case [that Disney is not bringing productions due to the MEAA], and I’m not sure why anybody would talk about somebody else’s company. I’m not sure why he said it; we go where it makes sense,” Ross told Encore.

PostDateIconTuesday, 12 October 2010 14:28
_______________________________

Perhaps Peter Jackson should keep creative script writing out of his press statements on industrial relations – particularly when he has a direct pecuniary interest as a shareholder and Director of companies involved in production?

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 02:06 pm on October 26, 2010
toothless DOG

As bas
d as this could be for the Film industry … i for one hope they take it away… Unions are a parasite on the poor, venerble and i for one think there is a lesson here for all Kiwi’s. Unions stuff up 100’s of jobs not just actors & support crews…. now they’re allowed to sit on the side line? Robyn where are you now…?? FRONT UP!!! i hope many many budding NZ actors look down at you and your cronnies & let you know that world famous in NZ is just that … I think of it like a toothless DOG…. most of you couldn’t cut it on an international stage and don’t you know it… but perhaps your egos are clouding just how good you are??

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 02:19 pm on October 26, 2010
Unions quiet & supporters,..were are you now

I want to see you front up on TV to explain what the Hobbit not being made will mean to the NZ Film industry!!! Come out you cowards

* reply
* report this

Posted by Budding actor at 02:21 pm on October 26, 2010
Alfred Hitchcock@ 11.08

Alfred is spot on with everything he sez! NZ has as much chance of losing this overseas as I would have at landing the leading role in King Dong.

* reply
* report this

Posted by jamesgumb at 02:30 pm on October 26, 2010
FACTS which prove Aussie workers better off in Unions.

“Unions are a parasite on the poor, venerble and i for one think there is a lesson here for all Kiwi’s. Unions stuff up 100’s of jobs not just actors & support crews….”

Really ‘Anon’?

Here are some FACTS from Australia which disprove this – possibly why Peter Jackson is so allergic to the Australian-based Media and Entertainment and Arts Alliance?

Because workers unions in Australia have been effective in protecting workers wages and conditions?
______________________________________

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures published in March 2005 show that hourly wages of workers on AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements) were two percent lower than the hourly wages of workers on registered collective agreements, mostly negotiated by unions.[3]

[ 3. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. ABS Statistics show a two percent disparity in wages between AWAs and collective agreements – Page 11.]

For women, AWAs paid 11 % less per hour than collective agreements.[4]

[ 4. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. Women’s earnings 11% less under AWAs on Page 11.]
______________________________________________

Australian workplace agreements (AWAs) were formalised individual agreements negotiated by the boss and employee.

Employers could offer “take it or leave it” AWAs as a condition of employment. They were registered by the employment advocate and did not require a dispute resolution procedure.

These agreements operate only at the federal level. AWAs were individual written agreements on terms and conditions of employment between an employer and employee in Australia, under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. An AWA could override employment conditions in state or territory laws except for occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation or training arrangements.

An AWA was required to meet only the most minimal Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard. Agreements were not require to include effective dispute resolution procedure, and could not include prohibited content. Agreements were for a maximum of five years; approved, promoted and registered by the Workplace Authority; operate to the exclusion of any award; and prohibit industrial action regarding details in the agreement for the life of the agreement.

The introduction of the Australian Workplace Agreements was a controversial industrial relations issue in Australia.

During a Senate Estimates hearing on May 29, 2006, Peter McIlwain, Head of the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) detailed that from a sample of 4 per cent, or 250, of the total 6,263 AWAs lodged during April 2006 after WorkChoices was introduced, that: 100% of AWAs removed at least one protected Award condition; 64% of AWAs have removed annual leave loadings; 63% of AWAs have stripped out penalty rates; 52% of AWAs have cut out shift loadings; 40% of AWAs have dropped gazetted public holidays; and 16% of AWAs, have slashed all award conditions and only the Government’s five minimum conditions are satisfied.[6]

[6. ^ Percentage of Union and Non-union Certified Agreements in the Federal Public Service from Union gets ready for hostile Senate by Verona Burgess, Australian Financial Review, 8 April 2005, as published in CPSU bulletin April 2005 ]

Arguably, the best way to help close the ‘wage gap’ between Australia and New Zealand, is for NZ to emulate effective Australian unionism, and legislation which enables and protects union organisation and collective bargaining?

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 02:52 pm on October 26, 2010
Who on earth is the Penny

Who on earth is the Penny Bright that thinks people want 250 word essays on this? And why did her parents name her so inappropriately?

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 03:15 pm on October 26, 2010
Don’t like the FACTS ‘Anonymous’? Sorry about that :)

Don’t like the FACTS ‘Anonymous’?

Sorry about that :)

Sorry there are so many of them that may disturb your point of view?

Good to have an opinion.
Even better to have an INFORMED opinion?

Not seeing these FACTS anywhere else – so I thought I’d try to help balance the anti-union invective and diatribe.

You have a LOVELY day!

You’ve made mine!

(When you get personal – I know I must be hitting the mark.

“You don’t cop the flak unless you’re over the target.”)

:)

Penny Bright

PS: I guess NBR must approve of freedom of expression and informed debate – or these posts wouldn’t get published?

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 03:33 pm on October 26, 2010
Unions

Really? Then why are so many New Zealanders so keen to work in Australia in unionised industries?

* reply
* report this

Posted by Kevin Welsh at 04:08 pm on October 26, 2010
Penny Bright get your own blog site and leave us alone

PB do you have a job? Perhaps you could apply for one with the Aussie Actors Guild, that way at least we wouldn’t come across your cut and pastes on NBR

* reply
* report this

Posted by Chris at 04:30 pm on October 26, 2010
Penny Bright get your own blog site and leave us alone

PB do you have a job? Perhaps you could apply for one with the Aussie Actors Guild, that way at least we wouldn’t come across your cut and pastes on NBR

* reply
* report this

Posted by Chris at 04:30 pm on October 26, 2010
Unions Have Their Place

But not at the moment. Theres high unemployment and globally most businesses are struggling.

Thats not to say the dont have their uses. The less skilled people rarely have the ability to negotiate their own employment terms and conditions. Unions have the ability to do this, through a collective agreement. Thats where ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ comes from.

I would encourage works to join unions where businesses are price setters. Examples of this are supermarkets, petrol & telecommunications companies and banks. These are effectively cartels, who exploit their power (through the lack of competition) by charging the consumer way to much & paying the employee way too little.

The actors in this case lost sight of the big picture. Global businesses are largely driven by low cost models, & NZ has/had this. That is why many productions dont happen in the US or Aussie.

I can only see one reason why the Aussie union got involved, was to take a competitor out of the equation. The sad thing about this, is these ignorance arrogance actors have probably cost NZ core public services a boost in funding. You not only crapped in your own nest, but the rest of NZ’s.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Richard S at 07:34 pm on October 26, 2010
He who has the gold makes the rules

The Union have forgotten that movies can be made almost anywhere be it Bangalore, London, Wellington or anywhere in between. The Union is not in a dispute with a NZ based company that has no choice over where to base its operation such as a mine, supermarket or freezing works. This is cut throat Hollywood industry movie making and one that a small NZ/Aussie Union is ill equipped to engage with.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Stephen R at 08:17 pm on October 26, 2010

Comments
‘Sister’ actors unions which deal with ‘cut throat Hollywood’

Some more FACTS I have researched and am providing in order to assist informed debate and discussion – which support my ‘considered opinion’.

(Surely preferable to personal remarks which don’t focus on the underpinning issues? )

Presumably Warner Bros are involved in collective agreements negotiated by some of the following international ‘sister’ actor unions?

Seems slightly peculiar to me that Warner Bros would find Actors Equity NZ so scary if they deal with any of the following Unions?

1) Screen Actors Guild (SAG) (USA)

MEMBERSHIP:Represents over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide.

MISSION STATEMENT:The Guild seeks to: negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its performers; collect compensation for exploitation of recorded performances by its members, and provide protection against unauthorized use of those performances; and preserve and expand work opportunities for its members.

2) Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA)

MEMBERSHIP:

‘MISSION STATEMENT': The business of Equity is to negotiate and administer collective agreements, provide benefit plans, information and support, and act as an advocate for its membership

3) Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) (USA)

MEMBERSHIP: Over 45,000 stage actors and stage managers (2007 figure)

‘MISSION STATEMENT': Equity negotiates and administers more than 30 national and regional contracts with theatrical employers.
These agreements provide minimum salaries, benefits, job security and numerous other protections to ensure a safe and dignified work environment.

4) EQUITY (UK)

MEMBERSHIP: 60,378 (TUC Jan 2009) membership includes actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, stage managers, theatre directors and designers, variety and circus artists, television and radio presenters, walk-on and supporting artists, stunt performers and directors and theatre fight directors.

‘MISSION STATEMENT':The main function of Equity is to negotiate minimum terms and conditions of employment throughout the entire world of entertainment and to endeavour to ensure these take account of social and economic changes.

5) The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) (USA)

MEMBERSHIP: Represents over 70,000 performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media.

‘MISSION STATEMENT: The union negotiates and enforces over 300 collective bargaining agreements that guarantee minimum (but never maximum) salaries, safe working conditions and health and retirement benefits. :

6) Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA)

MEMBERSHIP: 36,000 members include people working in TV, radio, theatre & film, entertainment venues, recreation grounds, journalists, actors, dancers, sportspeople, cartoonists, photographers, orchestral & opera performers as well as people working in public relations, advertising, book publishing & website production

‘MISSION STATEMENT : The Alliance is a trade union that is interested in the broader concerns of our members. We run professional program activities, which originated from member requests and suggestions. The Alliance campaigns on broader issues that affect our membership. The Alliance has offices in New Zealand and each state and territory in Australia.

——————————————————

If these ‘sister’ Unions organise collective agreements for their constituent (actor) memberships – then equally shouldn’t Actors Equity in NZ be able to?

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 09:57 pm on October 26, 2010
Who is ‘us’ Chris?

Who is ‘us’ Chris?

The ‘open-minded’ types who don’t like being confronted with FACTS and EVIDENCE (albeit cut and pasted from source :) that don’t support their opinion?

No one is forcing you to read what I’ve posted.

Presumably NBR aren’t part of ‘us’ – because If NBR want to stop my posts – they could do so at any time they liked.

Penny Bright

PS: I do have my own blog site.

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

(There are FACTS and research that I have done that nobody else has – but given your comments – you’re probably not interested in genuine ‘hard news’? :)

PPS: I do have a job.
I work full time, unpaid, self-funded as a ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

I have also been acknowledged by Bernard Orsman from the NZ Herald as an ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.

:)

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 10:35 pm on October 26, 2010
There is more to consider than that

If you know much about supply and demand and inequalities then you realize that in a relatively stable and and competitive economic market there is an average price point of balance. In other words businesses can only pay so much to employ people to work. So if some people are getting paid less then it is because the unions are getting paid more. That basically produces inequalities. Lets not forget that as wages go up so do costs, so there is the very real argument that forcing the market to pay higher wages in anyway benefits the workers overall. In other words it doesn’t matter if your pay goes up if your cost of living goes up too.

That being said I have no objection to the “union” wanting to have a meeting with employers concerning working conditions etc. But lets look at it this way:
1. 99.9% of those employed on previous films were happy with their conditions.
2. The actors did not consult the larger majority of the industry as their are 10 support staff for every actor.
3. The film was not even greenlit, i.e. it technically wasn’t even going yet. So that is like boycotting the very idea of starting a business.
4. They didn’t do the legal homework, the pr, homework, or their political homework. They didn’t work through commonsense steps to achieve their goals. Things like media releases, a rationalized requests document (they don’t even know what they are asking for so what is the use of a meeting if you don’t know what you want, what a waste of precious time and resource). They didn’t approach the legal body that sets standards. They didn’t petition legislature to set standards. They just came out and blacklisted a movie that thousands of other were depending on for income. That is like asking for a cup of tea by shooting someone. And entirely reasonable request, but its more the bullet in the chest that is the problem afterwards. Yet they only see the fact that they asked for tea, not that they have sent an entire industrly to the emergency department.

* reply
* report this

Posted by 12thspy at 11:58 pm on October 26, 2010
Close the (actors) wage gap with Australia! Support the MEAA!

Close the (actors) wage gap with Australia!
Support the MEAA and collective bargaining!

If John Key was genuinely concerned about closing the wage gap with Australia – he’d be investigating legislative changes which enable and protect union organisation and collective bargaining?

Making it harder for ‘employees’ to be treated as ‘independent contractors’ – NOT easier?

A couple of questions “12thspy”?

“1. 99.9% of those employed on previous films were happy with their conditions.”

Where is your evidence that substantiates this comment?

Presumably ‘Bryson’ – who successfully won his case in the Supreme Court – which confirmed that he was an ‘employee’ – NOT an ‘independent contractor’, was one of your 0.01% who was NOT happy with his working conditions?

(Suggest you have a look at my previous post on this thread covering this matter?

“Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd:Employee or Independent Contractor?”

Under NZ law’ ‘sigh’ , it has been determined that at least one ‘employee’ of Three Foot Six (previously involved in the production of Lord of the Rings) had been hired as an ‘independent contractor’ – when he was NOT.

So – arguably this employer acted ‘illegally’ of their own accord….”

The simple fact of the matter, is that generally speaking, workers on ‘individual’ (ie:’independent’ contracts) are worse off than those in Unions with collective agreements.

(Employers are thus better off.)

Please refer to my previous post on this thread that has some key FACTS and EVIDENCE from the Australian Department of Statistics which confirm my position.

“FACTS which prove Aussie workers better off in Unions.
…….

Here are some FACTS from Australia which disprove this – possibly why Peter Jackson is so allergic to the Australian-based Media and Entertainment and Arts Alliance?

Because workers unions in Australia have been effective in protecting workers wages and conditions?
______________________________________

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures published in March 2005 show that hourly wages of workers on AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements) were two percent lower than the hourly wages of workers on registered collective agreements, mostly negotiated by unions.[3]

[ 3. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. ABS Statistics show a two percent disparity in wages between AWAs and collective agreements – Page 11.]

For women, AWAs paid 11 % less per hour than collective agreements.[4]

[ 4. ^ The impact on Workers of Australian Workplace Agreements by Professor David Peetz, June 2005. Women’s earnings 11% less under AWAs on Page 11.]
______________________________________________

Australian workplace agreements (AWAs) were formalised individual agreements negotiated by the boss and employee.

…………………………… “
________________________________

It appears now with the Hobbit negotiations the attempt to use this exercise to bash unions in general and the MEAA in particular has backfired.

It appears that it has been Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor (objectively film industry ‘employers’ in this ‘industrial dispute’) and John Key who have ‘overplayed their hand’.

There weren’t 120,000 people who turned out in Wellington to support Peter Jackson, the Hobbit and MEAA ‘union-bashing’ on Monday 25 October 2010 – there were 2000.

Where were the ‘thousands’ who were predicted to turn out?

At the Lord of the Rings premiere held in Wellington on 1 December 2003 there were 120,000.

Spot the difference.

If John Key and this National/ACT government think they have a mandate to bash unions (especially Actors Equity and the MEAA), and change legislation to make it harder for unions and collective bargaining, I respectfully suggest that they think again.

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 07:49 am on October 27, 2010
Hysteria

is not an argument Penny Bright.

* reply
* report this

Posted by hmmmm at 09:29 am on October 27, 2010
2,000

is actually thousands Penny not so Bright.

* reply
* report this

Posted by spot the difference at 09:31 am on October 27, 2010
ahhhhh

One was a movie premiere and one was a protest? How are they similar other than people attend them? Argue relevant facts please Penny Bright – you are quick to accuse others of flim flam.

* reply
* report this

Posted by apples with apples at 09:33 am on October 27, 2010
Penny

If you read through what Penny Bright has said she has some very cogent auguments in supportof her case. I suggest those who disagree address the augument not the messenger

* reply
* report this

Posted by Ionis at 10:42 am on October 27, 2010
The highs and the lows

What is very revealing in this play within a play, within a play is the posturing of our leaders Brownlee, Key et al. After presenting a genuine leadership role to their fellow New Zealanders in Christchurch through the past few weeks they now abase themselves (and us) to a group of foreigners wanting hand outs. This really is a disturbing puzzle. Does anyone have an explanation apart from ‘its just politics’?

* reply
* report this

Posted by Ionis at 10:51 am on October 27, 2010
as opposed to

the rest of us taxpayers debasing ourselves giving handouts to local actors?

* reply
* report this

Posted by sinecure at 11:06 am on October 27, 2010
Handouts

Well its clear to me that some of the subsidy would certainly head in that direction. I mean a fim without actors……..

* reply
* report this

Posted by Ionis at 01:04 pm on October 27, 2010

____________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/no-bidding-war-keep-hobbit-nz-says-key-132108?headsup=1

No ‘bidding war’ to keep hobbit in NZ, says Key
NZPA | Tuesday October 26, 2010

UPDATE 6.45pm: The first, two-hour meeting between Warner Bros executives and the government ended without any conclusion to the Hobbit stand-off. At a 6.40pm press briefing, Prime Minister John Key said there would be more talks overnight, and tomorrow, before any decision is made.

The Government has made it clear it will not enter a “bidding war” to keep the Hobbit films in New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Key will this afternoon meet several high-powered executives from the film’s main producer Warner Brothers and head of production company New Line, Toby Emmerich, in a bid to keep the movies here.

He indicated the Government was open to looking at changing industrial relations laws, but ruled out a substantial financial incentive.

“In the conversations I’ve had with Warner Brothers so far I’ve made it quite clear if it comes to a bidding war, then New Zealand’s out, because I don’t think that’s the right way to run this,” Mr Key told reporters this morning.

“We don’t want to be renegotiating with every single production company that comes to New Zealand.”

Warner Bros said it could move to another location after a dispute between producer Sir Peter Jackson and the Actors’ Equity union, which issued a do-not-work order on the film over the issue of a collective agreement for actors.

Mr Key said he had been assured by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) that no further industrial action would take place, but the issue was not resolved.

“I don’t know how much store Warner Bros put in that, but I understand not a great store,” he said.

“They can’t un-see what they have now seen…I’m worried about the long-term implications for the industry.”

He said he would consider looking at changing the definition of contractors in employment legislation.

That follows a court case in which former Weta Workshop model maker James Bryson was deemed to be an employee, not a contractor.

“There’s no question that industrial relations issues around the definition of a contract vis a vis an employee run to the heart of this whole issue,” he said.

Mr Key was critical of the Australian-based union Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) union, which the New Zealand Actors’ Equity union is part of.

“The Australian movie industry is in tatters … So if we want the same thing to happen in New Zealand, we should go ahead and let them run our industrial relations policy in this country.

“I for one don’t intend to let them do that.”

Mr Key said he had not received any advice on preventing foreign-based unions like the MEAA from registering here, adding it was a “very complex issue”.

The MEAA’s Simon Whipp said this morning that placing blame on the MEAA was unfair.

“Performers in New Zealand have made a decision about how they wish to be represented, and they’ve chosen to be represented by us. They make the decisions about how their industrial interests are advanced, not me. I work to their instructions,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Labour deputy leader Annette King said her party would not commit to any changes to labour laws until it had seen proposals in writing and considered the effects.

A law change would affect all New Zealanders, not just the film industry.

“Of course we’d be worried if that was an excuse (for wider changes to employment laws).”

Ms King said she thought films would stay in New Zealand.

“I cannot see why it would not be made in New Zealand, with the major issues we’re told about off the table, I would hope there is now commonsense.”

Labour MP Trevor Mallard this morning said he did not want to make it a political issue, but added that Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee could have developed a better relationship with the studio.

Mr Mallard said that when he was a minister with the previous government he built relationships with Warner Bros.

“It was a positive relationship and we felt that that worked much better than working in a crisis mode.”

Mr Brownlee laughed off suggestions he did not have a good enough relationship with the studios, adding he had been in contact, but not regularly.

“The reality is it wouldn’t matter have mattered how much I’d spoken to Warner Brothers, as long as you’ve got the Australian MEAA passing the sort of resolutions that they did and confronting the studio like that – that’s a real breaker,” he said.

* Hobbit concerns go beyond exchange rate, says Govt
* Weta Digital could lose all Hobbit work, fans told

Follow NBR on Twitter

* Print
* Share or email

Post to:

* Twitter
* Facebook
* Linked In

Comments
Wake me up

Wake me up when the fat lady sings!
More spin than bollywood, what else to expect from the masters of smoke & mirrors. Union in tatters when half the ‘talent’ announce they would work for nix and even the PM quoted by media as Mr desperate despite this seeming report that he might be a hard man after all. Meanwhile the nation sits mouth agape for the next exciting episode in a soap downunder …hi ho silver.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Pete at 05:01 pm on October 26, 2010
Smoke and mirrors

Is it any wonder the country is stuffed, typical mealy mouthed politicians, blame unions for gross incompetent by other parties and then practice corporate welfare to bribe Warners to keep the movie here. What next John Key.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Alan at 07:42 pm on October 26, 2010
John Key needs to

John Key needs to concentrate on the overall economy, no just the trendy photo shoot type situations.

The National Govt actually failed to maintain regular contact with the Hollywood film companies and the Hobbit scenario should never have happened. Now they have to dig their way out of the situation.

So John Key, please become creative and come up with new initiatives to stimulate the economy. That is what NZ needs and the genera;l public are still waiting for – that is why we voted for you but you have seriously not delivered as yet.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 08:55 pm on October 26, 2010
losers & actors

Funny but to me the seems to have fired a blank here… morons!! To their members hahahaaa keeping giving it money – rest of us need a giggle… times are though in NZ

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 10:10 pm on October 26, 2010
Is John Key ‘doing a Peter Jackson’ and just ‘making it up’?

“Mr Key was critical of the Australian-based union Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) union, which the New Zealand Actors’ Equity union is part of.

“The Australian movie industry is in tatters … So if we want the same thing to happen in New Zealand, we should go ahead and let them run our industrial relations policy in this country.

“I for one don’t intend to let them do that.”

Where are the FACTS and EVIDENCE from John Key that back up THAT statement?

Or is our Prime Minister just ‘doing a Peter Jackson’ – getting ‘creative’ and just ‘making it up’?

Peter Jackson certainly didn’t have his facts straight when he stated:

“- Why is this endangered? Because the “demands” of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered – by law – and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe.

It could so easily happen. I’ve been told that Disney are no longer bring movies to Australia because of their frustration with the MEAA.”

Responds to Unions About The Hobbit
Source: Peter Jackson
September 27, 2010

THE CHAIR OF THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PUBLICLY CORRECTS PETER JACKSON:

Rich Ross, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, dismissed claims by New Zealand director Peter Jackson that Disney is avoiding bringing its productions to Australia due to problems with unions, but admitted that it is “challenging” due to the exchange rate.

“It’s not the case [that Disney is not bringing productions due to the MEAA], and I’m not sure why anybody would talk about somebody else’s company. I’m not sure why he said it; we go where it makes sense,” Ross told Encore.

PostDateIconTuesday, 12 October 2010 14:28
_______________________________

Looking forward to John Key investigating how to ‘close the wage gap’ with Australia by introducing legislation into NZ which makes it easier for Unions to organise and spread ‘collective bargaining’.

Penny Bright

* reply
* report this

Posted by Penny Bright at 10:16 pm on October 26, 2010
Posted by Penny Bright

No commentry on the Union behaviour Penny… lets be objective both ways now….

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 10:57 pm on October 26, 2010
Gone…………… you are the weakest link NZ

Gone gone gone – nice one all the parties involved with the union….

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 10:59 pm on October 26, 2010
Hey Penny

But I thought you were a right winger Penny, surely if you were you wouldn’t be pushing for the unions now would you. It must’ve be another of your lies to try to get a suck on the public teat via the mayoralty.

* reply
* report this

Posted by Anonymous at 09:22 am on October 27, 2010
Aussie’s should keep out of our business!!

Simon Whipp = Ultimate Arrogant loser.

Simon Whipp totally botched up this entire process & HE is to blame for the mess we now find ourselves in.

THESE ARE THE FACTS!!

Rule #1 You don’t go Boycotting/Blackisting a major movie production, PRIOR to entering into negoitiations & then expect to be able to negoitiate better terms & conditions!! This is exactly what Simon Whipp done.

I can’t believe that the New Zealand Media aren’t picking up on this crucial fact.

Furthermore on Campbell Live last Simon Whipp was aksed “would you feel any guilt if The Hobbit doesn’t go ahead in New Zealand”He answered, without hesitation “No” – so there you go people, he never cared one bit about New Zealand or our actors!!

* reply
* report this

Posted by G at 10:33 am on October 27, 2010
@ Penny Bright

It’s idiots like you that got us into the mess we are now!!!

* reply
* report this

Posted by G at 10:35 am on October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Human rights | Leave a comment

Seeking TRUTH from FACTS – what Actors Equity wanted

www.nbr.co.nz/article/weta-digital-could-lose-all-hobbit-work-fans-told-132079?headsup=1

Seeking TRUTH from FACTS – what Actors Equity wanted

What was so unreasonable about Actors Equity wanting to discuss the requirements for minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers on The Hobbit.?

Here is – word for word – the resolution passed at the meeting of Actors Equity on 29 September 2010:

http://www.alliance.org.au/

Wednesday 29 September 2010

“The Hobbit

Four hundred actors attended a meeting in Auckland last night to discuss the requirements for minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers on The Hobbit. At the close of that meeting, the following statement was made by Jennifer Ward-Lealand, president of NZ Actors’ Equity.

“As a result of tonight’s meeting New Zealand Actors’ Equity members have overwhelmingly resolved that its delegation continue to seek a meeting with the producers of The Hobbit, and to hold negotiations in good faith on the terms and conditions for performers working on the production.

We have no desire to jeopardise the production or create instability in any way. Our members are simply seeking fair and equitable employment terms and conditions for New Zealand actors – the same terms that their colleagues elsewhere in the world enjoy.

We believe a solution can be found by sitting down together with the producers, and talking through the issues. We all have the same goal in mind – to get The Hobbit made, here in New Zealand.

Until we reach a fair and equitable solution, we recommend that all performers wait before accepting any engagement on The Hobbit.”

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Hobbit: Australian actors support NZ actors’ strong stance

Four hundred New Zealand performers have passed a resolution calling on The Hobbit’s producers to hold negotiations in good faith on their terms and conditions of employment and recommending all performers wait until this occurs before accepting any engagement on The Hobbit.

Simon Whipp, Assistant Federal Secretary of Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance said:

“The resolution made by New Zealand performers last night has the full support of Australia’s acting community. What they are asking the producers to do – sit down and discuss the employment conditions of New Zealand performers – is a reasonable, and lawful, request.”

For further updates, including recent letters of support from the international acting community, the resolution of last night’s meeting in full and a video of Jennifer making a statement to the media after the meeting, See actorsequity.org.nz “

How SCARY should that request have been to a reasonable ‘employer’?

Penny Bright

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Human rights | Leave a comment

SOLICITOR-GENERAL TRYING TO JAIL VINCE SIEMER AGAIN!!Friday 22 October 2.15pm Auckland High Court

21 October 2010

CIV2008 404 0472 Solicitor General v Siemer

‘Solicitor General’s new application for recommittal’.

‘Justices Chisholm and Gendall will hear the application at 2.15pm on Friday the 22nd October 2010.
Their honour will both be at Auckland for this hearing.’

High Court
Waterloo Quadrant

This Friday 22 October

– 2.15pm.

The Solicitor-General is trying to jail Vince for contempt AGAIN!!!
FOURTH time!!!

Vince has a complaint lodged with the United Nations Human Rights Committee over the raft of human rights violations he has suffered here in New Zealand – the ‘least corrupt country in the world’.

How Vince Siemer has been treated is an absolute disgrace.

He is fighting for freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial and an open, transparent, and accountable NZ justice system.

Those who have got the guts to make a principled stand to the point of imprisonment (3 times to date!) are a very rare breed.

Vince needs and deserves our support.

Cheers!

Penny

Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

Vince’s website: www.kiwisfirst.co.nz

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

‘OPEN LETTER’/OIA REQUEST TO SFO DIRECTOR ADAM FEELEY:re: ‘SFO vs NBR’

20 October 2010

‘OPEN LETTER’/OIA REQUEST TO SFO DIRECTOR ADAM FEELEY:

Please provide a copy of the following information:

1) A copy of the letter which delegated authority to the ‘Designated Member’ of the SFO, whose (illegible) signature appears at the bottom of the ‘Notice to Require Production of Documents’ addressed to Neville Gibson, Editor in Chief, National Business Review, dated 19 October 2010.

RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE ACT 1990 AND STATE SECTOR ACT 1988:

A) SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE ACT 1990
33 Delegation of functions or powers
(1) The provisions of the State Sector Act 1988 relating to the delegation of functions or powers shall apply in all respects to the Serious Fraud Office:

Provided that no delegation of—

(a) Any power conferred by Part 1 or Part 2 of this Act; o

(b) Any power to authorise, under section 36(2) or section 37(3)(b) or section 39(2)(b) of this Act, the disclosure of protected information,—

shall be valid unless it is to a designated member and is in writing.

(2) For the purposes of the provisions of the State Sector Act 1988 relating to the delegation of functions or powers, any person who is seconded to the Serious Fraud Office shall be treated as if that person were an employee of the Serious Fraud Office.

______________________________________________

B) STATE SECTOR ACT 1988:

23 Delegation of functions or powers

(1) The Commissioner may from time to time, either generally or particularly, delegate to any person or persons any of the functions or powers of the Commissioner under this Act or any other Act, inluding functions or powers delegated to the Commissioner under any Act.

(2) Every delegation under this section shall be in writing.

(3) No delegation under this section shall include—
(a) the power to delegate under this section; or
(b) the Commissioner’s powers under sections 35 and 36 of this Act
(which relate to the appointment and reappointment of chief executives);
or
(c) the Commissioner’s powers under section 39 of this Act (which relates to the removal from office of a chief executive); or

(4) In any case where the Commissioner has, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, delegated any of the functions or powers of the Commissioner to any person, that person may, with the prior approval in writing of the Commissioner, delegate such of those functions or powers as the Commissioner approves to any other person or to the holder for the time being of any specified office in the State services.

(5) Subject to any general or special directions given or conditions imposed by the Commissioner, the person to whom any functions or powers are delegated under this section may exercise those functions or powers in the same manner and with the same effect as if they had been conferred on that person directly by this Act and not by delegation.

(6) Every person purporting to act pursuant to any delegation under this section shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be presumed to be acting in accordance with the terms of the delegation.

(7) Any delegation under this section may be made to a specified person or to persons of a specified class, or to the holder or holders for the time being of a specified office or of specified classes of offices.

(8) No such delegation shall affect or prevent the exercise of any function or power by the Commissioner nor shall any such delegation affect the responsibility of the Commissioner for the actions of any person acting under the delegation.
(My underlining)
________________________________________________________________________________

2) A copy of the information upon which you as Director of the SFO are relying, in your claim that the NBR have a ‘statutory obligation’ to ‘produce documents etc’, as per s9 (1) (b) of the Serious Fraud Office Act 1990; in their capacity as ‘third party’ media reporting on alleged fraud, as opposed to being a party suspected of carrying out alleged fraud, or linked to a party suspected of carrying out alleged fraud.

RELEVANT SECTION OF THE SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE ACT 1990

www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0051/latest/DLM211434.htm

9. Power to require attendance before Director, production of documents, etc

(1) The Director may, by notice in writing, require—

(a) Any person whose affairs are being investigated; or

(b) Any other person who the Director has reason to believe may have information or documents relevant to an investigation,—…

3) Copies of ALL ‘Notice(s) to Require Production of Documents’ which have been served by the SFO, as per s9 (1) (b) of the Serious Fraud Office Act 1990; on ALL/ANY ‘third party’ media, who have reported on cases of alleged fraud, at any time since the establishment of the SFO in 1990.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

SFO demands NBR documents; refusal risks $40K fine, jail – Abuse of SFO’s power and authority?

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/sfo-demands-nbr-documents-refusal-risks-40k-fine-jail-131836?headsup=1

SFO demands NBR documents; refusal risks $40K fine, jail

NBR staff | Tuesday October 19, 2010

The Serious Fraud Office has served a notice to NBR, demanding documents and audio tapes relating to the paper’s investigation of South Canterbury Finance’s dealings over Auckland’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Serious Fraud Act Section 5 notice tells NBR editor-in-chief Nevil Gibson to hand over all written and audio notes relating to reporter Matt Nippert’s investigation of the Hyatt Regency, specifically the NBR exclusive story of how one-time meatworker Peter Symes came to own the hotel.

NBR has been given until 9am tomorrow (Wednesday) to deliver the documents to the SFO’s central Auckland office, and agree to an interview.

Refusal would mean Mr Gibson faces imprisonment for up to 12 months or a fine of up to $15,000 under the Serious Fraud Act. NBR’s publisher, as a company, would have a fine of up to $40,000.

Under the Act, the SFO also has the power to execute a search warrant.

The NBR did not hand over any files when an SFO representative visited its office at 4.30pm, pending legal advice.

“We are pleased that the authorities are taking action following up our investigative report but we are seeking independent legal advice before deciding what action we will take,” NBR publisher Barry Colman said today.

“Our primary concern is to ensure we can protect any confidential sources involved in our investigations.

“We need to know the ramifications of complying with any forced hand over of our files, notes and recordings”.

The story was written by reporter Matt Nippert and published on the front page of the NBR two weeks ago. The full report is also available on the paper’s website.

Mr Colman said it was the first time in NBR’s 40 year history that journalists’ files had been demanded by police or other state investigators.

NBR has a history of defending the public interest, including its recent decision to defy a a Commerce Commission order and publish details of a secret side-deal between Vodafone and 2degrees.

The notice serviced on NBR (click each page for a larger view. And, yes, the SFO did spell Nevil Gibson’s name incorrectly):

* 3News | SFO threatens newspaper unless docs handed over
_________________________________________________________________

MY COMMENT:

Isn’t this abuse of the SFO’s statutory power and authority?

In my considered opinion- this action by the SFO is an abuse of their statutory power and authority.

It is not the NBR whose actions are allegedly fraudulent, thus subject to investigation by the SFO.

The NBR are effectively an independent ‘third party’ in this matter.

What ‘offence’ have the NBR committed?

NBR journalists have exercised their lawful right to freedom of expression – receiving and imparting information and opinion – and now the SFO is trying to force the handing over of information to assist them in their investigation?

If NBR staff could access this information – why couldn’t the SFO?

The SFO hardly ‘asked nicely’ for the assistance of the NBR!

It appears to me that the SFO are effectively using NBR staff as their own.

Cute.

Saves the SFO money this way?

The SFO apply their jackboot to the throat of the NBR to force the handing over of their investigative research and information.

Arguably the SFO should have carried out this investigative research themselves before announcing their investigation relating to South Canterbury Finance’s dealings over Auckland’s Hyatt Regency Hotel?

If it were me – I would refuse to hand over the information.

(I’ve taken defence of ‘freedom of expression’ in relation to local government to the point of arrest 22 times.

It’s 21 – 1 to me.)

If the SFO want a search warrant – the application will need to go before a Judge.

Make a stand!

That’s what you do when you are confronted by bullies of any variety – individuals / corporate/ state – DON’T let them intimidate you.

THE UNDERPINNING LEGISLATION:

THE SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE ACT 1990

www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0051/latest/DLM211434.htm

9. Power to require attendance before Director, production of documents, etc

(1) The Director may, by notice in writing, require—

(a) Any person whose affairs are being investigated; or

(b) Any other person who the Director has reason to believe may have information or documents relevant to an investigation,—…

10 Power to obtain search warrant

(1) The Director may, on application in writing made on oath, apply for a warrant to search any place specified in the application.

(2) Any Judge who, on such an application, is satisfied—

(a) That there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(i) That any information supplied pursuant to section 9 of this Act is false or misleading in a material particular; or

(ii) That a person has failed to comply with any obligation imposed pursuant to section 9 of this Act; or

(iii) That it is not practicable to serve a notice under section 9 of this Act by reason of the fact that the person cannot be located or is absent from New Zealand or other good cause; or

(iv) That the service of a notice under section 9 of this Act might seriously prejudice the investigation; and

(b) That there are reasonable grounds for believing that there may be, at the place specified in the application, any documents or other thing that may be relevant to an investigation or may be evidence of any offence involving serious or complex fraud,—

may issue a warrant in the prescribed form.

(3) Part 3 of this Act shall apply to any such warrant.

__________________________________________________

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

waterpressure@gmail.com

Posted by Penny Bright at 09:42 pm on October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers