November 03, 2010
All the newspapers headlined the "victory" of keeping the Hobbit here last week. Truthfully, it's a fight that never should have happened (and would not have happened if the Australian union had kept its nose out of the whole thing).
Prime Minister John Key convinced Warner Brothers to keep the movie in New Zealand by offering additional tax cuts and agreeing to change our Labour Law to make it more clear that independent contractors hired as such for films could not be considered employees at a later stage.
Of course, there are people (and the Labour Party in general) who disagree with the law change - which was enacted quickly in an emergency overnight session - and say that Warner Brothers "bought" New Zealand.
Ridiculous! As I've pointed out before, the law was ambiguous at best, and certainly needed to be cleaned up.
However...I completely expect a backlash from all the other industries (including the Oil & Gas industry) out there who regularly use independent contractors. I'm certain they will ask for the new law to include them as well. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out!
In the meantime, more and more people are expected to move to Wellington, even for just a short time. Those who work behind the scenes are breathing easier now, knowing that regular paychecks are coming their way for at least 2 years. And Middle Earth remains "ours".
Posted by d Labels: Life in Welly