Hobbit film to be NZ made


The Hobbit film will be made in New Zealand.

A media release from Prime Minister John Key says:

Prime Minister John Key this evening announced an agreement has been reached between the New Zealand Government and Warner Bros that will enable the two Hobbit movies to be directed by Sir Peter Jackson to be made in New Zealand.

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

As part of the arrangement the Government will introduce legislation in Parliament tomorrow to clarify the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film production industry. It is this clarification that will guarantee the movies are made in New Zealand.

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

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

Mr Key confirmed the Government has also moved to widen the qualifying criteria for the Large Budget Screen Production Fund to improve New Zealand’s competitiveness as a film destination for large budget films like The Hobbit.

The impact of this will mean an additional rebate for The Hobbit movies of up to US$7.5 million per picture, subject to the success of those movies.

The Government and Warner Bros have agreed to work together in a long-term strategic partnership to promote New Zealand as both a film production and tourism destination.

“My Government is determined to use the opportunity that the Hobbit movies present to highlight New Zealand as a great place to visit, as well as a great place to do business,” Mr Key says.

The strategic marketing opportunities for New Zealand from the movies will be worth tens of millions of dollars. The Government will offset US$10 million of Warner Bros marketing costs as part of the strategic partnership.

New Zealand will also host one of the world premieres of the Hobbit movies.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to ensure that the winning combination of Sir Peter Jackson, New Line, Warner Bros, MGM and New Zealand as a whole will have the opportunity to produce these movies together,” Mr Key says.

“It’s good to have the uncertainty over, and to have everyone now full steam ahead on this project.”

Before anyone gets upset about the government giving money to foreign film makers, read not taking isn’t the same as giving at Lindsay Mitchell and “Subsidising”  Hobbit enterprise? Sounds like a good deal at Not PC.

Union stupidity put the filming at risk and provided Warners with an opportunity to pressure the government.  But any tax forgone will be negligible in comparison to the tens of millions of dollars which will now be spent in New Zealand because the film will be made here.

Kiwiblog reports that the $10 million the government is putting towards marketing is in exchange for NZ tourism information being included in materials such as DVDs. That’s a smart deal.

Nick negates nanny state


Good intentions can lead to poor legislation and unnecessary regulations.

Fortunately governments have the power to cut through red tape introduced by previous administrations.

Legislation introduced by Labour to keep children safe would have swept a lot of common and relatively safe cleaning products from supermarket shelves. National has brought some much needed common sense to the rules.

In parliament yesterday Nick Smith did an amusing show-and-tell on how he negated nanny state’s excesses.

Word of the day


Obelize -to mark with an obelus;  to condemn as spurious, doubtful or corrupt.

Lockwood not seeking re-election in Rodney


Speaker Lockwood Smith is not seeking re-election in Rodney, the seat formerly known as Kaipara which he’s held since 1984.

He said he would not seek re-election in the electorate but would stand in the general election next year as a National Party list member.

“I will continue to help my constituents and push the major roading projects in the electorate, but as Speaker I have found it to be a little more difficult to be involved in political debate,” he said in a statement.

“I feel that no matter what the future may hold for me the people of Rodney will be able to select a new member better able to voice their views in wider political debate.”

His decision is a good one. It enables the party to select a new candidate in what is a pretty blue seat while, subject to the deliberations of  National’s list ranking committee of which I’m a member, still retaining his services as an MP.

Dr Smith has won respect across parliament and outside it for his role as Speaker and the impact he’s had on improving the standard of MP’s behaviour, particularly during question time.

McCarten to contest Mana


TV3  reports that Matt McCarten intends to contest the Mana by-election.

Unite Union general secretary Matt McCarten has announced he will stand in the Mana by-election.

Mr McCarten will hold a press conference at 2pm to announce his candidacy.

That’s very bad news for Labour.

It will split the left vote and it’s also a sign that at least one union isn’t happy with the party it would normally align itself with.

National’s Hekia Parata is still the underdog in this very red electorate but her campaign will be less difficult if some of the other dogs are fighting amongst themselves.

NZ more urban


Population figures from Statistics New Zealand for the year to the end of June show more than half of us (54%) were living in the four main urban areas – Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

  • All 16 regions recorded population growth in the June 2010 year.
  • The fastest-growing regions were Auckland (up 1.6 percent), Waikato (up 1.2 percent), and Canterbury (also up 1.2 percent).
  • The fastest-growing territorial authority areas were the Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes districts (both up 2.5 percent).
  • The North Island population continued to grow at a slightly faster rate than that of the South and that the country is becoming increasingly more urban.

    Auckland is now home to about 1/3 of New Zealanders with an estimated resident population of 1,459,700. A little more than half the population lives in the four northernmost regions (Northland, Auckland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty) and about 76% of the population lives in the North Island.

    The country is more urbanised with 78% of people living in a main or secondary urban area.

    The estimated resident population of the 16 main urban areas was 3,163, 400 which is 72% of the total population. A further 253,500 people lived in secondary urban areas (6%).

    All of this makes it very important to close the urban-rural divide or we’ll find that even more policies are designed by and for people who don’t understand what happens outside the city boundaries.

    Save The Cities


    A group of concerned farmers has set up a lobby group called Save The Cities.

    “If city folk want to Save The Farms, it’s the least we can do to reciprocate and Save The Cities,” group spokesperson Fairly Emotional said.

    “Overseas buyers are lining up from all countries to purchase our houses, apartments, office blocks, factories and other residential and business property.

    “We believe the Government must take urgent steps to address overseas ownership of our homes and work places. The first step to place a moratorium on the sale of any sensitive residential or business property  to overseas ownership until there has been informed public debate and suitable protections incorporated into a review of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. New Zealand must retain ownership of our the homes, offices and workplaces of Aotearoa New Zealand.

    “Overseas investment can bring positive economic benefits to New Zealand and there are a number of examples, equally there are examples where those benefits quickly move off-shore. Much of our prime residential and business property is now in overseas ownership. Can we afford to sit back and let this happen to our large cities and the communities they support?

    “The culture of New Zealand is one of partnership with the land and the waters of Aotearoa. As partners we ask for the chance to be heard and the opportunity to best protect our properties for future generations.”

    Ms Emotional said she hadn’t been in a city for some time but used to stay with urban relatives when she was a child.

    “I have very fond memories of playing in quarter acre sections with my cousins but they tell me with in-fill housing and apartment developments there aren’t many of them left.

    “Quarter acre sections are Kiwi icons like pavlova and jandals. We can’t have foreigners buying them and turning city folk into tenants in their own homes, even though many of them already are.”

    Ms Emotional said she was aware that banning foreign buyers could precipitate a collapse in property prices.

    “But that could be a good thing. It’s too difficult for young people to get a foot on the property ladder these days. If we limit the market the rungs will get lower and make it easier for people to become home owners.”

    She said a fall in urban property prices would also help retiring farmers who’d had the price of their farms depressed by moves against foreign ownership but denied that was what was motivating the Save The Cities campaign.

    “As New Zealanders we are proud of our place in the world. We have always batted above our weight on the international stage, be it on the sporting fields or in our role as an international citizen and the responsibilities that brings with it.

    “We have a beautiful country and wonderful traditions which must never taken for granted. There will always be pressures economically, socially and culturally to make accommodations and that is the reality of a modern country. One of those traditions is property owning and the way that continues to support not only our country but the local communities which rely on the homes and businesses. We cannot let that be lost without questioning, why?”

    October 27 in history


    On October 27:

    312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

    939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

    1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

    1466 Erasmus, Dutch humanist and theologian, was born (d. 1536).

    1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

    Battle of Pavia, oil on panel.jpg

    1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.


    1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

    1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

    1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

    1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

    1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

    1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

    1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.


    1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

    1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).


    1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

    HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

    1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

    1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

    1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

    Flag of Uzbek SSR.svg Coat of arms of Uzbek SSR.png

    1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

    1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

    John Cleese 2008 cropped.jpg

    1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

    NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

    1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

    1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

    1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was borhn.

    1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

    1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.


    1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

    1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

    1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

    The first Saturn I was launched October 27, 1961

    1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

    Maj. Rudolf Anderson

    1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which luanched his political career.

    1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

    1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

    1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

    1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

    1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

    1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

    1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

    1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

    1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

    Allen schindler.jpg

    1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

    1994  Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

    Brown Dwarf Gliese 229B.jpg

    1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

    1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

    2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

    2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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