The Mapp Report – Hobbit Movies Saved

Press Release – New Zealand National Party

29 October 2010 Hobbit Movies Saved Today I am in Parliament as the Government passes new law on independent contractors. The union action over the last month had created so much uncertainty in employment conditions that we have had to fix the law. The …The Mapp Report

29 October 2010
Hobbit Movies Saved

Today I am in Parliament as the Government passes new law on independent contractors. The union action over the last month had created so much uncertainty in employment conditions that we have had to fix the law.

The fix is quite simple. If a person agrees in writing to be either an employee or an independent contractor, that choice will settle the issue.

Here is the speech I gave in Parliament on this issue yesterday.

Sometimes it is very clear where fault lies and what the jury of public opinion decides. More importantly, the jury of the people in the industry knows where the fault lies. It is absolutely clear who the offenders are. This is one of those cases. Unfortunately Labour, due to its ideological binders, cannot see that fact. The fault here lies with the unions.

In this instance the unions were totally at fault. They caused this. They have caused the disruption and they have destroyed certainty. We have had to act. What is the evidence for that? I have to say it is pretty clear. Sir Peter Jackson was in no doubt. He said that the first indication he got of this was a global boycott of these two movies. There was no discussion and no negotiations; just the indication, a clear statement, of a global boycott.

“Meetings up in Auckland run by Jennifer Ward-Lealand, who I have to say disappeared out of this pretty quick, and Robyn Malcolm, who I have to say was a bit slower to leave, organised this global boycott, which was orchestrated by the Australian union.

So in that circumstance the world had changed. It was no good to talk about the previous five years, or the previous 10 years, the world had changed, due to, as Sir Peter Jackson himself said, the triggering of the nuclear option – do that and one changes things fundamentally.

“Labour fundamentally refuses to recognise that if certainty is destroyed, then an industry is destroyed, and we came perilously close to that in this particular instance. So we have had to fix that up. Labour members say, and I have heard a number of them say it today, that they support The Hobbit. Well, on one level I guess they do; at an emotional level, I guess they do.”

Hon Steven Joyce: “Theoretically.”

Hon Dr WAYNE MAPP: ”Theoretically. But are Labour members willing to do anything practical? Are they willing to do the key things that have to be done to ensure that this movie comes to New Zealand? Well, no, they are not. So Labour members might say in a theoretical sense they support the film industry, but in a practical sense they have failed to support the billion dollar movies.

“On the big issues of the day, Labour will be judged by the public to be against The Hobbit because it has not supported the key thing that matters in this instance. I have read the judgment “Three Foot Six”, and in the judgment the court said “It was not open to the court to reach a decision that had general application to the film industry.”

“So even though the court recognised that its decision would cause trouble for the industry, it had no choice under Labour’s law but to rule in the way it did. That is because the 2000 Employment Relations Act required the courts to ignore what was written down in the documents and follow other indicators, which were largely drawn from the Income Tax Act, as to whether there would be an independent contract or a dependent contract situation.

“The old law had the virtue of certainty. The one thing that businesses absolutely require is certainty, especially global businesses and especially when the wreckers of the union movement have destroyed that certainty. So this Government is about to restore certainty, one way or another.

“We have said to the people in the industry that they have a choice. If they choose to be an independent contractor, then that that choice will bind them, which always used to be the law before the 2000 Act, recognised by the court itself. If people choose to be an employee, then that will also bind them and that has consequences as well. I ask the Labour Party, what is wrong with that? What is wrong with people having a clear choice? There is the independent contract on the one hand, and employee contract on the other. What is wrong with that?

“There is a clear choice and effectively a situation where the contracts are of limited duration, not permanent employment but event-related situations where there is a clear ability to have that choice. The global industry needed that certainty because it had been disrupted. Who disrupted it? The unions did. Did Labour complain about that? No, its instinctive position was to support the unions. At one level I can understand that, Labour is dependent on union support, but that will also destroy its reputation in the industry at the moment and will destroy its capability to negotiate internationally.

“This Government is clear on this: we are determined to grow the New Zealand economy. We are determined to do the things that will get innovation into New Zealand. Weta Digital itself received $5.8 million by way of an innovation grant from Technology New Zealand to build its capability. That money would be down the drain if people listened to Labour, because the only relevance of that money is if the movies can be made in New Zealand.

“One thing has been clear this week, and that is that National supports growth in New Zealand. We support innovation in New Zealand. The Labour Party on the other side will go with its cost-cut mates and it will be condemned for it.”
WESTLAKE BOYS HIGH PRIZEGIVING

Last Friday I attended the annual prizegiving at Westlake Boys High School.

Westlake Boys High is one of New Zealand’s finest schools, with a high sense of application and values. The school makes an enormous effort to instil a sense of service and duty in its students.

This grounding also leads to high achievements in the scholastic, cultural and sporting fields. The students have come to understand that success comes from endeavour.

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
MP North Shore

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