Don’t turn Hobbiton into Mordor, Mr Key

Overseas investors should have no say in changing New Zealand laws, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

The Government is considering changing an employment law in an attempt to please Warner Brothers executives who are currently visiting New Zealand. The law change relates to what rights film workers have as independent contractors or employees.

“No company can be allowed to dictate what industrial laws we have,” said Mr Locke.

“Warners must get the message that we are a democratic country, and our legislation is not for sale.

“Our laws must protect the right of workers to bargain with employers on remuneration and working conditions.

“We will not support any efforts to weaken the present laws, or undermine court decisions, like the Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that found James Bryson, employed by Three Foot Six to make Lord of the Rings models, did have the rights of an employee.

“The Key Government blaming the unions and offering law changes has not helped,” said Mr Locke.

“It has only encouraged Warner Brothers to up its demands.

“Perceiving our government to be spineless, Warner Brothers are now demanding both financial sweeteners


an industrial law change.

“We are a sovereign nation, not at the beck and call of any multinational that might come bidding.

“Yes, New Zealanders are proud of Lord of the Rings, the achievements of Peter Jackson and the prospect that the Hobbit will be filmed here.

“But pride should also stop us selling our soul,” said Mr Locke.

“If we don’t stand up for worker’s rights and our independence, we risk turning Hobbiton into Mordor.”