Outside

Just a test photo from my iPhone.🙂

I love playing Sim City. It’s a fun game where you have to build a city, run it’s policies and amenities and try like hell to make it prosper. The problem is, I’m not very good at it. I get the theory behind where to place residential zones in relation to commercial and industrial. I get how to provide power and water. I understand how to manage the various resources and civil departments. But when a disaster strikes – I just lose control of the city. I find my game degenerates into a series of panicked measures and bad policy as I desperately try to peddle together money and resources to keep on top of things.The reason being is that I don’t plan my cities and tactics. I don’t have a grand scheme in place when I become Mayor – I just want to start playing.

I bring this up because I have recently come to the realisation that National’s term in government has played out just like a bad game of Sim City. A Sim New Zealand, if you like. While the National Party understands the theory and philosophy of politics and governance, they have no plan. They stick blindly to ideological theory rather than actually pay attention to facts and as such have spent their entire term putting out fires and changing policy to keep the sims of our country in the green bar of contentment.

If we look at their policies, they are all short term measures to either generate raw capital or reduce overall expenditure. But beyond that there is no overall plan. National has no milestones, no goals for the long term. Helen Clark famously said that Labour had a three term plan. Everything they did had a long term goal in mind. Some policies had to be dropped for being unpopular, but because there were targets, goals and plans in place it was easy for Labour to take the short term losses in favour of the long term gains.

National has shown no such thinking. Their proposition to mine conservation land had no plan beyond “hey this could make us lots of money!” Partial sales of SOEs? Again, no real answers for the long term. The SOE’s are put up for sale and then… well there doesn’t appear to be a clear answer for this.

But the most telling thing has been National’s response to the Christchurch Earthquake. They are now facing the reality that their budget simply cannot react to the cost of the earthquake. They have given away so much of their income in favour of tax cuts, and have resorted to borrowing that there is not enough money coming in. But the solution? Not to get more money from NZers but to try to take the scalpel to more government spending to avoid reneging on the tax cuts of last year. In doing so, those in the upper income bracket end up losing nothing, while those who already faced a tax rise by stealth in the raising of GST (A policy action that National promised during the election that they wouldn’t do) are also now facing a reduction in support for programs that they are involved in.

So effectively, there is less money than ever going around. Not exactly a smart choice during a recession when you want to stimulate the economy, not stifle it.

Removing money from programs is like scraping coins from under the couch while Uncle Big Bucks sits next to you eating his dinner. There are those among the wealthier members of society who like everyone to believe that they are suffering because they pay so much more money. But the reality is that they gain so much more from being in NZ. Most of these people are seriously small fry in the greater global market and they know it. NZ policies protect their interests and help them to make money.

In contrast to National, Labour had a plan and did not just make ideological decisions at every turn. They understood the importance of compromise and commitment. Their budgets were often restrained and unexciting affairs because they were good at knowing when to hold onto money and when to release it. And they kept an eye on how the economy was faring, had targets to meet and focused on meeting them. For most of their time in government, Labour and it’s allies had a responsible plan in place.

National’s budget is not based on a responsible plan but on a blind faith in free market philosophy. They believe that the less government is involved, the better the economy thrives. However the US has shown quite dramatically that this is not the case at all. National’s fiscal policy is best summed up as “Let the money be free and pray the economy looks after itself.” That is not a responsible government, that is a grossly naïve view of the economy.

The reality is that people do not follow theory. They all operate differently and ignoring the factual reality in favour of an ideological theory is poor governance. The real world is full of people who like to cheat the system, exploit loopholes and generally work only to promote themselves. National’s ideology relies on people being honest and all having faith in the system. Except with less people involved in government, there are less people to police the system and ensure that the rules are being followed. Money moves up, not down. The more people spend the more it collects at the top of the heap – and many business are built on the concept of maximising the dividends for those at the top who own the business – not socially responsible trickle down of profits to those at the bottom.

And National’s members know this. They are using the government solely to benefit themselves, and have no plan beyond living this naïve ideological dream. They have come into government on a shopping list of promises with no overall idea how those promises would be met. Their entire term in government has been defined by a constant scramble to find a way to meet all their promises and to find excuses when it hasn’t been popular. First the Labour government was to blame, and when that excuse wore out it was the recession and now it is the Christchurch Earthquake.

A good government shouldn’t need to make excuses, it should be able to make plans. Even now we see National proposing to cut $800m for spending that they may need to make. None of their language is confident “and this is what it is going to be used for and how we plan to do it.” Instead we are getting a wimpish “we are probably going to need to do this and it wont be popular and we don’t really know what it is going to be going into, but EARTHQUAKE, so it help Christchurch somehow – not that we can actually explain what we plan to do about Christchurch yet.”

Ideology is not enough. A plan needs to have contingencies in it, it needs to have targets to meet and if they aren’t being met, you change the plan.Government is not like running a business. You need to spend money to make money, and National keeps cutting its own nose off. They lecture to save money, then cut spending and income at the same time, leading to having to borrow to make up for the remaining financial commitments. They have no plans, no milestones and no targets. Every time they try to fulfil a promise we get a litany of excuses about why they have had to make another budgetary problem to meet their commitments.

This is not a government with its hand on the tiller. This is a government that is flapping around on the deck trying to grab all the ropes because after tying one knot, another flies loose and when one of the crew says “we can help” they cry “No. Go below deck, we have it under control.”

Make no mistake – National has lost all control of the country and the economy. They are just desperately trying to prevent anyone else from realising it.

After a couple of years of working in my spare time, chasing VFX experts and generally going somewhat mad, it’s finally here. Episode one of the Winding City. No doubt most of you have been inundated with my tweets promoting this – but here it is again for your viewing pleasure. Spread the word!!!

I’ll let the video speak for itself!

See you all soon!

Conan

I have toted with checking this show out a number of times, but have always been cautious taking on a gay themed series sight unseen.

But with JB Hifi currently selling the series at a dramatically reduced price – $14.95 NZ – I decided to take the plunge and bought the first season. After only two episodes I have now gone back and bought the rest. It is that good.

Beyond just being witty and about the GLBT community, the series really does present a fairly accurate portrayal of the minefield of issues that face gay men and women on a daily basis. Yes, it is slightly exaggerated, but when one of the character’s states “There are only two types of straight people. Those who hate you to your face and those who hate you behind your back” in reference to gay people.

That’s not only a ballsy statement to have a character make, there really are actually gay men out there who think like this. Presumably this guy is going to have this view challenged before the series ends.

While the series is an ensemble show, there are three clear leads out of the cast of seven. Mike is the narrator who occasionally breaks the fourth wall for comic effect. He’s nice, friendly and clearly a bit of a romantic. Brian is the gorgeous cocky manwhore who doesn’t believe in love just sex for fun. He’s arrogant, but there is a hint that this is to protect himself from a world he feels is just out to get him. Justin is the supernaturally beautiful 17 year old virgin who is just entering the gay community. I say supernatural because the actor is just stunningly beautiful in a very angelic manner. Even when he’s being adorably goofy – for example he is in bed and asked “what do you like?” by a naked Brian and he starts listing his hobbies and after school activities.

I love that the show has a reasonable cross section of the community, including a lesbian couple that don’t look like a crass stereotype.

From a perspective of “would heterosexual viewers like this show?” I think many would. The cast are great, the dialogue is witty and fun. The show is very frank about what the gay community is like, to the point that it may surprise some people as to what it is like to be a part of that community.

I think QaF succeeds in presenting a gay perspective that can engage, shows the sensuality of the lifestyle without being porny and has some bluntly honest observations of how the world looks from a gay perspective.

Two thumbs up. Genuinely good television.

Conan

I do on occasion check out The Big Idea in the hopes of spotting an opportunity to expand my experience and skills in Film-making. It is always interesting to see what others are trying to do in the pursuit of making it in the industry.

What recently struck me is one Wellington based gentleman who has chosen to make a series of fake trailers or scenes for non-existent action films. The idea appears to be to make a showreel of material – which is always an admirable goal.

However this Aussie ex-pat seems to be stuck in the 80s regarding what the market wants. His ads stress that all work has to be American focused. No antipodean accents, no NZ culture or style. Just pure America.

Talk about limiting yourself. Not to mention that most kiwis and ockers do atrocious American accents. A brief look over his personal website shows a guy who clearly is a fan of EXTREME cinema to the tune of “Yippee Kai Yay.”

Of which there isn’t anything wrong, action is very challenging to write and film. Having a passion for it is no different to only writing fantasy or liking sci-fi.

I just think that if he wants to be noticed he’s not going to achieve it by pandering to the audience. A brief glance on the net shows this kind of attempt is a dime-a-dozen. It isn’t enough to be good. You need to stand out.

Producers aren’t concerned with accents and locale when it comes to finding new talent – look at District 9 – they want to know you can bring something exciting.

I reckon a witty series of Kiwi and Aussie action trailers with humour unique to our part of the world would grab more attention than a series of generic action trailers with bad US accents.

It is interesting to see someone proposing this, as I start planning projects based on my experience with The Winding City and oversee the final steps of the first episode edit. I wonder how successful his project is going to be, knowing how hard it is to find people willing to work for free.

Conan

I’ve been watching the ongoing WikiLeaks saga with much interest. It is intriguing how much the media has deliberately muddied the waters here. Did WikiLeaks put people in danger or didn’t they? Did they release hundreds of thousands of secret cables or only tens of thousands after having guidance from reputable newspaper agencies?

It is a shame to see the morbid glee some reporters have demonised Assange and WikiLeaks instead of just reporting the facts of the case. A good report I read, and I shamefully don’t have the link right now, pointed out that WikiLeaks broke every cable *after several major newspapers had already published them* and have only released 90,000 or so of the cables they have, each having been vetted and cleared to ensure no lives are unduly placed in harms way.

And yet the US is baying for blood over this very public embarrassment. Assange has been put in a position where he will eventually end up facing espionage charges in the US – and the whole matter seems to be very suspicious. I have no doubt that US courts will not be just in this case as the US has been lying about the releases and has been flagrantly ignoring legal process to hound WikiLeaks.

As for Assange’s character and the sex allegations, I have no idea what to make of that. I don’t want to dismiss the allegations of these women, because sexual assault is a very serious issue. I haven’t seen much of Assange to be able to make an informed judgement of character.

However it is suspicious that the timing of these allegations keep coinciding with activity on the WikiLeaks sites and in a country that can then extradite Assange to the US.

I do feel that the US bureaucracy is fighting a losing war. The Internet remains a user driven entity. Even Apple’s attempts to lock down usage have been circumvented. The very nature of the Internet means that it is very hard to quash something if a determined majority of netizens want it to remain.

As has recently been shown, WikiLeaks has continued and all that this saga has succeeded in doing so far is make a number of journalists look like they don’t do enough research, that the US prefers revenge over justice and isn’t even trying to hide it’s disregard for legal process.

This has polarised people between those who just accept the news and those who look deeper into the facts. Many media agencies should be ashamed by their handling of this matter through blatant dissemination of false information.

I will continue to watch this saga with interest.

Conan

I have written this post a number of times now and it has been difficult how to approach it. I really want to discuss this issue, but I have been worrying about how to broach it without inadvertently hurting feelings. That’s one of the negatives of a close gaming community I guess.

So first with the bomb and then the fallout.

I pulled out of the 2011 Kapcon LARP.

I know that a lot of people are going to say “so what. What makes you think we care?” Well it’s big for me because I REALLY wanted to play in an Arabian Nights LARP. But a number of factors caused my enthusiasm to wane and then a final personal issue with the character basically cinched my decision to leave.

Before I continue, the actual deciding factor was not one that the organisers could have predicted. They could have avoided the problem, but that would have required them changing a formulaic system that has been followed for Kapcon LARPs for a while now.

Which plays into my main beef. While I have enjoyed many Kapcon, there has been a habit of sticking to a formula that works for some but not all players. I had hoped after the brilliant Sanctuary game that we would see more innovation in the formula, but it has gradually drifted back to business as usual.

My first issue that I’m willing to discuss is the survey and character options. I get that organising a LARP is a big challenge. I’ve done it, and it takes a lot of work.

Sanctuary introduced the idea of a survey. This was used to guide the planning of the LARP and to help make characters that suited the players. The key point is that the survey guided creation.

Unfortunately, post Sanctuary, it has been used only as a guideline for casting AFTER the story and characters have been made. Meaning that players are possible offered character choices that have no relationship to their survey answers.

Another formulaic habit is to use character secrets to drive the story. This leads to a reticence to reveal too much about the characters when offering options to a player. So usually you get two or three vague choices that may or may not relate to the actual character offered. On two occasions I have found the character précis and the actual write up have ended up contradicting each other.

In the survey you can list the people you would like to play with. When the options are provided, you aren’t told which character option is in the same faction as the people you opted to play with.

Given that this partially plays into my main issue I won’t talk about in detail, this actually annoys me. I received two choices that did not feel anything like what I had asked for and had no indication of which choice was with the people I wanted to play with – who all had received their characters ahead of me.

I took a stab at the choice closest – but not actually – matching my survey and ended up in a situation that could have been avoided if I had been told a bit more information about what faction my friends were in.

Instead I ended up with a character who had a situation I was not comfortable roleplaying. If the organisers had given me more information prior to choosing, that could have been avoided.

My other beef is that for me, Arabian Nights is a fantastical, exotic and mysterious setting. The material I was provided hinted at this being in the past of the game but that it was going to be just another political LARP with a Vampire Prince – er, Sultan. Etc etc.

Sorry, but removing Djinni’s and other mystical creatures and providing a rumour of a roc spoiled the setting for me. I am tired of mystical = GM. Oh look, the AI’s – sorry – Djinni’s have vanished only to return as guides for the players.

Yawn.

Sanctuary had no problems making PCs who were mystical beings. The GMs were mostly just minor characters.

Al Shir-Ma’s setting comes across as a reskinned Kapcon every-LARP and not fantastical Arabia.

Now I could have gotten past that if my character issue not been the one it was, but that was not to be.

Oddly, and this is a bit irrational of me, the one sentence thanks for my quick response to say I’m pulling out has also aggravated me because I wrote a fairly long explanation of why I was pulling out and it felt very dismissive of my issues as if I never really wanted to play.

I know that there is a long waiting list. I also know that a game that can’t adjust for size might be too tightly written.

Ultimately, this experience has soured my enthusiasm for LARPing in general and especially playing in Kapcon LARPs in the future. I appreciate the work and stress going into Al Shir-Ma and I suspect much of the negatives are more an artefact of years of formula than this single year.

I can only say that next LARP organisers need to take more cues from Sanctuary and the excellent lessons those organisers learned through the process they followed.

Hopefully some great ideas will arise in comments here that we can suggest for the future.

Conan

Lonely Planet has recently declared Wellington one of the best top 10 cities in the world and “The Coolest little Capital in ther World.”

This has out done such iconic cities as New York, Paris and London. Naturally, a number of New Zealanders who like polling on Stuff’s polls have claimed that this is a silly assertion.

It has become a part of the NZ psyche of pragmatism that anything seen as a positive can’t possibly be that good and we shouldn’t get our hopes up. It’s an odd mentality given that this country actually has a lot to crow about, we just seem to have it ingrained into our national identity that we shouldn’t.

The reality is that because we live here, we tend to take what makes Wellington and this country for granted.

To me one of the key things is that NZers are often awed by the cacophony and civilisation of larger cities because we just don’t see it here. New York, to the NZer, is an exotic and monolithic monster of a city that is always moving and always bustling. There are sights we never see at home, and so much mad variety that it can astonish at any given moment.

So naturally its difference would make NZers rate it as an amazing city – and it is.

But Wellington has a different wonderment to it. When I first came to Wellington what impressed me is the blend of nature and urban. This is what inspired the Winding City for me. Wellington entwines itself into and around its environment. Where Paris, London and New York are examples of civilisation triumphing over their landscapes; Wellington’s Town Belt and coastlines still retain some of their primal geography. Houses peek out from behind green veils, roads precariously wind up the hillsides, hugging the natural shape of the hills. Tunnels drive through hillsides still covered in native foliage, and you can one minute be in the urban centre, then in a suburb with colonial style houses the suddenly be in the middle of a small natural valley with only one or two houses visible before turning a corner and suddenly plunging back into urban sprawl.

The restaurants are multiple and varied, full of interesting and often friendly people. Yet there is space to breath. Walking down Lambton Quay and having room to move and see the tall buildings which are almost a time capsule I themselves. One is an old building from the early 1900s, a 60s building next door and further along a new 00s style structure. Framing these is the looming greenery of the Town belt.

Maybe it’s NZ’s slow pace. While busier than its island neighbours, we still move at a laconic pace compared to the greater cities of the world. While there are those NZers who don’t find this pace appealing – and this slow pace does lead to people picking at smaller issues – it is partially this pace that makes us so appealing to people from the great cities NZers adore.

The wonder of our beaches and natural landscape that is always a short journey from our urban centres. Dramatic mountains, great oceans and primal forests.

I genuinely feel New Zealand is the greatest place to live as a landscape. I also feel that we, as a nation, need to forge a new identity that is better in line with the country we live in. An identity built on the harmony between our natural landscape and our cities. Our technological development and our agricultural development. We should embrace our many cultures and the shared pride in a country that should encourage calm and contemplation but also inspiration and adventure.

Our nation has been suffering recently from drinking problems, violent crimes, domestic abuse and suicides. Our pragmatic identity seems to be to just accept these things as inevitable. Yet we live in a landscape of beauty and serene yet awesome sites. We should be inspired by our landscape, be proud of our cities and return to the unity that this country once believed it was founded on. We have struggled with this, and will continue to do so – but we should not be wasting time trying to keep up with the Joneses.

We already have one of the best living conditions and have some of the best cities to live in worldwide. Screw the Joneses. Let’s forge our own destiny, our own identity that the Joneses will be racing to keep up with us.

We should embrace educational, social, technological and ecological development. A recent study showed that even with our problems, NZ has a better level of education per person than many western nations. We were once known as an inclusive secular nation that was one of the first to give women equal voting rights. We once were at the forefront of invention. And because of our close relationship to our natural landscape we are uniquely placed to combine those others strengths to produce new technologies that will help less ecologically responsible nations reduce and possibly reverse the damage to their countries.

But first, we need to stop thinking we can be like Australia or the US. We need to stop thinking we need to give foreign interests carte blanche to plunder our resources. We need to be different and think outside the box.

We will need foreign investment, but it needs to be wisely managed and pursued correctly. We need to embrace the skills of those who have them regardless of that person’s ethnicity, gender or preference.

I’m not proposing we become communists, but that we try new ideas.

I love New Zealand. I love Wellington. I also think that this country has a lot more to offer the world than we have allowed ourselves too. We need to stop being pragmatists and become optimists.

Come on New Zealand! We earned the accolades, let’s enjoy them and be inspired by them!

Conan

A local political blog, No Right Turn, which is written by a friend of mine, Idiot/Savant, has unfortunately been a classic example of how the recent Hobbit dispute has been exploited by people who know very little about the issues but have tried to use the dispute to forward their own political agenda.

There has been a lot of dishonest hyperbole being spread around about what happened and is happening. Some, like Idiot, don’t comprehend the money and work that was at risk here and betray very little understanding of the industry and how it has been operating for decades.

All they see are things in the terms of their own political lenses without doing any proper research.

Now I do agree that a law change under urgency is rarely a good thing and it raises concerns. But I also have read the amendment and researched what other more learned legal minds have said of it and all it achieves is closing a loophole that was recently exploited and should have been closed two years ago.

It isn’t actually taking away any rights. Actors, crew and others involved in film making have always been considered independent contractors. This is due to films being quixotic things and you can end up working for a different production company each time. Sick days and Holidays are not feasible in film productions as a matter of book keeping. Instead individual companies will manage these issues as best suits the production and can outline this in the contracts.

The Amendment is merely stating that unless the contract clearly identifies the actor/technician as an employee they are considered an independent contractor.

This has always been the case. It is just now being clearly outlined in law.

Another myth being spouted is that this is just two films. A wonderful lie that allows those who like their conspiracies to be able to belittle and dismiss this dispute as just children fighting.

It’s two films that cost the equivalent of close to 100 NZ made local films. That is in excess of $500m and thousands of jobs. The films will take at least three months to film, bringing cast and foreign crew into the country many of whom will be bringing family or partners – most of whom will be paying for accommodation, food, travel… all of which will be generating tax income via GST.

Furthermore, being made in NZ means that Tax is charged on any income they earn in the country from an NZ based production company.

Which comes to the next dishonest lie being spouted by the critics. The tax break isn’t money paid to the production company. It is money taken off the total tax bill they get charged. That’s right. It’s a percentage off the total tax bill. So if the break is round 25% and we are being told this comes to approx $60m – that means that NZ is looking at around $180m TAX being put back into govt coffers approx. That is not chump change people. Of course my figures are speculatory, but we are looking at over $100m in taxes.

This isn’t even beginning to go into the othe trickle down benefits. As a much more educated economist than I pointed out, this is one of those investments with guaranteed return for a country. It doesn’t matter if the film is a success or not – we get the money.

Then there is the world premiere. Another thing overlooked by the people in a blind rush to scream bloody murder at the bourgeois film makers. Premieres draw crowds, tourists and raise profile. A world premiere in NZ draws other film companies’ attention towards the country.

They aren’t going to see us as a soft touch to shake down. They are going to see a nation committed to helping them make good films and in a proper mutually beneficial relationship.

The Hobbit is a major investment that can only benefit our country in a time when economies are suffering. If they were just two films, why were countries with better GDPs than ours clamouring to offer even more than our final deal was so that they could get these two films.

Because these countries know the true value monetary wise than a group of bloggers who can’t see past their Intro to Political Theory 101 papers.

I personally think that John Key screwed up this dispute by not stepping in sooner. I also think that this would never had happened if the unions hadn’t been so dishonest, naive and inept in their handling of the dispute.

I have no doubt that Warner exploited the situation as did National. But those who are taking shots at National now and ignoring that the MEAA were the instigators – because it is hard to have far left indignation if the unions are to blame – are being just as exploitative.

In regards to the death threats and “thuggery” – again, reality is getting in the way of the righteous indignation.

As video has shown, Actor’s Equity were not being threatened by protestors at the locations of these meetings. The death threats have not been confirmed by police yet as being connected to those protests either.

It is a very serious matter when death threats are involved and Police do not make a habit of claiming anything beyond that the threat was made until they has investigated the calls. I choose to take the same approach. I have no doubt there were threats made – disputes like this always bring out those who exploit the strife by making such calls – but I will not bow to lazy uninformed hyperbole and accuse protesting film crews of thuggery when there is no evidence to support that accusation at this point in time.

Blogs like No Right Turn need to stop taking the easy route, stop exploiting others in the pursuit of “democracy” and actually do some more fact gathering before making accusations.

Conan

In a cynical attempt to draw blame away from MEAA, Actor’s Equity and CTU, Helen Kelly is now accusing the government of using the Hobbit dispute as an excuse to change labour laws that will directly impact contractors across the country. Which is true, to a degree. They are definitely using the row as a reason to clear up a loophole in law that will disadvantage contractors looking to be seen as employees.

But the blunt reality is that Actor’s Equity and CTU are the ones to blame for this. Much like the classic legend, Actor’s Equity as Pandora has naively opened a box full of trouble, and it just keeps spewing out problems for them.

The blunt reality is that if they had not gone ahead with the boycott, if they had told Simon Whipp to rack off, if they had not decided to clumsily use The Hobbit as a bargaining chip – none of this would have happened.

As Gerry Brownlee and Peter Jackson have pointed out, until the boycott there was absolutely no doubt that The Hobbit was going to be made in NZ. There were no plans to change the labour law. People were happy to go ahead with business as usual.

But they did choose to push the matter, and naively seemed to think everyone would go “oh, union action. We better give them what they want.”

This isn’t how union disputes work, and Helen Kelly should know this. What happens is that everyone involved starts asking questions about the way things have been done, and there is a very good chance that the reality will swing against the unions as much as it will favour them.

As the old saying goes “pick your battles carefully.”

When action is taken, you are always taking a gamble and you need to be ready for things to go bad. What is astounding in this dispute is that all the warning signs were there that this was not going to go the Actors’ way.

The problem is that their problems are based on factual issues but on theoretical ones. Actors in NZ have not been overly abused, they have been working as contractors and the demand to change had no solid impetus for doing it now rather than any time previously.

Actors are freelancers, and as such they have to be contractually managed as individuals. If Actor’s Equity wants collective contracts, they need to be auditioning their actors as a single “troupe” for hire and be competing with non-equity actors. They would need to negotiate an individual contract covering their “troupe.”

Naturally, this approach would be somewhat unlikely to succeed.

Now the box is open, there is no closing it. CTU and Actor’s Equity have let this out and it’s a bit late to be complaining that it isn’t going the way they wanted.

To be frank, if they want any sympathy from the public and film crews who are baying for their blood – the first thing they need to do is unconditionally acknowledge that they made a mistake, are responsible for starting this sorry mess and that it was handled poorly by them.

It’s their backhanded whining and constant finger pointing elsewhere that is pissing people off most. Everyone knows that they started this, so saying it was all a trick by Warners to get concessions just rings hollow. Warners are taking advantage of the dispute, yes. National is taking advantage of the dispute, yes. But the only reason there is a dispute at all is because MEAA and Actor’s Equity started it with declaring a boycott.

And the only people who really are being fooled by Actor’s Equity are themselves.

Of course, Pandora’s box also contained hope – and we can only hope that this mess is resolved without taking the NZ Film Industry back 20 years. I also hope that it will lead to a more contrite Actor’s Equity as well.

Conan

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