Friday, October 22, 2010


A random collection of photos from around NZ
from the top

Pohutakawa in full flower Dec/Jan.

Belted Galloway cattle grazing on my sons farmlet.

Sunrise one day, somewhere

At my mother's where the family will gather this Sunday

Winter sun on Matarangi Beach

Central Otago near Ranfurly

Luxury transport Coromandel style

Old Purple Bus freedom camping, (boondocking), at the Firth Tower Museum, Matamata.

Another row that has international connections and affects every New Zealander whether we like it or not has erupted. I'm hoping it will resolve with reconciliation but there are some stroppy people out there.

An actors gripe over pay has turned nasty. I understand that actors want more security and better contracts. I also understand that acting has to be one of the most insecure careers and not everyone is going to take home Star studded dollars. In this case the union got involved, an Australian based Union at that, and decided to weigh in using Sir Peter Jackson's new film, The Hobbit, as bait. Warner Bros, (Time Warmer), are the giants behind this film and they looked across the Pacific and took fright. They have all but finalised their decision to take the film elsewhere. We are all sad and hoping against hope that Sir Peter will pull a rabbit out of the hat he doesn't wear.

There is a lot of anger and I'm as upset as any NZer. The Lord of the Rings film has brought fame to NZ in ways we could never have dreamed about. Tourists come in hordes to visit iconic sites from the film. Sir Peter Jackson has put us on the World Map. At a local level, for instance, the town of Matamata has become a tourist mecca. I find it highly amusing to think of tourists bearing down on this little country town where I was once a doctor's receptionist. My parents farmed next to the Hobbiton site for several years. Later Dad decided to give up fattening cattle and grow maize/corn and needed a greater acreage of flat arable land than our rolling hill farm provided.

The greatest damage will be to our Film Industry. It is quite possible this fiasco will wreck our budding movie industry before it matures. If Warner Bros follow through and pull out, all movie makers will become exceedingly cautious and many years of hard work by promoters, and other associated organisations wil be lost. The movie industry has enabled many talented and skilled people to flourish and make a good living. We are in danger of losing some assets which are national treasures. It would be a terrible loss if Weta Workshops, which developed technology and art to a high degree for Lord of the Rings moved their main operation off shore. They are at the cutting edge and to lose this place, where imagination, technology and art flourish in combination, could cripple the development of our current and future artists and craftsmen.

I am not a fan of Sir Peter Jackson's movies. I've tried to watch Lord of the Rings but don't like it at all. It's simply not my cup of tea. As far as I know Sir Peter has not made one movie I would want to see. At the same time I have a huge respect for the man and his achievements. A while ago we read his official biography, A Film-Makers Journey Sir Peter deserves every accolade he has received and I don't doubt for one minute he can also be very difficult as most people with genius and passion sometimes are.

We wait with baited breath to see if Peter Jackson and his team can persuade Warner Bros that The Hobbit can still be produced safely within budget in New Zealand. Some important people at Warner Bros are coming out to NZ next week. Hopefully our Sir Peter will succeed. He has the weight of our Government behind him. Our Prime Minister, John Key, might even be in on the talks.

Prime Minister John Key, who offered earlier this month to act as a mediator, said he would do everything he could to keep the project in New Zealand and protect its film industry.

"I think we have a strong position, but the industrial action from the unions and the threat of industrial actions ... have substantially undermined the confidence that Warner Bros has in New Zealand," Key told Radio New Zealand on Thursday.

"The government will have to sit down and talk to them about what we can do to restore that confidence."

It may look like a storm in a teacup but it affects too many lives to be taken lightly.


Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Don't know a thing about your labor situation or the wages, but I can tell you first hand that here in the States Unions have lost more jobs and salaries than they will ever gain in added benefits. Your pictures always are so beautiful and show us what life is like in your Country, New Zealand sure has a variety to show for itself. I hope for your Counties sake the talks end up favorable as no one can afford to lose a vital Industry, Where I am now in Scranton PA up until the 60's the Railroad was the number one employer, it is gone now and except for a museum and tourist line little is left of the thousands of jobs that were here, the city itself is a shell of itself, than can hardly afford Police and fire protection, all this from what used to be the third largest city in the State. Be safe out there and keep up the great blog. Sam & Donna.

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

Your country and pictures are beautiful. Thanks for the comments on my blog. Merry Christmas