The Hobbit – $200million in corporate welfare



I don’t begrudge the cash stumped up to help make the Hobbit trilogy. It’s nice to have NZ actors on screen, the booootiful scenery  and all those design geeks getting employment. Who doesn’t want that? Chuck in a few academy awards, Peter Jackson able to afford a private jet and Wellington feeling self important and the $200million in  taxpayer subsidies seems like a steal doesn’t it?

What I detest is the $32.5million we had to give Warner Bros while changing our employment law to give them that $200million. Allowing Key to manufacture a crisis with The Hobbit so he could bash the Unions and blame them seems like one hell of a cost for 3 mediocre films.

When Key blamed the Unions, he had no choice but to hand over more money to Warner Bros when they came to town. So much for his great deal making skills, by putting so much political stock into bashing the Unions he effectively told Warner Bros to name their price.

Still, Wellington got to feel special, and that’s what matters eh?

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I wonder if the Warner Bros Executives laughed and called us Shire Folk when they flew back to Hollywood on their corporate jet as they popped the champagne bottles.



  1. – Hey, Chuck, Al, Gino and Benjy. This Hobbit thing’s a flier yeah. Doze kiwis need some Hollywood schmooze.
    – What’re ya thinking boss?
    – I see a little plane trip – and you boys give them an offer they can’t refuse. To get 30 really big ones we gotta get 6 million shmucks into the theatre – advertising, royalties, distribution, yadda yadda. Then there’s the easy way – dangle the big carrot and threaten to take it away.
    – So we get the announcements out, leak to the press that the Hobbit’s coming to town, big for jobs, the economy set up the big expectation, make the politicians look good.
    – That’s my boy.
    – Then having crowed about how they generated this wealth they can’t disappoint. But, we then make like sorry fellas there’s a coupla key conditions. “Key” conditions – do ya like that? I got a million of ’em.
    – OK shaddup already and get on that plane.

  2. Something doesn’t add up about the Hobbit scenario. You’re on the money, Martyn, it’s NZ actors, technicians, extras(I heard they worked for nothing, not sure if that’s true),and taxpayers who have subsidised Warner Bros.

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