Key's film jobs being filled by migrants

Mr Key meets Body of Proof cast members Dana Delany and Jeri Ryan at ABC Studios
The prime minister with Disney CEO Bob Iger
Mr Key with Titanic producer Jon Landau (left) and James Cameron
With Simon Baker, star of Warner Bros series The Mentalist
Mr Key and Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Michael Lynton
Meeting some of Sony's 3500 staff (click any photo to zoom)

Overseas film making crew were pouring into New Zealand while the prime minister was in Los Angeles claiming Hollywood investment in New Zealand creates jobs.

Speaking on TV3’s The Nation programme at the weekend, Wellington city councillor Jo Coughlan and  NZCTU president Helen Kelly agreed 400 overseas technicians had recently applied for visas to work at the Weta post production facility in the capital.

“Yeah, we don’t object at all to the prime minister going to Hollywood and talking about bringing films here, and the industry that it's creating is obviously very exciting, there's nothing that we object to in that model,” the union leader said.

“What we object to is some of the things that have run alongside that, like, for example, very free immigration laws which have now changed.

“We've just seen Weta apply to bring 400 foreign workers in to do some core jobs in the industry that they should be training and giving to New Zealanders.”

But Ms Coughlan said it was  people coming in to upskill Kiwis across the board.

“The spinoff of these innovative creative people who come into our city, what's  happening is they're up skilling the people in our economy so that we're actually growing the whole pie.

"And, in fact, we're basically creating a whole new industry of innovation and creative jobs,” she said. “It's incredible.”

Ms Kelly also claimed Hollywood producers might seek more concessions from the New Zealand government under the proposed  Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

“What's at stake here, for example, is there may be very much restricted use of the internet as these Hollywood producers try to protect their intellectual property,” she said.

“We've already seen that the interests of some of large corporates are not the same as New Zealand citizens, and they have to be balanced.”

Long-time anti TPP campaigner and University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey was critical of the secrecy surrounding the TPP proposal.

“What we're seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood,” she said.

But TPP proponent and executive director of the US-NZ Council, Stephen Jacobi, suggested that Professor Kelsey’s concerns might be misplaced.

“Just because the Americans are advancing certain matters in the context of the negotiation doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be accepted,” he said.

“I'm quite sure New Zealand will be able to maintain things that it agrees or believes need to be maintained in the course of this negotiation.”

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9 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

How many days has this guy spent overseas hobnobbing with celebrities and power brokers since he became Prime Minister? Is there any substance to this man? He seems to be a complete flake and a fake.


A decent Opposition would have Key under the gun. But there isn't one, so he exists by default.


Go the immigrants, at least they are prepared to give a good days work for a good days pay.


Immigrants such as Mr Dotcom?


You mate, are a troll.


Helen Kelly doesn't seem to realise that she is the problem. If it was a free market, obviously New Zealanders would get the jobs because the cost of bringing in people and housing them must be significant would not be entertained lightly by the film industry.


It is a free market, there are no legal impediments to bringing in everyone involved in film, tv, etc and that is exactly what is happening. It's not about the money, the offshore companies want to work with their own people so they bring them in. No locals are hired in positions of responsibility so there is no upskilling. It's very sad as the foreigners get the best of NZ but we are left with nothing tangible to help our industry grow other than the rental fees on cars, hotels and the restaurant takings.


Most of these crews are unable to get work in the US because they refuse to join or are black listed by the technical unions in the USA.
These guys would be considered scabs in the USA and we're allowing them in to work ehre whiel our techincians all have to work in other industries to survive.


Key is such a brown noser,seems this trip is just a photo opportunity for his scrapbook,look at me with......Meanwhile signing away more New Zealand laws and rights.


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