26 Sep 2011

Law professor compares controversial Fiji law decree with New Zealand's Hobbit law

5:49 pm on 26 September 2011

An employment law expert at the University of Auckland, Bill Hodge, doesn't discount private interests being responsible for Fiji's new Essential National Industries Decree.

The management of Air Pacific has been accused of helping finance the controversial law, which has been roundly condemned by labour and human rights organisations.

Dr Hodge says an employment law change came about in New Zealand because of pressure from the United States film giant Warner Brothers over the filming of The Hobbit.

"We've had the Hobbit Amendment. I think I can say firmly that it wasn't drafted in Hollywood and it wasn't drafted by American lawyers but the pressure clearly came from offshore and I think New Zealanders reacted with some indignation. It's an uncomfortable situation. I think New Zealand is big enough to take it on board whereas (in) Fiji, given it's dictatorial military approach, it's even more insidious."

Employment law expert Bill Hodge.