8 Feb 2013

Releasing Hobbit info could affect other films: New Line

7:54 pm on 8 February 2013

New Line Cinema says disclosing more information about the Hobbit contracts dispute could jeopardise the chances of films being made here in future.

The pay dispute between New Line Cinema and WingNut Films and the Actors Equity union over work arrangements for the Hobbit films prompted the Government to change labour laws in 2010.

In papers from the Ombudsman, New Line Productions says for motion picture studios to disclose negotiations, offers from third-parties such as governments and other private information could damage business relationships.

Peter Jackson's WingNut Films agreed, saying the disclosure of WingNut information to a wider audience would unreasonably prejudice its commercial position both locally and internationally.

WingNut says if information is released it won't be prepared to provide such candid advice to the government again.

The Council of Trade Unions says New Line's warnings should not be taken seriously.

President Helen Kelly says New Line is just blowing hot air with its threats.

"We've actually got to at some point call their bluff and say come on, play fair, and actually New Zealand law trumps you."