26 Nov 2012

Information on film worker decisions still withheld

3:23 pm on 26 November 2012

Just days before The Hobbit film has its premiere in Wellington, the Government is continuing to block attempts to release information about the concessions it made to ensure the movies were made in New Zealand.

Ministers refuse to make public a two-year-old Crown Law opinion they used to say it was illegal for actors to push for some form of bargaining on the movies.

The Office of the Ombudsman initially supported the Government's stance, prompting a challenge from Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly.

Ms Kelly said the opinion had been given to The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson and Warner Bros so should not be covered by legal privilege.

The Office of the Ombudsman wrote to Attorney-General Chris Finlayson about the matter in June.

He and fellow cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee delayed their response and won't meet Ombudsman David McGee until 5 December, five months after he wrote to Mr Finlayson.

The premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey takes place on 28 November.