Polls shows we’re away with the fairies – or hobbits – if we don’t listen to Winston on this one

If it's a chunk of the profit you want - go away...

If it’s a chunk of the profit you want – go away…

Alf got huffy with The Hobbit bunch when they dropped him from the invitation list for the premiere screening.

As he confessed at the time (here), he is now taking a more jaundiced view of things.

His mates similarly were telling him they are just a tad sceptical, when they heard Sir Peter Jackson say there was a very real danger the Hobbit movies would be made outside New Zealand.

Accordingly, Alf finds himself doing the nigh-unpardonable and – brace for this, dear constituents – agreeing with Winston Peters.

A UMR Research paper released yesterday shows 70 per cent of New Zealanders believe Hollywood companies should pay back the $67 million Government subsidy to make The Hobbit.

Alf does not feel too badly out of whack with party feelings because the survey found 56 per cent of National voters were in favour of Hollywood fat cats repaying the subsidy.

Winston is making a meal of these results (see here).

Rt Hon Winston Peters says New Zealand First supports subsidies to give deserving Kiwi companies a helping hand – but US film studio Warner Brothers doesn’t fit that category.

“The Hobbit has made more than US$1 billion at the global box office. It will make much more when DVD royalties and film merchandise are taken into account.

“There is no reason why Warner Brothers needed the subsidy in the first place other than wanting to maximise its profits.

“But as they were given the subsidy by the Government they should do the right thing and hand it back.”

If they had done the right thing, of course, they would not have heavied the government for handouts in the first place.

The UMR Research poll found 42 percent of respondents believed the country got value for money from the films’ subsidies, while 38 percent disagreed.

A majority (55 percent) of those who thought taxpayers got value from subsidising the films were also in favour of repaying the subsidy, while 37 percent were opposed.

Dunno if Peter Jackson was called on to comment on the poll findings.

Maybe not. He would be busy somewhere, perhaps, counting his profits.

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