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New Zealand P.M. Offers Gov’t Mediation of ‘The Hobbit’ Union Flap

John Key offers to step in if New Zealand production of ‘The Hobbit’ is threatened


New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has offered to have government officials mediate dispute between director-producer Peter Jackson and the union seeking to organize the production on “The Hobbit,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"I would be very, very concerned if (the production) moved offshore," Key said. "If you can't make 'The Hobbit' here, frankly, what movies are you going to make here?"

Jackson said late last week that he is considering moving the project from New Zealand to Eastern Europe to avoid the flap over the production’s status with the unions. A small New Zealand guild has the backing of SAG and other international unions who say “The Hobbit” employs nonunion workers in violation of their bylaws.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.