| New Zealand News | Friday April 27 2012 9:30
A revelation the Hobbit stoush was done and dusted before the Government changed employment laws.
Changes were pushed through under urgency in October 2010.
National claimed they were needed to appease Warner Brothers, amid fears a dispute with actors could force the Hollywood studio to make the films elsewhere.
However papers released under the Official Information Act show actors reached an agreement before those changes were made, and Minister Gerry Brownlee knew that.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly says it's obvious the motivation for changing the law wasn't fear of losing the movies.
"To find out over a year later that for example, New Zealand jobs were not being protected and that's effectively what the immigration stuff does, it's a very serious issue and they should explain why they've agreed to do that."
Acting groups have spoken out against the governments dealings over The Hobbit stoush.
Actors Equity Organiser, Anna Majavu says it's clear a back room deal was done.
"This is a bit worrying, reflects the lack of transparency on the part of Government and we agree with the NZCTU that the notes show clearly that the government used the Hobbit dispute as an excuse to change the immigration laws."
But the Prime Minister has no doubts about the law changes made to ensure The Hobbit was made in New Zealand.
John Key says it wasn't about special treatment, but the industry getting what it wanted.
"I for one, think we made absolutely the right call. When the premier is held in New Zealand, and when the movies are a worldwide success promoting this country, I suspect even the strongest opponents will quietly have to go away to the sanctity of their own homes, and admit we were right."