From late night on Monday April 4th the full Judges’ Report will be available at www.cafca.org.nz, (follow the Roger Award links from the Homepage) and on the Watchblog .
Finalists: BUPA, Imperial Tobacco Telecom, Vodafone, Warner Brothers and Westpac. The Government (specifically John Key) was the only finalist for the Accomplice Award – (as part of the nomination of Warner Brothers). Criteria: the transnational (a corporation which is 25% or more foreign-owned) which is worst in each or all of the following: Economic Dominance -Monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism. People - Unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, women, children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public, cultural imperialism. Environment - Environmental damage, abuse of animals. Political interference - Cultural imperialism, running an ideological crusade. Judges: Paul Corliss, from Christchurch, a life member of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union; Christine Dann, from Banks Peninsula, a writer and researcher; Sue Bradford, from Auckland, a community activist and former Green MP; Joce Jesson, a Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland and an activist in various community organisations; and Wayne Hope, Associate Professor, Communications Studies, Auckland University of Technology. The winner was announced at an event in Auckland on April 4th.
Warner Brothers was a first time nominee. The Judges’ Statement says that: ''The ‘Hobbit’ affair was an extraordinary example of transnational capital interfering in local politics, and overtly influencing the actions of the NZ Government (which richly deserves its Accomplice Award). It was an overt display of bullying that humiliated every New Zealander, and deliberately set out to do that… such interference in New Zealand politics sets a precedent for all future negotiations between the New Zealand government and transnational corporations”. It won because of its interference in NZ politics and governance and treatment of employees and contractors.
BUPA (which is the second biggest retirement home chain in NZ) came second “primarily because of its poor treatment of both its staff and its clients” (one of whom, a 100 year old woman, died after suffereing considerably for several months from misdiagnosed and untreated scabies). Imperial Tobacco came third, not only for selling a product which kills and addicts its users, but because of its role in setting up a fake citizens’ organisation to lobby for its product, a tactic which the judges described as “despicable and deceitful”.
John Key and his Government won the Accomplice Award for their ignoble role in the whole Warner Brothers/”Hobbit” affair. “It has apparently given rise to a whole new men’s fashion garment in Hollywood – Warners of Wellington trousers. They have an arrow printed on the seat, and the words ‘kiss here’”.
The judges announced a special Quisling Award for Sir Peter Jackson (to be awarded to the individual New Zealander who does the most to facilitate foreign control of New Zealand), once again for his role in the Warner Brothers/”Hobbit” affair. “Sir Peter Jackson – you are fully worthy of joining that other blackened knight, that other exemplar in selling out your country to foreign corporations, the one for whom this award is named – Sir Roger Douglas”. So, a triple sweep for the movie industry – the Roger, the Accomplice and the Quisling. Says it all really, doesn’t it.