Monday 27 February 2023

A case for Film Commission funding

Film subsidies aimed at boosting economic activity are a mistake. That stuff just doesn't work.

But if you're trying to subsidise more stories and content about a small country at the far end of the world, well, they can be effective for that.

And I have a proposal for one. 

A decade ago, Henderson's fight with IRD, which eventually saw him win and buy the building that IRD leased, was turned into a movie. With some help from the Film Commission. If you haven't seen it, it's great fun.

A digger driver owed $6 million by his local council after an epic 18-year fight for justice has asked the High Court to sell the local authority’s offices after it missed a critical deadline for paying the court-ordered sum.

Read the whole thing. It's great! Or, rather, horrible. 

Daisley explained: “The deal was, I take the charging order off if they pay the money. They paid a portion of what’s owed. They reneged on the payment, so the charging order stayed.”

Daisley - who has previously described the council as “absolute low-life mongrel bastards” - said his lawyers had now asked the High Court to act on the charging order and to sell the council headquarters.

Where did it all start? Council lied to Daisley repeatedly about the consent on his site for quarrying. He wound up having to sell the site.  

Daisley and the council’s dispute goes back to 2004, when he bought a property in rural Northland on which there was a working quarry that had been mined for decades.

Early the next year, Daisley was hit with an order from the council to stop quarrying without a resource consent - an order that was followed by other abatement notices, rejection of his application for a resource consent and then, in 2009, enforcement proceedings in the Environment Court.

His inability to work the quarry and deal with enforcement action led to financial difficulties, forcing him to sell the land.

Then, in 2009, a lawyer hired to defend the enforcement action visited the council offices and carried out an archive search of the property record, revealing a consent from the 1980s that was still valid and did not limit what could be taken from the quarry.

Justice Kit Toogood KC, who heard the case, found that every time Daisley asked the council about “the existence of a resource consent, the council denied that a resource consent existed and insisted that Mr Daisley’s quarrying was unlawful”.

Daisley told the Herald the discovery didn’t end his problems - in May 2011, the new owner was granted permission to mine the quarry, even though the council persisted with its enforcement action against him until July 2011.

Toogood found in Daisley’s favour and ruled that the council was “guilty of misfeasance in public office through recklessly misinforming Mr Daisley and others about the existence of the consent and in failing to take steps to make amends after the consent was found”.

It sounds like small town nonsense where Council just hated Daisley and wanted someone else running the site. I hope that Damien Grant gets appointed liquidator of Council assets so that Daisley can get his due. It would make a wonderful movie.  

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