Prime Minister ducks questions in parliament

It used to be that Helen Clark was in-vulerable in parliament. That is the case no more. Rather than face questions she hurries her way out and leaves the Minister for Responsible for Carrying the Can to answer the questions. She of course was slaughtered by Chris Finlayson.

[quote]11. CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (National) to the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage: Does she stand by the Prime Minister?s statement that the Government ?is honouring another election promise to examine international developments relating to resale royalties for artists and their possible application to New Zealand??

Hon JUDITH TIZARD (Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage): As the joint issuer of that statement and on behalf of the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, yes, in 2005 the Labour Party, as part of its arts, culture, and heritage election manifesto, stated that it would examine developments internationally relating to resale royalties for visual artists and their possible application to New Zealand. Two weeks ago, on 16 April, the Government released a discussion paper inviting feedback on options for a resale royalty right. Submissions on this discussion paper close on 22 June and these submissions will assist the Government?s consideration of a possible resale royalty right scheme for visual artists.

Christopher Finlayson: Can the Minister tell the House whether royalties will be paid to the person who painted the artwork or the person who signed the artwork?

Hon JUDITH TIZARD: I suggest to all members interested in this issue that they look at the discussion paper and have a submission in by 22 June, when the Government will consider the matter.

Peter Brown: On a little bit more serious note, is the Minister aware that many New Zealanders are of the belief that when a homeowner sells a painting to another homeowner a royalty will have to be paid; and, if this is the case, will the Minister explain how it will be policed and by whom?

Hon JUDITH TIZARD: I suggest to all members that they read the discussion paper. The issue about whether private sales are dealt with is covered there. The issue remains that when a painting is sold commercially, the dealer gallery gets a cut, the auctioneer gets a cut, and there is a practice in over 50 countries around the world that the artist?s copyright is also recognised. It is more a royalty and intellectual property right than a commission.

Christopher Finlayson: Has the Minister received any advice from Crown Law on what criminal offence would be committed by someone obtaining monetary reward from resale royalties in circumstances where that person had signed an artwork she did not create?

Madam SPEAKER: I think that is fairly broad of the general question, but I call the Minister.

Hon JUDITH TIZARD: No, and particularly when no money was sought by anyone signing a particular work, of course no royalty would apply.

Christopher Finlayson: If it transpires that an artist?s works are devoid of any artistic merit so that they end up being resold for a pittance?or indeed are valueless?would the artist be required to pay compensation under a resale royalty scheme?

Hon JUDITH TIZARD: I am very concerned that a speaker who claims to be interested in the arts is trivialising an important intellectual property debate. All I would say is that I would rather trust the Prime Minister?s artistic taste than that of most members of the National Party.[/quote]

Sheez aren't they just a tad sensitive about painting and artwork?