NZSPG - International

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The International Grant aims to encourage large budget productions to film in New Zealand. 

The purpose of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) for international productions is to provide a financial incentive for the production of foreign and domestic large budget films, television and other format productions in New Zealand.  The International Grant includes the Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Grant scheme. The purpose of the PDV Grant is to specifically foster capacity and new business development for large budget PDV Productions in New Zealand.  

More detail on the PDV Grant is here.

International Productions may access a cash grant of 20% of QNZPE.  A smaller number of productions may be able to access a 5% Uplift if they can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand.  

We administer the International Grant on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  This grant replaces the Large Budget Screen Production Grant (LBSPG).  

If you have any questions about specific projects or the previous LBSPG please contact [email protected] or call the Incentives Executive on +64 4 382 7680. 

For full details please read the NZSPG Criteria for International Productions available at the bottom of this page or click here to read them online with FAQs.  A summary of eligibility is set out below.   

Specific Eligibility Criteria

Format

Feature films, television and other non-feature film formats are eligible. 

Expenditure threshold

Feature films must incur NZ$15 million or more QNZPE.  Television and other non-feature film formats must incur NZ$4 million or more QNZPE.  PDV Production must incur NZ$500,000 or more QNZPE.  

Productions can be bundled together to meet the threshold provided each production has QNZPE of NZ$3 million or more and the total bundle has QNZPE of NZ$30 million or more.  Please see the criteria for more detail on bundling.  

General Eligibility Criteria

Special Purpose Vehicle

Applicants must be a special purpose vehicle set up solely to make the production, unless they fall within one of the exceptions set out in the criteria. 

Residency Status 

The applicant must be a New Zealand resident company or partnership, or a foreign corporation with a fixed establishment in New Zealand for tax purposes. 

Responsible Entity

The applicant for the grant must be the entity responsible for all activities in making the production in New Zealand. 

Other Grants and New Zealand Incentives

A production cannot receive an International Grant and a New Zealand Grant or any other New Zealand government film finance or tax incentive in relation to the production.  

QNZPE

QNZPE is generally production expenditure spent by the applicant on:

  • goods and services provided in New Zealand
  • the use of land located in New Zealand
  • the use of a good that is located in New Zealand at the time that the good is used in the making of the screen production

QNZPE includes fees and expenses of non-New Zealanders who work on the production in New Zealand, provided (in the case of non-cast members) they work on the production for at least 14 days. Further details on exclusions to QNZPE are set out in the criteria.

Notification

For planning purposes applicants should provide advance notice by email to n[email protected] of their intention to apply for a grant and, if shooting is to occur in New Zealand, the estimated shoot dates. 

Please see the Promotional Materials Schedule document at the bottom of the page regarding materials that should be provided by grant applicants.

Application process

Applications for the grant can be made once all QNZPE on the production is paid or each time the QNZPE reaches NZ$50 million or more (this is an interim application).

Applications must be made within three months from completion of the production.

Applications must include an independent auditor’s report from one of the following approved auditors:

  • Ernst & Young
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • Grant Thornton
  • KPMG

If you wish to use a different auditor, please email [email protected] for approval.

All applications should be made on the NZSPG application form for International Productions.

We will send a copy of each application to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for verification against the applicant’s tax records and to an independent consultant for assessment.

Once we have received the IRDs and the independent consultant’s report, we will submit applications to the NZSPG Panel for approval. 

The application process usually takes three months and payment usually takes 10 business days from approval.

Provisional Assessment

Applicants may seek provisional assessment for a NZSPG or a PDV Grant from us by submitting a Provisional Assessment Application.  We aim to process Provisional Assessment Applications within a minimum of eight weeks.  

We highly recommend that applicants for television and other non-feature film formats and applicants for the 5% Uplift seek provisional assessment.   

Further information

Please refer to the NZSPG Criteria for International Productions for detailed information about the NZSPG scheme. 

Completed Application Forms and any queries about this process should be sent to n[email protected].  If you would like to make a interim application for a production on which principal photography commences after 1 August 2015, please email n[email protected].

If you are making a final application for a production whose principal photography commenced before 1 August 2015, the form is below. Completed application forms and any queries about this process should be sent to n[email protected].

Some of the productions which received rebates through the Large Budget Screen Production Grant (LBSPG) are listed below.  The LBSPG preceded the NZSPG – International.

Feature films: King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Water Horse, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, Emperor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Evil Dead, The Hobbit

Television series: Power Rangers, The Legend of the Seeker, Spartacus

A full list of all productions that received the LBSPG up until 31 December 2014 together with the qualifying spend and grant is available as a download below.