NZSPG - International 1 July 2017

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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 incentivise the production of foreign and domestic large budget films, television and other format productions in New Zealand in order to provide economic and industry development benefits to 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 can access a cash grant of 20% of QNZPE.  PDV Productions can access a grant of 20% of QNZPE up to QNZPE of $25 million, and 18% of QNZPE for QNZPE above $25 million. A smaller number of productions may be invited to apply for a 5% Uplift if it is anticipated that they will provide significant additional 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 Incentives, 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.  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:

  • services provided in New Zealand
  • the use of land located in New Zealand
  • goods purchased, hired or leased in New Zealand, provided they are sourced from within New Zealand
  • goods sourced from overseas, provided those goods are not otherwise available in New Zealand, are located in New Zealand during the making of the production and are purchased, hired or leased from a New Zealand Resident who typically supplies that type of good.

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 in total. Further details on exclusions to QNZPE are set out in the criteria.

Application Process

Registration

For planning purposes, all applicants must either register with the NZFC prior to the start of principal photography or apply for a provisional certificate. The registration form will be available for download soon.

Provisional Certification

If an applicant chooses not to register, they must apply for a provisional certificate before the start of production. A provisional certificate is not a guarantee that the production will receive final certification but it does indicate whether the production meets the relevant specific eligibility criteria or general eligibility criteria.
The provisional application process usually takes a minimum of eight weeks.  A provisional certificate will lapse after six months unless the production goes into principal photography within that time frame.

Final Certification

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 six 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 final 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 reports from the IRD and the independent consultant, 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.

Please see the Promotional Materials Schedule document at the bottom of the page regarding materials that must be provided by grant applicants when submitting a final application.

An application fee may be payable for making an application for the International Grant.

Further information

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

Application forms for productions applying under the 1 July 2017 criteria will be available soon. For queries, please email [email protected].