Back to top anchor
Menu Close

Talk to our film experts +64 4 382 7680


Screen Incentives

Back to content top anchor

The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) for International Productions is part of the New Zealand Government’s screen incentives scheme, which includes the Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Grant. Eligible productions can access a cash rebate on Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure (QNZPE).

The baseline International grant is 20% of QNZPE. For PDV productions, the grant is 20% of QNZPE up to NZ$25million, thereafter 18% of QNZPE NZ$25million and above. A small number of productions may be invited to apply for an additional 5% Uplift, if the production can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand.

The New Zealand Film Commission administers the NZSPG for International Productions on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

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. The purpose of the PDV Grant is to specifically foster capacity and new business development for large budget PDV Productions in New Zealand.

A domestic incentive is also available to New Zealand productions and Official Co-productions. Click here for more information.

Criteria

The current Criteria is dated 1 July 2017 (Updated 2019) and can be viewed online here with FAQs, or you can download PDF versions of both the Criteria and FAQs.

Effective Date

These criteria are effective from 1 December 2019.

Transitional Provisions

International Productions that start Principal Photography on or after 1 December 2019 will be assessed under these criteria, dated 1 July 2017 (Updated 2019).

International Productions that start Principal Photography before 1 December 2019 will be assessed under the previous version, dated 1 July 2017.  

Principal Photography is defined in Appendix 1 of the Criteria.

If you are unsure which criteria applies to your production, please contact nzspg@nzfilm.co.nz.

Eligible Formats

Feature films, television and other non-feature film formats are eligible. Productions applying for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant are also required to be an eligible format. See Section 2A of the Criteria for further information.

See Clauses 8 and 9 of the Criteria for full details on formats, including ineligible formats.

Expenditure Thresholds 

Format Minimum QNZPE
Feature NZ$15million
Television and other non-feature NZ$4million

Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant

NZ$500,000

General Eligibility Requirements

Special Purpose Vehicle

Applicants must be a special purpose vehicle set up solely to make the production in New Zealand, unless they fall within one of the exceptions set out in clause 12.2 of 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. 

Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure (QNZPE)

QNZPE is eligible spend incurred by the applicant on the production in New Zealand. In general, this means:

  • 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 also includes the 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, including exclusions to QNZPE, are set out in section 3 of the Criteria.

Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Grant

QNZPE for PDV Productions means QNZPE that is spent directly on or is necessarily related to PDV Activity in New Zealand. This includes:

  • the fees and expenses of personnel working on PDV Activity
  • the fire of studio and office space for PDV Activity
  • the purchase and hire of equipment used for PDV Activity
  • the depreciation of assets used for PDV Activity.

For a detailed list of PDV Activity please see Appendix 2 of the Criteria.

Application Process

Registration

To be eligible for the grant, all applicants must register with the Film Commission within the relevant timeframe:

  • For Live Action productions: before commencing Principal Photography in New Zealand.
  • For PDV Productions: within 20 working days of a “qualifying bid”* being accepted by the applicant; or
  • If a PDV Production does not initially meet the NZ$500,000 QNZPE threshold, it can be registered after PDV activity has commenced if registration takes place within 20 working days of a “qualifying bid” taking the QNZPE above the minimum expenditure threshold, being accepted by the applicant.

See Clause 26 of the Criteria for full details on registration.

Registration forms are available here.

Productions that do not register within the relevant timeframe will not be eligible for the NZSPG.

* a “qualifying bid” is a bid by a supplier to carry out PDV Activity that would result in the aggregate QNZPE for the production exceeding the NZ$500,000 threshold.

Provisional Certification

Once a production is registered, the production may apply for a Provisional Certificate, but this is not mandatory. A Provisional Certificate is not a guarantee that the production will receive Final certification, but it does indicate whether the production is likely to meet the eligibility criteria. Provisional application forms are available here and the process takes 6-8 weeks. Once issued, a Provisional Certificate will lapse after six months unless the production commences Principal Photography within that time.

Final Certification

Final applications can be made once all QNZPE on the production is paid, or each time the QNZPE reaches NZ$50million or more (this is an Interim application). Final application forms are available here.

Final applications must be made within six months from Completion of the production.

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

  • Ernst & Young
  • Price WaterhouseCoopers
  • Grant Thornton
  • KPMG

If you wish to use a different auditor, please email nzspg@nzfilm.co.nz for approval.

Final applications are sent to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for verification against the applicant’s tax records and to an Independent Consultant for assessment of QNZPE. The application is then presented to the NZSPG Panel for approval.

The Final application process takes up to three months. Once approved, payment is generally made within 10 business days once an invoice is submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

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

All applications should be submitted to nzspg@nzfilm.co.nz.

On-screen Credit, Logo and Promotional Materials

The completed production must include an on-screen end credit and New Zealand Film Commission logo. Unless otherwise agreed, the required credit text is:

“The filmmakers acknowledge the assistance of the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Grant”

Please email nzspg@nzfilm.co.nz to obtain the current Film Commission logo. Please note, unless otherwise agreed with the NZFC, the logo should only be used in conjunction with the end credit text.

Please see the Promotional Materials Schedule for information on required deliverables to be provided with your Final application.

Further information

If you have any further queries, please contact nzspg@nzfilm.co.nz or call the Incentives Executive on +64 4 382 7680.

  • NZSPG Criteria for International Productions

    dated 1 July 2017 (Updated 2019) These criteria are effective from 1 December 2019. You can view them online below or download a PDF here.

  • Accessing the 5% Uplift

    International productions which qualify for the International Grant and offer significant economic benefits to New Zealand may be invited to apply for the 5% Uplift. In addition to being invited to apply, to be eligible for the 5% Uplift, applicants must:

Last updated: 
Thursday, 31 October 2019

For more information about how New Zealand can work for your project, talk to our film experts:

ph: +64 4 382 7680 email: enquiries@nzfilm.co.nz