Issue date: 
Thursday, 9 December 2021

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga The New Zealand Film Commission, has welcomed the government’s continued commitment to the film and television industry.

The Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni and Minister of Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash have today announced a review of the way the government funds parts of the industry, specifically the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG), to ensure the screen sector has a more secure long-term future.

New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Chief Executive David Strong says the NZSPG, which is seen as an investment in both international and domestic screen productions, is vital to the New Zealand screen industry and has helped the country remain competitive on the world stage.

“The grant has enabled filmmakers to make incredible screen stories that Kiwis are proud of, like the hugely successful Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the recently released The Power of the Dog, and the internationally acclaimed pre-school animation series Kiri and Lou. It also attracts international productions like Sweet Tooth, Avatar and Cowboy Bebop.”

Strong says the screen industry contributes $3.3 billion dollars to the economy every year, employing around 16,000 people. “The investment frequently flows directly to wider industries, including hospitality, accommodation, transport, construction, innovation, tourism and education.”

Strong says while the review is underway all current funding agreements will continue and eligible international and domestic productions can still apply for funding under the current arrangements. The review will not include the role, function or operational funding of the Film Commission.

Film Commission Chair Dame Kerry Prendergast says the review is in line with our strategic direction. “We have already commissioned a report from Olsberg SPI which will lay out the economic value the screen industry offers to New Zealand. The Film Commission is looking forward to supporting the industry and government in creating a sustainable and thriving screen sector.” 

Prendergast says the government understands the significance of the NZSPG, both domestically and internationally, in assisting great screen productions to be made in New Zealand and it has assured the industry that investment won’t stop. “This is an opportunity to look at increasing the benefits for the investment.”

A public consultation document will be released, and the public will be invited to contribute during the second half of 2022 with a report back to cabinet by April 2023. Any changes will depend on the review findings and cabinet decisions.

Strong says this is a great opportunity for our screen sector and the public to help shape the future of our industry and directly input into decision making.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 21 December 2021