The 2017 Budget will see $303.9 million allocated to support the continuation of the New Zealand screen industry production grants, both at home and overseas, say Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry.
Included in this is $222 million over four years and $18 million in 2016/17 for the International Screen Production Grant to bring international screen productions to New Zealand.
Up to $63.9 million over four years remains available to ensure the domestic element of the grant continues.
“Our screen industry has a reputation for being one of the best in the world and this grant helps the industry compete internationally for a wide range of projects which bring jobs and economic opportunities to New Zealand,” says Minister Bridges.
“Since 2014, the grant has supported around 50 international productions. The industry now employs 14,000 people working in over 24,700 jobs or contracts. It has been a major contributor to the screen sector overall, drawing in $3.3 billion in annual revenue.
“Without the grant these international productions would not have located in New Zealand and much of the $3.3 billion would not have been spent here,” he explains.
Minister Bridges also says that there are bonus flow on effects for other industries like tourism and technology.
“Technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics originally developed for film are being used and adapted in other areas such as health bringing even more economic upsides,” he says.
“It also supports tourism with New Zealand recognised as a leading film tourism destination. 18 per cent of visitors say they chose to come here following the Hobbit Trilogy. Overall this additional funding enables an industry that’s world leading, promotes New Zealand internationally, and has many tangible economic benefits.”
Minister Barry says the Government has repeated its vocal support for the New Zealand screen industry by ensuring the domestic component of the grant continues for the next four years.
“The international and domestic screen grants are working hand in hand. The successful marketing of New Zealand as an international screen production destination is leading to increased production activity and improved business confidence within the domestic industry,” she says.
“The domestic screen grant has successfully supported 23 New Zealand productions since 2014, accounting for approximately $100 million spent in the local screen industry.
“The number of eligible films tripled when the NZSPG was introduced in 2014 with money spent locally on films such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Pork Pie and Chasing Great,” she continues.
A full evaluation of the both the International and the New Zealand screen grants will be completed this year.
“We want to make sure we have the right mix of incentives to support the industry while ensuring New Zealand gets maximum economic benefit from productions coming to New Zealand,” Mr Bridges says.