$73.4m fund for TV and movies

New Zealand's screen industry contributes about $3.3 billion to GDP, and employs 16,200 people....
New Zealand's screen industry contributes about $3.3 billion to GDP, and employs 16,200 people. Photo: Getty Images
The Government has unveiled its screen sector recovery package to protect jobs and investment in New Zealand productions in the wake of Covid-19.

That includes a $73.4 million Screen Production Fund, $50 million of which will be used to produce up to five feature films or limited series screen productions.

The other $23.4 million will be distributed through NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission to provide funding for the additional costs incurred by screen productions that have been shut down, delayed or constrained by Covid-19 restrictions.

Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the Screen Production Fund would ensure more than 230 productions that employed thousands of New Zealanders were not abandoned due to additional costs.

The screen industry contributes about $3.3 billion to gross domestic product, and employs 16,200 people.

This year’s Budget earmarked $140 million to cover New Zealand’s ongoing commitments under the New Zealand Screen Production Grant for International Productions.

That includes $25 million of funds that will be reallocated towards New Zealand feature films.

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said New Zealand’s quick response to Covid-19 had given the country a competitive advantage.

‘‘The Government’s proactive response to Covid-19 means not only is it safe to resume screen production, [but] sooner than our international competitors,’’ he said.

Mr Twyford said New Zealand continued to attract a number of international screen projects, including the Avatar sequels, and Amazon’s TV series based on The Lord of the Rings.

‘‘Beyond these large projects, we are also pleased to be attracting a range of other international productions and interest in

New Zealand as a screen production location remains very strong,’’ he said.

Another $25 million would also be spent over four years to NZ On Air to make sure diverse audiences could get the information they needed.

Broadcasting Minister Kris Fa’afoi said the cultural sector was hit hard by the impacts of Covid-19 and that experience had reinforced that vital information such as health messages needed to be easily available to everyone.

‘‘Many media have had a significant increase in audience numbers during Covid-19, which highlighted the crucial role our media play in connecting people with information.

‘‘At the same time our media, which has been grappling with financial challenges for some years, is now experiencing a further dramatic drop in advertising revenue since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,’’ he said. 

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter