Dame Julie Christie buys majority stake in NHNZ

Award-winning film company NHNZ will stay in Dunedin, after confirmation late yesterday that it had a new majority shareholder.

Television producer Dame Julie Christie has bought a majority stake in NHNZ and will become chief executive officer.

Former owner, Canadian company Blue Ant Media, has retained a ‘‘significant’’ shareholding in the company, which will be rebranded NHNZ Worldwide, and have a seat on its board of directors.

The sale price for NHNZ was not disclosed.

The announcement brings some certainty to NHNZ staff, who the Otago Daily Times understands have been issued redundancy notices and asked to reapply for their jobs.

The announcement offered no details of how many staff will be retained by NHNZ Worldwide, but did state that the production company would remain in Dunedin.

"NHNZ has achieved a great deal of success and is celebrated as one of the most respected natural history and factual production houses in the world," Dame Julie said in a statement.

While best-known for her work in bringing reality TV shows to the screen, Dame Julie has far-ranging interests which include having produced three feature films and having governance roles in media, sport and economic development.

The NHNZ building in Melville St, its base since 2009, was sold to an undisclosed local company earlier this month.

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