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NZ film industry is set to receive a major boost

Media Release

26 May 2005

Major Boost for Film

The New Zealand film industry is set to receive a major boost.

At a meeting last night the Waitakere City Council agreed to enter into a joint venture to develop a major new film studio in Henderson, using private sector investment funds. The new $7 million studio will be built on vacant land at the existing Henderson Valley Studios, which the Council purchased in 2002.

The Council will sell the current studio complex for $6 million to a joint venture company, which it takes a 40% investment in. The company will then be responsible for raising the funds in order for the development to proceed. The Council will also own 40% of the management company that will run the studio complex.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has approved a $1 million grant towards the costs of the new studio (also subject to confirmation of the private sector investment), as part of a Major Regional Initiative through the industry body, Film Auckland.

Plans see work on the new studio- which at around 2000 square metres will be one of the largest in the country- begin at the end of the year be completed by June 2006.

Waitakere has a long record as a film and television production base. The industry is estimated to inject $64 million dollars into the local economy annually. Mayor Bob Harvey says the industry is one of the largest employers in the city and the new facility will enable more national and international productions to be based in the Auckland region.

“Not only will this bring jobs and economic benefit to this city and the region, but it means we will be able to attract truly international productions,” says Mayor Bob Harvey. “It cements Waitakere’s position as the Hollywood of the South Pacific. Recently the multi-million dollar The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Disney) was shot almost entirely in the city. State of the art new studios and sound stages mean we will be able to attract more projects like that.”

--ends—

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