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Screen production initiative to enhance economy

Screen production initiative to enhance economy

As a long-standing supporter of the city and region’s screen production industry, Auckland City is pleased the country’s largest studio and sound stage has been given the green light as part of the Auckland screen production industry major regional initiative (MRI).

Waitakere City Council has partnered with the Tony Tay Group to develop a $7 million world class sound stage which will be built in Henderson. The facility is the largest of its kind in New Zealand and construction will begin later this year with completion in 2007.

In 2004, the Auckland screen production industry was granted $2 million by the Ministry of Economic Development and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for an MRI to develop significant infrastructure and a marketing and capability development programme.

Councillor Richard Northey, chairperson of the council’s Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee, says Auckland City is proud to support the MRI.

“This major regional initiative is a first for Auckland and provides an important economic driver for screen production in the Auckland region. We want Auckland to be a successful and creative international city and the screen production industry is a key part of our city and our future,” said Mr Northey.

“Auckland City worked closely and effectively with Film Auckland, Waitakere City Council, Enterprise Waitakere and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to develop the business case for the MRI application in 2004 so it is rewarding to see the sound stage and marketing elements coming to fruition.

“The activation of the screen production MRI is a great achievement for Auckland. It builds on the region’s investment in the sector and will deliver real value for Auckland, the screen production industry and New Zealand,“ said Mr Northey.

Film Auckland will undertake the marketing and capability building programme components of the MRI for the Auckland industry and aims to grow the industry through local and international marketing, increasing domestic and international activity and increasing training and networking.

Peter Parnham, chair of Film Auckland says, "Many key industry players have contributed to the vision for the screen production MRI, and now its realisation will lift the industry to the next level."

The economic impact report prepared for the Auckland Economic Regional Development Strategy (AREDS) projected that this MRI could see the Auckland region generating additional GDP of at least $32 million over the next five years and the addition of hundreds more jobs each year.

The creative industries and screen production have been identified as key growth industries with the potential to enable growth across other sectors of the economy.

Screen production is a high value industry relying on a combination of infrastructure, skilled personnel, industry capability, locations and a film-friendly environment to attract new investment at the international level to boost local industry.

Currently screen production in Auckland accounts for around two-thirds of all film industry activity in New Zealand. The region has a strong history of producing local dramas, television commercials, post and visual effects, as well as local and international television and film projects – such as Sione’s Wedding, the Hercules and Xena series and The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

The screen production (film and television) and radio sector is heavily concentrated in Auckland city with 87 per cent of regional and 48 per cent of national employment located in the city. 71 per cent of national television employment is located in Auckland city.


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