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Screen production industry told to “go global”

11 March 2003

Screen production industry told to “go global”

The time has never been better for the New Zealand Screen Production Industry to go global, said Julie Christie, chair of the Screen Production Industry Taskforce, at today’s launch of the Taskforce’s report, “Taking on the world”.

“Our report has laid the foundations for breaking the cycle of dependence on Government funding and for a more focused and collaborative approach to lifting the economic growth of the New Zealand Screen Production Industry.

“This growth must be market led and based on entrepreneurship, independence and innovation. Private investment and the international market place are the only real sources of substantial increases in income.

“The Taskforce believes that reliance on public funding is constraining our industry, both financially and culturally. “

Mrs Christie said that the Taskforce members, by agreeing to take part, had all bought into the idea of a more focused and collaborative approach to the growth of the Screen Production Industry that did not involve increasing dependence on government funding.

For the past 10 months, the Taskforce which includes representatives of businesses from the feature films, television, commercials and post-production sectors has been working together to produce a growth strategy for the Screen Production Industry.

The Taskforce’s appointment by the Government arises from a change in Government thinking regarding the Screen Production Industry – it now considers the industry to be an economic force in its own right.

The Taskforce was charged with addressing key issues that impede commercial growth, setting goals and devising a growth strategy for the industry, all with a focus on increasing foreign exchange earnings.

Mrs Christie said the Taskforce was seeking industry support for the growth targets contained in the report, as well as its growth strategy. It had already consulted with members of the industry while preparing the report.
Members of the Screen Production Industry, and other interested parties, are invited to respond to the report by April 22. Responses will be collated by Industry New Zealand for the taskforce and the Government.
The report was formally presented to the Government at today’s launch.
The Taskforce envisages a Screen Production Industry with sustainable annual foreign exchange earnings doubling to $400 million within five years and an environment in which at least 10 companies achieve annual turnover of more than $50 million and another 20 achieving $10 million.

The Taskforce’s key recommendations are:

- The establishment of a Screen Council to provide advice to Government; a leadership voice for the industry; and to oversee the implementation of the strategies outlined in the Report
- A review of the relevant legislation and roles of industry players and government agencies in the exploitation of intellectual property rights in productions
- An investigation into the removal of the right to recoupment on investment in Ministry for Culture and Heritage-funded projects with primarily a cultural imperative
- The introduction of incentives to stimulate and encourage private investment in our industry
- That foreign productions are required to use and develop New Zealand’s capability and infrastructure as a pre-requisite for any future government incentives
- The creation of a clear, stable and responsive taxation regime
- The formation of a Screenmark Federation to oversee industry training and upskilling.

More information on the taskforce, and copies of the taskforce report, can be downloaded from the industry taskforces website –

The Screen Production Industry Taskforce
Chair Julie Christie, Founder, Touchdown Television

Members John Barnett, Managing Director, South Pacific Pictures
Grant Bradley, Founder, Daybreak Pacific
Geoff Dixon, Founder, Silverscreen/Oktobor
Ian Fraser, CEO, TVNZ
Rick Friesen, Managing Director, TV3
Nigel Hutchinson, Founder, Motion Pictures
Robin Laing, Co-Founder, Preston Laing Production
Di Rowan, Founder, Diana Rowan Casting
Don Selwyn, Founder, He Taonga Films
Jeremy Speight, Director of Finance, Cloud 9
Michael Stedman, Managing Director, Natural History NZ Ltd
Richard Taylor, Co-Founder, Weta
Sue Thompson, CEO, The Film Unit Ltd

Taskforce convened by Hon Jim Anderton, Minister for Industry and Regional Development

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