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Creative Industries add $3.5 billion to NZ’s GDP

Media release
10 July, 2014

Report: Creative Industries add $3.5 billion to NZ’s GDP formed to champion creative industries

A new report shows the books, music, television and film sectors of New Zealand’s creative industries annually contribute more than $3.5 billion to the local economy.

By comparison, these components of the creative industries are similar in size to the forestry sector, double the size of the printing sector, and half the size of sheep, beef cattle and grain farming[1].

The four creative sectors also support the full-time employment of up to 15,000 authors, publishers, musicians, actors and writers directly. The figure rises to more than 30,000 once other suppliers and associated businesses within the industries are counted.
The figures come from a report prepared by PwC for on the impacts of music, book publishing and film and television. The report summarises the findings of individual studies conducted by each sector and is based on the latest industry data available for each[2]. officially launches today (10 July) and is an alliance of 20 members of the creative industries in New Zealand formed to represent, champion and foster the sector.

Sectors represented include television, film, books, music, games, photography and visual arts. Foundation members include Recorded Music NZ, Copyright Licensing NZ, The NZ Screen Association, the Publishers Association of NZ (PANZ), the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Artists Alliance.

Chair of Paula Browning says it’s the first time such a report has been prepared from within the industry.

“This is the first time we have been able to truly demonstrate the real value New Zealand’s creators deliver to our economy. Based on four areas alone, we can already see the creative sector is thriving.

“We are currently working with the games, art and photography industries to incorporate their data in future versions of the report, and we anticipate design and others will follow. The aim is to consolidate industry information into an annual report on the economic contribution of New Zealand’s creative sector and acknowledge the thousands of people employed within it,” Browning says.

The report says books, music, television and film industries have a direct impact on New Zealand GDP of $1.642 billion, rising to $3.597 billion in total when indirect impacts[3] are considered. New Zealand’s total GDP across all industries is around US$182.6 billion (NZ$209 billion)[4].

Likewise, books, music, television and film industries directly provide 14,918 full time equivalent jobs rising to 30,599 when indirect impacts are considered. New Zealand’s total employed workforce is 2.3 million[5].

Figures from the PwC report reveal:
• Book publishing provides a total 5,160 full time equivalent jobs (2,940 direct) and has a total impact on GDP of $382 million ($160 million direct)[6].
• The music industry provides a total 4,077 full time equivalent jobs (1,670 direct) and has a total impact on GDP of $452 million ($205 million direct)[7].
• Film and television provides a total 21,315 full time equivalent jobs (10,284 direct) and has a total impact on GDP of $2,781 million ($1,282 million direct)[8]. The sector delivers a total impact of $1,376 million in terms of labour income.

Browning says’s vision is to be the eco-system of the nation’s creative world.

“We are as passionate about our eco-system as environmentalists are about protecting our forests and coastlines. Our aim is to ensure our sons and daughters can have an opportunity to work in vibrant creative industries, while all New Zealanders – and the rest of the world - can look, listen, read, play, engage with and enjoy the country’s dynamic creative output.

“It is our job to ensure the authors, publishers, musicians, writers and all creative people get a return on their investment in their own talents,” she says.

Chairman of South Pacific Pictures John Barnett says PwC's report highlights the significant contribution of the local creative sector to New Zealand's economic well-being.

“ gives a voice to the creative industry to ensure that government, media and New Zealanders at large are kept aware of the value of this sector in terms of local employment and its contribution to making New Zealand a better place."

Head of Recorded Music NZ Damian Vaughan says delivers success by investing in the industry so creators have a local platform to represent them.

“We have come together to create a unified voice whose whole is much greater than its parts to ensure the industry remains robust and gets the support it needs to continue its very substantial contribution to the New Zealand economy.”

Kevin Chapman, the former President of PANZ and now director of Upstart Press says the development of the country’s creative talent helps build not only economic benefits but also national pride and identity.

“The future Janet Frames and Eleanor Cattons of New Zealand literature can only star on the world stage if we ensure they have the ways and means to benefit from their creativity. That is the mandate we are embracing through,” Chapman says.

Note: A copy of the PwC report “Employment and National GDP impacts of music, publishing and film and television in New Zealand” can be found at Separate full reports are also available on the same site.


[1] Source: Statistics NZ, Downloads >> National Accounts (Industry Benchmarks): Year ended March 2011 – GDP breakdown tablesavailable at
[2] Music industry: 2013 data; books: 2012 data; television and film: 2011 data.
[3] Including suppliers to the industry and the impact of people in the industry's spending in other industries.
[4] Source:
[5] Source:
[6] 2012 year
[7] 2013 year
[8] 2011 year

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