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Tizard Speech: Lasting Effects Of The LOTR Project

23 April 2002 Speech

The Lasting Effects Of The Lord Of The Rings Project

Release of NZ Film Commission scoping study by NZ Institute of Economic Research into lasting effects of The Lord of the Rings project

23 April 2002, 5.00pm New Zealand Film Commission, Wellington

Kia ora koutou.

Alan Sorrell, Chair of the NZ Film Commission ¡V thank you.

Ruth Harley, Chief Executive of the NZ Film Commission
Barrie Osborne from The Lord of the Rings (and other colleagues)

On behalf of my colleagues, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark, and Pete Hodgson ¡V the Minister in charge of the government¡¦s Lord of the Rings projects, thank you for the opportunity to launch this important report into the unique and lasting benefits of The Lord of the Rings.

I¡¦m delighted to be launching this report from the New Zealand Institue of Economic Research because it contains so much encouraging information about the extraordinary growth of the New Zealand film industry in recent years.

It contains impressive figures about the expenditure in New Zealand by the production of The Lord of the Rings, with impressive economic benefits.

It contains impressive figures about the numbers of New Zealanders who have benefited from work and contracts linked to The Lord of the Rings.

Peak period employment during the production reached 1500 people per week. Post-production continues to involve 350 people.

5000 New Zealand vendors were used in fields ranging from digital effects, catering, transport, telecommunications and construction.

And post-production spending will continue to inject very large amounts into the New Zealand economy.

But even more importantly,
The report tells how Peter Jackson¡¦s unprecedented New Zealand production will bring long-term, lasting effects to New Zealand, because:

„h It has upskilled our screen production industry
„h It has raised the international profile of our film production and post-production industry
„h It has established a foundation of creative entrepreneurship in our film industry
„h It has changed attitudes to what can be done in New Zealand
„h It has broadened the film-related infrastructure
„h And it has enhanced Brand New Zealand and our international tourism image

„h It has also helped develop and expand spinoff industries including miniatures, merchandising, digital effects and special effects.

The report provides scenarios for possible future development of the film industry over the next ten years. All three scenarios are really exciting for New Zealand.

All three scenarios show a unique footprint which will have a lasting effect on New Zealand¡¦s film industry and its people.

- The Importance of film to New Zealand's culture & economy -

World wide, the cultural and heritage sectors are among the key growth areas for the 21st century. We must have an environment in which New Zealanders can express themselves and pursue satisfying careers in film, theatre, broadcasting.

I see film as important for New Zealand not just culturally, but also economically. The Lord of the Rings has proven that and this report confirms it.

Film is one of the key cultural industries ¡V as is music ¡Vthat is being looked at by the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry New Zealand, with a view to developing strategies to generate further growth.

Meanwhile in our Cultural Recovery Package of May 2000 we committed ourselves to realising the potential of New Zealand film by our investment in the Film Production Fund.

The first film from that fund ¡V Whale Rider ¡V has completed shooting, and the second is soon to be announced.

The Film Commission has a similar commitment to New Zealand culture.

Its strategy to continually reinvigorate the talent base of all those involved in making good film in New Zealand benefits our film producers, directors, script writers, cinematographers, musicians and other film professionals.

New Zealand has proven itself a popular, welcoming and responsive venue for film-making. I congratulate all those who have had a hand in ensuring that this is so.

I am enjoying very much my involvement in these initiatives. For me, creating an encouraging environment also means honouring and encouraging the talents of our film professionals ¡V and the young aspirants to those positions.

I am constantly inspired by Peter Jackson¡¦s praise for the NZ Film Commission¡¦s support for him during his development as a filmmaker. I am equally grateful for the contributions he in turn has made to New Zealand filmmaking and to the New Zealand economy.

The facilitation of this report, including seeking the co-operation of New Line for the data to underpin this study, is one such important contribution and once again I thank Peter Jackson, and New Line, for this.

The Government is pleased to have been able to give support to Peter Jackson and his team. We are overjoyed with the record-breaking national and international success of the first of the three films ¡K and speaking personally now, not economically, we can¡¦t wait for the next two instalments!

I commend this report to you, for study and discussion, and to encourage us all to have confidence that the New Zealand film industry is now at a new and exciting level of potential.

Thank you.

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