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Anderton Speech: New Zealand on film

New Zealand on film

6:00 pm 4 December 2002 Launch of film location brand between Studio NZ - EDANZ/LGNZ/FilmNZ Duxton Hotel, Wellington

Jane Gilbert, CEO, Film NZ Ann Verboeket, CEO EDANZ Peter Winder, CEO, Local Govt. NZ Rob Arlidge, Industry New Zealand

Peter Jackson said in a recently published interview that as he read the Lord of the Rings he was struck by the remarkable resemblance of New Zealand to Middle Earth.

He felt that the epic had to be made in New Zealand.

The fit between the challenges in creating the Lord of the Rings and New Zealand’s innovative culture and our new ideas is clearly a good one.

Much is being made of the way in which Jackson’s team have brilliantly captured the essence of the novels and made them come to life. This includes the quote the writing team added, “even the smallest person can change the course of the future” which has fooled even Tolkien fans.

That quote to me also sums up New Zealand’s place in the world.

New Zealand from our tyranny of distance has made a greater impact on the world than our small size and isolation would lead one to believe possible.

From sports such as yachting, rugby and athletics running, through to nuclear physics, chemistry, jet boat engines, and a range of other sectors and professions.

We invented refrigerated shipping, split the atom, invented the jet boat, gave women the vote, created the first full welfare state, were foundation members of the UN, flew first (or a close second), became nuclear free, won the America’s cup and now have become the home of the Lord of the Rings.

Our innovation and new ideas punch well above our weight in world terms.

I am really looking forward to seeing the premiere of Lord of the Rings.

It is true I am a movie buff. I see at least one movie a week and have done more than for fifty years. I love the cinema. I even sold ice creams in Auckland’s civic theatre.

However, I have a strong preference for watching quality films.

When I see New Zealand cinema I am proud, usually, to see excellence.

In the Lord of the Rings we have an epic with state of the art production quality. It is a joy to watch.

And one of the things I look forward to seeing is the ways in which Peter Jackson has used New Zealand locations to create a whole different world.

It gives me a sense of pride to see New Zealand in such a positive light in a series of films which are so well made.

Showing New Zealand locations to the world has huge spin-offs which I don’t need to outline here, but is a trend we all want to see continue.

So tonight we are celebrating the creation of the nationwide Film Friendly Protocol.

The aim is to maximise film making opportunities in New Zealand.

The protocol describes best practice for issuing local authority approvals over a wide range of filming activities. Everything from traffic control to access of lakes and rivers and the use of helicopters is covered.

This is in my mind a significant step in capitalising on our motion picture and other screen successes.

The partners in this project; Local Government New Zealand, EDANZ, Film New Zealand, supported by Industry New Zealand need to be acknowledged for their commitment.

This project to me shows organisations facing many other issues collectively make this issue a priority for the good of all New Zealand.

In April 2001, Industry New Zealand commissioned a scoping study from the Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) on the steps needed to streamline filming activity approvals across New Zealand.

As New Zealand's production facilitations office, Film New Zealand provides information, introductions and support to filmmakers both internationally and locally.

They supply everything film makers need to know about the depth and breath of our locations, our world class facilities and our talent-base as well as important logistical information such as, permits, immigration, transport and accommodation.

Local Government New Zealand is the national voice of local government.

Its members represent the diversity and scope of local government, the metropolitan areas, the districts, the rural communities, and the regions.

EDANZ is the national body which promotes economic development, business growth and export opportunities in New Zealand.

It represents the interests of independent economic development agencies and economic development units within local authorities, city and district councils. These organisations realised the potential of working together on this project – of building on each other’s expertise and knowledge.

These organisations, facilitated by Industry New Zealand, have committed time and energy to the Film Friendly Protocol which we have today.

New Zealand ‘s model of location filming support is now unlike any other in the world.

We will now see Film New Zealand’s national office actively being supported by regional film offices and local authorities.

In other countries, regions compete against each other rather than co-operating within a nationwide framework.

This seems another world first.

I want to finish by saying that I’m from the Government and I’m here to help!!

We are committed to reducing barriers to growth and helping the screen production industry chart a path to sustainable success.

The government established the Screen Production Taskforce to work with Industry New Zealand to help grow the screen production industry.

Industry New Zealand has also been working with regions to make sure they can contribute to and share in economic development.

And Industry New Zealand is here to facilitate and work to help organisations that are prepared to work together to do so.

This is an acknowledgement that your future is our future.

If you are involved with a productive industry which can help sustain and develop our economy then Industry New Zealand and the Government are here to work with you.

New Zealanders would expect nothing less.

We now have some awards to make.

Thank you.

Ends


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