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NZ Film Commission - a Taxpayer Funded Film Studio


The NZ Film Commission - a Taxpayer Funded Film Studio?

The Minister in charge of the Prime Minister's Handbag, Judith Tizard, aka Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, should come clean on the true role of the New Zealand Film Commission, ACT New Zealand Associate Finance Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Minister interrupted her knitting for long enough on Tuesday 5 August 2003 to issue a statement about appointments to the Film Commission.

"In this statement she said: 'The New Zealand Film Commission is responsible for encouraging the making and distribution of New Zealand films and the development of the local film industry. It is not a producer of films but supports New Zealand films through investment, marketing, industry support and other activities'.

"But look who's calling herself a film producer now," Miss Coddington said.

"IMDb, a website that lists over 8,000 companies in the entertainment industry, is promoting the latest New Zealand film 'Spooked', which has started filming in Auckland.

"'Spooked' has received funding from the Film Commission, courtesy of the taxpayer. Geoff Murphy is director and actors include Temuera Morrison and Cliff Curtis.

"And, surprise, surprise, one of the producers is listed as Ruth Harley.

"Ruth Harley is also the chief executive of the Film Commission. She used to be chief executive of NZ On Air. She has been dubbed our Commissar of Culture.

"But her good friend Ms Tizard says the Film Commission is not a producer of films.

"The Associate Minister for Arts and Culture obviously doesn't have a clue what's going on in the organisations she's supposed to be responsible for. She should direct the Film Commission to stop behaving like New Zealand's poor imitation of Steven Spielberg.

"Then again, perhaps she should stick to her knitting," Miss Coddington said.

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