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Government responds to Screen Production Taskforce

10 November 2003 Media Statement

Government responds to Screen Production Taskforce

The government is committed to working with the screen production industry to build a vibrant, sustainable, and financially independent industry, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Mr Anderton was releasing the government's response to the report of the Screen Production Taskforce, one of four industry taskforces established by the government in May 2002. The taskforces were charged with developing growth targets for their sectors and to report on what they needed to achieve those targets and to stimulate growth across the economy.

The screen taskforce set a target of sustainable foreign exchange earnings of $400 million a year within five years. Its recommendations are intended to establish a climate in which at least 10 companies achieve an annual turnover of $50 million each and at least another 20 achieve annual turnovers of $10 million.

Mr Anderton said the taskforces recommendations addressed four key themes - the development of an industry body; a well-disposed business environment for screen production; marketing; and education and training.

Specific initiatives in response to these themes are:

- Establishment funding of $900,000 over two years for the Screen Council, a stand-alone industry organisation with membership drawn from across the sector.

- A Screen Production Industry Survey, through Statistics New Zealand, designed to provide a better picture of the size, value and contribution the sector makes to the New Zealand economy

- A review of the government mechanisms for supporting the screen production sector, to be led by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in conjunction with Te Puni Kokiri and other government agencies, covering legislation, agencies' policies and programmes and funding levels for existing organisations and programmes

- A further two years funding for Film NZ, of $960,000 (GST inclusive) to support its marketing of the sector and its promotion of New Zealand as a location for overseas investment in film production

Mr Anderton said a number of other recommendations were the subject of ongoing work. In skills and education, the Tertiary Education Commission would be working alongside the sector to ensure the industry's needs were met. Taxation concerns would be the subject of further work by the Inland Revenue Department which had already established a "Screen Production Desk" as a source of specialist expertise

Mr Anderton said these actions would be complemented by the establishment of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant, announced in July, to be administered by the NZ Film Commission, which would provide rebates for New Zealand based spending by large budget screen productions and supplemented also by the decision to deliver a significant baseline funding increase to the New Zealand Film Commission to help it deliver further support for the domestic film industry.

"This is about strengthening the domestic base at the same as we attract international productions. We're building critical mass and taking advantage of all the opportunities and benefits - like skills development and knowledge transfer - that come with exposure to international experience. And it's about taking that and making it uniquely our own," Mr Anderton said.

ENDS


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