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Future assured for independent production industry

22 November 2003 Media Statement

Future assured for independent production industry

Moves by the government to foster a greater sense of national identity ensures a bright future for the independent production industry, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

Speaking at the Screen Production and Development Association’s annual conference in Wellington this morning, Steve Maharey said the government has worked hard to foster a supportive environment for producers of local content and those who work in the New Zealand film and television industry.

“The government is strongly committed to a thriving independent sector. We see independent producers as essential partners to help realise Television New Zealand’s charter and we recognise the significant economic potential of the industry.

“We have backed this support with significant increases in funding. Government funding for television production has leapt from nearly $68 million in 1999 to over $102 million this year. New initiatives like the Maori Television Service have also opened up new opportunities for local producers.

“This support has been a priority for the government because we know that television is probably the most important medium available to create a more creative and confident nation.

“Future initiatives will cement an even stronger position for the local production industry, including:
- new funding recently announced for ‘signature television’ projects, which will enable local producers to exploit this genre to tell our stories; and
- the establishment of the Screen Council, which will give the industry a direct and strong voice.

“The essence of our partnership with the independent production industry is a shared commitment to maintain in New Zealand a vibrant television system which strives to reflect our aspirations, our culture and our way of life,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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