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Call to salvage struggling film industry

Jacinda

ARDERN

Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson
22 October 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Call to salvage struggling film industry

The high Kiwi dollar and the draw of other countries competitive incentive regimes have combined to produce a perfect storm that looks set to bring the curtain down on Auckland’s screen industry, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“The high Kiwi dollar has put huge pressure on the screen production industry. Add to this the fact that other countries are being increasingly savvy with their rebate regimes, and the result is a screen industry that is experiencing the worst downturn in at least a decade.

“Auckland is home to roughly 70 per cent of screen production in New Zealand, and a host of small businesses who prop it up.

“Those industries are now at a tipping point with companies packing up, crew and support staff leaving town and studios looking to close.

"Regions like Wellington are expressing similar concerns over the future of their local industry.

“Labour introduced an incentive scheme in 2003/04 to attract offshore production houses to film here. However since then US buying power has dropped 25 per cent. In tandem with that a number of other countries have also adopted incentive regimes after recognising their economic spin offs.

“The Government, meanwhile, has taken its eye off the ball. The industry is dying and our talent is leaving or being forced into other fields because work has dried up.

“If National isn’t willing to look at the impact of the high dollar on this sector, then the least it can do is look again at how New Zealand stacks up against our competitors. To do nothing while an entire industry is lost would be absolutely criminal. "


ENDS

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