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MILKED Creators Respond To Taxpayers’ Union Criticism About Government Funding

After the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union spoke out against the $48k NZ Film Commission finishing grant given to MILKED, the creators of the documentary have responded with an in depth post on social media.

Their post addresses the NZTU accusation that the film is "explicitly political": "MILKED is an independent documentary made by a small team of people with no ties to any political parties. It was given a finishing grant from the film commission after being selected for the New Zealand International Film Festival. As well as featuring contributions from Greenpeace Aotearoa, SAFE, and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, it also features contributions from Federated Farmers, the Minister for Agriculture, and dairy farmers, as well as giving industry leaders plenty of opportunities to have their say."

The NZTU press release also claimed that “The filmmakers have been far from upfront about the government support they’ve received", but the filmmakers replied by saying "If they’d looked, they would have seen the film commission logo in the press kit for the film, as well as in the film's end credits. The film commission was also publicly thanked at the Wellington premiere. No secrets here." 

MILKED screened around the country as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival, and has been well received with many sold out sessions. The film follows Chris Huriwai as he travels around Aotearoa New Zealand searching for the truth about the dairy industry, and features interviews with high-profile contributors including Dr Jane Goodall, and environmentalist and former actress Suzy Amis Cameron.

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Dubbed “a powerful wake-up call that the world is getting milked” by Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron, MILKED is an impactful global story told with a local eye, and also points to what New Zealand and other countries can do to change their fate.

Louis Houlbrooke from NZTU says we all benefit from "Dairy’s enormous contribution to New Zealand’s economy”, but that is questioned in the film, with the creators stating that the cost of externalities are being passed on to the rest of us; "dirty rivers, damaged soil, and climate change to name a few. Many dairy farmers are also struggling under huge amounts of debt - with the total industry debt at $38 billion. And with the upcoming agricultural disruption (dairy proteins made without the cows), we need the industry to be honest about the challenges ahead, and the government to help dairy farmers transition out of dairy before it’s too late."

Follow MILKED online:

Facebook: @milkedfilm
Instagram: @milkedfilm
Hashtag: #milkedfilm

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