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Parallel Film Importing Ban Extension Proposed

A bill extending a ban on parallel importing of films into New Zealand has been sent to select committee

Commerce Minister Craig Foss said the Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill ban on importing copies of films until after they have been released in New Zealand for five months was necessary as not all international films were released in this country on their initial release.

Without the bill the future of many cinemas would be put in doubt, he said. An existing ban, which covers a nine month period, is due to expire at the end of October.

Labour’s Jacinda Ardern said Labour would agree to the extension, though the industry was going to have to come up with alternative models if it was going to survive new technology.

The bill was sent to select committee by 96 to 1 with the Greens, NZ First, Mana, abstaining and Brendon Horan opposing the bill. The Greens and NZ First expressed concern about how little time they had to consider the bill.

There was a long debate over the shortened report back date of August 16 as Opposition MPs displayed their annoyance at the Urgency session.

MPs returned to the interrupted first reading debate on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No2).

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