Government Support Screen Industry With Funding For Sound Stages In West Auckland
Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for Economic Development
Auckland Film Studios in West Auckland has received funding for a major expansion through the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) COVID-19 Response Fund.
The Government is investing $30 million of a total $35 million project to construct two 2,000sqm sound stages and development of further workshops and offices, to expand capacity at the Auckland Council-owned studios in Henderson.
“Our screen industry employs around 16,200 people and contributes $3.3b to GDP per year,” Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.
“This investment is another step towards securing our recovery from COVID-19 through infrastructure investment which provides jobs and opportunities for New Zealand’s growing industries.
“This development will see a material increase in the number of purpose-built sound stages available in New Zealand and increase our capacity to produce more content for domestic and international audiences.
“It is also a significant investment for Henderson and the wider Auckland region, creating more employment opportunities in the area. This includes 100 initial construction jobs, as well as up to 300 new jobs in the screen sector when the stages are completed next year.”
“It will also provide more creative opportunities for New Zealanders in the film and television industries which will help them realise their potential here at home,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
The project will be undertaken by Auckland Unlimited Limited, the region’s economic development agency, with co-funding provided by Auckland Council.
“The screen sector is a highly competitive, global industry,” Minister for Economic Development Stuart Nash said.
“New Zealand has established a strong reputation as a screen production destination, with world-class sound-stages, post-production facilities, talented cast and crew, and magnificent scenery. The sector supports many local jobs and businesses.
New Zealand’s effective handling of the pandemic allowed key screen productions to continue to flourish in New Zealand. Kiwi screen sector employees have been able to return to work and key international cast, crew and executives have been able to enter New Zealand, bringing significant foreign investment in our economy.
“Emerging from COVID-19, New Zealand has the potential to develop further our growing reputation in the global industry.
“This infrastructure investment provides an opportunity for Auckland to demonstrate industry leadership to existing global players and domestic production companies by committing to sound stage infrastructure growth as well as creating additional jobs, revenue and growth,” Stuart Nash said.
Notes for Editors
The Infrastructure Reference Group was set up in April 2020, in the middle of New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown.
The Government tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects ready to start as soon as the construction industry returned to normal, to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19.
As at the end of March 2021, there are 231 approved projects representing $2,3bn of government funding and $3.8bn in total project value across the country. There are 246 projects in total.