Hobbit film to be NZ made

The Hobbit film will be made in New Zealand.

A media release from Prime Minister John Key says:

Prime Minister John Key this evening announced an agreement has been reached between the New Zealand Government and Warner Bros that will enable the two Hobbit movies to be directed by Sir Peter Jackson to be made in New Zealand.

“I am delighted we have achieved this result,” Mr Key says. “Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in once again promoting NZ on the world stage.”

As part of the arrangement the Government will introduce legislation in Parliament tomorrow to clarify the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film production industry. It is this clarification that will guarantee the movies are made in New Zealand.

“The industrial issues that have arisen in the past several weeks have highlighted a significant set of concerns for the way in which the international film industry operates,” Mr Key says.

“We will be moving to ensure that New Zealand law in this area is settled to give film producers like Warner Bros the confidence they need to produce their movies in this country.”

Mr Key confirmed the Government has also moved to widen the qualifying criteria for the Large Budget Screen Production Fund to improve New Zealand’s competitiveness as a film destination for large budget films like The Hobbit.

The impact of this will mean an additional rebate for The Hobbit movies of up to US$7.5 million per picture, subject to the success of those movies.

The Government and Warner Bros have agreed to work together in a long-term strategic partnership to promote New Zealand as both a film production and tourism destination.

“My Government is determined to use the opportunity that the Hobbit movies present to highlight New Zealand as a great place to visit, as well as a great place to do business,” Mr Key says.

The strategic marketing opportunities for New Zealand from the movies will be worth tens of millions of dollars. The Government will offset US$10 million of Warner Bros marketing costs as part of the strategic partnership.

New Zealand will also host one of the world premieres of the Hobbit movies.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to ensure that the winning combination of Sir Peter Jackson, New Line, Warner Bros, MGM and New Zealand as a whole will have the opportunity to produce these movies together,” Mr Key says.

“It’s good to have the uncertainty over, and to have everyone now full steam ahead on this project.”

Before anyone gets upset about the government giving money to foreign film makers, read not taking isn’t the same as giving at Lindsay Mitchell and “Subsidising”  Hobbit enterprise? Sounds like a good deal at Not PC.

Union stupidity put the filming at risk and provided Warners with an opportunity to pressure the government.  But any tax forgone will be negligible in comparison to the tens of millions of dollars which will now be spent in New Zealand because the film will be made here.

Kiwiblog reports that the $10 million the government is putting towards marketing is in exchange for NZ tourism information being included in materials such as DVDs. That’s a smart deal.

9 Responses to Hobbit film to be NZ made

  1. Andrei says:

    An own goal by the Unions methinks, how sad.


  2. Inventory2 says:

    Wonderful news, and John Key has managed to get some interesting add-ons. It’s a great outcome, despite the best efforts of the CTU


  3. Paul Walker says:

    “Before anyone gets upset about the government giving money to foreign film makers, read not taking isn’t the same as giving at Lindsay Mitchell and “Subsidising” Hobbit enterprise? Sounds like a good deal at Not PC.”

    Still looks like picking winners. Why not give the tax break to all NZ firms by cutting taxes. If tax breaks are good for one industry why not all?


  4. gravedodger says:

    Why cant any employee have the right to negotiate as a contractor as Real Estate people and others have done for years.
    Is this an opportunity for National to recognise that this is the 21st century and employment has in many cases moved to a position of partnerships with the responsibilities and benefits often better arranged with “boss” and “worker” totally inappropriate as relationship participant descriptions in the workplace environment today.
    Helen Kelly should move onwards and upwards to the political wing of the union movement before she destroys any more of her mana with another debacle of the magnitude of this PR disaster.
    The publicity and promotional aspect of this deal look like inspired thinking to me. Great salvage job by the Beehive.


  5. robertguyton says:

    This is an extraordinary outcome!
    My Key (John) must be a deal maker!
    He looks so… sincere in the press release photo. To the naysayers (you know who you are!) I say, what’s $15 000 000 but an investment?
    I am puzzled though – the $15 000 000 – do we despise the unions for ‘giving’ it to Warner or do we adore ‘John’ for the same thing – it’s really, really confusing!


  6. robertguyton says:

    Meant Mr but it’s hard to know what title to give him now! Is it too soon for … Sir?


  7. robertguyton says:

    That extra $10 000 000 Ele – who does that go to?
    Not to Warner Bros, please assure me.


  8. Andrei says:

    We are not giving them 15 million which could go as high as 15 million if the films do well.

    If the films don’t make money it will be zero.

    Why is it so hard for left wingers to grasp that tax is the governments cut from every productive activity not much different from the way the Mafia takes its cut from those who are in its grip – well no different really Government, Mafia opposite sides of the same coin in reality.


  9. JC says:

    “Still looks like picking winners. Why not give the tax break to all NZ firms by cutting taxes. If tax breaks are good for one industry why not all?”

    My memory is that our companies did indeed get a tax break on the 1st of October this year, 5% wasn’t it?

    Moreover, if the film was going to cost $500 to produce, Ireland was offering around $75 million more in tax breaks or subsidies than we were.. and we got the thing for just $15 million more, then I would say thats an acceptable deal.

    Just one other thing, WB have helped highlight an anomaly in NZ employment law.. that of when is a contractor an employee.. this has been around for several decades now and a problem for business, employers and employees who want a more freewheeling arrangement that mixes traditional employment for some hours with some hours of contract work.



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