Steven Joyce, in his role as acting Minister of Finance, explains the plot of the next sequel to the Hobbit:
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Word has reached me of a drama that is currently playing out, which might be suited to the big screen or perhaps go straight to DVD. In this particular performance—it is a very similar movie—the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of— . . .
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: In this particular performance, the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness, consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his “precious”. Their journey is made more difficult by the presence of a number of goblins still loyal to their former leader, an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye, watching from a distance—roughly, between here and New York. We are due to hear more about the conclusion of this particular story in February of next year, but I understand that it might be a little bit of a flop, because, rather than giant eagles, the fellowship have decided to put their faith in an elderly mallard.
On a more serious note, he also details the contribution the screen industry makes to New Zealand economy.
Mr Speaker, may I be the first to wish you a happy “Hobbit Day”, and say that New Zealand has a vibrant screen industry, which directly supports more than 2,700 businesses, over 95 percent of which are involved in production and postproduction work. The Statistics New Zealand 2010-11 screen industry survey reported that revenue from the screen industry increased to almost $3 billion in 2011. Feature film revenue for New
Zealand has been trending up since the screen industry survey was first released in 2008. In 2011 feature film revenue increased by 15 percent to more than $700 million, and international revenue also grew by 17 percent, to more than $440 million, with almost $390 million coming from North America.
Hon Tau Henare: How are the Hobbit films supporting New Zealand jobs and the wider community?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: The Hobbit films have led to around 3,000 jobs to date, with about $1.5 million per week being paid to the crew. There has also been a significant flow-on effect: 93,000 hotel beds have been occupied, 1,800 rental cars and 1,650 other vehicles used, just over $9 million spent with local suppliers for set construction, and just under $1.5 million spent with local food suppliers. Further, the media exposure for New Zealand tourism from the films and from today’s world premiere will be felt for years to come. The Government realised the benefits that would come from making these films in this country, and is proud to have actively supported The Hobbit films from the very beginning.
Hon Tau Henare: What reports has he seen opposing development of the New Zealand screen industry?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I have seen a number of comments, which included, firstly, opposing and, then, pledging to repeal the legislation passed to enable the filming of The Hobbit, even if it meant losing the films offshore. I have seen other comments that label the passing of that legislation as “staggering”, “a day of shame”, and also “a disgrace”. I note with interest, though, that these people, who are loosely described by the media as “Hobbit-haters”, have clearly changed their tune, with a number of their rank now attending the red carpet world premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington this afternoon. These same people will no doubt attend the opening of the Auckland International Convention Centre when it happens, will no doubt attend the opening of the Denniston mine when it happens— . . .
The H word is considered unparliamentary but it applies to the Hobbit-haters who moan about job losses and the sticky economy but oppose legislation and development which will lead to economic growth and create more jobs.