Parallel importing proposal will address calls for protection of provincial cinemas

  • Judith Tizard
Arts, Culture and Heritage

The government’s plan to change legislation on parallel importing of films, videos and DVDs is a response to many concerns about the future of regional cinemas, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard said today.

Judith Tizard and Commerce Minister Paul Swain today announced a government plan to introduce legislation in the first half of 2002 to ban parallel imports of films, videos and DVDs for nine months from a title’s first international release

The nine-month parallel importing ban will give the film distribution industry a period of protection to allow for the orderly release of films, videos and DVDs.

“This is a response to hundreds of representations I and other Ministers had from people all over New Zealand and from all sides of the House who were concerned about the future of regional picture theatres,” said Judith Tizard.

“This will ensure that distributors can supply provincial and smaller cinemas with copies of film prints so that as many New Zealanders as possible have access to new release titles.

“It’s important that we enable these cinemas to stay in business at a time when there are more New Zealand movies being made. Whale Rider, the first film from our $22 million Film Production Fund, is currently in production.

“As many New Zealanders as possible deserve to see these films in a cinematic environment. This legislative change will ensure the future of provincial and smaller cinemas,” said Judith Tizard.

The government has a very strong commitment to the development of the creative industries and has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that these industries achieve their full potential.

The Film Production Fund was part of the $86 million Cultural Recovery Package, a substantial funding injection made into the creative sector in May 2000.