Stronger screen sector focal point of review

The government has launched a review of the way it funds parts of the film and television industry to ensure the screen sector has a more secure long-term future.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have released terms of reference for the review. It is the first step towards formal public consultation in 2022 on potential options for change.

“We are immensely proud of the way our home-grown stories and distinctive culture are told at home and abroad, and we remain absolutely committed to supporting this to continue, said Carmel Sepuloni.

“Our screen sector has not escaped the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which further underlines our Government’s focus on strengthening the resilience, recovery and growth of the sector.

“This sets the backdrop for why support to the screen sector needs to continue evolving to keep pace with the way productions are filmed, edited, distributed and viewed. While there are challenges, there are enormous opportunities to focus on high quality productions.

“These opportunities will contribute to the screen heritage and reputation which we can truly be proud of, harnessing our jaw-dropping scenery and utilising our state-of-the-art post-production facilities. 

“We will work closely with the sector throughout the review. We are picking up the challenges spelled out in the Aotearoa New Zealand Screen Sector Strategy 2030 delivered by industry to government last year,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The screen sector is worth more than $3.3 billion to the economy and directly employs more than 16,000 people,” said Stuart Nash.

“It has flow-on benefits to many other industries such as building and construction, catering, transport and rental services, music, costume, hairdressing and beauty services, and accommodation, hospitality and tourism sectors.

“Government investment has grown to around $300 million per annum in 2020/2021, through direct funding from the Arts and Economic Development portfolios. We will continue to invest in international and local productions and look at how to make it more sustainable.

“This review will look at ways to build the New Zealand brand and reputation for quality productions, create better pay and conditions for our talented screen sector workers, drive innovation, and maximise the benefits to the economy.

“The review will also consider the links between the screen, gaming and interactive media sectors, and the work currently underway to develop an Industry Transformation Plan for digital technologies,” said Stuart Nash. 

Carmel Sepuloni and Stuart Nash said the review is based on four objectives for Crown investment:

  • Develop a more sustainable and resilient screen sector that is less vulnerable to global shifts in screen financing and incentives.
  • Support better pay and conditions and improved career pathways for New Zealanders, and grow the number of Kiwis in well paid roles on and off screen.
  • Develop more local content to reflect our cultural diversity and reach broader audiences.
  • Maximise the benefit to the economy by driving innovation, attracting global talent, and building our global brand and reputation for quality productions.

Funding to NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho from the Broadcasting and Media, and Maori Development portfolios is not included in the review.