NZ Must Boost Incentives for Movie Makers

November 29, 2012 New Zealand Taxation

Film ProductionNew Zealand is being urged to increase incentives for film makers, despite protestations from the Prime Minister.

Speaking in a radio interview on November 27th the Director of the Hobbit films Peter Jackson said that the New Zealand government needs to ensure that the tax incentives offered to film makers are competitive with those offered in other countries.

Peter Jackson explained that several other countries offered tax breaks and concessions to film makers in order to encourage more film productions, and that the New Zealand government may need to increase their own tax concessions to remain competitive.

So far the producers of the Hobbit films have received NZD 67 million in tax rebates, as part of the government’s Large Budget Screen Production Grant.

Responding to the Director’s comments, the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key said that the government will not increase the tax incentives offered to film studies, as “…you can always have a race to the biggest incentive, but actually we’ve got to back ourselves on the quality of people we have, the flexibility of our crews, the nature of our scenery and the capacity for us to produce world class movies.”

The leader of the opposition Labour Party David Shearer backed the Prime Minister, saying that New Zealand should not hike its tax allowances, but did say that the value of the New Zealand dollar has a significant impact on the attractiveness of New Zealand as a filming destination.

Under current regulations, film productions with qualifying New Zealand production expenditure exceeding NZD 15 million can obtain a tax grant of 15 percent of their spending.

Photo by vancouverfilmschool