Bludging filmmaking ratbags

They are worse than bloody farmers. Look at all these calls for increased subsidies.

Hundreds of jobs are disappearing from the film industry as big foreign productions go elsewhere, with many saying a drawn-out government review of incentives is to blame.

“The reality is without (competitive) incentives people don’t come here and it’s a matter of time before businesses fold.”

After a two-year review, the Government last month opted not to increase the 15 per cent grant available for large-budget productions – an incentive used by several countries to entice foreign productions because of the economic benefits they generate.

Since setting its rebate in 2007, New Zealand has fallen behind rivals including Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa – and they are now getting films that would otherwise have come here.?

“The headline incentive is the first aspect of business attention,” says leading producer Chloe Smith, while the higher value of the kiwi dollar and limited indoor shooting facilities in Auckland also contribute.

David Rowell, co-owner of StudioWest, says inquiries from producers seeking space have plunged from two or three a day a few years ago to as few as one a month. “I think the Government’s really got it wrong here.”

The decision to leave the rebate at 15 per cent ignored the recommendations of industry bodies Film NZ and Film Auckland and Ateed, the Auckland Council’s economic development body. Auckland industry leaders have met Economic Development Minister Stephen Joyce seeking transitional arrangements to help the sector to adjust.