Auckland Council investing in new studio when we already own one

When Auckland Council invests in business it’s telling us all its either:

1. Stupid;
2. Arrogant;
3. Doesn’t give a toss about ratepayer monies.

There are many sure things in this world. For example the sun will come up over the horizon in the morning. Cows will produce milk. And Council employees are the last people on earth we should trust to make business decisions.

Despite that here is Auckland Council pissing more ratepayer money into the wind on a movie venture in West Auckland.

Film and television incentives have lifted the screen production industry out of the doldrums, prompting the Auckland Council to back new studios in West Auckland.

Implemented last April, the generous incentives allow overseas film and TV producers to receive up to 25 per cent of their budgets from taxpayers in return for spending money on production in New Zealand.

The incentives coincided with a fall in the value of the New Zealand dollar against the greenback and both have helped make New Zealand more attractive to overseas filmmakers and programme makers.

Much of the activity is in the Auckland region, and the Auckland Council development agency Ateed is working on a public private partnership (PPP) to build a studio complex.  

The return of Disney’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had a big role in the Government increasing the incentives.

At the end of last year MTV announced its Shannara series would be filmed here, and the Starz channel in the US has plans for the Evil Dead franchise.

All three have created a new buzz in the local screen production sector.

To cap that off…the Auckland Council already owns movie production facility…why is the Council investing in another?

Before the local body amalgamation the Waitakere City Council took a 44.4 per cent stake in a film studio joint venture in Henderson Valley, investing $6 million in the joint venture.

The Auckland Council now fully owns the studios, now called the Auckland Film Studios.

The investment has been criticised for a lack of transparency in the investment and lack of evidence of good returns to ratepayers.

O’Riley said the council contribution to a PPP for new film studios would be through providing land rather than cash. Giving money was not part of Ateed’s strategy, but the council had plenty of land available.

Giving lans if worse than giving money you fool…land appreciates in value…giving away land worth $1 million today is giving away land worth $10 million in 10 years.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.