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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  • Crookednose

    I doubt mind Tax incentives for big film production at all, but a new studio when you already have one is a waste of money.
    I could understand expansion of an at capacity facility too, but this is something else.

    • MaryLou

      Equally stupid is giving away the land. By all means, invest in facilities (new or upgraded, whichever is necessary) that will show a return, but this is just dumb.

  • sandalwood789

    Yet more proof that the *top* priority for all political parties should be stopping any wasteful spending of taxpayer and ratepayer funds.
    We do NOT need more taxes.
    Equal top priority should be passing a “recall law” to recall poorly-performing mayors.

  • Land appreciates because the council has the magic wand of control. Take away all of the planning restrictions, the racist council policies (a ‘la ‘Maori’ ‘consent’), and so forth, and that $10m value may be somewhat inflated. Also, whether you could get better compound returns in a free market is another question. But that is the point, the council shouldn’t own so much land and shouldn’t be impeding its development, thus pushing up the price of developable land. We used to call this Communism. Now we call it ‘responsible government’, apparently.

  • The wildman

    Trouble is we have to wait 2years,9 months,17 days,9 hours and 17 minutes to vote this numpty out.but whose counting.

  • StreuthCobber

    This studio is fraught with well documented issues, and conflicts of interests with elected members, lack of returns, partners in receivership. Accountabilitynz documents the issues. Best to keep an eye on it. Good news there is some work coming in at least.

  • Disinfectant

    Christchurch City Council’s Red Bus company has just extended its activities right across the tourism spectrum with their new “Red Travel” service.
    They have bought $1m worth of new vehicles ranging from large coaches to minibuses.
    Now they are competing with all the privately owned tour operators who have really struggled since the earthquakes.
    The last two years of their audited accounts show a total loss of $1.2m. How dumb are councillors on the council who are allowing this to happen as the capital obviously comes from the council. And probably at no cost to Red Bus.
    We might as well all give up as next thing they will be running real estate agencies, plumbing businesses, hairdressing salons etc.
    This amounts to Socialists playing capitalism with rate-payers capital. When will the Government wake up and stop these councils from ruining privately owned businesses?