ZB

Government 'begrudgingly' offering Lord of the Rings filming subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jul 2019, 10:31am
A new version of the fantasy drama is set to be filmed in New Zealand. (Photo / Supplied)

Government 'begrudgingly' offering Lord of the Rings filming subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jul 2019, 10:31am

Reluctant support from both sides of the House, for the Government's subsidies for the film industry.

Amazon is expected to choose New Zealand as the new filming location for its $1.5 billion TV adaptation of Lord of the Rings.

But it could cost taxpayers $375 million in the form of a screen production grant. This is despite the fact that Amazon is owned by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos. 

Trade Minister David Parker told Mike Hosking New Zealand is offering the grant extremely reluctantly.

"It's another big deal but if we didn't have it the economy wouldn't fall over. We somewhat begrudge the subsidies the big screen industry has around the world, including in New Zealand."

The Government did look at scrapping the subsidy, but Parker says that they acknowledge that they need to keep it around.

"We've come to the same conclusion as the prior Government, you either have the subsidy or you don't have the industry."

National's Mark Mitchell says the government needs to what do what it takes to keep Middle Earth in New Zealand.

"It's almost part of our brand now. It brings so much benefits to us as a country. Each case needs to be looked at on its own sets of benefits in terms of what it brings to New Zealand."