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New Zealand boosts support for international films

New ZealandNew Zealand will allocate NZ$240m over the next four years to incentivising international films and TV shows to shoot in the country.

The New Zealand Screen Production Grant offers a base 20% filming incentive on the first NZ$25m spent by international films and TV shows in the country, although this can rise to 25% for high-spending shoots.

Movies are required to spend at least NZ$15m in New Zealand to qualify, while TV producers have a lower threshold of NZ$4m.

Visual effects expenditure – from productions not necessarily filming in New Zealand – can trigger incentive support by spending NZ$500,000 locally.

“Our screen industry has a reputation for being one of the best in the world and this grant helps the industry compete internationally for a wide range of projects which bring jobs and economic opportunities to New Zealand,” said Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s economic development minister.

“Since 2014, the grant has supported around 50 international productions. The industry now employs 14,000 people working in over 24,700 jobs or contracts. It has been a major contributor to the screen sector overall, drawing in NZ$3.3bn in annual revenue.

“Without the grant these international productions would not have located in New Zealand and much of the NZ$3.3bn would not have been spent here.”

Last year US-based studio Paramount Pictures spent NZ$120m on a New Zealand-based shoot for Ghost in the Shell, which included turning parts of Wellington into a Hong Kong-inspired futuristic metropolis. In addition, Jon Turteltaub’s monster movie Meg built a new studio facility near Auckland, which has since been made permanent as Kumeu Film Studios, offering the country’s first production water tanks.  

James Cameron is scheduled to begin production on his long-awaited Avatar sequels in Wellington in the coming months.

For more on filming in New Zealand see our production guide.