Hobbit catalyst for govt subsidies review

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 16:50 29/11/2012

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The Government is to review subsidies to lure big television productions to New Zealand, on the back of the Hobbit.

Prime Minister John Key, speaking at the entrance to the Green Dragon pub on the Hobbiton movie set near Matamata, said the Government was reviewing the rules it had around television productions coming to New Zealand.

As it stands a television production must spend $15 million, or more, to qualify for a 15 per cent rebate. Such a spend would require three or four episodes to be filmed here.

“The Government is having a bit of a look at the offering that we have,” Key said.

“Whether the television subsidy is fit for purpose.”

Such work has already paid dividends around films, as there were two Hobbit sequels underway and director James Cameron was making two sequels to his film Avatar in Wellington.

Key said both Sir Peter and Cameron had spoken in New Zealand’s favour to Hollywood executives in Los Angeles in a bid to bring more large scale productions here.

Key was particularly interested in attracting the makers of pilot episodes of new series in New Zealand as if a pilot got the green light a series would follow.

Sir Peter, a life long Doctor Who fan, has said he would like to direct an episode of the series in New Zealand after lead actor Matt Smith appealed, through the Waikato Times , to film with him here. 

A Wellington based writer of the show, Neil Cross, wants to pen the tale and the idea has the support of the show’s executive producers Steven Moffat, who worked with Sir Peter on Tintin, and Caro Skinner.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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