12 Nov 2010

Minister defends Government's Hobbit action

12:41 pm on 12 November 2010

Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government will take action where appropriate to protect the screen industry and the jobs and livelihoods that depend on it.

The minister was speaking at the Screen Production and Development Conference in Auckland, in the wake of the industrial dispute over The Hobbit films.

Dr Coleman says the film industry gives the country exposure overseas and advertising that money can't buy.

He says the Lord of the Rings triology created 1500 jobs for actors and crew with additional knock-on of 20,000 jobs for catering, hospitality and transport contracts.

Dr Coleman says that is why it was vital for the Government to step in and negotiate a deal with the Warner Brothers studio to keep The Hobbit and the thousands of jobs it creates in New Zealand.