2 Oct 2012

No extra incentives for US movie companies, says PM

7:48 am on 2 October 2012

Prime Minister John Key says he won't be offering any further sweeteners to top movie executives during his visit to the United States this week.

Mr Key will meet Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, the Walt Disney Company, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, as well as the Motion Picture Association of America on a whistlestop visit to Los Angeles.

In 2010, the Government changed the law to clarify the distinction between a contractor and an employee for the purposes of working in the film industry.

It also widened the criteria for overseas studios filming in New Zealand to make it easier for them to access government grants.

Mr Key says he will be promoting the advantages of making movies in New Zealand but does not intend to offer any further incentives.

"If somebody put up a suggestion we'd always look at it, but we're not going there with the intention of reshaping the offering we've got, we're going there to sell the offering we've got."

Film industry says US market huge

For the New Zealand film industry, the Prime Minister's trip reinforces how important the US film market is to New Zealand.

Film New Zealand chief executive Gisella Carr says North America contributes up to 90% of all international screen revenue, and last year represented an investment of $387 million in the New Zealand economy.

The organisation, which provides support and advice to filmmakers, says there is intense competition in attracting big screen productions.