5 July 2022
For Immediate Release
SPADA, the New Zealand screen producers' guild, is very disappointed by today’s misleading NZME story on the Avatar sequels and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
The story completely ignores the fact that the NZSPG is a money back incentive. Rather than large amounts of taxpayer money being given to projects, the NZSPG is triggered by a production’s spend in New Zealand. In simple terms, it's like when you spend $100 in a shop, and they give you $20 back. You've still got the $80 dollars.
Large international screen projects like Avatar have brought millions of dollars into the New Zealand economy, money that would be lost if, as ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden is quoted as saying, we stopped paying out the NZSPG.
New Zealand is part of the global film industry where it is standard for countries to offer incentives. Without them, New Zealand would lose all of these projects, the money they make for New Zealanders, and the help that they give to the New Zealand screen ecosystem, including our homegrown productions.
van Velden's quote "Every dollar that's spent on a subsidy for [the] Hollywood elite is a dollar that's not spent somewhere else in our economy," is completely misguided. Without the NZSPG and the productions that it brings here, the New Zealand economy would, in fact, lose millions of dollars.
In September of last year, SPADA and a cohort of senior local producers spoke to the value of the NZSPG and how our domestic and international productions are closely interwoven in a market like Aotearoa New Zealand. Read the full letter - written in response to a 2021 North & South cover story - here.