[Sitting date: 28 November 2012. Volume:686;Page:6848. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
Hon TAU HENARE (National) to the
Minister of Finance: What contribution is the screen industry making to the New Zealand economy?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE (Acting Minister of Finance): Mr Speaker, may I be the first to wish you a happy “Hobbit Day”, and say that New Zealand has a vibrant screen industry, which directly supports more than 2,700 businesses, over 95 percent of which
are involved in production and post-production work. The Statistics New Zealand 2010-11 screen industry survey reported that revenue from the screen industry increased to almost $3 billion in 2011. Feature film revenue for New Zealand has been trending up since the screen industry survey was first released in 2008. In 2011 feature film revenue increased by 15 percent to more than $700 million, and international revenue also grew by 17 percent, to more than $440 million, with almost $390 million coming from North America.
Hon Tau Henare: How are the
Hobbit films supporting New Zealand jobs and the wider community?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: The
Hobbit films have led to around 3,000 jobs to date, with about $1.5 million per week being paid to the crew. There has also been a significant flow-on effect: 93,000 hotel beds have been occupied, 1,800 rental cars and 1,650 other vehicles used, just over $9 million spent with local suppliers for set construction, and just under $1.5 million spent with local food suppliers. Further, the media exposure for New Zealand tourism from the films and from today’s world premiere will be felt for years to come. The Government realised the benefits that would come from making these films in this country, and is proud to have actively supported the Hobbit films from the very beginning.
Hon Tau Henare: What reports has he seen opposing development of the New Zealand screen industry?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I have seen a number of comments, which included firstly opposing and then pledging to repeal the legislation passed to enable the filming of
The Hobbit, even if it meant losing the films offshore. I have seen other comments that label the passing of that legislation as “staggering”, “a day of shame”, and also “a disgrace”. I note with interest, though, that these people, who are loosely described by the media as “Hobbit-haters”, have clearly changed their tune, with a number of their rank now attending the red carpet world premiere of
The Hobbit in Wellington this afternoon. These same people will no doubt attend the opening of the Auckland International Convention Centre when it happens, will no doubt attend the opening of the Denniston mine when it happens—
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I think the question has been answered.
Hon Trevor Mallard: Was the large-screen film grant extended by this Government; if so, did he consult with the Prime Minister, who previously had called it a waste of money?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I understand it was extended, yes.
Hon Tau Henare: What reports has he seen about other potential productions we might see in New Zealand?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Word has reached me of a drama that is currently playing out, which might be suited to the big screen or perhaps go straight to DVD. In this particular performance—it is a very similar movie—the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of—
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! A point of order has been called, and it must be treated with respect.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: The question specifically asked for what other reports. The Minister began by saying: “Word has reached me …”. That is not a report. He is being frivolous with this House at a very busy time in our—
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member needs to forgive me but I seem to recollect the member himself in the past treating verbal reports as reports.
Chris Hipkins: I seek leave to table a DVD copy of a film called
The Hollow Men, showing that it has already made it to the big screen! [Interruption]
Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! I am on my feet. The member may be pleased that I do not seek the leave of the House, because he may not be able to table it, and the Standing Orders require documents to be tabled.
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: In this particular performance, the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness, consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his “precious”. Their journey is made more difficult by the presence of a number of goblins still loyal to their former leader, an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye watching from a distance—roughly, between here and New York. We are due to hear more about the conclusion of this particular story in February of next year, but I understand that it might be a little bit of a flop, because, rather than giant eagles, the “Fellowship” have decided to put their faith in an elderly mallard.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. We all like a good joke, but, frankly, if—[Interruption]—no, no, no—that is—
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I apologise to the member. Points of order must be heard in silence.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: We all like a good joke, and that member is special at it, but I want to say that if that is a precedent for the way we can answer—with that length of time and with that obvious lack of reference—
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I am not sure what the member’s point of order is.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I am getting to it right now.
Mr SPEAKER: Huh!
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Well, you heard him out for about half an—
Mr SPEAKER: No, order! The member will resume his seat. I think the House can occasionally stand a little humour without getting too upset over it.