Whale Rider, Boy, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings... The New Zealand film and TV community is now a serious contributor to the economy, as detailed in a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Economic Contribution of the New Zealand Film and Television Industry 2012 indicates the film and TV industry generated more than $3.23 billion in revenue in 2011.
The sector’s total contribution to GDP was $2.78 billion, or 1.4 percent – more than the wine industry at $1.52 billion. Gross earnings increased 4 percent since 2008, when PwC previously assessed the screen industry.
Film and TV supported 21,315 full time equivalent positions last year, and directly employed just over 10,000.
Film production provided a large share of the overall impressive result, earning $1.4 billion in gross revenue for a direct GDP contribution of $575 million.
Pete Rive, chairman of Film Auckland, said the report was an opportunity to both recognise and celebrate New Zealand’s screen community.
“Through the collective skills and talents of many New Zealanders, we have built a global brand recognisable for its success in creating and producing world class content – including recent productions such as Spartacus, Mr Pip, Emperor and The Hobbit.
“It has long been apparent that our industry contributes substantially to the economy in both real dollars and intangible benefits such as tourism, and the promotion of the New Zealand brand as a land of innovation and creativity."
Adds Grant Baker, managing director of Images & Sound, one of New Zealand’s largest providers of post-production facilities: “It would be hard to imagine what our society would be like without screen entertainment. In purely economic terms, it is a substantial contributor to our economy, as this report makes clear – but culturally, it’s much more difficult to put a price on it."