It is becoming increasingly clear that the government of New Zealand may not be able to afford offering larger subsidies to WB to prevent The Hobbit production from going to places that have much larger film subsidies like Canada or Ireland. The latest news:
John Key is meeting with Warner Brothers’ executives and says while it may come down to money, clarifying employment laws is the easier option
The Government looks more likely to change employment laws than cough up money to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand.
Prime Minister John Key is meeting with Warner Brothers’ executives on the issue today.
He says it’s likely to come down to money, but there’s a limit to what more the Government can offer.
“It’s not just the Hobbit movies, it’s the general structure of the way that we subsidies these things.
“And anyway we don’t make really a lot of money out of this at the moment because the subsidy pretty much reverses the tax that they pay.”
Mr Key says clarifying employment laws would be the easier option.
In other words, the only way to “save the NZ film industry” is to modify current employment law to attract WB to film there due to lower labor costs. Perhaps mandating that workers be paid overtime after 80 hours instead of 60 hours would be a good option? Given that many workers at Weta have rallied at protests to stop The Hobbit from going overseas, it would be prudent to offer taking a paycut to bring the production back to NZ.
Save the NZ film industry!