WELLINGTON, Thursday: Two pillars of the Capital’s economic growth – gaming and film – need a clear signal from Government they are valued and that it wants them to stay, says WellingtonNZ ceo John Allen, in a widely distributed release.
Allen said: “This week Te Whanganui-a-Tara is hosting the New Zealand Gaming Developers Conference, where Convergence Day is dedicated to the intersecting industries of gaming and screen.
“Thought leaders from around the country and globe come together to share ideas, innovations, and seek out new opportunities.
“It’s a bittersweet moment to have a conference of this magnitude here. I am proud WellingtonNZ is supporting this taking place in New Zealand’s heart of screen and gaming, but I’m aware if we don’t act soon, we risk losing both of these industries overseas.
“This week Wēta Workshop announced it’s partnering with Private Division to develop a Lord of the Rings game, illustrating the increasing interdependence between film and gaming.
“Australia announced a 40% tax rebate in July, and NZ studios are actively looking to move there as a result. New Zealand has nothing on the table to support this burgeoning sector.”
“Currently both sectors are looking across the ditch and further afield as it becomes less competitive to operate here.
“Gaming is one of New Zealand’s biggest growth industries, bringing in $276m in 2021, with a steep trajectory predicted of $1b by 2025.
“Australia announced a 40% tax rebate in July, and studios are actively looking to move there as a result. New Zealand has nothing on the table to support this burgeoning sector.
“The New Zealand film industry, in particular Wellington’s film industry, has punched above its weight globally for a long time.
“The impacts of the LOTR trilogy are not limited to film and the initial cash injections during production, but include ongoing tourism, upskilling of talent.
“People across the world talk about New Zealand and Māoridom thanks to film – Taika Waititi wove our culture through his latest production of Thor.
“We need Government to decide whether or not it wants the screen and gaming sectors here in Aotearoa, and by ensuring we offer competitive environments for these growth industries to continue to add to the Kiwi economy and grow.”
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