Review of Government investment in the screen sector

The government is undertaking a review of funding to the screen sector from the areas of Arts and Culture and Economic Development.
The review will ensure that Crown investment in the screen sector is effective and generates economic and cultural value for sector and for New Zealand.

The screen sector plays an important role in New Zealand’s economy and in shaping our cultural identity.

In 2018 the sector was valued at over $3.3 billion annually and in 2017 directly employed over 16,000 workers.

It attracts global companies to our shores, creating employment opportunities, enhancing international connections and skills and knowledge transfer, and bringing inflows of investment to New Zealand.

The sector helps shape our cultural identity by providing a way to engage, connect and reflect all aspects of New Zealand culture, and by telling our unique and compelling stories to audiences both domestically and globally.

The Government invests significantly in the screen sector. Government investment has grown to around $300 million per annum in 2020/2021, through direct funding from the areas of Arts, Culture and Heritage and Economic and Regional Development.

About the review

The Government’s goal is to lift the value of its investment in screen to better support a successful, sustainable and resilient sector.

To do this the Government is reviewing its funding to the sector to make sure that the policy settings in place maximise value for the benefit of the New Zealand screen sector and for the New Zealand public. 

The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) will be a focal point for the review. We will also consider the settings for other funding to the screen sector provided through the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) from the areas of Arts, Culture and Heritage and Economic and Regional Development.

It will not consider the role and function of the NZFC in this review, or the operational funding for the NZFC. Depending on the outcomes of the review, and any government decisions for change, subsequent consideration may need to be given to the appropriate arrangements that would best enable the NZFC to deliver on any intended policy settings.

The review will not consider funding provided to the screen sector by NZonAir or Te Māngai Pāho. The Government will continue to invest in international and domestic screen productions throughout the review process and into the future. A cap on programme funding for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant will not be considered as part of this review.

The Government is undertaking this review and is committed to working with the sector to address these challenges, ensuring New Zealand’s screen sector is sustainable, appropriately funded and has policy settings in place to maximise benefits for all of New Zealand.

How the review will work in practice

The following objectives will guide the review.

  • Support the development of a more resilient, and sustainable New Zealand screen sector.
  • Support improved conditions, pay and career pathways for New Zealanders in the screen sector.
  • Improve social cohesion by supporting the development of New Zealand cultural content that reflects the diversity of New Zealand and reaches a broad audience.
  • Maximise the benefits generated to the wider New Zealand economy from the screen sector.

The overarching review questions include

  • whether, and to what extent, governments investment in the screen sector, linked to Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Economic and Regional Development, might unintentionally be inhibiting the sector's development and resilience over time
  • could government's investment in the screen sector, again linked to Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Economic and Regional Development, better support the sustainability of the New Zealand screen sector and maximise economic and cultural benefits for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

The review is being jointly led by Hīkina Whakatutuki the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and the Manatū Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The New Zealand Film Commission will be a key stakeholder in the review process.

Sector representatives will be engaged throughout the review, including key funding agencies such as Te Māngai Pāho and NZ on Air.

And the public will also have an opportunity to provide feedback through a public consultation process from June 2022.

Final cabinet decisions will be made by April 2023.

It's business as usual for the screen sector throughout the review.  International and domestic productions are still able to access funding, and funding and support provided to the sector through funding agencies will continue to be available throughout the review process.

Ministers press release(external link)

Terms of reference [PDF, 731 KB] 

We will be releasing the Cabinet papers supporting the review over the coming weeks.

Register your interest in the review and be informed of progress.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage(external link)

Last updated: 09 December 2021