Review of Government investment in the screen sector

Public consultation has opened on proposals for change to the New Zealand Screen Production Grant as part of the review of government investment in the screen sector.

Public consultation on proposals for change

The Government has announced that public consultation on proposed changes to the NZSPG settings is now open. You can find information on the consultation and make a submission here:

Have your say

Read the Ministers' release(external link) —

What do we want to achieve with changes to the NZSPG?

The Government wants to increase the value generated from its investment in the NZSPG. To do this, we propose changes to the NZSPG to more directly incentivise a steady pipeline of screen productions to support business growth, sustainable careers and sector resilience. We also want to more directly incentivise development of screen sector skills and support the development of compelling and ambitious New Zealand content.

We expect directly targeting sector-level benefits, such as skills and career development, and business growth, through changes to the NZSPG will go on to generate wider economic and cultural benefits for New Zealand and New Zealanders over time.

We are also considering how we attract productions to New Zealand and promote ourselves an internationally regarded screen sector.

The proposals put forward through consultation may be developed further and could be part of any final option pending feedback from the public consultation and direction from Ministers and Cabinet. The final option put forward could also include no change to status quo. Cabinet decisions supporting any change to the NZSPG will be made by June 2023.

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

Findings from the review of government investment in the screen sector

MBIE and Manatū Taonga have undertaken research and analysis, and have engaged with stakeholders to support the development of this consultation document. This work has identified several issues in both the NZSPG and the wider screen sector funding landscape. The review also identified a range of opportunities. These findings have shaped the options for change put forward in this consultation document.

The current settings of the NZSPG have successfully developed the New Zealand screen sector into a globally recognised screen production centre with established infrastructure, technology and skilled workers. However, this review has identified some areas for improvement in the NZSPG that could support a strengthened skill base, more resilient businesses and stronger economic and cultural outcomes for New Zealand from our investment in the screen sector. The key issues to be addressed are:

  • Smoothing the current peaks of production work,
  • Providing better support for skills development and improving career pathways,
  • More directly targeting outcomes through changes to the NZSPG structure and criteria,
  • Strengthening the cultural content test to improve cultural benefits.

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.

The table below outlines the key stages of the review and indicative timing for decisions. 

Review phase Indicative timing
Determining facts and building evidence January – May 2022
Developing options for change June – September 2022
Public consultation on proposed options October – December 2022
Final report to Ministers and Cabinet By June 2023
Implementation of policy decisions From June 2023

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.

While the review acknowledges the links between the screen and gaming sectors, the development of the interactive media sector (including gaming) in New Zealand will continue to be considered through the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan.

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.

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.

Terms of reference [PDF, 731 KB] 

Ministers press release(external link) —

Ministry for Culture and Heritage(external link)

Last updated: 27 October 2022