The benefits of the New Zealand screen industry

The New Zealand screen industry brings a range of direct and indirect economic benefits to the sector and New Zealand's wider economy.

New Zealand is widely regarded as one of the world's premier locations for screen production.

Our on-screen and off-screen talent, our production facilities, and our unique landscapes continue to make an important contribution to the sector and the wider New Zealand economy.

Economic benefits of the screen industry

The screen industry covers a wide range of businesses, including:

  • production
  • post-production
  • digital and special effects
  • television broadcasting
  • film and video distribution
  • film exhibition.

Statistics NZ data on the screen industry show that in 2017:

  • gross screen sector revenue increased 8% to $3.5 billion
  • total expenditure on production was $1 billion, up 32%
  • revenue received by production and post-production businesses from international sources increased 19%
  • the sector employs around 14,000 people.
Kumeu Film Studios outdoor water tank.

Kumeu Film Studios outdoor water tank.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

Benefits from international productions

Attracting international screen productions to New Zealand produces a range of direct and indirect economic benefits. These include on-the-ground production expenditure and spill-over benefits to other areas of economic activity.

In addition, international screen productions can:

  • help promote tourism
  • facilitate know-how and technology transfer to other industries
  • generate international recognition of the New Zealand brand.

Large film and television productions:

  • create jobs
  • accelerate the growth of talent and skills in our local film industry
  • provide spill-over benefits to the wider economy, including digital technology sectors.

Flow on benefits to local industry

The increase in international projects has also supported the production of domestic productions with strong New Zealand stories, such as Boy, Whale Rider and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

The local industry is best seen as an “ecosystem” – whereby skilled crew, infrastructure and technology used on international productions flow back into producing more local film and television, and vice versa.