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Government partnership with Amazon Studios is great news for Auckland

Published: 19 April 2021

Friday's confirmation of a long-term partnership between the New Zealand Government and Amazon Studios around its streaming series based on The Lord of the Rings is more great news for Auckland’s booming screen industry.

The agreement was confirmed by Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the news.

“This production is injecting hundreds of millions into the economy, and is already directly and indirectly employing more than a thousand Kiwis in skilled jobs – most of them from Auckland strong screen talent base. It is supporting the many Auckland businesses that directly and indirectly supply services to the screen industry,” he says.

“The agreement provides an excellent framework for Auckland to develop long-term partnerships, and leverage programmes to keep growing the local industry and help the region’s economic recovery.

“The long-term production has its main base right here in Auckland, is the largest to ever come here, and the biggest underway in the world at the moment.

“Auckland’s wider screen sector already contributes $1.14 billion to the city’s GDP and nearly 4000 people are employed in production and post-production jobs alone, with Auckland Unlimited playing a key role in the sector’s recent growth by expanding its dedicated unit focused on attracting a number of major screen productions to the region.

“Amazon’s partnership with the Government will help us further grow our region’s skilled screen workforce, accelerate innovation within our cutting edge tech-led firms, and the branding activities component will help us to promote Auckland – including our amazing locations used by the production – to the next generation of global Rings fans.”

The agreement also includes a talent development focus, with a range of deliverables –­ such as internships and other on-set placements ­– across the series’ multiple seasons.

“This is a great opportunity for our region’s best young talent to strive for,” says Mayor Goff. “The production will provide valuable career pathway opportunities for our next generation of screen talent.”

Pam Ford, General Manager Economic Development at Auckland Unlimited says: “When Amazon chose in 2019 to base its production in our region, it made the world’s screen industry sit up and take notice. This is a vast project that will be more transformative for our region’s industry than anything that’s gone before.

“We are determined to help Amazon Studios feel as welcome as possible in our region, as it films in various studios and on location, and it’s important that we support its team in any way we can – as a Council group and as a city,” says Pam Ford.

New Zealand’s screen industry was one of the few in the world where productions were able to re-start in relative normality under COVID-19 conditions, thanks to the Government’s strong action against the coronavirus and national industry-specific protocols which Screen Auckland helped to develop.

“Thousands of people and businesses are being kept busy in this COVID-19 world by Auckland’s thriving screen industry, and Amazon’s production is a vital contributor to that – alongside a range of other domestic and international productions,” says Pam Ford.

Read more: Business & economy

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