Provincial Growth Fund supports Māori film industry

Published: Oct 30, 2020

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  • Bay of Plenty

New Zealand’s indigenous film industry is set to grow thanks to an $800,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment for Bay of Plenty company, Waiariki Film Studios.

In a warehouse-like film studio building, a person is showing a couple of people around.

When complete, two Rotorua film studios will feature specialist facilities including sound stages, production offices and workshop space to create props and building sets.

Initially, funding is being used to repurpose and lease a Rotorua warehouse as a film studio facility.

The facility’s current tenants have already created 40 local jobs for crew members and more than 100 roles for cast members and extras through production of the action-thriller TV series, Vegas.

At a later stage funding will enable the refurbishment of a second studio on Te Arawa land. This will support Waiariki Film Studio’s larger vision of creating a world-renowned indigenous film hub.

When complete, the two studios will feature specialist facilities including sound stages, production offices and workshop space to create props and building sets.

They will attract both local and international filmmakers while maintaining a focus on Māori employment and economic development.
Related industries – such as transport and logistics, technology, special effects, construction, catering and accommodation – are expected to benefit from the project too.

Waiariki Film Studios is a joint initiative between Film Bay of Plenty Trust and Steambox Trust, which aims to support local filmmakers, engage the communities they work in, and grow the New Zealand film industry.

In September 2020, a $75,000 investment for Waiariki Film Studios was announced from the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi allocation. It will enable up to 20 rangatahi to complete an 18-week film and television training and employment programme on the Vegas series.

PGF investment in regional education and skills training — Beehive.govt.nz