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Peter Jackson to review Film Commission

Ministers’ release: 18 June 2009

Oscar award winning director and producer Peter Jackson will lead a ministerial review of the New Zealand Film Commission to ensure it is best able to serve the needs of the local industry and community, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“National promised a review of the New Zealand Film Commission during last year’s election campaign,” Mr Finlayson said. “The act was passed over 30 years ago, and during that time the face of the local film industry has changed dramatically.”

“The film industry has been one of New Zealand’s highest profile successes of the last 15 years. This review will ensure it is receiving the support needed to continue that growth.”

“The Commission plays a part in every stage of the industry from funding start-up productions to helping market and distribute the end product. It’s vital to establish how the Commission has been performing in each of these mandated areas, and whether it has been providing the best value to industry.”

“Peter Jackson is the most successful director and producer in New Zealand film, and is uniquely qualified to lead this review. Film in New Zealand is a creative sector, but also an industry. He has achieved success both critically and commercially, and has done so at all levels of production represented in the local industry from DIY low-budget movies to record-setting international blockbusters.”

David Court, Head of Screen Business at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, will work with Peter Jackson to examine the Commission’s legislation and the constitution, function, powers and financial provisions it provides.

“The NZ Film Commission is a vital and indispensable component of our film industry,” Mr Jackson said. “I'm looking forward to making positive and constructive suggestions to ensure that it remains effective in what is a rapidly changing international movie climate. David and I intend to consult with many local filmmakers, so the review reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writers, producers and directors the Film Commission was created to support.”
The review will look at the challenges facing the Commission in a rapidly changing domestic and international film industry context. Key issues are how the Commission can most effectively help industry meet New Zealand cultural content objectives and reach a domestic and international audience. It will consider whether the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978 needs to be updated to ensure that the Commission is responsive to the challenges that the organisation and the industry faces in the current environment.

Media contact: Ben Thomas 0274-943-579 or (04) 817-9763



To examine and identify what is needed to enable the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to work in the most effective way possible as New Zealand’s film funding agency in a rapidly changing environment and taking account of wider policy and economic imperatives, including fiscal sustainability.

This will include, but is not be limited to, the following topics:

  1. What are the challenges facing the NZFC in a rapidly changing domestic and international film industry context? This will include looking at technological changes, and the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution challenges that the New Zealand industry faces in an international setting.
  2. How can the NZFC most effectively act in a facilitative role to enable the industry to develop and produce high quality film projects that meet New Zealand cultural content objectives and reach a domestic and international audience?
  3. What impact has the introduction of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant Scheme and the Screen Production Incentive Fund had on the public funding environment and the role of the NZFC? What is the role of the NZFC in helping New Zealand production companies take advantage of these new incentives?
  4. What is the NZFC’s role in providing assistance to ensure that New Zealand films reach an international market? Are there tensions between the NZFC’s own interests and the interests of filmmakers and third party investors in marketing and selling New Zealand films domestically and internationally?
  5. Are there changes to the NZFC’s role that are called for given the challenges facing the New Zealand film industry and the NZFC in the international environment?
  6. What are the NZFC’s objectives and strategy for professional development, training and industry support? Examine these in the light of the international and domestic environment and best practice.
  7. Examine the NZFC’s current approach to providing information and research and whether any changes should be made in this area to meet the needs of filmmakers and audiences.
  8. Examine the relationship between the NZFC, private investors, filmmakers and the international industry with a particular focus on roles in raising finance, developing, producing and marketing New Zealand films. Are there areas where greater collaboration would be desirable and if so how might this be achieved?
  9. Are the NZFC’s structural, governance and management arrangements effective and similar to those of relevant national film bodies in other countries? How can the NZFC improve organisational/operational capability and value for money.
  10. How can the NZFC be responsive to the needs of New Zealand filmmakers to ensure that active industry professionals are involved in setting its strategic direction?
  11. Are the NZFC’s strategic aims and objectives relevant to the current international and domestic environment and do they take account of the need to manage future funding demands?


The Terms of Reference are on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s website:

Comment is invited from interested parties by 31 July 2009.  Please send your written comments to Film Review, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, P O Box 5364, Wellington or email to [email protected].

Updated on 7th October 2019