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New Zealand’s huge footprint in the international film business is way out of proportion to the small size of the island nation, which has served both as a location and effects resource for such gigantic franchises as “Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Avatar.” Spectacular scenery and vfx expertise are bolstered by a 25% cash grant program.

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is home to master film impresario Peter Jackson, who has powered multiple box office powerhouses to fruition. It’s also the adopted home of James Cameron, who’s now prepping the next three installments of the “Avatar” franchise.

Specifically, New Zealand offers a 20% cash grant on qualified spend for international productions. A 5% uplift is available to projects offering significant economic benefits to New Zealand.

For feature films, the minimum spend required to qualify is 15 million New Zealand dollars, or $10.5 million in U.S. currency.  For TV projects, the minimum spend required to qualify is 4 million New Zealand dollars, or about $2.8 million in U.S. currency.

New Zealand also provides a 20% cash grant on qualified spend for post, digital, and visual effects.

Recent productions shot in New Zealand include:  “M:I 6 – Mission Impossible: (2018), “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017), “Alien: Covenant” (2017), “The Shannara Chronicles” (TV Series 2016 – ), “Pete’s Dragon” (2016), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” (2016), “Krampus” (2015) and “The Hobbit (2012-14).

Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

Incenitves
20% Cash grant on qualified spend for international productions
$10.5m Minimum spend for film
$2.8m Minimum spend for television
Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.