Movie jobs decline despite National’s promises and deals

The number of jobs in the screen industry has been in decline since 2009, despite National’s promise that its backroom deals with Warner Bros would secure more jobs here, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand released annual data from its Screen Industry Survey today showing that the number of jobs in the industry has declined since a high in 2009 of 30,600 jobs to 27,100 in 2013, the latest year data exists for. The National Government promised an additional 3,000 jobs in 2010 when it made controversial changes to labour laws for Warner Bros and paid $95 million in subsidies and grants for the Hobbit films to be made here.

“National’s backroom deal with Warner Bros to create jobs in New Zealand’s movie industry has failed to deliver,” said Green Party economic development spokesperson James Shaw.

“Key promised 3,000 new jobs in 2010 when he weakened New Zealand’s labour laws and gave Warner Bros $95 million of taxpayer funds to secure the filming of the Hobbit here.

“Since 2009, the screen industry has shed 3,500 jobs.

“While the filming of the Hobbit here in New Zealand has no doubt had positive spin-off benefits for our tourism and export sectors, it hasn’t helped boost employment in the screen industry, as Key promised.

“People are right to question the value of National’s corporate welfare handouts to large global corporations like Warner Bros, Sky City, and Rio Tinto.

“Increasingly, the evidence is showing National’s style of economic management is primarily for the benefit of these global corporations and their lobbyists, but is not delivering for everyday people,” Mr Shaw said.

Link to Statistics New Zealand Screen Industry Survey:
http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/film_and_tele...

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