12 Apr 2017

NZ screen industry revenue rises to $3.3bn

2:41 pm on 12 April 2017

New Zealand's screen industry has experienced a rise in revenue, due to a rebound by Wellington's movie sector.

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell.

Parts of the the film Ghost in the Shell, starting Scarlett Johansson, were made in Wellington. Photo: DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures

Official figures show total revenue rose 3 percent to $3.3 billion in 2016, compared with $3.2bn in the previous year.

Revenue had been stable at just over $3bn for the previous three years.

The industry benefited from a jump in production work, mostly from North American and European players, which more than offset a drop in television broadcasting.

"Wellington is the powerhouse in feature film production in New Zealand," Statistics NZ business performance senior manager Daria Kwon said.

"Film production revenue of $644m was recorded for Wellington businesses in 2016, more than double that from a relatively slow year in 2015."

Auckland also enjoyed a boost from film, which doubled to $356m.

That helped make up for a decline in its traditional strengths of TV programmes and commercials.

TV fell 12 percent to $387m, and 44 percent to $160m respectively.

Total spending on producing edged down 1 percent to $767m, with 90 percent of that in Auckland and Wellington.

The government pumped more money in - an increase of 15 percent to $190m - while financing from the private sector and broadcasters declined.

The number of businesses involved in the screen industry fell from 3000 in 2013 to 2811 last year.

The number of people in the industry has also declined.

The sector employed 14,000 people in 2015, the latest figures available, and it has been falling gradually since peaking at 16,000 in 2009.

Earnings rose 6 percent to $751m and the median wage rose 17 percent to $35,565.

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