The Government has made another concession to the makers of the Hobbit movies as it paves the way for them to be made here.
The head of Immigration New Zealand, Nigel Bickle, has confirmed that approval has been given to Three Foot Seven Ltd to recruit 40 overseas actors for the movies.
Mr Bickle says the department followed its usual practice of asking both Actors' Equity and Work and Income to comment on the request to allow the actors into the country.
He says the union opposed the request but Work and Income supported it.
The matter then went to the Associate Immigration Minister, Kate Wilkinson, who approved it.
While the department followed its usual practice, Radio New Zealand's political editor says, apparently the union did not get access to the information it normally gets.
It couldn't be sure local actors were being given an equal opportunity to audition for all 75 speaking parts, and that apparently is why it opposed the request.