4 Aug 2011

Opinion divided on film studio purchase

10:53 am on 4 August 2011

Auckland Council's purchase of a high-profile film studio has been labelled by a ratepayers group as a liability while others say it's a smart buy.

A council-controlled company already owns 44.4% of Auckland Film Studios Ltd and is purchasing the rest for $1.5 million.

The council says ownership of the studio comes at a bargain price but the chair of the group No More Rates, David Thornton, says the studio is a liability and ongoing costs will be pushed on to ratepayers.

He says rather than buying the whole business, the council should have sold its shares.

Film producer Murray Francis says, however, the council has made a sound decision.

He says a film shot entirely at the studio, The Laundry Warrior, paid $1 million in rent and employed more than 260 people.