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Auckland tastes small bite of Hong Kong cherry

A group of key Hong Kong government officials paid a flying visit to Auckland last Friday afternoon, having been in Wellington earlier in the week to sign a Statement of Intent, for meetings with Ministers Finlayson and Brownlee and to attend the opening of the AnimFX conference.

The delegation was led by Duncan Pescod, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development – Communications and Technology. He was accompanied by colleagues from Hong Kong and representatives from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office based in Sydney.

Hosted by Film Auckland, Mr Pescod was able to visit Henderson Valley Studios to view the complex and visit the set of Legend of the Seeker.

He was also a guest at a cocktail function hosted by the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association and the ANZ Bank that night. Mr Pescod talked to the gathering of screen industry and business leaders about how Hong Kong can be an effective and proactive gateway to China.

He stressed that China was a huge potential market for the screen industry and that Hong Kong was ready and waiting to form partnerships to tap into that market.

Earlier in the year we took a look at the progress being made towards a co-production treaty with Hong Kong, and initiatives the government there has introduced to stimulate the creative industries.

Meanwhile, the plan for a $20 million digital centre in Wellington, proposed as a new home for the NZ Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and the NZ Institute of Screen Innovation (NZISI), which was upfront and centre in agreements signed in Hong Kong earlier this year, comes in for more than a little stick from Kiwi composer Robin Maconie, who calls it a naive, desperate, a hoax.

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