Film Auckland, Auckland, 13 November 2015: Film Auckland is encouraged with the outcome of the Auckland Council meeting yesterday which saw ATEED, Panuku Development Auckland and Auckland Investment Office asked to continue exploring opportunities for additional film studio infrastructure in Auckland.
At the Auckland Development Committee meeting yesterday, Hobsonville was dismissed as an option for a large scale, professional studio precinct. While that decision is disappointing, the committee’s recommendation that Council agencies keep exploring the available opportunities and continued commitment to the studio precinct is to be applauded.
“For Auckland to build a strong, thriving screen industry that will benefit the wider Auckland community, Auckland needs more studios. We support Auckland Council’s commitment to continuing to seek a solution to establish a comprehensive studio precinct housing domestic, international and commercial productions as well as educational facilities.” says Chair of Film Auckland, Alex Lee.
Film Auckland believes that Auckland Council is an essential partner in any studio project. International studio precincts have become viable only with partnership and commitment from central and local governments. It urges Auckland Council to continue to support the studio precinct, both as the main driver and facilitator of the transaction and also financially.
‘Auckland desperately needs an internationally-competitive studio precinct. We are currently missing out on over $100million in revenue per year simply because productions are being forced to go elsewhere.That’s a lot of new jobs and economic activity that Auckland is missing out on’’ says Lee.
In August, Council voted 18 to 2 to give Auckland Investment Office three months to investigate and develop a business case for a studio precinct at Hobsonville. Film Auckland understands that a number of potential studio investors and operators were identified and a viable proposal was very close to being secured. Film Auckland is disappointed that this possibility was not more fully presented to the councilors for consideration.
Film Auckland is encouraged that the viability of the studio precinct and the growing strength of the sector is recognized by both Council and Auckland Investment office.
Film Auckland will continue to work closely with ATEED, Auckland Council and the private sector to find a viable option to meet the urgent needs.