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NZFC cash squeezed

The Lotteries Grant Board (LGB), which provides funding for the NZFC and a number of other agencies and creative activities, is looking at its income from the Lotteries Commission dropping for the year ending 30 June.

To blame are those lucky bastards who’ve bought winning tickets, not just because they denied you or I a bank balance boost but also because they prevented the prize from jackpotting. Lotto has always sold a lot more tickets in weeks when there’s a shot at the big money. In the years when the prize has crept up towards its limit of $30 million, those organisations which benefit from Lotteries support have benefitted.

Nobody will know until 1 July exactly what profit the Lotteries Commission will generate from its various games of chance, and therefore what exactly amount of money the LGB will be handing out.

Whatever that amount is, the NZFC is one of a number of agencies guaranteed a fixed share of that amount – 6.5% in the NZFC’s case. For the current year the NZFC has budgeted on the assumption that the LGB will distribute $200 million, of which the Commission would see $13 million, the NZFC’s Mladen Ivancic explained. In most years the LGB grant is equal to 60% or more of the NZFC’s budgeted expenditure.

At present it looks as though the final figure the NZFC will receive will be c$11.7 million, but if Powerball jackpots for a good few weeks before 30 June, that could change for the better.

Although everybody would prefer more money to be coming into the Commission, the drop in LGB income shouldn’t impact on filmmakers in the short term, Ivancic said, as the NZFC has reserves.