'The Hobbit' to remain in New Zealand
Published Oct 27 2010, 09:20 BST | By Simon Reynolds
Warner Bros has agreed a deal with the New Zealand government to shoot Peter Jackson
's The Hobbit
movies in the country.
The fantasy epic had been at the centre of a industrial dispute from New Zealand unions, which had prompted Jackson to threaten to take production overseas.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced that new labour laws will be introduced in Parliament - to differentiate between employees and contractors in the film industry - and a $15 million tax rebate for The Hobbit
“I’m delighted we have achieved this result. Making the two movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but will also allow us to follow the success of the Lord Of The Rings
trilogy in once again promoting New Zealand on the world stage,” said Key.
As part of the agreement, The Hobbit
will premiere in New Zealand and the government will also launch a major advertising campaign to promote the country when the films are released.
Key added that he hoped the new legislation would pave the way for more Hollywood productions to shoot in New Zealand.
"The industrial issues that have arisen in the past several weeks have highlighted a significant set of concerns for the way in which the international film industry operates here in New Zealand," he said.
"We will be moving to ensure that New Zealand law in this area is settled to give film producers like Warner Bros the confidence they need to produce their movies in New Zealand."