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Key leaves Hollywood with studios' wish-list

Published: 6:41PM Saturday October 06, 2012 Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key has said more incentives to lure Hollywood productions to New Zealand may be in the cards.

He has wrapped up a three-day visit to Los Angeles to meet studio executives.

Before leaving California he said several options to lure producers here were being considered.

"I think it would be television subsidies or some infrastructure around sound studios. They're really the two bits that are probably missing from their perspective," Key said.

New Zealand already offers Hollywood productions like The Hobbit a 15% cash-back grant but many countries offer higher incentives.

And all foreign TV productions here have to spend at least $15 million, the same amount as films, if they are to qualify for the grant.

Key said this was a problem for some TV productions.

"The flaw is in terms of the amount of money they have to spend before they get a subsidy is quite high."

Hollywood studios and the Motion Picture Association of America would not comment on the prospect of moving productions to New Zealand, says ONE News America correspondent Jack Tame.

But director James Cameron, who helped arrange Key's visit, said Hollywood had been left with a good impression of the prime minister.

"We managed to get a pretty good turnout of top people and that provided a forum for Prime Minister Key to express his interest and his support in the Hollywood film industry as an industry, as a way to make jobs in New Zealand," Cameron said.

The first formal part of any deal making could come when New Zealand's trade laws are negotiated with the US later this year.

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