TAHUA 2017: NZ Screen Industry

By Tepara Koti

Over $300 million has been allocated to support the continuation of the New Zealand Screen industry grants, both globally and domestically.  Māori are calling for more in order to support the ever-increasing demands within the industry.

Māori films and film-makers have steadily made their mark on the world stage over the years. Despite this, the majority of funding for New Zealand Screen Industry is still going offshore.

- $222m over four years, $18m in 2016/17 for international grants
- $63.9m over four years for local films

Ngā Aho Whakaari say the budget boost is good but not enough, and also that more Māori involvement in decision-making will ensure authentic authorship of Māori stories.

Te Whānau-a-Apanui cowboy Taika Waititi knows too well the demand for Kiwi talent within the film industry.  Of the five highest grossing New Zealand films ever to be made, Waititi directed the top two.

Poi 360 interactive documentary producer Lanita Ririnui-Ryan says, "There's never enough money when it comes to creativity.  It'll be interesting to see how that money is delegated in an ever-increasing digital industry."

Even with the possible arrival of the Avatar sequel to Aotearoa with Te Arawa's Cliff Curtis as the lead, Māori in the Screen industry are urging Government to take note of what Māori are doing and achieving here at home.