Amazon wanted to stay, but Labour drove them away

New information has revealed Amazon wanted to keep filming the Lord of the Rings television series in New Zealand, but the Government’s unwillingness to hear them out forced the series offshore, costing the economy billions, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Despite Amazon petitioning hard to keep the series in New Zealand, including proposing independent MIQ facilities, the Government didn’t consider the company’s submissions in good faith.

“As a result Amazon was forced to shift production overseas to a country that was willing to accommodate the company’s requests and New Zealand lost $4.5 billion in spending and 2000 jobs.

“Film sector insiders have stressed Amazon’s frustration in getting face time with Ministers. It is deeply disappointing that Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash held no meetings with Amazon officials regarding the production.

“Mr Nash now needs to explain to the thousands of Kiwis who won’t have a job why he didn’t do more to keep the multi-season production in the country.

“We would’ve thought the billion dollar investment the production would have to our economy, particularly when it’s taken a hit due to Covid, should’ve at least warranted a meeting to hear Amazon out.

“Kiwis are now paying the price of Stuart Nash’s inaction.

“It’s another example of Labour’s reluctance to collaborate meaningfully with the private sector.

“Despite what Mr Nash had said it’s now clear Amazon wanted to stay in New Zealand and made an effort to do so. By fobbing off his work Stuart Nash has cost Kiwis dearly.”