Maximising spin-offs from Lord of the Rings
Questions and answers
1. Why is the government taking these initiatives?
Set against the spectacular and diverse New Zealand landscape, the
Lord of the Rings trilogy has the potential to be a major tourist promotion and investment tool for years to come, by
highlighting the country’s natural beauty and the creative talents of its people across a wide range of knowledge-based
To date the official Lord of the Rings website has received 450 million hits. New Zealand stands to benefit in many ways
from the films’ success. Today’s initiatives are therefore all about encouraging the likely spin-offs.
2. What is total cost of the initiatives?
The government is budgeting up to $9 million for Lord of the Rings and America's Cup projects over the next two years.
So far $475,000 has been approved on Lords of the Rings projects, as outlined today, while initiatives totaling a
further $1.135 million are actively under consideration.
3. How are the assorted initiatives being co-ordinated?
The initiatives are being co-ordinated via the office of Hon Pete Hodgson, New Zealand’s “Minister for Lord of the
Rings’. Mr Hodgson meets regularly with officials from a range of government agencies, including Industry New Zealand
and Trade New Zealand.
Spending decisions are made by a ministerial committee set up by a recent Cabinet directive, in consultation with the
Minister of Finance. Members are Pete Hodgson, Jim Anderton, Trevor Mallard, Mark Burton, Jim Sutton, and Judith Tizard.
The committee will use the following criteria for assessing and ranking proposals. For each event and activity:
- The focus must be to showcase the best of New Zealand and have benefit for New Zealand
- There is a clear linkage between the activity and New Zealand and the defence of the America’s Cup in 2003 and/or the
Lord of the Rings film trilogy
- There is an economic impact assessment report provided for key events and activities and a cost/benefit analysis
provided for all other projects;
- Either individually or collectively, private sector parties, Tourism New Zealand, Trade New Zealand, Industry New
Zealand, other government agencies or entities, meet at least one-quarter of the total cost from existing budgets and or
- No new funding be provided if it is an existing event or activity, unless it is proposed to expand an event or
activity in an identifiable and measurable manner.
4. How will success or otherwise of the Lord of the Rings initiatives be measured?
The success of the Lord of the Rings initiatives will be measured through an economic assessment study. This will be an
independent evaluation of the economic impact of the Government's investment in the Lord of the Rings strategy, and will
be completed by early next year. Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development will co-ordinate this
5. Has the economic impact of Lord of the Rings for New Zealand been assessed?
The New Zealand Film Commission is intending to complete a study by late December assessing the overall employment and
economic impact of the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand. Sectors which stand to benefit include
film making, and firms supplying this sector, tourism, and software.