New Zealand Wants $53 Million From The Hobbit

It’s New Zealand v Warner Bros.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

The creative combination of J.R.R Tolkien’s writing and the Peter Jackson’s directing benefited New Zealand in a big way, but one political figure in the country thinks the filming of The Hobbit short-changed local industries millions of dollars. 

New Zealand's opposition party, NZ First, is demanding Warner Bros replay the country $NZ67 million ($53.80m) in tax subsidies, saying that there is no evidence substantiating the government’s claim The Hobbit created 3000 extra jobs.

As originally reported by The Australian, The New Zealand government paid Warner Bros subsidies of $US15 million for each of the Hobbit films and changed labour laws to help production in fear that the films would be moved overseas.

The success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy did wonders for New Zealand’s economy and with the second and third instalments not far away, The Desolation of Smaug (December 2013) and There and Back Again (July 2014), the country feared it would lose as much as $NZ1.5 billion if production took place elsewhere.

The Hobbit is reported to have made $US886.1m since releasing in New Zealand December 12th and is following in the footsteps of the original trilogy’s $US3 billion made at the box office.

NZ First leader Winston Peters questions how accurate the 3000 job figure was and how many of those actual jobs went to New Zealanders, but considering the worldwide attention the country received, and the subsequent boost in tourism New Zealand has enjoyed, from Peter Jackson's film creations this, for now, is just be another political media grab.

CraveOnline has Australia covered.