NZ funds digital content

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Thanks to a government initiative, New Zealand will have new funding in the digital content creation sector, which could attract co-productions to the country.

New Zealand, home of Peter Jackson's effects house Weta, will contribute government funds up to $2 million over two years to the Auckland Regional Council. Specifically, the funding is for the Digital Content Sector Development Initiative, developed by the council's economic development unit, AucklandPlus, in consultation with the local industry.

"The new funding signals that the New Zealand government is taking digital content creation seriously," said Jos Ruffell, chair of NZ GAV Trust. "In New Zealand, we are reliant on exports. We work with companies primarily on the West Coast of the U.S. We are hoping this will mean increased capabilities to support the studios that work with New Zealand companies and increase co-production deals."

Government work also is under way on a national initiative, in partnership with such groups as Creative Digital Content Auckland and the NZ Games Animation and Visual Effects Trust, which organizes the international AnimfxNZ confab.

"Growing this sector significantly contributes to New Zealand's economic transformation," economic development minister Pete Hodgson said. "The digital content sector extends well beyond the traditional high-profile entertainment and is of significant strategic importance to New Zealand. It stretches into health IT, biotech, manufacturing and marine."
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