Amazon's Lord Of The Rings TV Show Gets Additional Rebate From NZ Government

The New Zealand government has given Amazon a 25% rebate, or $116 million, to film the show in the country.


New Zealand's government is giving Amazon additional tax breaks to film its The Lord of the Rings series in the country. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said on April 16 that the government will give Amazon an extra 5% rebate from New Zealand's Screen Production Grant, which is on top of the 20% that came before.

If the rumored $465 million USD (NZ $650 million) budget for season one is correct, that would work out to a rebate of about $116 million USD (NZ $162 million) with the full 25% rebate accounted for.

"The agreement with Amazon not only creates an enduring legacy for our screen industry, it generates local jobs and creates work for local businesses," Nash said (via Reuters). "It will enable a new wave of international tourism branding and promotion for this country. It opens the door for Kiwi businesses to access future innovations in technology, research and development through connections with the wider Amazon group."

Part of the reason why the New Zealand government is cutting Amazon such a good deal is because there is "considerable economic and tourism potential," Nash said.

"Not only does it bolster our global reputation as a desirable place to make screen productions, it will further strengthen our tourism appeal to visitors with the 'Middle-earth' theme," Nash said.

More than 1,200 people are directly involved with the production of the Lord of the Rings TV show's first season, and 700 additional people are indirectly employed on the project, the New Zealand government said.

The New Zealand government also mentioned that the Lord of the Rings TV show's production and cast are made up of a lot of home grown talent. This includes:

  • 67% of the speaking roles cast to NZ actors
  • 21% of the major roles cast to NZ actors
  • 92-95% of the crew are New Zealanders
  • 80% of the Heads of Departments (HOD) are New Zealanders

Regarding tourism, the New Zealand government said that--in pre-pandemic times--about 19% of all tourists coming to the country, or around 351,000 people, said Lord of the Rings was a factor in their decision to travel. With the new TV series, this is expected to continue once borders are reopened to international visitors. As it happens, the travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia just recently opened.

Additionally, New Zealand's tourism department will "work closely" with with Amazon on various campaigns that promote the idea of traveling to New Zealand on a vacation.

You can read the full statement on the New Zealand government website.

Sharon Tal Yguado, a former producer on the Amazon Lord of the Rings TV show, said the recently reported price tag for season one is "fake news."

In other Lord of the Rings news, Amazon recently canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO due in part to a reported contract dispute.

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