20 years of Lord of the Corporates


So, it’s been 20 years of LOTR, and what is its legacy?

Politically Labour had to ensure the LOTR TV series was filmed here. Allowing National to paint Labour has Hobbit Haters was too politically damaging so David Parker was sent in to negotiate.

And what a deal David has cut.

$300million in corporate welfare to the richest man on the planet.


Surely we could just spend $100million and divide it all amongst every actor in NZ to get the same type of economic benefit?

We may as well, as Matt Nippert has highlighted, much of the supposed economic benefits from this corporate welfare are mostly bullshit.

So a $300million subsidy to the richest man on the planet to film an Anglo-Saxon Aryan fantasy with dubious economic benefits? Sounds like a documentary of NZ artistic culture rather than a TV series detailing the trials and tribulations of a magical kingdom.

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This outrageous corporate welfare really shouldn’t be happening but NZers self esteem is sadly woven into the LOTR mythology so much so that we see ourselves as the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind with pride not self-reflection.

We paid the richest Billionaire NZ$132 million for LOTR and he then took season 2 to the UK?

Stupid Hobbits!

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings New Zealand exit a tourism nightmare

Amazon’s decision to move production of future seasons of the Lord of the Rings to the United Kingdom represents something of a nightmare scenario for New Zealand’s tourism industry, which sounded the alarm two years ago that a country like the UK could forever sever our reputation as the “home of Middle-Earth”.

Before the deal was inked with Amazon, tourism officials singled out the UK as a potential threat to the strong link New Zealand has to the film franchise.

“Should another destination ‘closer to home’ (for example the UK) deliver the same value proposition, then NZ should expect [the Lord of the Rings] legacy to quickly taper off – particularly in the current climate of slowing global travel and economic uncertainty,” warns one tourism document, released under the Official Information Act.

Tourism officials warned that the decades of investment New Zealand tourism has put into the Lord of the Rings could evaporate if another country were to become associated with the franchise.

So this damages our tourism brand, leaves our movie industry desperate and Stuart Nash is unable to explain why he didn’t cement into place season 2.

Surely the lesson from this Amazon LOTR fiasco is that the Government should be pumping that money into the local Film industry rather than subsidize American billionaires.

If the global movie industry are focused only on price we are always going to get played, surely the time is now to directly fund our own movies and our own stories with our own people.

I acknowledge that putting $100m annually into our own film industry might end up with the appalling echo chamber that NZ on Air social engineering has mutated into so any plan to do this would require a Film Commission with far better panels than NZ on Air.

I can’t see why we should keep subsidizing American movies, and that’s the 20 year legacy of Lord of the Rings.


  1. When the deal was done you could have argued that New Zealand would benefit from sheer recognition and the associated benefits of tourism, with hordes coming to see where these films were made and spend up large while they were here.
    But the overseas tourist market is almost dead now with the effects of COVID so these benefits were short-lived.
    The government decided the political damage that would be incurred from digging in its toes would be too great.
    The government was similarly prepared to fork out nearly 100 million dollars so that billionaires would agree to have their elitist boat race in Auckland rather than the UAE.
    But the Team NZ organisers got too greedy, demanded too much, the government unexpectedly refused to go higher so Team NZ walked away muttering that New Zealanders were a bunch of bloody ingrates that didn’t deserve the honour of having the cup’s defence here.

  2. Benefits to NZ?? Hmm.. lets see. Matamata is the centre of Hobbitsville or whatever it’s called. Went to Info centre to enquire where it was and how much for a walk around. No walk arounds. Nope, you have to take a ‘tour’, on one their buses miles outside Matamata and get the full tour, at $175 a pop. Fuck that. So we hopped back on our own bus and went to lake Whakamaru for a swim and free camping. No benefit to us peasants.

    • Interesting- the subsidised film produces a spin-off industry and yet the taxpayer doesn’t get a reasonable price to have a look – is there a shoulder season price? Chance on cancelled bookings, some empty seats?

      In general don’t find NZ business is very interested in being flexible and entrepreneurial for the extra percentage.

  3. At this point, do we know how many lies were told to the NZ government? I say this because when it came time for the “Hobbit” to be made, there was no needto lie to them, as they had Joe Bidens bitch installed as PM by then, and that government used the law change demanded by uncle joes mates to remove any job security for labour only contractors across every industry that used these employment practices.. That affected untold thousands of tradespeople in the building industry, and associated trades… Which BTW, has not been mentioned once in NZs pitiful excuse for a fourth estate… Jackson is a sellout of the highest rank, and I will never watch, or listen., or even discuss anything he does, says, or any films he makes… Fortunately, he is nothing more than a parasite, using other peoples ideas to promote himself, so it’s not hard to blank the traitor out… For me, the lightbulb moment was watching him stab Helen Kelly in the back on prime time tv, while telling blatant falsehoods about the events leading up to his display of rank treachery.. Acting in concert with Bidens little bitch Key to disenfranchise the majority of trades in NZ… Filth is the only word that comes to mind for both those craven arselickers…

      • Steady @ Kim…? From your vernacular you seem to be turning into a U$A plasti barbi what with all them wow’s, ’ems and ya’s.
        The AO/NZ film industry has attracted a special kind of maggot that’s for sure.
        When I think back on the years I spent working in the industry my bowels start gurgling. Mind you? I did have a fabulous time by and large or at east I did until I strayed too close to the caverns of the dragon people. It’s in there, in the inner sanctums of where money meets greed. You either go in for a peek then run for your life or you’re eaten alive, or worse, you become one of Them.
        Greedy little hook nosed, hair fiddling, jonky would have slotted right in.

    • stefan If an employer knew what your mind was like you wouldn’t be employed. Who is Joe Biden’s bitch? Some may think it manly and reasonable to splatter such filth words all around.

      Reading about soldiers in trenches filled with mud. shit and gore in WW1 is all the dirt I ever want to imagine, and it was real dirt. Reading salacious stuff from people who would be incompetent in any stressed, responsible position is not informing me of anything useful to understanding.

    • Yes. But then that lovely fine wool’s sent to China, a tactic born of greed, where they treat it with an anti-shrinkage chemical so the garments come back cold to wear and eventually go baggy arsed.
      Wool fiber’s segmentated, totally tubular and covered in microscopic barbs that bind together when actioned so the wool forms a natural felt on the sheep thus protecting the wee beastie from the rigors of their E taking trance party life styles. Too much sweaty booty shaking and you get shrunk sheep. True story.
      @ Greywarbler. All jokes aside. Wool literally built the AO/NZ the roger douglas stole from us.
      ‘The History of Wool’ ? Read it? The Canterbury Club? Where them good ol boys would have hatched their scams?
      The Occidental Hotel where all the little women sheltered with their chattering knitting needles while the Real Men did a real mans business. And fucked our country over.


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