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NZ reliance on Hobbit in question

Sunday 25 Nov 2012 11:03 a.m.

The premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is next Wednesday  (file)

The premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is next Wednesday (file)

Prime Minister John Key is denying that the New Zealand film industry is based on Sir Peter Jackson.

"Peter is a very, very big fish in quite a small tank," Mr Key told the New York Times ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey next Wednesday.

The article asks if a significant and enduring economic sector can be built in New Zealand from a business dominated by one man.

"Peter Jackson might make movies for the next 50 years, or he might not," said Mr Key. "You can't base an industry solely on one person. That's a very vulnerable business strategy."

The article notes the large investment the Government has made in trying to attract tourists to New Zealand by marketing its connections with Sir Peter's movies.

It asks whether overseas travellers will be attracted to a deliberate illusion that blurs the line between New Zealand and its films.

The New York Times said Mr Key would not predict when a next major film would follow The Hobbit.

"It's too early to say," he said.

Mr Key strongly challenged the notion that he might have lost the 2011 election had The Hobbit been lost.

"Definitely not," he said.


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