David Seymour slams any Government Lord of the Rings subsidy for Jeff Bezos

ACT Party leader David Seymour is slamming the Government for potentially subsidising the world's richest man.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Amazon's $1.5 billion Lord of the Rings television series will shoot in New Zealand.

And it could mean the world's richest man, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, gets a fat subsidy from the Government.

If Amazon applies for a screen production grant - which Trade Minister David Parker has confirmed has been offered - it could get 20 percent to 25 percent of its New Zealand spending back. That could be a subsidy of between $300m and $375m for Bezos' company.

"The Government has confirmed that its much-vaunted 'Wellbeing Budget' will improve the financial wellbeing of the world's richest man", ACT Leader David Seymour said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It defies belief that a left-wing government would line the pockets of Jeff Bezos at the expense of ordinary taxpayers."

There is no cap on how much film productions can claim in grants, and an MBIE-commissioned report last year found the economic benefits of the grant "significantly outweigh the costs".

"Far from improving our wellbeing, TV and movie subsidies are making us poorer," Seymour says.

"Labour and National have been locked in a costly race to the bottom to secure TV and movie productions and the photo opportunities that come with them.

"Every dollar spent on subsidies for television and movie productions is a dollar that can't be spent elsewhere. We would be better off scrapping the screen production grant, and other corporate welfare, and allowing taxpayers to keep the money."

However Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is welcoming the news, calling it a "really exciting opportunity" for the city, which will host much of the filming.

"This production will support Auckland's world-class screen businesses to grow, create jobs and provide an immense boost to our regional and national economy," Goff said in a statement.

"We already have a billion-dollar screen industry and being the main production base for Amazon's new TV series will take it to a new level." 

Amazon Studios confirmed that pre-production is already underway for the series, which will explore new storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring narrative.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said the details around budget, crew size and production plans are yet to be defined, but the scale of the series is likely to be unprecedented for New Zealand.