Report claiming Sweet Tooth added $66 million to NZ economy delivered to Parliament as production grants under review

Some big names from the New Zealand film and television industry gathered at Parliament on Tuesday night, calling for more support. 

As the Government is currently reviewing its New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG), a report into Netflix series Sweet Tooth has been released, stating the production of its first season in Aotearoa in 2020 bolstered the country's economy by $66 million.

"More than 800 jobs were created for the production and 950 New Zealand businesses got work out of this, all the way from the top of the North Island down to the South Island," said Paul Muller, Australia New Zealand Screen Association (ANZSA) CEO. 

Sweet Tooth was filmed in Auckland, Waikato and Otago by Warner Bros Television, which is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, also the owner of Newshub.

New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis said it's not only the economy that thrives off large overseas productions, but the local talent.

"Films like Whale Rider, Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Muru - the support of international investment has helped us to build the capacity and the talent base, which has given us the capability to tell our own stories," Curtis told Newshub.

The report into Sweet Tooth was commissioned by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the ANZSA, and conducted by Oxford Economics. It was launched on Tuesday evening at the function at Parliament.

The report found New Zealanders made up 95 percent of the Sweet Tooth crew and 80 percent of its cast.

New Zealand Screen Producers' Guild (SPADA) President Irene Gardiner said it was "really gratifying" to see the study's finding of a nearly $7 return for every $1 of taxpayer's money spent via the NZSPG.

"This matches up pretty much exactly with what the New Zealand Film Commission-commissioned Olsberg report found last year," said Gardiner.

"Reports like these highlight the value of the NZSPG and how well it works delivering back to the New Zealand economy.

"We appreciate the challenges we all face in the current economic climate, but - as the Sweet Tooth study shows - the SPG investment really does deliver an excellent return back to New Zealanders so it’s important it remains competitive internationally."

The second season of Sweet Tooth, also filmed in Aotearoa, will be released later this month.