New Zealand's gaming sector receives late Christmas present as new Government continues tax rebate scheme

It's good news for New Zealand’s gaming sector with the Coalition confirming it will continue the tax rebate scheme brought in under Labour, despite ACT leader David Seymour blasting it as "corporate welfare".     

Bigger than movies and music combined, with 3 billion players worldwide, like it or not, gaming is now the premier form of entertainment on the planet.   

New Zealand's own sector, worth more than $400 million annually, levelled up last year after Labour introduced a tax rebate for Kiwi studios - but the change in Government left its future unclear.   

Now, a late Christmas present from National - a commitment to continue the scheme.   

"In the last Labour budget put forward it was one of the best things in it and probably the only good thing," Technology Minister Judith Collins told Newshub.  

“This is an industry that once it gets on its feet - once it gets going - is really going to go gangbusters.”   

With a similar scheme across the ditch, the rebate will hopefully keep New Zealand studios from packing up shop.     

"They're giving a 40 percent rebate in some cases," Collins said of Australia. "We're giving a 20 perce3nt rebate. 

"I think we have a lot of other things to offer in lifestyle, scenery and no snakes - but I really do think this is a big opportunity for us as a country," she added. 

New Zealand Game Developers Association chair Carl Leduc told Newshub the rebate is a huge bonus.     

"In the games ecosystem, having something like the 20 percent game sector rebate is a huge bonus that helps put us on the same playing field as other countries in the world," he said.    

"The game market in Finland, they have a revenue of over NZ$6 billion annually and they are a similar size to New Zealand. So, they really showcase the potential of where the New Zealand game industry could become if we had that support over time."  

So, will the support continue?  

"The Finance Minister, the Prime Minister and I have all said we support this sector... it's a commitment that you have a lot of support at the very top of the Government," Collins said.   

"I look at it and I get why people love it."