Newshub Nation: Why the gaming industry was chosen as the big winner in Budget 2023


Budget 2023 was a game-changer for NZ's gaming industry with the industry scoring a 20 percent tax rebate for Kiwi developers. 

As Newshub Nation has reported since 2018, the industry has lobbied for this - for years. 

On Saturday morning, Newshub Nation's Simon Shepherd interviewed the chairperson of the New Zealand Game Developers Association, Chelsea Rapp.

Asked why the gaming sector won out, Rapp said that rebates such as the one introduced "are really common in 20 other countries all over the world". 

"Once Australia introduced theirs, it really became a critical time for Kiwi game developers because we were seeing such a bleeding of talent skills and investment out of New Zealand.

"It really became a now or never time for the industry."

Rapp emphasised just how important the gaming industry is to New Zealand by illustrating that the sector was "worth more than New Zealand wool last year". 

The industry has grown almost 30 percent every year in recent times but New Zealand must take the initiative to ensure business is being done on our shores. 

"If you look at Finland, which is about the same size as New Zealand, their industry is worth about $6 billion every year."

"That's something we could easily achieve," Rapp said.

Globally, gaming is worth around $180 billion each year, more than music and movies combined. 

Rapp believes people are generally unaware of how much untapped potential exists in the industry.

"I think that a lot of people when they think about games, they think of the guy playing Call of Duty in his mum's basement," she said.

"In reality, games are much more ubiquitous than that."

Games now even expand into the fields of education, job training simulations and medical rehab, providing many avenues for advancement and innovation. 

 "It's a much larger industry than people realise," Rapp said. 

Watch the full video for more. 

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Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.