Lights, camera – action: govt sets the scene for a film industry to flourish (maybe) in Christchurch

 

 A command economy (we reminded ourselves today) is a system where the government, rather than the free market, determines what goods should be produced, how much should be produced, and the price at which the goods are offered for sale. It also determines investments and incomes.

Investopedia says the command economy is a key feature of any communist society.

Is a part-command economy a key feature of a part-communist society, therefore?

Our thinking was prompted by yet another government decision to allocate resources or encourage the allocation of resources for a development which – so far as we can tell – would be supported by private-sector investors if it had any economic merit.

The latest example is the government approving a proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch.

More correctly, Poto Williams, glorifying in the title “Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration” , said she has approved the proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch.

Williams says the proposal had identified the film industry as an immediate regeneration opportunity and potential growth area for Christchurch.

“Permanent commercial film and video production facilities have not been specifically provided for in the Christchurch District Plan to date. Approving the Proposal will change that and remove what has been considered a barrier for development in this industry.”

But has the district plan not provided for these facilities because there has been no pressure from film-makers to have it included?

There’s no evidence in Williams’ press statement of a clamour for a film industry to be established.

She does say 98% of the written comments received on the proposal were in favour and all written comments were taken into account in making her decision.

But how many people bothered to provide written comments?  The answer is 156.

Further south, the Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s “iconic” Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund.

This was announced by Jacinda Ardern, who said the project met the criteria of the Government’s ‘shovel-ready’ programme in that it is ready to proceed and will create jobs. The design and construction of the theatre upgrade and new facility is estimated to directly employ 155-210 people.

But will those people be employed on the basis of their race?

We ask because a ministerial triumvirate has announced the rewriting of procurement rules to favour Maori and Pasifika people.

The press statement on this issue shies from admitting a race component is being injected  into the rules.  Rather it says:

“As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika … “

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford is one of three minister to have issued the press statement.  He says

“The pandemic has created uncertainty for many businesses and is likely to lead to more job losses. But government has the spending power to channel its resources into where they are needed most.

 “Cabinet last week agreed on a new rule that when procuring goods or services, 138 departments and agencies must consider how they can create quality jobs, particularly for displaced workers and traditionally disadvantaged groups such as Māori, Pasifika, people with disabilities and women.” 

Cabinet has also agreed that when constructing new buildings, mandated departments and agencies will be required to assess the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the materials and construction processes used. Agencies should choose those which have the lowest upfront carbon

Latest from the Beehive

 16 SEPTEMBER 2020

Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability

As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and resu

 15 SEPTEMBER 2020

Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built

The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the G

District Court judge appointed

Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.

 Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal

A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead.

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