Film Commission’s leading lady becomes a leading bloke – but questions remain about some others in the cast

Latest from the Beehive

There is news for the farm sector, which is anxious to be spared from full exposure to the country’s emissions trading scheme, and the film industry, which is anxious to hold on to its heavy state subsidies and tax breaks, on the Beehive website today.

The news for the farm sector was that the Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system.

A report from the commission considers the He Waka Eke Noa partnership proposal provided to Ministers at the end of May, which recommended the introduction of a farm-level levy system from 2025 with separate prices for short and long-lived gases.

Ministers are required to provide a public report on what an alternative pricing mechanism for agriculture could look like by the end of 2022.

The Climate Change Commission report is available here: Agricultural Progress Assessment » Climate Change Commission (

Point of Order has yet to digest the report and its advice.

We were focused more immediately on the thought that…

Well, the thought that perhaps we had prompted the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni, to replace Kerry Prendergast as chair of the troubled New Zealand Film Commission.

Sepuloni has appointed Alastair Carruthers as the new chair, his term starting  on October 1.

She said Carruthers brings significant leadership experience, a wealth of film and screen sector knowledge, and a necessary understanding of the industry, which will all stand him in good stead in his new role.

He has been Chief Executive of Unitec, Kensington Swan and Chapman Tripp and has served as Chair of the Arts Council and of the Te Papa Foundation. He has also served on the Royal New Zealand Ballet Board, and the Ministerial Taskforce on Cultural Philanthropy.

Thanking Prendergast for her service as chair of the board since 2016, Sepuloni said she has steered the Film Commission board through extraordinary times, particularly when the film and screen industry across the world witnessed some of its greatest struggles due to the COVID pandemic.

“The NZFC is a key contributor to Aotearoa New Zealand’s thriving culture, and ensures home-grown talents are provided with opportunities to flourish through film and screen. That’s why it’s really important that the NZFC has a well-connected and experienced board that can support this kaupapa,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Prendergast will complete her term at the end of September 2022.

So far, so good.

But Sepuloni obviously didn’t read all of our article on the Film Commission.

We noted that two board members – Anthony Timpson, of Auckland, and Sandra Kailahi, of Auckland, had been appointed members of the board for a term of office from 1 March to 31 March 2021.

The Gazette records that John McCay, of Wellington, was also appointed at that time for a term that expired on March 31, 2021.

Point of Order can find no subsequent  Gazette notice to record their re-appointments.

We are keeping a keen eye on the Beehive website for news that Sepuloni has at last tumbled to the fact she has been somewhat lax in this department and has either replaced them or reappointed them.

ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden is interested not so much in who sits on the Film Commission but, rather, on the heavy subsidisation of the New Zealan film industry.

This week she complained that

“… Hollywood elites are taking New Zealand taxpayers for a ride, with film subsidies costing them hundreds of millions of dollars every year.” 

She said Avatar sequels had been allocated $148,374,065 to date until March 2022, $140m of this from August 2018 until March 2022.

“With production on sequels expected to be ongoing until 2028, taxpayers could feasibly end up dishing out an extra quarter of a billion dollars by then.

“Avatar was the highest grossing movie of all time with $2.84 billion in ticket sales, there’s no possible explanation for why they need New Zealand taxpayers footing the bill for more movies.

“People in Hollywood are getting rich while Kiwis get poorer. It’s not right.”

Every dollar spent on subsidies for television and movie productions was a dollar that could not  be spent elsewhere.

We would be better off scrapping the Screen Production Grant, and other corporate welfare, and allowing taxpayers to keep the money, van Velden said.

Latest from the Beehive

6 JULY 2022

Government welcomes Climate Change Commission advice on agricultural pricing system

The Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system.

Alastair Carruthers appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission

Alastair Carruthers has been appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) with his term starting 1 October 2022, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

 5 JULY 2022

Aotearoa NZ responds to COVID-19 in Niue

Aotearoa New Zealand is sending a medical team and supplies to Niue to help it respond to new cases of COVID-19, following the opening of its border to quarantine-free travel last week.

One thought on “Film Commission’s leading lady becomes a leading bloke – but questions remain about some others in the cast

  1. Climate Change? you have heard the latest Really from Aussie?? The lady for Ladies Affairs has said this increases RAPE!! Really!!


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