Revealed: Taxpayers Pay For Yet Another Film Commission Junket
The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the New Zealand Film Commission spent over $73,000 sending staff to Cannes Film Festival.
The Taxpayers' Union condemns the New Zealand Film Commission's (NZFC) recent excursion to the Cannes Film Festival. An Official Information Act request (OIA) has revealed that the NZFC sent a delegation of four staff members to the festival, costing more than $73,000 in total.
The cost of the plane tickets reached a total of $31,348.01, and the NZFC hosted a multitude of events, including two offsite events and fifteen onsite ones, such as 'producer speed dating', dinners, and lunches, which cost over $24,000. Accommodation expenses amounted to over $17,000.
Oliver Bryan, Investigations Coordinator at the Taxpayers' Union, said, "This is not the first time we have seen such excessive spending from the film commission during their junkets abroad. We were told that staff didn’t stay longer than necessary despite arriving in Cannes five days before the festival's official start and staying until three days after its conclusion. This extended stay raises serious questions about the true purpose of this excursion and whether it was simply a trip at the expense of hardworking taxpayers."
"Ironically, one of the events the NZFC staff attended was a 'best practice exchange' event. However, the lack of tangible results from this trip, coupled with the exorbitant costs borne by taxpayers, exposes the film commission's incapacity to deliver anything other than expensive vagueness. If the NZFC truly wishes to uphold best practices, they must be held accountable for their spending decisions and demonstrate concrete outcomes that benefit both the industry and taxpayers."