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New Zealand awards Amazon extra NZ$162 million subsidy for Lord Of The Rings TV series

New Zealand awards Amazon extra NZ$162 million subsidy for Lord Of The Rings TV series

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 29: Cast members from The Lord of the Rings attend the 76th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 29, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo: AFP/Frazer Harrison)

New Zealand said on Friday (Apr 16) it has agreed to give Amazon extra rebates on its expenses for the filming of The Lord of the Rings TV series in the country, hoping to reap multi-year economic and tourism benefits.

Amazon will get an extra 5 per cent from New Zealand's Screen Production Grant in addition to the 20 per cent grant the production already qualifies for, the government said in a statement.

Amazon is estimated to be spending about NZUS$650 million (S$619.6 million) filming the first season of the show, for broadcast on its Amazon Prime streaming platform, meaning it would be eligible for a rebate of about NZUS$162 million, the government said.

"The agreement with Amazon ... generates local jobs and creates work for local businesses," Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said in a statement. "It will enable a new wave of international tourism branding and promotion for this country."

The first season entered production in Auckland last year with more than 1,200 people employed. Approximately 700 workers are indirectly employed by providing services to the production, the government said.

US-based Amazon media officials weren't immediately available for comment outside regular US business hours.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Source: Reuters