NewsWire: A revamped NZ defies the doom merchants - Sydney Morning Herald
With these kinds of spectacular sunsets, who wouldn't want to live in New Zealand?
A revamped NZ defies the doom merchants
November 28, 2000
IN HIS latest and fleeting visit to New Zealand Herald journalist Bernard Lagan - an expatriate New Zealander - clearly spent too much time in the company of the doom merchants.
His resulting feature story, "The flight of the Kiwis" (Herald, November 20), was a mix of out-of-date statistics, myth-making, selective research and misty-eyed nostalgia about subsidies and monopolistic state activity. It was a pity the writer didn't take a decent look around.
Lagan concluded that the New Zealand of 15 years ago was unrecognisable. That much is true. New Zealand took a hammering from neo-liberal policies which forced it through painful restructuring. My Government was elected to deal with the economic and social fallout. Now the country is on the move. Flourishing creative industries, the modernisation of transport and communications, the application of new technologies, changes in the way we do business and the more dynamic expressions of our multiculturalism have, indeed, changed the face of New Zealand.
Take, for example, the New Zealand film industry. Fifteen years ago it was pottering along on the back of shoestring local productions. Today it is a multimillion-dollar industry making a sizable contribution to the economy and export earnings.
The shooting in New Zealand - by local film-maker Peter Jackson - of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has given the industry a huge boost. It is an estimated $NZ360 million production with spin-offs for many regions. Now the BBC has announced it will start filming in New Zealand a $NZ25 million production of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. These productions, along with the Government's support for local film-making, are boosting jobs and opportunities in an exciting growth industry.
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