John Drinnan

John Drinnan is the Media writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Creative sector a big star in NZ economy

Creative industries are similar in size to the forestry sector, says a new report looking at the economic impact of publishing, music, television and film sectors.
Creative industries are similar in size to the forestry sector, says a new report looking at the economic impact of publishing, music, television and film sectors.

A new report shows that Peter Jackson isn't New Zealand's only star act.

The rest of our creative sector is also making a big economic impact.

The report by PWC on employment and economic impacts of creative industries was commissioned by WeCreate.org.nz - a new umbrella group covering 20 sectors and formed to represent the creative industries and win over politicians and the public.

"Creative industries are similar in size to forestry, double the size of the printing sector, and half the size of sheep, beef cattle and grain farming," said WeCreate.org NZ chair Paula Browning.

The inaugural annual study focuses on four sectors.

To read the reports on the four sectors click here.

It shows the publishing, music, television and film sectors of New Zealand's creative industries have the equivalent of 14000 full time employers increasing to 30,599 staff including the total jobs in the sector.

Annually the sector contributes more than $3.6 billion to the local economy, however the figures do not allow for the taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks for the film industry.

Browning said that figures are the foundation stone for a new push by creative industries to show how much they contribute.

"You have to start somewhere," she said.

Of the four sectors covered in the survey film and television is by far the biggest and the figures related to 2011, when Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" was still in production.

PwC took data from the Statistics NZ's 2011 estimates that the film and television industry had 10,284 direct full time equivalent employees but on a wider scale provided 21,315 jobs.

The film and television industry's 2011 contribution to GDP was $1.28 billion.

More recent figures were supplied for the music industry, which has had cutbacks of staff in this international record industry conglomerates.

According to the PwC survey there were 1670 jobs directly and 4077 in the wider sector with a 2013 GDP contribuition of $205 million.

In this sector the biggest employer was music radio broadcasting with 846 jobs, with a wider impact of 2158 full time equivalent jobs.

Book publishing accounts for a direct 2940 full time equivalent employees with a total impact on 5160 jobs.

The biggest sector for direct direct employees was educational books with 300 staff increasing to 710 contributing.

The sector's 2013 GDP contribution was $160 million.

"For the first time we have a base line from which we can judge the growth in the sector," Browning said.

- NZ Herald

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