The odds of Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit staying in New Zealand have improved after talks between film producers and actors resulted in an agreement the Government says will help this country to remain an "attractive environment" for film making.
However, the final decision on where the two Hobbit films will be made still rests with Hollywood giant Warner Brothers and is expected within the next two weeks, according to a spokesman for Sir Peter.
The Screen Production and Development Association, Actors' Equity, the Council of Trade Unions and Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee met yesterday in Auckland to discuss employment issues that Sir Peter has said could see production of the films moved abroad.
The actors' union has advised members not to accept work on the Hobbit films as the filmmakers have refused to enter a union-negotiated agreement.
"It was a useful and productive discussion," Mr Brownlee said afterwards. The parties had agreed "to work together to update the conditions of engagement" for performers in the local film and television industry. Adam Bennett