The Hobbit: Was it worth subsidising?

Wingnut Films and New Line Productions argued that its documents on The Hobbit were commercially sensitive. Photo / Supplied
Wingnut Films and New Line Productions argued that its documents on The Hobbit were commercially sensitive. Photo / Supplied

New Zealanders are split over whether it was worthwhile subsidising Sir Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, a new survey has found.

Warner Bros was given a Government subsidy of more than $60m to make the movies here, despite some political and public opposition.

The UMR Research survey, which the company conducted of its own volition, found that 42 per cent of New Zealanders thought they got value for money from the subsidy, while 38 per cent thought they did not.

Males, older New Zealanders and those on higher incomes were more likely to see value for money in taxpayer backing for the film.

New Zealanders also tended to support Winston Peters' call for Hollywood companies to repay the subsidy if the films were successful, with 70 per cent in favour and only 19 per cent opposed.

Even among National voters, 56 per cent were in favour of paying it back while 30 per cent were opposed.

Results are from questions asked to 1000 New Zealanders in an online survey conducted between February 22 and March 5.

This coincided with the release of official documents that revealed the Government was aware a union-imposed boycott on the film had been lifted, but continued to insist that it was in place

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

- APNZ

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