A Waitakere City Council plan to build one of the biggest film studios in the country is being studied by three investors, says Mayor Bob Harvey.

The city council is seeking a joint-venture partner to build a $7 million studio on vacant land at its Henderson Valley Studios.

The plan is to sell the present studio for $6 million to a joint-venture company and take a 40 per cent stake in both it and a management company to run the studio complex.

The company has to raise the money for the development of the new 2000sq m studio, which will have a 15m-high sound stage. Mr Harvey, a member of the Film Commission, hopes to make Henderson Valley the "Hollywood of the South Pacific" based on the city's production facilities and natural locations.

He said yesterday that the council and its business arm, Enterprise Waitakere, had talks with three investors, whom he was not free to name, who were now investigating the proposal.

The result of the investors' due diligence and negotiations would be reported to the council in May.

It created the studios after buying the disused apple coolstore in October 2002 for $3.85 million. The studios have been hired to make films such as Bogeyman, In My Father's Den and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Disney and Walden Media will return to Waitakere this year to shoot a new film, The Bridge to Terabithia. Studio bookings for the next eight months include commercials and a TVNZ, Rude Awakening.

Mr Harvey said a push by Australians to raise $100 million for a new Australian studio did not threaten the expansion at Henderson Valley.