A nine-person delegation of European producers is heading for New Zealand this month with the aim of developing co-productions. More may join them.

The delegation is being financed through Investment New Zealand and is one of several new government-funded initiatives aimed at strengthening the country's screen industries on the back of the worldwide success of The Lord Of The Rings.

Delegates include British Film Council board member Chris Auty, Isabel Begg, head of business and legal affairs for BBC Films, and producer Nik Powell.