New Zealand's economic development minister Trevor Mallard hasannounced that a review of the "Large Budget Screen Production Grant"initiative has been concluded and the scheme will remain in place.

Mallard also announced thatthe New Zealandgovernment has paid expenditure rebates of $16.8m (NZ$25.2m) to King Kong and $10.6m (NZ$15.9m) to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.

Two mini-series and a thirdfilm, Boogeyman, with a claim of $1.4m(NZ$2.2m) have also benefited since the introduction of the initiative in July2003.

The grants amount to 12.5%of local production expenditure, providing at least $10m (NZ$15m) is spent inthe country and that spend represents more than 70% of the budget, although ifexpenditure exceeds $33.4m (NZ$50m), the 70% threshold is waived.

According to an independenteconomic evaluation, the five projects injected $265m directly into theeconomy; generated additional economic activity of $79m-$151m, and created $6.7m-$22.7min indirect benefits such as tourism.

A number of changes wereconsidered as part of the review but none will be implemented at this stage.These included lowering the $10m (NZ$15m) threshold; bundling smaller projectsin order to reach the threshold, and expanding the grants to cover projectsundertaking just their post-production in New Zealand.

Local producers would alsolike to be able to access the grants even if they have funds from othergovernment sources such as the New Zealand Film Commission or the Film Fund. Bundlingwill be considered again next year and a full formal review is planned for2009.