Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has agreed on a five-year lease for Auckland Film Studios (AFS) with Panuku Development Auckland (which now has responsibility for the site as part of its property portfolio on behalf of Auckland Council).

The lease will commence on 29 September.

The Council agencies involved have agreed to make provisions to ensure the premises continue to attract domestic and international screen productions over the course of the lease. This work will take place in a way that does not impact on productions using the studios.

In late 2017, ATEED plans to issue a public call for expressions of interest in managing the film studio (likely to include both AFS and Kumeu Film Studios).

Putting a skilled operator in place will allow ATEED to work in conjunction with the film industry to focus on its core economic growth role relating to the screen sector – attracting productions to Auckland. The sector continues to expand, earning hundreds of millions a year in revenue for the region, supporting hundreds of screen-related businesses, and providing thousands of jobs.

The five-year time frame gives the private sector ample time to explore opportunities to invest in future studio infrastructure to enable the smooth transition of studio capacity once Panuku needs the site as part of its plans to ‘unlock’ Henderson.

We are delighted that AFS – in particular, the centrepiece Studio 5 sound stage – will remain a core element in Auckland’s screen infrastructure marketing proposition for at least five years. Alongside Kumeu’s current infrastructure, the two new 2500 sq m sound stages which come on stream at Kumeu early 2018, and a number of existing private sector facilities, we have a thriving industry that is continuing to grow.