John Key in Hollywood: more dollar than Dotcom

by Toby Manhire / 04 October, 2012
The great impediment to filming in NZ? Look at how the NZ v US dollar rate has changed since the first Lord of the Rings film.
Recent days have seen a welter of commentary about John Key's trip to Hollywood to court the studio bosses.

Meanwhile the debate about the super-strong New Zealand dollar and tools to tinker with the exchange rate has returned to the fore.

But I've yet to notice anything in the New Zealand media that draws the link between the two stories.

I'd wager that the Hollywood honchos are more likely to be leaning on the NZ prime minister to do something about the exchange rate than about Kim Dotcom. Maybe both.

Anyway, the point is elegantly made by Chris Bourke, writing from Wellington for the Bloomberg wire service, and published here on the site of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Eleven years ago, when Jackson first showcased New Zealand in The Fellowship of the Ring, the local dollar was worth 40 US cents. Two years later, as a red carpet ran the length of Wellington’s nightlife strip Courtenay Place for the premiere of Return of the King, the final “Rings” film, which went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it was 65 cents.


Yesterday, it bought almost 83 cents, the best performance this year among the Group of 10 currencies tracked by Bloomberg

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