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January 15, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

A former deputy prime minister of New Zealand has demanded that, given the success of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros. should return the subsidy it received for filming the movie in Kiwi country. “Now [that] the first movie has grossed more than NZ$1 billion, Warner Bros. should repay the NZ$67 million subsidy the movie moguls sucked from Kiwi taxpayers,” Winston Peters, the leader of the New Zealand First party, said on Monday. Peters maintained that when Prime Minister John Key had remarked that the film would create 3,000 jobs in New Zealand, he “plucked [the number] out of the air. … “How many of [these jobs] will exist once the final film has premiered and how many of these jobs actually went to New Zealanders?” he asked. More deserving of such aid, he said, was the country’s manufacturing industry. In reply, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Key said that the 3,000 figure represented the number of people who actually worked directly on The Hobbit and that additional ancillary jobs resulted from such things as 6,750 domestic flights, 93,000 bed nights, 1,800 rental cars, 1,650 work vehicles as well as the NZ$9 million spent on construction, and NZ$1.5 million on food suppliers.