It is great to see how a beneficiary of state welfare has picked himself up by the bootstraps and …
Well, now he can buy himself a new $80 million jet.
News of this uplifting story reached Alf via the Dominion Post.
A version of it is told here at Stuff.
It involves none other than Sir Peter Jackson.
We can be sure WhaleOil will have taken note, because at Gotcha he has expressed himself somewhat critically on the matter (as you will find here).
I hate subsidies and I fail to see why movie moguls, who make billions, need us to subsidise their movies. It is just corporate welfare and they need to stop bludging too. Bludgers are bludgers no matter what they look like:
WhaleOil was commenting on a report in the Herald (here) about the Government being under pressure to raise the 15 per cent subsidy it offers to lure foreign film and television companies. This would enable it to compete with an Australian proposal raised by Hollywood heavyweights who had dined with the Prime Minister at that time.
According to that report:
Taxpayers have spent more than $500 million in the past decade subsidising Hollywood productions, including Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Subsidies for The Hobbit are expected to reach $60 million.
Good grief. As much as that.
A bit more, and a bloke could buy a Gulfstream GVI G650.
Oh. It looks like Sir Peter might have done just that.
His holding company ZKKFB took possession of a Gulfstream GVI G650 in March, according to financing statements filed with the Companies Office.
Jackson is in good company – chatshow host Oprah Winfrey and investor Warren Buffett are also said to be lining up to buy the same type of aircraft.
The G650 flies faster and farther than any aircraft used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
It has a top speed of 1133kmh, and a range of 12,960 kilometres, allowing non-stop flights between Wellington and Los Angeles.
One might think Sir Peter would be chuffed to be questioned about his new purchase.
Jackson’s spokesman Matt Dravitzki, refused to reply to emails and answered “no” when asked for comment about the jet.
So how did Sir Peter (splendid fellow, by the way, despite the beard) get around before now?
Ah. He had a smaller plane.
In 2011 Wellington International Airport finished building a hangar for corporate jets, allowing Jackson to keep his jet close to home.
Before the hangar was built, he had to keep his aircraft in Melbourne.
The taxpayer’s help for The Hobbit obviously would have been a matter of huge relief.
It came when he was down on his uppers (although his uppers are a tad higher than Alf’s).
Jackson, reputed to be worth $500m, was one of 200 people worldwide – mostly billionaires – who put in advance orders for the G650 aircraft.
More evidence of his need for corporate welfare emerged further on in the Dom-Post story.
Earlier this week The Dominion Post reported that Jackson had listed two New York apartments for sale with an asking price of $26m.
Alf is so glad The Boss was obliging, a few years back when it looked like The Hobbit might be taken offshore.
Some tossers in the Labour Party would have said the help we gave Sir Peter and the other Hollywood movie moguls would have been better spent on…
Well, themselves, perhaps.
Or the Defence Force, maybe, so it could boast a faster aircraft than a film-maker.