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Title PageIn the last few dec­ades New Zealand’s eco­nom­ic focus has begun expand­ing to value our emer­ging cre­at­ive and know­ledge eco­nom­ies. Those eco­nom­ies are best described as the poten­tial that exists in our ideas, how we apply these, what new mar­kets we uncov­er and with what tech­no­logy and plat­forms, and the money we make from doing so.

Our screen sec­tor and the intel­lec­tu­al prop­erty we pro­duce in long-form tele­vi­sion, movies, gam­ing, toys, inter­act­ive tools, apps and oth­er trans­me­dia and inter­act­ive tech­no­lo­gies hold sig­ni­fic­ant poten­tial for New Zealand’s future.

There are sev­er­al factors that cre­ate an eco­nomy that is com­pet­it­ive, rel­ev­ant and there­fore resi­li­ent: sus­tain­able levels of invest­ment in infra­struc­ture, people and pro­jects; access to lar­ger mar­kets; and con­sist­ently high-cal­ibre tal­ent com­ing through the edu­ca­tion sys­tem, armed not just with aca­dem­ic degrees but a com­mer­cial focus, skills and aware­ness to form part­ner­ships that will suc­cess­fully assist in exploit­ing their work.

The primary indus­tries that are syn­onym­ous with our nation­al iden­tity have these ele­ments firmly in place. Our new­er indus­tries need to build on these sol­id found­a­tions. One of the toughest ques­tions to answer here is the clas­sic chick­en and egg conun­drum: which comes first, infra­struc­ture, invest­ment or talent?

By tal­ent, we refer to writers, act­ors, dir­ect­ors, pro­gram­mers, design­ers, anim­at­ors, fin­ance experts and pro­du­cers, among oth­ers. These are our storytellers, rain-makers, tree-shakers and dream-chasers.

Based in Wel­ling­ton, the PIPI Trust and its pro­gramme aim to empower the next gen­er­a­tion of IP cre­at­ors to com­mer­cial­ise their own cre­at­ive con­tent and export it to the world. The pro­gramme intro­duces industry pro­cess and crit­ic­al assess­ment to the devel­op­ment of enter­tain­ment prop­er­ties, and gives the cre­at­ors an insight into com­mer­cial real­it­ies and how private sec­tor part­ners can shape emer­ging tal­ent to fit into the needs of the industry.

Sparked by a need to upskill New Zea­l­and writers to inter­na­tion­al stand­ards in order to foster show-run­ner writers that can even­tu­ally match the likes of Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Ana­tomy), Neil Cross (Spooks, Luth­er, Cross­bones), Dav­id Benioff (Game of Thrones), Mat­thew Wein­er (Mad Men) and Steven Mof­fat (Sher­lock, Doc­tor Who), the recently cre­ated PIPI Trust is sup­por­ted by Vic­tor­ia Uni­ver­sity, Mas­sey Uni­ver­sity, Pukeko Pic­tures,, Grow Wel­ling­ton and Chap­man Tripp.

To suc­ceed in the col­lect­ive goal to cre­ate world-class con­tent in gam­ing, film and tele­vi­sion requires innov­at­ive storytelling and design tech­nique, com­bined with a clear under­stand­ing of inter­na­tion­al mar­ket­place require­ments. The PIPI pro­gramme is par­tic­u­larly focused on match­ing up com­pli­ment­ary skill-sets — writers work­ing with design­ers, for example, as a cre­at­ive and com­mer­cial col­lab­or­a­tion. Great things are nev­er achieved alone.


Nicci Lock

Nicci Lock is a writer and screen projects manager with a background in producing sound, animation, live action and VFX for commercials, TV and film, and is a PIPI trustee.

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