At 2000 square metres each (6560 square feet), the expansion means the studios now have five stages totalling more than 7500 square metres (24,600 square feet).
The year-long construction project was made possible by $30 million funding from the New Zealand Government, with the remaining $7.5 million from studio owner Auckland Council. Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown joined the Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage, in opening the two new stages.
Screen Auckland manager Matt Horrocks says the new stages were built to meet the growing demand of the past five years for studio space and quality content. They are already booked, with a production due to start work there in the new year. Recent projects have included The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon Prime) and Sweet Tooth (Netflix).
Auckland has earned a reputation for the world-class studios, coupled with highly-skilled crew.
"Auckland has earned a reputation for the world-class studios, coupled with highly-skilled crew,” he says. “These studios were designed with the input of senior screen producers who understand the needs of premium productions, making this an attractive proposition in a start-of-the-art space that is only 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre and sought-after west Auckland coastline locations.
Sound stage space in Auckland has grown to more than 32,000 square metres (almost 105,000 square feet) in the past decade – attracting large international productions.
The new stages were gifted the name 'Te Pūtahi' (to join and intersect) by the local Māori iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki – as a place where people will meet to make creative works for the world stage.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says, "Auckland is proud to have played a critical role in the development of New Zealand’s screen production industry. The two new stages mean Auckland Film Studios can now cater for much larger single productions, or multiple smaller productions at once."
"They strengthen Auckland Film Studios and Auckland’s west as a screen destination at a time when New Zealand’s global reputation for big budget productions is growing."
The expansion is expected to deliver hundreds more high-skilled screen production jobs and support the region’s more than 2000 screen production-based businesses.