Secluded piece of Hawke’s Bay farm earmarked for $40m film studio

A secluded piece of farmland near Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay, has been chosen as the site for a proposed $40 million film studio development, which is said to have interest from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard.

Auckland-based company No.8 Studios Ltd. has lodged a resource consent application to build the studio on 24 hectares of land to be leased from a farm inland of the coastal settlement near Hastings.

The development would include two studio buildings, a production building, construction workshop, a catering cafe and more than 320 car parking spaces as well as a 2.5 kilometre long private access road.

No.8 Studios director Tony Keddy said the development would cost “roughly $40m”.

The location was chosen mainly for its access to film locations, Keddy said.

“Auckland’s become a bit overrun and people are sick of the film industry. The access to locations, the quality of accommodation, the weather, the proximity to an airport … all those things just add up,” he said.

Known as Parkhill Studios, the facility would be available for production companies to hire out for the filming of movie, television or streaming service productions.

“The studios would be more economically viable than existing studios in Auckland due to the ease of access for workers, and with more favourable traffic conditions,” the application stated.

Among those showing interest in using the facility was Ron Howard’s company Imagine Entertainment, it stated.

About 70 staff would be based at the site permanently. During filming of a production there could be more than 350 more people (actors and support crew) on site.


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