Speaking of government subsidies for Richy-McRichface Hollywood moviemakers, an internal study by the New Zealand government has shown that:

subsidies for films such as Avatar and King Kong could not be economically justified.

They had likely caused a net economic loss of $36 million.

Defiant NZ Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee responds with the classic excuses of subsidizers everywhere when faced with cold hard data showing them to be stealing from the poor and giving to the rich:

Brownlee, who oversees the subsidies, attacked the report as uncreative and said he would ignore the advice.

"No surprises there. Treasury has a generally bad attitude towards economic development of any type, particularly economic assistance," he said.

Brownlee said the scheme was working well, and it was necessary to compete with other countries that offered financial assistance to film-makers.

"There's a pipeline of production coming into this country that would easily go to Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales or other countries that offer bigger incentives."

Anyways, thanks for the Avatar, kiwis! Noted pauper James Cameron couldn't have done it without your tax money!

Movie producers can get a 15 per cent rebate on any money spent here. Since 2003 nearly $200m has been paid out.

The Labour Government increased the subsidy from 12.5 per cent in 2007, against Treasury advice. Trevor Mallard, the minister at the time, said his government sometimes disregarded Treasury advice because of "ideological differences".

The makers of the world's highest-grossing film, Avatar, received nearly $45m in subsidies. And producers of King Kong pocketed nearly $49m.