Source: NZ Herald
Power Rangers has been shooting in Auckland, New Zealand since 2003 and has quickly grown to be known as a staple international production. Village Roadshow KP Productions housed the franchise while it was produced by Disney. Soon, the company name changed to Ranger Productions, and finally was produced under Power Rangers Productions upon Saban’s purchase of the franchise in 2011.
During that time, the series had access to a subsidy through New Zealand’s Film Commission as an international production. In 2014, when Power Rangers Dino Charge was making news by showcasing and promoting James Davies’s character, Chase Randall the Black Ranger, as “a native New Zealander, is a keen skateboarder who speaks with a Kiwi accent.” This was one of the many aspects of production allowing the production company an additional 5% incentive bonus for filming in Auckland including:
- Hiring more Kiwi crew members to work on the production (there were complaints in 2012 that the crew members consisted of more Americans than Kiwis – NZ Herald)
- Hiring Kiwi director and writing department interns (which continued on into Power Rangers Ninja Steel, and Power Rangers Beast Morphers)
- Having a New Zealand character in Chase Randall
- Multiple New Zealand references in the show itself (check out Martian Ranger’s compilation of NZ references found in Power Rangers Dino Charge)
- Two episodes set in New Zealand (Power Rangers Dino Charge’s “World Famous! (in New Zealand)”, and “Deep Down Under”
In May 2017, the qualifications for this 5% uplift were tightened, going into effect July 1st of that year. Some of the qualifications include looking at:
- the amount of expenditure on current production
- New Zealand production activity
- use of New Zealand personnel
- wider economic benefits
(You can learn more about it here: New Zealand Film Commision; For an even more in depth look, go here.)
With the abundance of Kiwi personnel on the show (100% of post production, 1,284 members of the crew and over 6,000 extras since 2003) and the heavy New Zealand references in Power Rangers Dino Charge, it was no surprise that the 22nd and 23rd seasons were eligible, and now the only seasons, eligible for the 5% bonus.
Due to the cracking down of what aspects of international productions would qualify for said bonus, Power Rangers no longer qualifies. With this news, fans are already calling for Hasbro, the new owner of the franchise, to bring the show back to Canada or California. However, with or without the 5% uplift (and Power Rangers can make the show successfully without it as evidenced with the seasons preceding, and arriving after Power Rangers Dino Charge), New Zealand is still the best route to go in regards to the cheaper option to produce the show. It should also be pointed out that Power Rangers Productions is contracted to be working out of Studio West until May 2019.
There is no telling at the time of this news releasing whether Hasbro will look for another means of earning money for their productions, or if it will ultimately help or hinder Power Rangers Beast Morphers, which starts production this late summer.