Argument for morality: I choose to pay for something that I could get for free. I pay for Netflix. Netflix has paid for content. The producers of that content have been paid. If a local New Zealand producer sold exclusive rights to Netflix to only play their content in the US, and not NZ, then they have been paid. They are still free to sell those rights to Netflix for NZ, and/or to any other provider(s) they wish. My choice to watch an international library has not affected their income. If the sold exclusive NZ rights to TVNZ and then someone else came along and they realised they made a bad decision because they could have gotten more, then sucks to be them.
Argument for legality: it is formally declared to be legal for me to buy an otherwise legally available region 1 DVD and import it to New Zealand to watch. If you look closely at the fine print on your DVD you will note that what you have actually purchased is a license to watch the material. So in actual fact what I have legal permission to do is import the license to that content. Watching an otherwise legal stream from an international library is the same - I am importing the license to watch that content. Hypotheticals:
- Would a local producer be disadvantaged in negotiations with TVNZ because I watch international Netflix? No, because I literally haven't watched free-to-air TV since the turn of the millennium. I haven't had Sky for nearly 4 years either. If their rights are devalued it's not because of geoblock bypassing
- Would Lightbox exist if it were not for exclusive rights agreements? This is a specious argument; Lightbox does exist, and good for them. However, the law only guarantees you the right to try to make money. It doesn't guarantee that you actually will make money
- Is international Netflix killing local content producers? I believe it's neutral. If they produce content people actually want to watch, then they'll manage. I'm not personally into Shortland Street, but I loved Outrageous Fortune*
*I watched it from free-to-air via Sky w/ the PVR and skipped all the ads. That makes a double-bad person.
Edit - I accidentally a word.