April 8, 1999
Set Construction Begins
A report in today's Waikato Times states that the
major film set is being constructed on a farm on Buckland Road in the remote Hinuera
farmland area about 8km south of Matamata in Okoroire.
The set is being called Hobbiton and is being constructed by
contractors as well as personnel and equipment from the New Zealand army.
The owner of the land, Mr. Ian Alexander, has been sworn to secrecy
by the film company and the company's spokesperson, Sian Clement, has stated that no
comments could be made until the film started shooting on Sept. 19.
TVNZ Network News also did a
story on the construction of the set. They even flew over the site with a news helicopter.
It's got to be the Shire. Gently rolling hills, mainly pasture with a few trees here and
there, and a large pond at least 2000 square meters in area, maybe more.
The TVNZ reporter interviewed a local businessman who
claimed that over 300 members of the cast and crew would be on-site for the filming.
Construction has been underway for over a month now and a number of
pieces of heavy earth moving machinery could be seen on the set.
Additional pictures of the Hobbiton
set are available in the Images section, and more
are being added.