November 13, 1999
Hobbits Fit Into
The hobbits are on the move.
The Conservation Department confirmed yesterday that it has
given permission to the Lord of the Rings cast and crew to film on South Island
Conservation minister Nick Smith said filming would be
allowed during the next couple of months in the Mt Owen area near Murchison, the Wakatipu
basin near Queenstown, the Te Anau area and Fiordland.
The remote and sometimes wild territory contrasts with the
south-of-Matamata site of Hobbiton revealed this week.
Hobbiton, home of the hobbits. Features only briefly in the
Tolkien adventure; the South Island promises a spectacular variety for the whole
"The South Island is home to some of the most
spectacular scenery in the world and will make a wonderful backdrop for the trilogy,"
Dr Smith said. "Its easy to imagine walking into a forgotten corner in
Fiordland and coming across characters in the book."
"Im really pleased that conservation land will be
able to contribute to the success of New Zealands biggest filming project by
providing an authentic setting."
Dr Smith said representatives of the film compnay had been
working with the department for several months to process consent applications.
He was satisfied filming would not harm the areas involved,
but sire monitoring would be conducted.
Lord of the Rings producer Tim Sanders said the dramatic
scenery was ideal for the films.
"Its one of the reasons we chose to film the
trilogy in New Zealand and were really enthuisiatic about the next stage of filming
in the South Island."
"Getting this far has been a a lot of hard work, but
its definitely been worth it as some of New Zealands most beautiful places
will be showcased internationally."
Discussions with local Kiwis and various conservation groups
had been held, Mr Sanders said.
The producers had been set comprehensive conditions, and had
to pay a substantial bond, Mr Sanders said.