December 5, 2001
Wellingtonian of the Year
Peter Jackson won the arts category as well as being named Wellingtonian of the year at an awards ceremony at The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa.
Thousands of Wellingtonians voted for the awards, which overwhelmingly showed the city's support for The Lord Of The Rings project.
Weta Workshop boss Richard Taylor, responsible for the props and special effects in the Rings films, won the business category of the awards.
Jackson, who is in New York promoting the first film in the trilogy, The Fellowship Of The Ring, had prerecorded a video accepting his award.
And if Wellingtonians have shown their admiration for Jackson, the feeling is clearly mutual.
"Being a Wellingtonian means an awful lot to me. I've travelled around the world and I've never seen anywhere else in the world that I'd rather be than Wellington," Jackson said in the video.
"I'm in New York promoting Lord Of The Rings, and I'm sure I'm feeling very homesick. I look forward to you all seeing the movie when it opens in a couple of weeks' time."
Jackson joked that the award might help him gain employment at sponsors The Evening Post, where he once worked as a lithographer "should things take a turn for the worse in the film industry".
Runner Melissa Moon won the sport category, 17-year-old director and singer Branwen Millar the youth category, and Challenge 2000 founder Kitty McKinley the community service category.