New Zealand Government Grants Exemption - Jackson Allowed to Film LOTR on Public Conservation Land

The following is an official New Zealand government press release:

Press Release: New Zealand Government
November 11, 1999

Conservation Minister Nick Smith today announced that Three Foot Six Ltd, the company behind Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings production, has been granted consents to film on several areas of public conservation land in the South Island.

"The South Island is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and will make a wonderful backdrop for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's easy to imagine walking into a forgotten corner in Fiordland and coming across characters from the book. I'm really pleased that conservation land will be able to contribute to the success of New Zealand's biggest filming project by providing an authentic setting."

Dr Smith said Three Foot Six Ltd had been granted consents for filming over the next couple of months in the Mt Owen area near Murchison, the Wakatipu basin near town, the Te Anau area and Fiordland.

Lord of the Rings producer Tim Sanders said the company was excited about moving south for filming. "The dramatic scenery of the these wonderful natural locations will be ideal for this film. It's one of the reasons we chose to film the trilogy in New Zealand, and we're really enthusiastic about the next stage of filming in the South Island."

Mr Sanders said it was a relief that the application had been approved. "Getting this far has been a lot of hard work, but it's definitely been worth it as some of New Zealand's most beautiful places will be showcased internationally through this film trilogy. It's been a long process and we've been talking with local iwi and various conservation groups to make sure everything is done in the correct way. We are taking our responsibilities while in these areas seriously and have been set a comprehensive series of environmental conditions as part of the filming permits, including lodging a substantial bond."

Representatives of the company and the Department of Conservation had been working closely together for several months to process the consent applications. Dr Smith said he was satisfied that the filming would have no detrimental effect on the conservation areas involved, and on-site monitoring would be conducted.

"I'm excited about working in partnership with Three Foot Six on what is milestone project for the NZ film industry."

The first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy will be released by New Line Cinema at the end of 2000. In addition to Tim Sanders, Barrie M Osborne and Peter Jackson are also producers of the film. Screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Stephen Sinclair, along with Peter Jackson, who is also directing the trilogy.

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