Thanks to Joram at Ringbearer for alerting me to this article he received:
Hobbits fit into Conservation Areas
by Alan Samson
The Dominion – November 11, 1999
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 land.
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
“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. “It’s easy to imagine walking into a
forgotten corner in Fiordland and coming across characters in the
“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 representatives of the film compnay had been
working with the department for several months to process
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.
“It’s one of the reasons we chose to film the trilogy in New
Zealand and we’re really enthuisiatic about the next stage of
filming in the South Island.”
“Getting this far has been a 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.”
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.