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

by Nov 10, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

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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