The Lord Of The Rings production company, New Line Cinema, has surprised three Miramar schools with donations of $5000 each after it was given special permission to land a private jet at Wellington airport.
Rings exec jets in cash donation for schools
by Steve Rendle
The Evening Post
Miramar North and South schools received the donations in person from New Line Cinema executive Mark Ordesky at the end of May.
Miramar North’s near neighbour, Miramar Christian School, had not been visited but it is understood Mr Ordesky was due to visit Miramar Central School today. The donations come after New Line received permission to land a Gulfstream III jet, which exceeds Wellington City Council noise limits, at the airport.
The plane, carrying New Line chief executive Robert Shaye, landed on Tuesday and took off on Friday evening, but was not significantly louder than normal flights, council spokesman Richard MacLean said.
The council approved the landing and takeoff, as long as they took place outside school hours.
In a letter signed by both Mr Ordesky and director Peter Jackson, the schools were told “we hope that this will, in some small way, repay our debt to a community that has always been welcoming and understanding of the requirements of such a major undertaking”.
Both schools intend using the money for arts activities.
“He (Mr Ordesky) said it was a small donation but I was really thrilled when I opened the envelope,” Miramar South principal Jeanette De La Mare said. “Because that, for us, is not a small donation . . . We’d like to use it to further the arts because it’s money that’s come from the arts.”
During filming for Lord Of The Rings, the school’s hall had been used for sword-fighting practice outside school hours, and a helicopter had landed in school grounds.
Miramar North principal Joyce Adam said the money would probably be used in renovating the school’s hall and stage.
“It was great to meet him (Mr Ordesky) and he seemed to have a good idea about how schools are funded, and that we don’t receive a lot of money from the Government.”
She said the only effect of the production on the school had been parking congestion.