Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor sign 25 year lease for Wellington movie museum

The new convention centre and movie museum will be built across the road from Te Papa.
FAIRFAX NZ

The new convention centre and movie museum will be built across the road from Te Papa.

Wellington will have a movie museum for at least the next 25 years, with the movie mogul owners committing to the long haul.

On Tuesday, Wellington City Councillors voted unanimously to buy land opposite Te Papa, paving the way for its $134.4 million combined convention centre and movie museum project.

Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor aim to open their museum, situated on the bottom two floors of the new three-storey building, by the end of 2018.

The Movie Museum founders Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor with miniatures being prepared for King Kong,  which ...
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The Movie Museum founders Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor with miniatures being prepared for King Kong, which will be among thousands of Hollywood memorabilia housed in their new Wellington museum.

READ MORE: Wellington movie museum, convention centre to get green light from council

Museum project director George Hickton said a 25 year lease was signed.

Work was beginning on concepts and designs and there was a lot to be done during the next six months, refining how the 10,000sqm museum would work and how it would become an exciting place to visit.

Movie Museum project director George Hickton.
COLLETTE DEVLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Movie Museum project director George Hickton.

"It's ambitious."

A creative team were working on what would be in the space, which they would have "no problem filling".

For more than a decade Jackson and Taylor had a vision for their extraordinary collection and how Wellington could to benefit from it, but it had not been an easy to find a home, he said.

"It's a very personal project for them and anything that has their name on it needs to be high quality."

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The museum will feature many props from the two Wellington film stalwarts own considerable collection, with thousands of the priceless designs, props, models and set pieces.

In four years, film tourism had seen extraordinary growth and the museum would be a game changer for tourism in Wellington and New Zealand, he said.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said visitors to the museum could expect to pay an entry fee of about $35.

A price was being compared to worldwide movie attractions such as Game of Thrones and the Titanic museum in Northern Ireland and Harry Potter attractions in the UK and US.

Currently, a standard tour of Weta Cave costs $25.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the movie museum had been brought forward by four years, so further public consultation on the combined facility was scheduled for February and March 2016.

Movie museum and convention centre reaction

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Chris Whelan:

"As we work towards the ambitious vision of becoming Australasia's most prosperous, vibrant and liveable city region, this project will help us build that future for Wellington."

Tourism Industry Association hotels sector Wellington chairman Steve Martin:

"Mid-week trade would be great during quiet periods. We are all feeling positive."

"There are already a number of new [hotel] developments in the pipeline. Is there enough room for us all? I'm not sure."

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts:

"As a metropolitan destination, it is critical Wellington can attract conferences and conventions. Conference delegates are high spending visitors who support jobs and generate economic wealth in the accommodation, retail and hospitality sectors year round, seven days a week."

Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford:

"Members are cautiously optimistic. it's a big price tag, but equally it will be a strategic attraction asset for the city with an ongoing revenue stream. Taking the town hall out of commission left a gap in the conference market."

Prime Minister John Key:

"The proposed convention centre and movie museum has the potential to be an exciting attraction for Wellington. Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor are both iconic figures, in New Zealand and internationally, and the memorabilia they have collected and created would be a major drawcard for the city."

Labour MP Grant Robertson:

"We all know the success that's been had with spin-offs from The Hobbit movies....there's a massive opportunity for Wellington to have a museum that celebrates what's becoming a burgeoning part of our culture and our economy."

Air New Zealand spokeswoman:

"The development would enable Air New Zealand to compete against other potential destinations such as Australia. Convention centres are important for the tourism industry, as they attracted visitors to New Zealand year round."

 - Stuff

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