Jackson seeks Hobbit film bases near Queenstown

Sir Peter Jackson.
ANDREW GORRIE/ The Dominion Post
Sir Peter Jackson.

The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson's production company, 3Foot 7 Ltd, is seeking resource consent for temporary filming activity and helicopter landings at Paradise, near Glenorchy, Tucker Beach and Queenstown Hill.

A land use application to Lakes Environmental says filming, which will involve more than 200 people, will be primarily on Arcadia Station around its airstrip and nearby Paradise Trust land, mostly in mid-November.

There will be a "slow buildup" in film activity from October 3, with the busiest period being from November 14 until November 22, the application says.

Filming activity will be seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with the main operations running from about 5am until 10pm, it says. Filming would exceed seven days on the Arcadia Station airstrip and the Paradise Trust site only.

Arcadia would be the base for the main unit, with up to two large marquees on site for catering, makeup and support, including up to 20 large truck units and 20 caravans. Filming would begin on November 17 and end on November 21, with a site wrap on November 23. Three weeks had been allowed for full reinstatement work.

"3 foot 7 Ltd also has NZ$1 million rural fire insurance cover in place with a further US$10 million public liability insurance cover," the application says.

Two sets were proposed for the Paradise Trust site, with 95 per cent of the buildings prefabricated then transported to the site for assembly. About 25 people will be involved in the construction of five set pieces.

A filming base at Tucker Beach, on the far western end of the road and on the further northwestern slope closer to Malaghan Rd, would be used from November 4 to establish facilities for the main unit.

Most crew would not be on site until a few days before, with a window of operation from November 14 to 17 for filming on the far west site before relocation.

It would be used as a "shuttle point" for up to 180 helicopter movements for crew and cast to be transported to Greenstone Station for filming there.

Flight paths had been planned to avoid disturbance and would be operating between 7am and 10pm.

Helicopters would fly direct from Heliworks' Frankton base to Arcadia, with the total flights numbers no more than 40 daily (20 takeoffs and 20 landings).

Helicopters would be flying on only one day at Tucker Beach, with 180 flights expected, about 300m away from any houses.

Filming would have a "significant positive social and economic effect" on the district providing a "wide range of employment".

The Southland Times