I’ve been enjoying your site each day. A cup of coffee and a check on the latest news is a nice way to get things rolling. Here’s a (very) little contribution of my own:
My family is from New Zealand, and though we are now situated in various places on the east coast of USA, we stay in touch with relatives and friends from back home. As an old LOTR fanatic, I was delighted to learn of the production, especially the news of Masterton, my birthplace (I had always wished that I was born somewhere in Middle Earth – this is the closest I’ll come). Anyway, my mother has received some local “intelligence” that you might find interesting. She has an old friend who lives in Seatoun, and when you published news of the construction there, we went to her for the answers. She writes:
“In answer to all the LOTR questions, Yes, they are building a village for the film in Seatoun on the old Fort Dorset land. The army have moved out and the land is earmarked for a new Seatoun School plus housing development. We peeped over the fence last weekend when visiting the area. Can’t see much – everything covered. Peter Jackson – a local Pukerua Bay lad (Pukerua Bay used to be a drab northern suburb) – has made several movies but this is his most ambitious. He has bought 5 houses in the area – both over 1 million dollars. Sam Neill – a prominent actor – bought 2 houses in our street just above Peter Jackson’s – they are firnds. Also we are told Sean Connery has been strolling up Tai Pak on occasions. An old neighbor met him one day and couldn’t believe it. He must be in the movie.”
Keep up the great work! I really enjoy it.