An environmental group is worried that filming of the Lord of the Rings movie in several national parks could compromise their conservation values.

The Department of Conservation has agreed to let film maker Peter Jackson’s company film on sites in the Mount Owen area near Murchison, the Wakatipu Basin near Queenstown, and Te Anau and Fiordland.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith says DOC has attached a series of strict environmental conditions to the consent, and compliance will be monitored by DOC staff on-site.

But Barry Lawrence of the Wakatipu Environmental Society says incessant helicopter noise from another company filming there is already proving disruptive.

Filming in the South Island will start next week and could continue for up to nine months.

Published Friday, November 12, 1999

ONE NEWS sources from TVNZ, RNZ, Reuters