While preparing for his own Mordor Walk, alert fan Leo found this in the Ruapehu Bulletin, January 19th:
“LOTR crew reconnoitre for Baggins.
Tongariro National Park is likely to provide landscapes for hobbits for one of the biggest budget Hollywood movies ever….” The paper reports that PJ and the crew flew up from Wellington to look around and are in negotiations with the Dept. of Conservation for a permit to film. They may be somewhere on the Tukino skifield side of the mountain.”
Thanks to Leo for the tip!