Ever since the NZ army got involved in peacekeeping duties in East Timor, the Net has been reporting that this would mean that they couldn’t supply the thousands of extras wanted for some of the LOTR battle scenes, as originally planned. This was an early rumour, but it’s gone on growing until some of the sites it sound like the whole defence force is over there.
According to Radio NZ, there’s 660 NZ defence force personnel in East Timor now. I rang the army and asked them how many they have in total, and they said around 4500. So providing a few extras for LOTR shouldn’t cripple them too much. According to this July 18 report in “Stuff” they’re only providing 100 soldiers.