Well, not really. Auckland’s newspaper ‘The Herald’ had the usual stuff about LOTR and Cannes, but finished with this quote from Peter Jackson:

“..Since New Zealand is a small country, the Government was keen to help in whatever way.
The Prime Minister actually came to visit us early on and she said ‘What can we do to help?’ And we said ‘Have you got any spare soldier?’ and she immediately contacted the Minister of Defence who made a battalion of soldiers available.

“It was kind of fun with the soldiers – we got to train them in the use of swords and shields and spears, and with the defence cutbacks we have in New Zealand, it will be useful training for them.”

(Didn’t “Braveheart” use real soldiers for its army? Maybe we can still do military excercises with Scotland. – T )