Ringer Spy Ataahua sends along some interesting information about Oscar night, and the NZ connections.

* Before the LOTR contingent left their hotel for the Academy Awards, a kapa haka (traditional Maori performance) group turned up and performed a haka in front of them. A haka is usually miss-named a ‘war dance’ – it’s actually a challenge, and can be performed in recognition of respect and honour upon the other party. Elijah Wood looked stunned by it, and the Kiwis in the party were thrilled. (The kapa haka group was arranged by TVNZ as a “good luck, well done” gesture to the LOTR people.)

* Wondered why Richard Taylor took his mum with him to the Oscars? Richard’s wife is three weeks away from giving birth! His mum later mentioned that when Richard was a boy, the two of them were in Los Angeles walking on that walk-of-fame, stars-with-the-names-in-them, footpath. “I didn’t think that several years later I’d be here watching my boy picking up two Oscars,” she said around a very big smile!

* This is the first time that a New Zealander (Richard Taylor) has won two Oscars, let alone on the same night. (New Zealanders had just two previous Oscars before last night – Anna Paquin’s best supporting actress for The Piano, and a technical award given a decade or so before hand – I don’t remember the man’s name or the film.)