Ataahua writes: These snippets come from the live coverage of two television news channels in New Zealand:

The tickertape parade was huge, with perhaps 100,000 people lining the route. Liv and Orlando were in one car, and kept getting swamped in tickertape. Orland wore a red shirt that said ‘ I(heart)NZ’.

Liv took her shoes off for the red carpet so that she could run from fan to fan and not miss anyone out.

Quote from an entertainment reporter who had interviewed the stars on the red carpet: “They honestly seem blown away by this.” She also said that the biggest cheers from the crowd were reserved for Peter Jackson.

Royd (sp?) Tolkien turned up to the premier and was interviewed, saying the premier was a great excuse to visit New Zealand.

Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister, wore a chain-mail cape designed by WETA head Richard Taylor. In another warrior-inspired piece of clothing, Ian McKellan wore a chain-mail tie.

During the parade, Peter Jackson was filming the crowd with a small hand-held video camera, and during the speeches he was taking still photos of the people on the stage.

Orlando Bloom said of the parade: “This is like the most exciting thing ever to happen in my entire life.”

Elijah Wood: “Oh my god! I think there are 100,000 people here today, which is extraordinary. I don’t think I will be at a premier again that’s anything like this. I expected it to be massive but I don’t think anything could prepare you for something like this.”

Quotes from the official speeches:

Prime Minister Helen Clark: “To Peter and all of the talent of LOTR, the movie has done New Zealand very proud and we’re really proud of you. May this premier and this film launch you to more fame and more rewards.”

Barry Osborne: “I think New Zealand should reinstate knighthoods and give Peter one, then cancel them again.”

Peter Jackson: “We made the movie but you guys (the public) have given us the party. These movies are made for people to enjoy them and it makes us incredibly humble and proud that so many of you have turned up today, so thank you very much.” He mentioned that 23,000 New Zealanders were employed on the films, then went on to say: “I’d like to thank Mark Ordesky for the promise he made a year ago to get this premier here, so thank you very much Mark.” He gave his biggest ‘thank you’ to his wife, Fran Walsh. “(She’s my) absolute collaborator, my support – she’s directed, she’s written songs, she’s edited … she’s my other half. Fran, thank you so much.” He then invited the stars onto the stage to say a few words: “We had a group of actors who came here and fell in love with the city: they enjoyed the bars, they enjoyed the café’s, they enjoyed the women….”

First up was Elijah: “I think there are 100,000 people here – it warms my very heart.”

Ian McKellen: “Yes we enjoyed the bars of Wellington, the café’s of Wellington, the women of Wellington, and also the MEN!” (That met a round of appreciative laughter from the crowd.) “Tolkien put many creatures into Middle-earth – the ents, the elves, the hobbits, the wizards – but he missed out on one creature: the Kiwi! Peter Jackson has put the kiwis into Middle-earth.”

Liv Tyler said “Hello Wellington” in her lower Arwen voice.

Viggo Mortensen (who received a HUGE cheer from the crowd): “Kia ora! Thank you for not only making us feel welcome (during the filming) but for making us feel encouraged, for making us feel that Peter could pull this off. Kia ora, tena koutou, tena koutou.” (The Maori phrases are ‘hello’, both informal and formal, and he nailed the pronunciation.)

Sean Astin came on stage with his daughter Alley, who he introduced as being Elanor at the end of the third film, saying she was 2 years old when filming started and she’s just turned 7 now.

John Rhys-Davies: “I based my character on my distinguished director here. Don’t forget us! We go home with great sadness in our hearts because we will miss you so much.”

Bernard Hill: “Nobody could have done it like they did in New Zealand, and nobody could have given us the reception that you did today.”

Then the TV coverage cut away, just as Billy Boyd was coming on stage, but TV3 then interviewed, live, our own Tehanu. Reporter John Campbell asked her if she was the biggest fan of the films, and she had a great response: “I’m the biggest fan of the Lord of the Rings fans. I love communicating with them on the net.” She expected the chatroom and discussion boards to be bulging after this premier, and also kindly refuted Campbell’s idea that there would be more men on TORN than women – although Tehanu did say that there were more men before the films were released, and more women after the films came out. John also asked Tehanu for the web address – so expect an influx, ladies and gentlemen.