Filming for Peter Jackson’s latest movie The Hobbit took to the Aratiatia rapids near Taupo for a scene using spill gates from a dam. Publicist Melissa Booth said the film crew dropped 20 to 25 barrels down the rapids at a time yesterday for the scene. “We shot the scene every time there was a dam release which was at 10, 12, 2 and 4.”

She said no actors or stunt crew were forced into the barrels to venture into the extreme conditions.

“I think we would have had some issues with OSH if that were the case.” The scene was the only part of The Hobbit to be filmed in the area. Mrs Booth said the rapids were an ideal setting for the scene because the spillway turned the otherwise dry gorge into a fast flowing waterfall. More..