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Burton Speech: Lord of the Rings Stamp Launch


Mark Burton Lord of the Rings Stamp Launch

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate New Zealand Post for the success of the first stamp issue celebrating The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

I had the privilege of speaking at last year's stamp launch, and I am delighted to be able to host you here today for the "next installment."


Last December, The Lord of the Rings turned the eyes of the world to New Zealand. Our spectacular natural environments proved to be as unique, beautiful, and varied as Middle Earth itself. Many of the film's actors became avid ambassadors for New Zealand, commenting openly and often on what a wonderful country we have.

But the release of the film did far more than show off our beautiful scenery. It showed the world that New Zealand's level of talent, creativity and innovation is truly extraordinary.

The work of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Richard Taylor, and The Lord of the Rings team has demonstrated to the international film community that our technological savvy and creative genius is second to none. Moreover, by making all three films entirely in New Zealand, the project has proved that a thriving film industry can deliver enormous benefits to the nation.

The Lord Of The Rings used 5000 New Zealand vendors in fields ranging from digital effects, catering, transport, telecommunications and construction. But the project's effects on people, ideas and attitudes will last well beyond the completion of the final film.


Indeed, the film has resulted in significant intellectual property and human capital gains already, most of which fall into seven main categories.

· Raising the international profile of NZ talent and the infrastructure for production and post-production
· Enhancing Brand New Zealand through increased international tourism awareness
· Significantly changing attitudes towards larger projects
· Upskilling the screen production industry at technical and management levels
· Establishing a foundation of creative entrepreneurship centred on the film industry
· Broadening the film-related infrastructure
· Building a potential for spinoff industries in physical and digital effects, merchandising and miniatures

Peter Jackson has openly committed to seeing international filmmaking driven creatively from New Zealand. I would also like to re-state this Government's commitment to maximising the creative industries' benefit to New Zealand, both economically and culturally.

The Lord of The Rings has presented a unique opportunity to showcase our country, our talent, and our innovation to the world.

It has also spotlighted the immense talent of Peter Jackson. I applaud his dedication to excellence, both in his own work and in supporting the work of others.

These three films are providing significant and ongoing opportunities for a wide variety of New Zealand industries. These include tourism, computer-software, music, hospitality, and, of course, filmmaking-to name but a few.

As Minister of Tourism I'm delighted that all these initiatives are raising the positive profile of New Zealand as a beautiful, exciting, high-tech country-with so much to offer.

And as Minister for State Owned Enterprises I'm delighted to see an SOE use their own initiative and take this opportunity to support what continues to be a truly phenomenal event for New Zealand.

Congratulations New Zealand Post on another outstanding collection. I wish you all the best for this stamp issue, which I think you will all agree does justice to the creative film project it marks and celebrates.

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