Lord of the Rings allowed in Tongariro Park
Lord of the Rings permitted to film within Tongariro National Park
The Minister of Conservation, Hon Sandra Lee, has given approval for the company making the Lord of the Rings to film within the Tongariro National Park.
Ms Lee says she has decided to allow Three Foot Six Ltd to undertake commercial filming, which is allowed under the National Park's management plan, but some restrictions have been placed on the company's permitted activities to meet environmental and cultural concerns.
"The filming sites are all in areas of high public use, either on ski fields or adjacent to highways," said Ms Lee.
"The Lord of the Rings film-makers have undertaken to make good any possible impact on sites from their activities over an extensive period of time," she said.
"However the company is only permitted access to the sites through surface transport available to all other visitors, and not helicopters as they had sought".
"While some limited helicopter use is permitted for ski field management in the area, my power is strictly prescribed when dealing with other access requests," said Ms Lee.
"I have upheld the Tongariro-Taupo Conservator's decision to decline the use of a helicopter in the National Park for purposes not permitted by the management plan," she said. "The legislative framework of the Conservation Act meant no other decision was possible."
The Conservator's decision against helicopter use had been referred to the Minister by the company for re-consideration.
"DOC has monitored the company's filming activities in the South Island and noted their excellent track record with successful site care, " the Conservation Minister said. "We are keen to maintain this good working relationship, and expect to continue to work constructively in the future."
"The Government welcomes the opportunity to showcase of one of New Zealand's most dramatic natural landscapes while also bringing economic benefit to the local community," said Ms Lee.
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