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A Touch of Hollywood

; Quelle: CounterAction

Filming of the Lord of the Rings in the Ruapehu region has meant an influx of more than 400 people providing an unexpected boost to business in Ohakune, National Park, Whakapapa and Turangi over April.

'A sizable cash injection from accommodation, hire of facilities and gear, has put businesses here on the right side of the ledger as far as the start of the season is concerned,' says the Mayor of Ohakune, Weston Kirton. And Mark Wignall, manager of Powderhorn Chateau in Ohakune states 'We were fully booked for four weeks, which is normal for the ski season, but not for April.'

Negotiations were made with the film company, 3Foot6, at the end of last year and confirmed in January, but remained 'hush hush' up to and right through the filming.

'Word did get around,' laughs Mark, 'but they were lovely people to have around, extremely well behaved. They would get up at four in the morning and wouldn't be back till eight at night. By the time they finished their rushes, had a couple of drinks and a bite to eat, they were falling asleep.'

Heads of department, senior actors, producers and directors stayed at the Powderhorn, the rest spread out taking any accommodation they could find, including home stays and backpackers.

'It was an excellent bonus for the whole town,' says Mark. 'And if the snow comes in June it should be a marvellous year for everyone, a good recovery.'


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