The set is being called Hobbiton and is being constructed by contractors as well as personnel and equipment from the New Zealand army.
The owner of the land, Mr. Ian Alexander, has been sworn to secrecy by the film company and the company's spokesperson, Sian Clement, has stated that no comments could be made until the film started shooting on Sept. 19.
TVNZ Network News also did a story on the construction of the set. They even flew over the site with a news helicopter. It's got to be the Shire. Gently rolling hills, mainly pasture with a few trees here and there, and a large pond at least 2000 square meters in area, maybe more.
The TVNZ reporter interviewed a local businessman who claimed that over 300 members of the cast and crew would be on-site for the filming.
Construction has been underway for over a month now and a number of pieces of heavy earth moving machinery could be seen on the set.