- by Simon Beattie
There is no division between Kiwis and Americans on the set of The Lord of the Rings, project spokewoman Claire Raskind says. Her reassurance followed the resignation last week of New Zealand producer Tim Sanders, who stepped down from running operations on the $360 million trilogy being directed by his friend Peter Jackson. Sanders helped get the project up and running by co-ordinating the New Zealand film crews. Speculation that there was a clash between Sanders and representatives from United States production company New Line Cinema, which was financing the project, was untrue, Ms Raskind said. "His departure has nothing to do with being over budget or over schedule There is no sense of division between Kiwis and Americans," she said today. Sources say some of the Kiwi crew have been unhappy with their pay, compared to that of their US counterparts. But whether this had any bearing on Sander’s decision to step down is unknown. Mr Sanders couldn’t be reached for comment, but it is believed he stood down for personal reasons. Filming on the project was due to resume today on Hayward’s Hill in Wellington and in the Waikato (Helm's Deep). Wellington scenes will be shot at night.