Hollywood heavyweight and New Zealand director Sir Peter
Jackson has sent a message of support for rebuilding the
Jackson was notified of the fire, which destroyed the
homestead at Paradise, about 20km past the Glenorchy
township, by the Paradise Trust which operated the property.
Picturesque at every turn, the area was showcased in the Lord
of the Rings trilogy, which Sir Peter directed.
After learning of the May 23 fire, he sent a note to the
trust through his agent.
''We first came to Paradise over 15 years ago,'' Jackson
''It is always a great privilege to film here. You could
search the world over and never find a more beautiful place
... Fran [Sir Peter's wife] and I are very proud to support
the rebuilding of the Paradise Homestead and the efforts to
protect this beloved part of Aotearoa.''
Paradise Trust chairman Tom Pryde said Sir Peter's
endorsement was ''amazingly helpful'' at this difficult time.
On Saturday, the Glenorchy and wider communities were invited
to an ''ashes picnic'' next to the remains ofthe homestead.
There, Mr Pryde announced Sir Peter's endorsement and words
''It's fantastic that he has acknowledged what a special
place it is and how special it is for his movies,'' Mr Pryde
told the Otago Daily Times at the picnic.
He added that Jackson, a famously private person, was
''probably asked to support a thousand things a week''.
Now, the trust was looking ahead to the rebuild, and
fundraising ventures were already under way.
Mr Pryde said the trust had decided against building a
replica of the 131-year-old heritage building.
''It's [building a replica] not paying proper respect to
what's been lost and it's just not the right thing to do ...
as beautiful as the place was.''
The new building would retain the ideas of what Paradise
embodied. It would be financially affordable, for all to
enjoy a simple way of life, and would not become a luxury
resort, like Blanket Bay or Matakauri Lodge.
A ''Friends of Paradise'' internet page has been set up.
Discount books are being sold as a fundraiser.