World's Eyes on Wellington for Hobbit Premiere

6 June 2012

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Wellington is looking forward to the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which has been announced for November 28.

Mayor Wade-Brown said the premiere event will be an opportunity for Wellington's creativity, talent and industry to be showcased globally.

"Thousands of fans from all over the world, alongside a huge media contingent, will be in Wellington for The Hobbit's premiere and we'll show them all that our compact, cosmopolitan capital has to offer," said Mayor Wade-Brown. "This is a great chance for the city to shine around the world.

"Wellington's talent has turned a well-loved story into what will undoubtedly be a well-loved film. Like the blockbusters before it, The Hobbit is proof that great things can come from boutique-sized cities - we're very proud that The Hobbit was made in Wellington and we'll have a celebration to remember."

The Wellington City Council has included a budget of $1.15 million in its draft Long Term Plan, to be funded from the Downtown Levy (a targeted rate paid by commercial ratepayers in central Wellington).

The LTP is currently undergoing public consultation and will be signed off at the end of June. The premiere received the most support out of all the 'Growing Our Economy and Jobs' proposals, with 87% wanting it to remain in the LTP.

"The public supports Council's investment in helping stage the Hobbit premiere because they understand there's a significant return on investment," said Council's Events Portfolio leader John Morrison.

"Fifteen years ago, if you'd said Wellington would be hosting world premieres for Hollywood blockbusters they'd lock you up. I'm confident that this year's celebration will surpass 2003's Return of the King premiere when 100,000 people came out to party, and our team is already planning an event on that scale."

The Mayor acknowledged the importance of the film industry to Wellington and thanked Sir Peter Jackson and the Miramar team for their ongoing commitment to Wellington.

"The Hobbit's world premiere will be a celebration of Sir Peter's devotion to Wellington as well as a great showcase of the Capital City's creativity," she said.