New Film Museum

Wellington waterfront.  Photo: Meredith Foley.

Kate Chapman, ‘New Home on Wellington waterfront for film museum’,, 17 February 2015

Wellington’s long-heralded film museum finally looks set for a waterfront home.

The idea was first suggested in 2001, as Lord of the Rings fever established Wellington on the international movie-making map.

Talks between the city council and Rings kingpins Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor about a museum are understood to have been taking place for years, but crucial questions have always included where it would be sited.

Now the draft Wellington Waterfront Development Plan, being considered by a council committee today, has confirmed that a “movie museum” is headed for the waterfront.

Likely locations look like including Site 10 – the motorhome park opposite the NZ Post building in Waterloo Quay – and another next to Waitangi Park.

The council has listed the movie museum project as one of its main priorities for the next 10 years, to be funded out of a $200 million “war chest” being set aside in the draft Long-Term Plan, which is also being debated today, to pay for the council’s “eight big ideas”, including the airport extension and an indoor arena.

A film museum would be a big draw for Wellington tourism. The Lord of the Rings exhibition at Te Papa in 2002 drew 325,000 people and remains its most popular exhibit.

The Rings trilogy was estimated to have lifted New Zealand visitor numbers from 1.8m in 2000 to 2.4m in 2006. A survey in 2013 showed 8.5 per cent of visitors to Wellington said The Hobbit was a deciding factor in their destination choice.

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