Last updated: 09:30 AM ET, Wed September 21 2016

Peter Jackson Eyes New Zealand Island For Tourism Project

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | September 21, 2016

Peter Jackson Eyes New Zealand Island For Tourism Project

Photo courtesy Flickr

Peter Jackson, the man you know as the spirited angel who bestowed cinematic genius upon the world in the form of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is set to inspire more tourism interest in New Zealand.

Stuff.co.nz reports the famed director is helping launch a tourism initiative that would infuse New Zealand’s Matiu/Somes Island, just off Wellington Harbor, with history, education and entertainment.

Specifics of the project are still scant but the report points to Jackson working with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to, “examine what life was like for the island's first Maori inhabitants and encompass the stories and history of the Taranaki Whanui tikanga through digital storytelling and augmented reality.”

It’s the kind of project that would meld modern cinematic tools to garner an appreciation for native culture throughout the region.

As noted, you can already enjoy the area with ambles around what is truly a stunning island currently touted as a predator-free scientific reserve.

Its website has more information on how you can get to the island using the local ferry service, leading to an enriching experience amid nature’s paradise.  

There is even a video that boasts the local beauty.

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Enjoy walks that will have you meandering the area for under an hour or simply gaze at the local birds dropping by for a visit.  

It’s classic travel but lacks the flare of Hollywood, which is where Jackson may come in.

PNBST chairman Neville Baker explains, “Through a project like this we can demonstrate Taranaki Whanui's collective identity and build pride and kotahitanga through our whole community.”

As for what’s planned, Wingnut Films Productions general manager Dominic Sheehan spoke to the publication and offered: “The idea potentially involves using various media, including digital storytelling and the latest in virtual and augmented reality technology, to tell stories about the Maori history of Wellington and Taranaki Whanui.”

We aren’t quite sure what this would entail, but could imagine tourists lining up to pop on VR headsets to enjoy a mesmerizing tale of inhabitants of the area.

DOC Kapiti and Wellington area office operations manager Carl Baker continued on the importance of the project: “In fact, it will only enhance the visitor experience and understanding of the island's rich human and ecological history. More importantly, it is a fantastic opportunity for iwi who own the island to tell their story.”

Now the report points out that you can already enjoy much of what has been a tourism resurgence for the Wellington area.

Stuff.co.nz notes several items such as mountain biking and new shops. And there is even a promising Movie Museum on the docket that will feature Jackson’s film memorabilia.

For a region resplendent with gorgeous locales, getting Jackson’s help on any project is almost an embarrassment of riches. And we can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. 

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