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New Zealand celebrates return of its Oscar king

March 17, 2004
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Peter Jackson and the rest of the Lord Of The Rings team received a lavish homecoming reception when they arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday.

Over 2,500 people turned up at the Queen's Wharf Event Centre to give the returning filmmaker a King's welcome. And the casually dressed director had brought plenty of bounty back to his home country in the form of 21 Oscars.

One by one the members of the triumphant production team took to the stage to place their gongs on display. By the time all the trophies were all in place, the table was groaning under their weight. "If there was an Oscar for the best city to make a movie in, it would be Wellington," said Peter, who grew up in the northern town of Puerua Bay.

It was also evident that, despite being the toast of Tinseltown, the director's feet are still planted firmly on the ground. "The second proudest moment of the Oscar night, after winning the Oscars, was the next day appearing on the worst-dressed list," he joked.

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which was filmed in New Zealand's spectacular countryside, has been credited with boosting the country's tourism industry by nearly ten per cent.

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Photo: ©
Peter shows of his booty at the reception in Wellington. The final instalment of his trilogy, The Return Of The King, won all 11 categories in which it was nominatedPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
Around 2,500 people turned out to welcome the returning filmmaker. "If there was an Oscar for the best city to make a movie in, it would be Wellington," he saidPhoto: © AFP

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