14 Feb 2011

'Not on our mountain !' - The Hobbit refused permission to film on sacred mountains

The very characteristic come of Mt Ngauruhoe in the Central Plateau of the North Island of New Zealand, played a very important role in Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings Trilogy, featuring as Mount Doom. With only five weeks left before filming of The Hobbit movie, the local Maori tribes , which are the protectors of the land, have refuse permission to use the central North Island mountains again.

This all area has been entrusted and returned to the Maori as it is their ancestral homeland. legends tells of the high priest, Ngatoroirangi (Nga-toro-i-rangi) that was caught in a blizzard while climbing Mount Ngauruhoe. He prayed to his sisters in Hawaiki to send him fire to save him from freezing. The flames they sent south emerged first at White Island, then Rotorua and Taupo before finally bursting at Ngatoroirangi’s feet. Thus Ngatoroirangi is credited with bringing volcanic activity to Aotearoa, New Zealand - not as a curse upon the land, but as a blessing. Such ancient myths place these sacred mountains at the very centre of life . Having visited this incredible place a few months back, and having witnessed first-hand how much the Maori people care for their land, it does not come a surprise that permission for filming was declined. Without the option of using the central North Island mountains taken away , Peter Jackson could instead opt for Mt Taranaki and the Southern Alps.