Production Denies Environmental Charges

This story appeared in The Press and was written by Kim Thomas. The photo of the affected area was taken by David Hallett and scanned by faithful NarniaWebber Coracle. Part of the article is posted below but you may want to click on the link at the end of the story to read the whole article at (sans picture).

Flock Hill Road

Flock Hill Road

The Selwyn District Council is vehemently denying accusations it gave the makers of the film The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe special permission to destroy “outstanding natural landscapes”.

Forest and Bird yesterday accused the council of allowing an area at the Flock Hill station movie set, near Arthurs Pass, to become permanently scarred by the building of a road.

The conservation group also queried whether the film-makers met resource consent criteria.

Selwyn council chief executive Paul Davey told The Press he “absolutely denied” any suggestions his organisation had not followed correct procedure or had been a “soft touch” for film-makers.

“We aren’t going to do anything for a one-off project like this that would destroy the environment for the future.”

Davey said although he did not know the financial benefit from the film for Selwyn district, he suspected it would not be great as crews would probably go to Christchurch for accommodation and supplies.

A spokesman for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ernie Malik, said that as far as he was aware the production company had followed all the rules.

He said the main reason the film was being shot in New Zealand was because of the Flock Hill site.

“We wanted to make it work there (Flock Hill) and did everything they asked of us,” Malik said.

This story was originally published at The Press