Sir Peter Jackson gets top honour
Sir Peter Jackson (file: Reuters)
Oscar-winning film-maker Sir Peter Jackson has been handed New Zealand's highest honour.
Sir Peter is made an additional member of the Order of New Zealand in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
In a statement, he said he was "stoked" to join the Order of New Zealand.
"To be counted in such company is an extraordinary honour and I would like to accept it on behalf of all those who work within the New Zealand film industry," he said.
"The ingenuity, creativity and spirit of our New Zealand crews, and our wonderful actors, never ceases to inspire me.
"I would also like to thank the people of New Zealand for so readily and enthusiastically cheering on a kid with a camera from Pukerua Bay. It stills feels like a hobby. I haven't got a real job. I'm stoked," he said.
He is one of four additional members to join the Order of New Zealand to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Sir Peter won the Academy Award for best director, best picture and best screenplay for the third of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King.
He is currently putting the final touches on two film adaptation of the JRR Tolkien book, The Hobbit, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings.
Sir Peter was knighted for his significant contribution to the New Zealand film industry in 2010.
His first film Bad Taste was a low-budget horror-comedy before his drama debut Heavenly Creatures, about a murder committed by two schoolgirls in Christchurch in 1954, won him plaudits and attention.
But it was his celebrated Lord of the Rings trilogy, shot in New Zealand, which thrust him into the international spotlight.
He was involved in a spat with the actors' union in 2010 over employment terms for those working on The Hobbit, which eventually led to the government changing the law and offering sweeteners to film company Warner Bros.
The director of Weta Digital, which Sir Peter founded, American Joe Letteri, a multi-Oscar winner, was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of New Zealand.