Problem at the bottom of the Top of the Lake: Famed New Zealand film location at risk from tunnel plan
Sunday 14 July 2013
The latest big-budget television crime drama hit our screens last night in the form of BBC2's Top of the Lake, which features the haunting New Zealand scenery made famous by The Lord of the Rings film franchise.
But, in a twist worthy of the finest foreign noir, it now seems the stunning beauty spot at Glenorchy is at the centre of a conservation row. Glenorchy village, gateway to the 10,000sq mile site which has become such a popular destination for film crews, has been dragged into the bitter dispute over plans for a seven-mile tunnel, which would be New Zealand's longest.
Campaigners say the construction will theaten Te Wahipounamu (Maori for "the place of greenstone"), which is one of just two Unesco World Heritage Sites in the country and encompasses several national parks, forestry, fjords, waterfalls and lakes.
A local opposition group said the scheme risks damaging a delicate ecosystem. Ruth-Ann Anderson, a horse-trek guide, said she had serious concerns about a report by New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DoC) to the World Heritage Committee, which she claimed makes clear that the DoC has no idea what impact the tunnel will have on the region's "wow factor".
The Oscar-winning film-maker Jane Campion, a New Zealander herself, said she decided to set Top of the Lake in Glenorchy after spending time at a holiday retreat there.
Top of the Lake, which features the Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss, centres on the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old. Campion, 59, said: "It's a detective story that's very much influenced by the landscape around Glenorchy and explores ideas about paradise and community... The magnificence and scale of the landscape tend to dwarf any personal worries I might have."
The row has now drawn in the Prime Minister, John Key. He said any threat to World Heritage status would be taken into consideration, but added: "There are many applications down there... from the new highway, monorail and tunnel, so they are all factors that need to be considered."
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...