INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tana Umaga Stadium, Peter Jackson Film Academy

Published: Thu 27 Sep 2007 04:11 PM
Westpac Tana Umaga Stadium. The Peter Jackson Film Academy.
It's time for Wellington to honour its home-town heroes says communications specialist Roger Ellis who is standing for the Wellington City Council in the Northern Ward.
"The Wellington City Council should be honouring Wellington's own heroes - not just paying a fortune to attract overseas stars".
"In recent years Wellington has produced some exceptional people. The whole world knows what Peter Jackson has almost single-handedly achieved - a major league movie industry right here in the suburbs of Wellington. He has received a theatre-load of awards from the good and the great throughout the world.
"Yet to date the Wellington City Council has done little to honour this outstanding favourite son. The same could be said for Weta's Richard Taylor.
"At the very least, we could rename Courtney Place, Peter Jackson Place - after all, it is the location of his beloved Embassy Theatre, and was the scene of the extraordinary Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King world premier in 2003.
"We could also have a Peter Jackson Centre. I have no doubt it would become a major international tourism attraction overnight.
"As New Zealanders, we can do much more to celebrate our success. Honouring our heroes is one practical example.
"We need to demonstrate the same sort of creativity that Peter Jackson has shown. If I am elected to Council I would explore the setting up of a Peter Jackson Film Academy right here in Wellington city.
"While I am not suggesting the Council fund it, it could and should be facilitating a tertiary learning institution - perhaps with Victoria University - that provides world-class tuition in movie arts and sciences. Let's do Wellywood properly.
"And let's not forget one of our most loved sportsmen - Tana Umaga. Wellington born and bred, of Samoan heritage, he went on to become one of the great All Blacks, and the first Polynesian All Black captain.
"Tana's achievements extend far beyond the rugby field in terms of national identity and Polynesian pride.
"He's back in town today to launch his foundation for the young people of our town. Let's not forget his extraordinary achievements. Renaming the Stadium "The Westpac Tana Umaga Stadium" would be worthy way to honour him".
ENDS

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