10 October 2012 by Luke McCormick
Authorities in New Zealand's capital Wellington are to rename the city ‘Middle of Middle Earth' for three weeks next month to celebrate the release of The Hobbit film.
The city will spend around £500,000 preparing for the premiere of the first film in the trilogy on 28 November.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said Wellington would be officially renamed to reflect its central role in New Zealand's film industry.
The new name would appear on postmarks on letters and the main local newspaper as the city "has been integral in bringing the fantasy world of JRR Tolkien to life on the big screen".
The director of the films Peter Jackson said he was "thrilled" about the plans.
"Nowhere else in the world does a premiere quite like Wellington, and I'm very grateful for the support of the Mayor, the Council and all Wellingtonians," he said.
"It's special showing any film to an audience for the first time, but even more so when it's in your home town."