Wellington Scoop

55 issues unresolved: Peter Jackson complains about Movie Museum deal

There’s a standoff between Peter Jackson and the Wellington City Council, over the prolonged negotiations for the city to build a Movie Museum.

The DomPost this morning quotes a letter that Jackson has sent to the council, in which he says there are 55 matters that are not yet resolved.

One of them is the term of the lease. It’s understood to be a 25-year deal, but Jackson wants the Movie Museum to have the right to terminate the lease after two years if the business conditions are not as expected.

The council, which has agreed to spend $150m constructing the building, is understandably unwilling to allow its key tenant to walk away so early.

Jackson’s letter says that the council “seems intent on reneging on many of the terms already agreed in the November 2015 signed contract. This is the principal cause of ongoing delays …”

He complains about “an unacceptable update of the development agreement (including a change in rent terms, scrutiny of TMML and its books, need for approval and lack of freedom) which he says has raised many concerns.

The DomPost quotes his letter as saying: “Given the level of our investment … we simply cannot move forward in the manner which is outlined in the current agreements.”

“We cannot commit to the level of fitout required to build a world-class movie museum without any assurance around our 25-year lease.”

He criticises the council for lack of transparency and raises concern that the Movie Museum is expected to pay project management and consultancy costs to Willis Bond. He asks that his company has representation on the project control group, and the right to approve variation in designs and timeframes for completion.

“All of these have the potential to adversely impact the movie museum.”

A council source told the DomPost that staff have been exasperated by the number of meetings Jackson and the Movie Museum company have cancelled.

Mayor Justin Lester says he would be “gobsmacked and incredibly disappointed” if Jackson pulled out.

Earlier: Uncertainty about Movie Museum
Unreliable visitor forecasts?


  1. Matt Nippert, 6. December 2017, 13:35

    An uncharitable view of this saga would have every resident of Wellington City paying $750 to build Jackson a Howard Hughes-scale pool room to display his trophies and collectibles. [via twitter]

  2. Simon, 6. December 2017, 21:53

    Peter no longer has the money to go ahead? A convenient way out.

  3. TrevorH, 7. December 2017, 7:04

    Good, let’s can this lemon and spend the money on water storage.

  4. CC, 7. December 2017, 7:20

    It looks like a bottom line transparency issue has now surfaced in the Movie Museum saga. Seemingly, Peter Jackson is not happy about being sandwiched into another typical Wellington City Council/Willis Bond secret deals stitch-up.

  5. Peter Kerr, 7. December 2017, 10:32

    This is no “bottom line transparency issue” surfacing. It is an entrenched problem that enthralls local government to the disadvantage of its ratepayers; a fantasy optimism about the future, ignoring any sober view of what we might be faced with in ten or twenty years. The present weather conditions, as a case in point, would cause any cautious planner/financier to consider the wider risks to the community she/he represents. Grandiose and untested projects need not be any part of local body considerations.

  6. Alana, 8. December 2017, 22:12

    At least Jackson raises the issue of the preference Council gives to Willis Bond, time and time again.

  7. CC, 9. December 2017, 17:11

    Oh dear Alana – “preference”. In some circles, such behaviour would be described in more basic terms, given the value of public land and the cosy contracts that Willis Bond have acquired in deals behind closed doors.