Wellington Scoop

Councillor Morrison’s museum

by Lindsay Shelton
The DomPost’s front-page headline this morning has no connection with the facts in the article which follows.

The headline says a deal is close for a Lord of the Rings Museum in Wellington.

But what’s the reality? Peter Jackson, through his spokesman Matt Dravitski, says “nothing is decided or resolved.”

Even Wellington Waterfront’s Ian Pike, usually optimistic about possible new developments, says “there is nothing definitive whatsoever.” He adds that “Jackson’s team had explored several sites along the waterfront but he did not know if the team had narrowed it down.”

But ignoring these two precise denials, someone wrote the headline and someone else approved it.

Even the DomPost’s description of a “Lord of the Rings” museum is wrong. Peter Jackson’s long-term idea, should it ever eventuate, is for an ambitious cinema museum which would include props, costumes and sets from other major international films, not only from his own The Lord of the Rings.

So there’s nothing new in the front page report. Except for the fact that it is built on a statement from someone who has no involvement with the project.

The non-involved Councillor John Morrison is quoted as “confirming plans for a [museum] site in the city centre.” He “understands” that two sites are being investigated – Shed 1 on the waterfront and the old CitiOps building at the southern end of Tory Street.

Mr Morrison says, confusingly: “We are thrilled…. But we are not involved directly.”

He’s blatantly trying to win some credit for someone else’s project. And for someone else’s project that hasn’t yet reached finality. But he has no right to “confirm” the project. And there’s no justification for the DomPost’s headline. Unless, perhaps, the Morrison team were hoping that his mayoral candidacy would somehow benefit if he used Peter Jackson’s name. But with Jackson’s “nothing is decided” statement, the candidate is left looking foolish.


  1. Hayley Robinson, 31. August 2013, 15:45
  2. Hel, 31. August 2013, 18:07

    Good article that seems to sum it up nicely. Looks like a project Morrison has nothing to do with that he is trying to get some political mileage from. Seems self serving but it is election time and why would we expect any integrity. Poor reporting as well letting yourself be used as a political lapdog.

  3. Nora, 31. August 2013, 21:30

    Another case of “plagiariser” Morrison. And thank you Hayley for your direction to the “code of conduct”; a pity it isn’t handed out before each council meeting, as the conduct of so many of our representatives leaves much to be desired.

  4. Jack Ruben, 1. September 2013, 9:48

    Well done, for drawing attention to another inaccurate claim by mayoral hopeful John Morrison. A further sign of desperation when his campaign seems based on plagiarism and inaccuracies?
    Wellington City Council is probably the largest and most complex ‘commercial’ organisation in Wellington. What I look for in a potential mayor is primarily integrity, commercial success, experience in administering a large organisation, and a record which can withstand close scrutiny. Let’s see yours, John.
    I will attend as many candidates’ meetings as possible, and will seek clear answers from the candidates. For example, I will ask each of them to give their previous business experience with figures to back it up, the success or otherwise of these enterprises, the current situation of these enterprises, and other such details.
    John, a period as a representative cricket player is not a sufficient qualification to convince me to vote for you. Have you anything else to offer? Your own ideas please – not someone else’s efforts. Don’t you think it is time you gracefully retired from Council?

  5. Frances Williamson, 1. September 2013, 10:36

    John Morrison obviously has a very strong and publicity seeking team, determined to promote him at all times.

  6. Jason, 1. September 2013, 10:41

    The trouble with this is that the damage is already done. Morrison’s got his name splashed all over the front page of the Dompost associated with something positive happening in Wellington. So what if he broke the code of conduct? He will receive, at worst, a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket in the council chambers which will go unreported.

    Nicola, Jack and Celia really need to up their game in the media and general public’s eye. Morrison has signs up all over the place including a huge billboard on Cobham Drive which will remind eastern suburbs voters to vote for him and his pro flyover stance, which will appeal to residents who use the route. He’s also shown he’s prepared to play dirty to get the votes and with voter apathy in local elections so high I can definitely see him getting his grubby mits on the mayoral chains. A scary thought.

    Expect to see more of this kind of behavior in coming weeks.

  7. Richard, 1. September 2013, 21:51

    Just like his plagiarism of the WCC Chief Executive. John Morrison has no original input, and bignotes.

  8. The City is Ours Inc, 2. September 2013, 2:15

    Since 2010, a ‘Register of Interests’ has been publicly available on the council’s web-site, as a result of an e-petition. Declaring ones interests remains voluntary, but all councillors except John Morrison have declared for the purpose of transparency, giving the public a chance to check for conflicts. So who wants to vote for a Mystery?

  9. Sridhar, 2. September 2013, 9:18

    I thought as a long time councillor, John Morrison should be matured enough. How come he behaves like a school child?

  10. Brian Boru, 5. September 2013, 14:45

    I think that exclusively a Rings museum might be something the Tolkien Estate has a say on in the terms of the deed of sale of the film rights on the books, because JRR Tolkien did not want his legendarium to be turned into a theme park after seeing what Disney did to Grimms fairy tales. And the estate is currently testing this stuff out in a suit taken out against Saul Zaentz et al over the franchise attached to the movies. So it’s not a vote winner at all.