One of HollywoodÃ¢â¬â¢s leading film directors has snapped up 2,500 acres of beautiful New Zealand farmland to build a home for his family. James Cameron, director of Avatar Ã¢â¬â the highest grossing film in cinema history Ã¢â¬â intends to build a property in Pounui Ridge, on New ZealandÃ¢â¬â¢s North Island.
While the government have welcomed Mr Cameron, who intends to film two sequels to the smash hit movie in the country, many New Zealanders are concerned about an escalating Ã¢â¬Ëland grabÃ¢â¬â¢ by wealthy foreigners. Keep reading to learn more.
Locals concerned over foreign Ã¢â¬Ëland grabÃ¢â¬â¢
Earlier this year, Cameron, director of films including Titanic and Aliens, spent an estimated $16 million (ÃÂ£10.2 million) to buy 2,500 acres of farmland around Lake Pounui. The New York Times reports that Ã¢â¬Ënow he expects to absorb its magic while creating some of his own in a pair of sequels that will build on the story of Pandora and on an ecological mythos that helped make Avatar, released by 20th Century Fox in 2009, the biggest-selling film of all time.Ã¢â¬â¢
The New Zealand government has welcomed the purchase as it sees big budget Hollywood film-making as a growth industry. Mr CameronÃ¢â¬â¢s permanent presence would almost certainly Ã¢â¬Ëmove the dialÃ¢â¬â¢ of the national economy, said Steven Joyce, the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s economic development minister.
However, many locals are concerned that wealthy foreigners are set to build on the beautiful New Zealand landscape and restrict access for visitors. Cameron has already closed a small hall on his land that was previously used for wedding receptions, severing the public from what he now calls Ã¢â¬Ëhis lakeÃ¢â¬â¢.
Commenting on CameronÃ¢â¬â¢s deal, The Waikato Times said: Ã¢â¬ÅHordes are bound to follow from Hollywood,Ã¢â¬Â poking fun at the outcry by envisioning pristine hillsides Ã¢â¬Åfestooned with trophy homesÃ¢â¬Â in an Ã¢â¬Åobscene showcase of bad taste.Ã¢â¬Â