Sir Peter Jackson's hometown once flirted with labelling itself Wellywood, but perhaps Jacksonville would be more appropriate after revelations the rich-list director has acquired more than a hundred million dollars in Wellington real estate over the past two decades.

According to data collated by CoreLogic the Hollywood director - and driving force behind the capital's subsidised Wellywood film industry - has assembled a property empire based in Wellington, but with outposts stretching from Masterton to Queenstown, worth $150m.

This includes $77m in commercial property in Miramar tied to his Weta group of film-making companies that employs nearly 2000 people in the capital, as well as heritage-protected Wellington landmarks the former Vatican Embassy in Melrose and Seatoun churches St Christopher's and Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Convent Chapel in Seatoun, owned by Sir Peter Jackson. Photo / file.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Convent Chapel in Seatoun, owned by Sir Peter Jackson. Photo / file.

His holdings also include nearly 20 residential properties including a large chunk of a Wellington street, a new holiday home in Queenstown, and his sprawling estate in the Wairarapa.


The Jackson estate in Matahiwi in the lower-north island, includes buildings listed as providing 1639sqm of floor space and is said to include a 100-seat cinema, underground tunnels and a recreation of hobbit home Bag End, has a combined council valuation of $12.8m.

Property records show in July he acquired a relatively modest 110sqm holiday home in Closeburn, ten minutes drive from Queenstown. The property adjoins two other sections he'd previously acquired, with his holdings in the region valued at $3.6m

Jackson's property holdings had previously been mostly kept in the name of his Wellington lawyer, but earlier this year were restructured into a new company - Stanley Properties - directed by Jackson and his long-time partner Frances Walsh.

Stanley Properties is owned by Wingnut Films - the production company behind Lord of the Rings - which in turn is owned by Jackson, Walsh and Phillipa Boyens. Boyens is a neighbour and long-time business partner of Jackson and has co-produced each of his films since 2005's King Kong.

The trio are credited as co-screenwriters on the both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, which between them made $9 billion at the box office.

Additional business properties associated with the Weta Group - worth some $40m and including vast studios in Miramar and the former General Motors car factory in Upper Hutt - are held by Camperdown Studios, whose ownership is split equally between interests associated with Jackson and those of his long-time partner and Weta Workshop founder Sir Richard Taylor.

Jackson, in London this week to launch his World War One documentary They Shall Not Grow Old based on colourised historic footage, did not respond to request for comment. The director is famously protective of his and his family's privacy, and in a statement to the Weekend Herald earlier this year said he did not comment on personal finances.

This motivation may partly explain his acquisition of most of a Karaka Bay street. Since 2000 - when Lord of the Rings was being made - he began acquiring properties overlooking and neighbouring his home. He now owns 13 adjacent sections in the area, including 3208 sq meters of housing, worth $21.8m.


Real estate is not the only major asset held by the near-billionaire, assessed earlier this year by Forbes as being worth $600m.

In 2013 he forked out for a new Gulfsteam GVI650 private jet - worth $80m and capable of flying further, including non-stop to Los Angeles, and faster than anything operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force - and founded The Vintage Aviator, a company churning out million-dollar recreations of World War One military aircraft.

Sir Peter Jackson's WW1 vintage trucks drive through Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
Sir Peter Jackson's WW1 vintage trucks drive through Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

And, in documents released last week under the Official Information Act to the Dominion Post detailing the breakdown of his movie museum joint venture with Wellington Council, claimed his collection of film props and sets - including the original car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was valued $100m.

Jackson's latest film project, an adaptation of fantasy novel Mortal Engines shot in Wellington, is scheduled to be released on December 7.