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Hobbit mania has erupted in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, The Hobbit.

The first of the three movies – prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy – was shown at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening.

Stars flew in for the event, which saw Wellington rebranded as “the Middle of Middle Earth”.

Tens of thousands of fans – some in costume – gathered around the theatre for the screening.

Some camped overnight to secure spots close to the 500m-long red carpet that led to the theatre, which was decorated to look like the entrance to a Hobbit house.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film of the trilogy, which altogether cost $500 million to make and was filmed in New Zealand. The second film is set for release in December 2013 and the third in July 2014.

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson said it was “emotional and very humbling” to see such a crowd.

Ahead of the screening, the New Zealander said he was nervous about the film’s reception.

“Nothing’s ever perfect and it never will be; it’s a real mistake if you say we’re stopping now because we’ve made the perfect film,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“You never have and you never will.”

The world premiere of Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit, will take place at Wellington's Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening

The world premiere of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, The Hobbit, will take place at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening

Wellington City Council put months of planning and just over NZ$1 million ($820,000) into preparations for the premiere, Radio New Zealand reported, as did tourism officials looking to boost visitor numbers.

Tony Everitt, Asia manager for Tourism New Zealand, said he expected tourism revenue to rise by as much as US$400 million annually because of the films.

The trilogy has taken more than five years to film and hit a number of obstacles. Filming was delayed for months over funding problems and a row over actors’ wages – at one point studio executives suggested moving filming to Britain.

Earlier this week, Peter Jackson also rejected claims from animal rights group PETA that up to 27 animals had died during filming, saying no animals were harmed.

In Wellington, however, crowds turned out for a party. Up to 100,000 people were said to have gathered for the premiere.

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Shylah Silbery, a three-year-old girl from Wellington, New Zealand, survived for two days on eating cheese and leftover lasagne after her mother died suddenly leaving her locked in her home.

The little girl hugged her favourite toy – a teddy bear named Possum – as she waited alone in the house near her mother’s body.

Shylah Silbery was rescued when her mother’s relatives alerted the authorities when they had not heard from her for two days.

Police who went to the property managed to coax the little girl to drag a coffee table to the door so she could climb up and unlock it.

Shylah Silbery told police: “Mummy won’t wake up.”

Lauren Silbery, 28, was found face down next to her bed. Her daughter had been able to drink milk and feed herself with whatever she could find in the fridge.

Shylah Silbery, a three-year-old girl from Wellington, New Zealand, survived for two days on eating cheese and leftover lasagne after her mother died suddenly leaving her locked in her home

Shylah Silbery, a three-year-old girl from Wellington, New Zealand, survived for two days on eating cheese and leftover lasagne after her mother died suddenly leaving her locked in her home


Shylah Silbery spent several days in hospital recovering from dehydration and urine burns before attending her mother’s funeral.

Shylah’s uncle Peter Silbery, 24, said: “I can only imagine her in there for that long, trying to wake Mum up.

“She’s doing okay now. She’s still bubbly. When we lowered the coffin into the grave at the cemetery, though, she pointed at it and said, <<Mummy’s in there>>. It was pretty heartbreaking.”

Lauren Silbery, 28, was found face down next to her bed

Lauren Silbery, 28, was found face down next to her bed

Peter Silbery spoke every night to his sister, but he nad his mother grew so concerned after failing to reach her for two days they rang a friend who lived nearby.

The friend went to the house and saw the little girl inside but no sign of Lauren .

Lauren Silbery’s mother, Heather, said: “Lauren and I were very close – she would ring me every morning.

“One day I was in the garden and that afternoon at about four o’clock… her brother Peter and I said, <<Well, we haven’t heard from Lauren>>.

So we got a friend to go around there and [the grandchild] had come to the cat door, but Lauren hadn’t, so I dialled 111.”

Heather Silbery said she knew Lauren was dead the instant she heard that neighbours couldn’t contact her.

“Lauren wouldn’t have done anything silly. She loved Shylah so much and was a devoted mum. But I knew exactly what had happened. It’s a mother’s instinct.

“Her daughter was everything to her. She was the type of person who has a nice way of bringing people together.”

Officers saw the little girl inside the house and taught her how to open the door by getting her to stand on a coffee table.

Shylah Silbery’s grandmother said: “[She] is still a bit quiet, but she still smiles and she’s one of those kids that makes you laugh and you love to have her around.

“When we started cleaning and taking Lauren’s stuff out of the flat, she did say <<Mummy won’t wake up>> and when we went back in, she had shut her mother’s bedroom door.

“She goes all around the flat happy, but she would not go in that room.”

The death of Lauren Silbery at her house in the Upper Hutt area of Wellington is as yet unexplained.

Police and the family believe that she died of natural causes but an investigation on behalf of the coroner has now been started.

They said the fact Lauren Silbery was face down next to her bed was consistent with her having a heart attack or stroke and falling out of bed, but they said they need to wait for the results of an autopsy.

Shylah Silbery is now awaiting a Child, Youth and Family decision about whether she will be returned to her family.

The toddler was placed in CYF care after the discovery.

Yesterday, central regional director Karen Petrie said she hoped to place Shylah back with her family.

“This is an absolutely tragic event and our sympathy goes out to this family. Child, Youth and Family’s preference in these situations is to place children in the care of extended family members as long as this is in the best interests of the child, and circumstances permit.”

“Shylah Silbery was in regular contact with her family, and the agency was working with them to care for her immediate needs,” Karen Petrie said.



MetService’s website hit by a virus in New Zealand

The Antarctic blast has moved north from South Island at the weekend and has turned New Zealand’s winter into one in more than half century occurrence.

Roads have been closed, flights have been cancelled, mail deliveries have been interrupted, power has been shut off. People have been advised to be prepared for being trapped indoors ( stock-up on emergency food and water).

A lots of state highways are impassable, including Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass in the South Island Rimutaka Hill and Desert Road North Island. In the Wellington region, five main roads have been closed and 24 crashes were reported on Monday.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]

Wellington Airport’s flights have been put on hold, over hundred passengers were stranded at Dunedin Airport, in Auckland flights to Queenstown have been cancelled.

In the South Island  nine people required medical care, while in Auckland five people were taken to hospital, four after a tree crashed down on their house and an old man after he was blown by the wind.

Almost two thousand dairy farms dumped tons of milk, since the collection tankers were stranded because of the weather conditions.[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]

New Zealand’s winter has also brought joy to a lot of people, since they have not seen snow flakes in decades.

The inhabitants of Wellington and Auckland saw their first snow in more than 30 years. Climate scientist Georgina Griffiths of The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said Monday was the coldest day ever recorded in Auckland. Since 1939 the snow never has settled on the Auckland’s ground. The level of snow that fell in Wellington had not been seen since at least 1970s according to MetService.

Some people have lived their entire life in Auckland without seeing any snow. They were astonished, delighted, fascinated. They smiled, they shot pictures, or simply enjoyed the snow.

Stephen Fry commented on Twitter:

“NZ has, bless it, gone officially mad. First snow in Auckland since the 30s. Children running along with open mouths to taste the flakes :)”

Prime Minister John Key said it was the first time he could remember to see a snowfall in Auckland and advised New Zealanders “to be cautious and a little bit careful – make sure they keep an eye out for their family and friends, and if they are aware of their neighbours living alone, it might be a good idea just to check up on them and make sure everything is OK.”

“The conditions are cold enough to bring snow down to 300 metres, the height of the Sky Tower,” MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said on Monday.

This is one of the major snowfall seen in New Zealand’s winter and weather conditions seems to become more severes.