Arise Sir Peter Jackson: Lord of the Rings director knighted
New Zealand has made its most famous film-maker a knight – the highest honour available in the country – in the reinstatement of the title for the first time in a decade.
Peter Jackson, maker of the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, said the award was "better than the Oscars". The project broke box office records around the world, won Jackson international accolades, and prompted a spike in tourism to New Zealand.
New Zealand knights and dames, among the nation’s highest honours, are sanctioned by the Queen, New Zealand’s head of state.
In a released statement, Jackson said "I didn’t think anything would surpass the 2004 Academy Awards, but I was wrong. The feeling of gratitude and pride I have in accepting this honour from my home country is profound."
He wrote, directed and produced The Lovely Bones, released to mixed reviews this month. He also produced and served as mentor on District 9, released in mid-August. Before that he remade the celluloid classic King Kong.
Peter Jackson also financially supports local schools, film and arts festivals and the GiveLife New Zealand Organ Donation Awareness Charity. The awards were among 193 given to those active in sports, the arts, charity and even theology.