Lucius - I've seen very little news in regard to the Hobbit. When shooting was underway for the Lord of the Rings movies I drove past a few of the sets around the Wellington region as I lived there at the time. One was a cliff face in a quarry at the bottom of Haywards Hill, near Lower Hutt. That was impressive.
A friend got the contract to construct a plywood tower, sprayed with concrete stuff, to look like stone. That tower was used in the first movie. I saw that lifted into the woods by helicopter at Kaitoke, north of Upper Hutt from the back of a truck. It's quite a while ago now but Wellington was pretty lively while all that was going on.
....AHHHH THE SIMPLE LIFE.
We shall “pray without ceasing” for NZ.