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  Wednesday, 29-Jul-2015 02:48 EDT
'Hobbit' director suffers perforated ulcer
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Filmmaker Peter Jackson has undergone surgery for a perforated ulcer at a New Zealand hospital, his representatives said.

McKellen, Serkis join 'Hobbit' cast
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are to reprise their "Lord of the Rings" roles in "The Hobbit," which is to start shooting in New Zealand next month.

Play to take audience on 'adventure'
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The director of a play set to open in New Zealand said audience members will be ferried to an old convalescence chamber on an island to see the show.

New Zealand: No treatment for some cancers
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- New Zealand says a shortage of oncologists means patients with certain kinds of cancers will not be referred to specialists or be eligible for chemotherapy.

New Zealand to defer on Japan whaling case
CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- New Zealand says it won't join legal action against Japan over its whaling in the Southern Ocean but will still try to persuade Japan to end it activities.

Airline pulls video over anti-gay charges
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Air New Zealand is pulling a gay kiss scene from its in-flight safety video after complaints of homophobia.

New Zealand investigating seal killings
KAIKOURA, New Zealand, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- New Zealand wildlife officials say they're looking for the person responsible for the deaths of 23 seals, mostly mothers and pups with their skulls smashed.

3rd explosion rocks N.Z. mine
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A third explosion rocked the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand Friday, a week after the first blast trapped 29 miners now believed dead, officials said.

Teens found in after 50 days lost at sea
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Three boys found alive in a lifeboat off Fiji after being lost at sea for 50 days had been presumed dead -- memorial services had even been held for them.

Second blasts erases hope for Kiwi miners
GREYMOUTH, New Zealand, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- New Zealand authorities say a second explosion at the Pike River coal mine ended all hope that any of 29 trapped miners were still alive.

Bore hole completed at N.Z. mine
GREYMOUTH, New Zealand, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Officials said the first sample of air from a New Zealand coal mine where 29 men have been trapped since Friday was high in carbon monoxide and methane.

Official: New Zealand mine too dangerous
GREYMOUTH, New Zealand, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Police acknowledged for the first time Monday deaths may have occurred in last week's mine explosion in New Zealand in which 29 workers were trapped.

Drilling starts in N. Zealand mine rescue
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Rescuers in New Zealand Sunday began drilling an exploratory hole where 29 men have been trapped since Friday by an explosion in a gas-filled coal mine.

Blast fear delays N. Zealand mine rescue
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Fears of another gas explosion Saturday kept rescuers in New Zealand from attempting to rescue 29 miners trapped in a coal mine.

Coal mine blast traps 29 in New Zealand
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Rescuers were forced to wait as long as 8 hours before they could begin the search for 29 men trapped in a New Zealand coal mine, officials said.

James Nesbitt joins 'Hobbit' cast
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- James Nesbitt has landed a role in the two-part film "The Hobbit," which is to begin shooting soon in New Zealand, director Peter Jackson said.

Moderate earthquake strikes Christchurch
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A 5.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Christchurch, New Zealand, region Tuesday, geological monitors said.

'Hobbit' films green lighted; location TBD
HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" has been green lighted as a two-part film with principal photography to begin in February 2011, film executives said.

Sea lion makes like 'Jaws' on rowboat crew
OTAGO, New Zealand, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A crew of eight New Zealand rowers say a sea lion attacked and cracked their boat in two places before chasing them swimming back to shore.

Unions put 'Hobbit' on no-hire list
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Actors guilds and several international unions told workers not to accept jobs on "The Hobbit," a two-part film to be shot in New Zealand.

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