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Precious tax deal keeps Hobbit in NZ

The 'Hobbit' films will be made in New Zealand after all, it was announced yesterday. Speculation had been rife that the films would be shot elsewhere, with Ireland considered one of the favourites to win the €360m productions.

However, New Zealand's prime minister John Key said that the two epics would be filmed in the "land of the long white cloud" after all.

His announcement followed two days of crisis talks with Hollywood studio executives over the fate of the prequels to the 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy (right).

Senior executives from Warner Bros and New Line Cinema won an agreement for a change in labour law and bigger tax breaks to keep the project in New Zealand, after a dispute over pay and conditions for actors threw the production into turmoil last week.

Irish Independent