New Zealand parliament officially passes 'Hobbit law'
New Zealand’s parliament passed a law on Friday that will ensure one of Hollywood’s most anticipated film projects, The Hobbit, will indeed be shot in their country, according to Variety. By a 66-50 vote, the country’s legislative body amended an existing labor law — now being dubbed the “Hobbit law,” in reference to the film project — clarifying that film workers employed as independent contractors cannot also claim to be employees. The move stems from a 2005 case where a modelmaker at Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s workshop successfully sued for the right to be considered an employee rather than a contractor. This vote effectively ends the protracted battle over where Jackson would film his two upcoming Hobbit films.