Five years ago The Sisters of Mercy applied to have Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapel in Seatoun, New Zealand, removed from the list of heritage buildings so as it could be sold. It was valued at some $10 million and, as it had not been open since 2002, the Sisters wanted to sell it to raise money for the order’s rest homes and public health work in the Pacific. Locals, however, feared that it would be razed to the ground and townhouses erected in its place and some of the town’s history would be lost. It was then that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh stepped in and bought the property to be used by one of the Weta companies.
“Our goal is to strengthen the chapel and use the surrounding buildings for low-key work and film editing,” Jackson said.
And now that work has begun reports Stuff.NZ. Peter Camp Builders, who carried out the refurbishment of the Roxy Theatre in Miramar, have started the earth-quake strengthening work. The work was meant to have been completed by 2009 but a spokesman for Jackson said the director had a lot of projects on the go and believed in taking his time to get things right.