James Cameron Buys Land in New Zealand

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James Cameron
"Avatar" director James Cameron is snatching up some land in New Zealand, close to the capital of Wellington.

James Cameron just might be looking for a more simple life...in New Zealand.

The director of hit movies such as Titanic and Avatar has gotten a stamp of approval from the country's Overseas Investment Office to purchase 2,636 acres of farmland, according to a report from The Associated Press.

The land is close to the country's capital, Wellington, which is home to Weta Digital, a digital effects company that worked on Avatar, according to The AP. Cameron is working on that movie's sequel, currently scheduled for release in 2016.

According to application documents, Cameron and his family intend to reside indefinitely in New Zealand and are acquiring the property to reside on and operate as a working farm, per The AP.

The news comes just as the country is debating on whether selling land to foreigners will benefit its own people.

There's a bigger issue if you look at globally productive land, particularly land that can produce food and has access to water, which New Zealand obviously is well placed, that land is becoming increasingly valuable, as the price of food is only going to go up, Green Party co-leader Russell Norman said, according to a Television New Zealand report. If we let that land fall into foreign ownership not only will it drive up the price of land in New Zealand so it will be very difficult for kiwis to buy farms. But it also means we lose one of our key economic positions globally.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key reportedly support foreign land ownership, even if the foreign purchaser does not plan to live on the land full-time.

There are lots of different ways that foreigners can make a contribution to New Zealand, living here is nice but it's not the sole criteria, Key said, according to a report from the New Zealand news Web site Stuff.

Land debates aside, it looks as if Cameron will have another Hollywood directing legend for a neighbor: Lord of the Rings master Peter Jackson, who is coming out with that series' prequel The Hobbit on Dec. 14.

Jackson, a New Zealand native, has a pretty sweet deal: a castle built on an island in a lake, according to a Reuters report.

That's a tough act to follow, but Cameron shouldn't worry. He has his own little nugget-making of a film coming out on April 6: Titanic in 3-D.

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