8 Feb 2010

$30,000 bill to sink King Kong ship

9:32 am on 8 February 2010

A rusting ship used in Peter Jackson's 2005 film King Kong will be sunk in Cook Strait on Tuesday, at a cost to Wellington ratepayers of about $30,000.

Jackson sold the Venture II to a Wellington property developer whose firm was later put into liquidation, and the ship has lain abandoned at Miramar Wharf for years.

Its ownership has been transferred to Wellington Regional Council, which is having the ship scuttled.

Harbourmaster Mike Pryce says the $30,000 cost is for preparing the ship properly for sinking, including removal by contractors of all the oil, wiring and loose material on board.

He admits it's probably not fair ratepayers are footing the bill, but adds the ship isn't fit for anything but sinking and becomes more of a safety risk the longer it's docked at the wharf.