Culture and Arts

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As well as the National Opera, Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, many cities have theatres, orchestras and sometimes opera companies of their own.

Auckland is home to several professional modern dance companies, while Wellington is acknowledged as the theatre capital, with three full time professional theatres operating. Wellington is also home to the huge biannual International Festival of the Arts, while Christchurch, New Plymouth and Tauranga also host Arts Festivals. Nelson is home to the internationally acclaimed "Wearable Arts Awards".

New Zealand’s Museum ('Te Papa') is a specially designed building on Wellington’s waterfront, and showcases New Zealand Art and culture, as well as hosting international exhibitions, from Versace’s clothing to motor vehicles and New Zealand ‘Kiwiana’.

New Zealand has a lively film and television industry with a huge international profile- the cult series "Hercules" and "Xena" were both filmed in Auckland. The trilogy "Lord of the Rings" was filmed entirely in New Zealand, with a New Zealand director and crew. The first film picked up 13 Oscar nominations, winning 4. Anna Paquin, then only 11, became the country's youngest Oscar winner for her performance in "The Piano", also shot entirely in New Zealand.