Peter Jackson, the New Zealand director whose Lord of the Rings trilogy won 17 Oscars, will now be known as 'Sir Peter'. He was knighted for what the annual list honouring the country's worthy citizens simply calls "services to film", reports telegraph .co.uk.
New Zealand knights and dames, among the nation's highest honours, are sanctioned by the Queen, New Zealand's head of state.
The Lord of the Rings trio showcased New Zealand's unique natural scenery as writer J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy land, filled with sword-swinging warriors, elves, wizards and hairy-footed hobbits.
The project broke box office records around the world, won Jackson international accolades, and prompted a spike in tourism to New Zealand. "I didn't think anything would surpass the 2004 Academy Awards, but I was wrong," Jackson said in a statement, adding that receiving the honour was an "incredible moment".
Jackson is currently working on the prequel The Hobbit, also based on a Tolkien book, with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. Filming is due to begin in New Zealand in early 2010, with the company announcing on Wednesday it was seeking extras. Main actors have yet to be announced but some, like Sir Ian McKellen - the wizard Gandalf in the trilogy - are expected to reprise their roles.