Our Regional Champions

Shayne Forrest

Shayne Forrest, General Manager Sales & Marketing at Hobbiton Movie Set

What is your current role?

General Manager Sales & Marketing

What do you enjoy about working at Hobbiton Movie Set?

I just love working in such a special location every day, it really is a beautiful piece of NZ. The people I work with are fantastic and we get to do some really creative things together to bring Middle-earth events to life.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a milk-boy back when there used to be door-to-door bottle deliveries. It was a great way to keep fit and a lot of fun working with my mates.

My first position at Hobbiton was 8 years ago now and I worked as a barista at The Shire's Rest Cafe.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always grew up wanting to be an actor. I even went and studied at drama school and worked professionally around NZ and Australia for a couple of years until I landed in Hobbiton. But working on a movie set everyday kind of still makes me an actor, right?

What is an achievement or special credential you're really proud of?

I'm really proud of the part I have played in the Hobbiton Movie Set journey. After working firstly as a barista in the cafe, I took on the position of Food and Beverage Manager during the period we were opening the Green Dragon Inn. It has been an incredible experience and privilege seeing the business evolve and grow over the years into what it is today.

What do you do in your spare time?

My spare time is all about my family. When I'm not working, I try to spend as much time as I can with my kids boating, fishing, bike riding - basically anything outdoors with the family is where you'll find me on the weekends.

What are you most grateful for in your life?

My family.

Who inspires you and why?

Definitely Bilbo Baggins... if you don't know why, clear 18 hours in your diary and watch the movies.

Have you got a favourite aphorism / motto?

"You can't be brave without fear"

What is your favourite spot in the Waikato?

I really enjoy sitting back and relaxing at a Good George bar with one of their latest brews. There's a reason their beer is now famous in NZ, and you can't beat it fresh from the brewery taps.

I'm also a little obsessed with Chilli House. Their sour-spicy dumpling soup is my absolute favourite dish. I'm glad they've opened up a restaurant in my hometown of Cambridge so I no longer have to commute to Hamilton once a week to get my fix.