FAQs

Filming in New Zealand

WHAT INCENTIVES ARE AVAILABLE IN NEW ZEALAND?

New Zealand has a competitive incentive programme - for further information please visit our Funding and Incentives page.

WHAT CURRENCY IS USED IN NEW ZEALAND?

New Zealand uses the NZ Dollar. For an indication of the current exchange rate, please see here.

WHAT ARE THE CLIMATE AND SEASONS OF NEW ZEALAND?

Filming in New Zealand has the benefit of opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere. You can read more about this on our Climate and Seasons page.

WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW ZEALAND?

Your New Zealand line producer or production servicing company can help facilitate the immigration process directly from New Zealand. This includes obtaining any non-objection letter that may be required from the relevant guilds. Please get in touch for more information, visit our Industry Directory to find an experienced line producer to help with this process. 

WHAT ARE THE CUSTOMS REGULATIONS FOR IMPORTING GOODS AND EQUIPMENT?

New Zealand has a full and extensive range of film equipment available for hire at very competitive prices, so importing is not necessary. However, if you wish to find out information about customs and importing, please visit the New Zealand Customs Service website.

Film Permits

WHEN DO I NEED A PERMIT?

This will depend on where you're filming. Please visit our Location Access page for further information about permits, permission and consents, or contact our office.

WHAT IS THE COST OF A PERMIT?

This will depend on the agency that processes the permit. Please visit our Location Access page for further information.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A FILM PERMIT?

Please visit our Location Access page for further information about the permit application process. 

HOW LONG DOES A PERMIT TAKE?

In general, filming requests on QLDC (Queenstown Lakes District Council) property should be submitted no later than 5 business days before filming is to begin. Requests to film for full or intermittent road closures and special effects should be submitted at least 10 business days in advance.

Requests to film on DOC (Department of Conservation) controlled land must be submitted no later than 5 working days before filming. It is recommended that you contact the local office prior to submission to discuss the application.

For requests to film on LINZ (Land Information New Zealand) controlled areas, it is better to contact LINZ to discuss the application and timeframes.

Please visit our Location Access page for further information about the permit application process. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I FILM WITHOUT A PERMIT, OR ARE IN BREACH OF PERMIT CONDITIONS?

Unpermitted filming is against council bylaws for public open space. If a production is filming without a permit then the shoot will be shut down. The production could be charged a location fee after the shoot takes place, and can be blacklisted from future filming in public space. Productions may not be covered by any insurance that they have.

DO I NEED INSURANCE?

In most cases you are required to have public liability insurance to cover you for any damages done to council property, private property or serious accidents caused by the filming activity. It is the responsibility of the production company to arrange any necessary insurance.

HOW DO I GET A FEE WAIVER?

Fees are assessed on a case by case basis. Talk to your film facilitator if your project is not for profit, charity or community based.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FILM ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?

You will need the permission of the owner. Please visit our Location Access page for further information.

IF I’M FILMING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY DO I NEED TO TELL FILM OTAGO SOUTHLAND?

Yes, we want to hear from you. As an advocate for the local film industry we need to ensure that impacts on communities are managed appropriately. Production companies using private businesses or residences for film shoots should be aware of the protocol and the need to be respectful of adjacent businesses and residents, particularly with regards to on- street parking, lighting, noise and the use of public open space. When filming on private premises, it is recommended that the production company speaks to Film Otago Southland first as they may be aware of activities and issues in the public spaces immediately adjacent to the premises that can assist with the planning of the filming activity.

WHEN DO I NEED A TEMPORARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR FILMING?

Any activity that inhibits the regular flow of traffic or involves filming on the road reserve requires a temporary traffic management plan (TTMP) drawn up by a contracted traffic management company.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FILM WITH A DRONE?

  • QLDC requires all operators to have a CAA Part 102 license
  • Dunedin requires a film permit
  • Central Otago requires permission on council land
  • Waitaki requires a permit on council land
  • Invercargill requires UAV consent on council land
  • Southland requires UAV consent on council land
  • Clutha requires approval
  • Gore requires UAV consent on Council land
  • LINZ consent required if over land administered
  • DOC considers each Drone activity on a one to one basis and each district office has its own policy.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FILM AT THE AIRPORT?

Yes, all airports require notification of filming - contact the relevant airport as soon as possible.

DO I NEED PERMISSION TO CONSTRUCT SETS OR OTHER STRUCTURES?

You may require a building consent. Please contact our office.

DO I NEED PERMISSION FOR USING FIREARMS?

Your film armourer must have an appropriate license. Please contact the NZ Police for more information.

DO I NEED PERMISSION TO USE FIRE, FIREWORKS, PYROTECHNICS OR SMOKE EFFECTS?

You will require a fire permit notification. Please contact our office.

Industry

HOW DO I GET A JOB IN THE FILM INDUSTRY IN OTAGO SOUTHLAND?

The FOS Film Office does not serve as an employment or referral agency, but does serve as a resource to production staff when hiring qualified local crew. 

HOW DO I ADD A LISTING TO THE INDUSTRY DIRECTORY?

To add a listing to our Industry Directory, please sign up here. Your listing request will be sent to the Film Otago Southland office for approval. Once it's been approved, you will be able to log in to amend or add to your listing.

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A FEATURED OR PREMIUM LISTING?

Companies or individuals working professionally in the local film industry can sign up for a Basic listing for free. If you would like to upgrade to a Premium listing, which offers the opportunity to be featured on the homepage and top of the directory, please contact the office.

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR AN ANCILLARY BUSINESS LISTING?

Businesses that support the film industry - such as hotels, retail, restaurants etc. - have the opportunity to list in our Ancillary Business Directory, which is a key tool for the film industry to find local businesses who intersect with the film sector. The cost of the listing is $500 +GST per annum. To find out more, please contact the office.

 

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