FAQs

FILM PERMITS


DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FILM?

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.

DO I NEED PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE?

In most cases you are required to have public liability insurance to cover you for any damages done to public property, private property or serious accidents caused by the filming activity. It is the responsibility of the production company to arrange any necessary insurance. Get in touch with the relevant permitting agency to determine the amount and type of insurance that is required.

DO I STILL NEED A PERMIT IF MY SHOOT IS LOW IMPACT?

Many councils and other agencies still require you to obtain a permit, even if your shoot is low impact. However, fees may be lower or waived for lower impact shoots. Get in touch with the relevant contact to discuss.

CAN I GET A BLANKET PERMIT FOR FILMING ACROSS THE REGION?

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a blanket permit for filming across the region, as different locations are managed by different councils and authorities. Film Otago Southland will endeavor to provide as much information and advice as possible to make your permitting seamless, but different permits will need to be acquired from the various agencies and authorities. Please visit our Location Access page for further information.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FILM WITH A DRONE?

The Civil Aviation Authority is the primary authority for drone operation and the airspace in the region. However, all drone operation also requires permission from the appropriate landowner. As landowners and land managers, councils and government agencies have their own rules around how and when drone use is permitted on or over their land:

    1. Queenstown Lakes District Council requires all operators to have a CAA Part 102 license for drone operation on or over QLDC land or property.
    2. Read full Dunedin drone guidelines here.
    3. Central Otago requires permission on council land - information here.
    4. Waitaki requires a permit on council land.
    5. Invercargill requires UAV consent on council land .
    6. Southland requires UAV consent on council land.
    7. Clutha requires UAV consent on council land.
    8. Gore requires UAV consent on Council land.
    9. LINZ consent required if over land administered.
    10. A concession is required from DOC to fly a drone on public conservation land.
    11. Controlled airspace - Civil Aviation Rules include restrictions when flying drones within a 4km radius of an airport. Any drone flight within controlled airspace must be authorised by Airways Air Traffic Control (ATC). For more information or to log your flight visit www.airshare.co.nz

      The Civil Aviation Authority is the primary authority for drone operation and the airspace in the region. However, all drone operation also requires permission from the appropriate landowner. As landowners and land managers, councils and government agencies have their own rules around how and when drone use is permitted on or over their land:
       

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 or visit our Location Access page for further information.

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

Unpermitted filming is against council bylaws for public open space. It is also bad professional practice to film without a permit and will impact your reputation as a filmmaker. 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. They can also be requested to delete or retract any footage obtained without a permit. Productions may also not be covered by any insurance that they have if filming without the appropriate permits. 

WHEN DO I NEED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT 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 and, in many cases, approved by the local authority. Please visit our Location Access page for further information.

WHEN DO I NEED A RESOURCE CONSENT FOR FILMING?

This will depend on the nature of your activity and where you're filming - some set builds, construction and/or long-term filming may require resource consent.  Please visit our Location Access page for further information or get in touch with us.

DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR USING FIREARMS, FIRE, FIREWORKS, PYROTECHNICS OR OTHER STUNTS OR SPECIAL EFFECTS?

Your crew will require appropriate qualifications, such as a licenced armorour for firearm use. Please contact NZ Police for more information. Use of fire/fireworks will require permission from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) - please contact FENZ for more information.

CAN I GET A PERMIT FEE WAIVER?

Fees are set by the relevant permitting authority – talk to the relevant contact to determine what fees are applicable and if a waiver is possible. Waivers may be possible if your project is not-for-profit, charity, or community based.

DO I NEED TO TELL YOU IF I'M FILMING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?

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 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 and can assist with the planning of the filming activity.

Location agreements and fees for private locations are to be managed directly between the production and the private location owner – Film Otago Southland will not be involved in these arrangements.

Other things for production companies to keep in mind when filming on private property:

  • That the managing agent or the owner of the premise agrees to the filming.
  • The degree to which the premise has been used for filming in the past, the potential impact on neighbours due to the high use of technical vehicles in the vicinity, and how best to mitigate this.
  • That all parking requirements are able to be met (remembering that QLDC is the only agency entitled to issue parking permits for parking on QLDC land/property).

DO I NEED TO CONSULT WITH THE COMMUNITY BEFORE FILMING?

It is best practice to consult appropriately with the affected communities and businesses where your filming is taking place – this will ensure your production runs smoothly and that the community is kept on board for future filming. This can be in the form of door-to-door visits, letter drops, social media notification or otherwise. Film Otago Southland can help connect you with relevant community groups and business associations and provide letter drop template to help with this, as well as utilizing local council communication channels where appropriate.

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.

INDUSTRY

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

Film Otago Southland does not serve as an employment or referral agency, but does serve as a resource to production staff when hiring qualified local crew. If you're a qualified crew member based in the region, you can sign up to our Industry Directory. 

You can also get in touch with us for a list of other platforms or channels for seeking jobs in the film industry, and/or to be added to our database to receive information about training and upskilling opportunities.

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 for $100 + GST per annum, 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 $200 +GST per annum. To find out more, please contact the office.

IS THERE AN INDUSTRY GROUP OR FILMMAKERS COLLECTIVE IN THE REGION THAT I CAN JOIN?

Yes, there is! The Southern Filmmakers Collective is a filmmaker led organisation committed to advancing the needs of Southern filmmakers and associated crew. While FOS supports the Collective, is it industry-run. You can sign up to the Facebook page here.

HOW DO I STAY UP TO DATE WITH NETWORKING EVENTS AND OTHER INDUSTRY NEWS IN THE REGION?

Contact us to sign up to our seasonal newsletter, where we share news and updates related to the film industry in the region.

You can also visit our Events and Workshops page.

And follow us on our social media channels: Instagram and Facebook

FUNDING AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

CAN YOU PROVIDE FUNDING FOR MY PROJECT?

Film Otago Southland is not primarily a production funding agency, but we do have a limited amount of creative development support we're able to provide to regional film projects and regional filmmakers, including our Screenwriters in Residence programme and our Bespoke Creative Development Support. Visit our Regional Creative Development Support page for more information.

The main government funding bodies for screen production in New Zealand are:

New Zealand Film Commission

NZ on Air

Te Māngai Pāho

 

Any other questions? Get in touch! info@filmotagosouthland.com

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