Location Access and Permits

Film Otago Southland will provide advice and help facilitate your filming permits. You may also require resource consents for bigger and/or long-term productions. It's always best to contact us in the first instance and we can point you in the right direction.

We also recommend you engage a locally-based line producer and/or location scout/manager. They are listed in the Industry Directory, have valuable local knowledge, and can help you obtain your permissions and navigate production aspects like: legal requirements, visa applications, tax, insurance, accepted work practices and more.

Please also visit our FAQs page for frequently asked questions about film permits and permissions.


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO FILMING IN OTAGO AND SOUTHLAND:

Note: This is an overview only. You can download our current FOS Guidelines and Protocols (PDF), or get in touch for comprehensive information.

This information has last been updated April 2019.

QUEENSTOWN LAKES DISTRICT

FILM PERMIT IS REQUIRED

A film permit is required for location filming that involves the following activities:

  • Use of streets and roads
  • Use of open spaces, reserves and parks
  • Use of council facilities and buildings
  • Use of council owned land
  • Use of Airport owned land

Queenstown Lakes District Council permits are processed through APL Property Queenstown
Contact: queenstown@aplproperty.co.nz

Download Current Permit for Filming in the Queenstown Lakes District.

FILMING ON THE WATER:

Filming taking place on the surface of the waterways in the Queenstown Lakes District must be approved by the Harbourmaster.
Contact: harbourmaster@queenstown.co.nz

FILMING AT THE AIRPORT:

Queenstown and Wanaka Airports require a permit from the Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC).
For more information:
Queenstown Airport:
https://www.queenstownairport.co.nz/corporate/media/filming-requests
Wanaka Airport:
https://www.wanakaairport.com/about-wanaka-airport/news-and-filming

Download Current Application to Film at Queenstown Airport.
Download Current Application to Film at Wanaka Airport.

DUNEDIN CITY COUNCIL

FILM PERMIT IS REQUIRED

A film permit is required for location filming that involves the following activities:

  • Use of streets and roads
  • Use of open spaces, reserves and parks
  • Use of council facilities and buildings
  • Use of waterways
  • Use of council owned land
  • Use of Airport owned land

Dunedin City Council permits are processed through the Film Dunedin Coordinator Antony Deaker.
Contact: Antony.Deaker@dcc.govt.nz

Dunedin Airport
requires notification to be sent to mcrawford@dnairport.co.nz

Go to current Dunedin Permit for Filming Application online portal.

CENTRAL OTAGO DISTRICT COUNCIL

FILM PERMISSION IS REQUIRED

A Filming Activity Notification Form is required for location filming that involves the following activities:

  • Use of streets and roads
  • Use of open spaces, reserves and parks
  • Use of council facilities and buildings
  • Use of waterways
  • Use of council owned land

Contact: Alison Mason - alison.mason@codc.govt.nz

Download Current Film Notification Form for Central Otago District Council.

WAITAKI DISTRICT COUNCIL

FILM PERMIT IS REQUIRED

A film permit is required for location filming that involves the following activities:

  • Use of streets and roads
  • Use of open spaces, reserves and parks
  • Use of council facilities and buildings
  • Use of waterways
  • Use of council owned land

Contact: Leanne Kingan - lkingan@waitaki.govt.nz

Download Current Filming Approval Application Form for Waitaki District Council.

CLUTHA DISTRICT COUNCIL

NO FILM PERMIT REQUIRED - COUNCIL REQUIRES NOTIFICATION

Contact: help.desk@cluthadc.govt.nz

INVERCARGILL CITY COUNCIL 

FILM PERMIT REQUIRED

A film permit is required for location filming that involves the following activities:

  • Use of streets and roads
  • Use of open spaces, reserves and parks
  • Use of council facilities and buildings
  • Use of waterways
  • Use of council owned land
  • Use of Airport owned land

Contact: parks@icc.govt.nz in the first instance.

Invercargill Airport requires notification: admin@invercargillairport.co.nz

Download Current Parks Application and Booking Form for Invercargill City Council.

SOUTHLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

NO FILM PERMIT REQUIRED - COUNCIL REQUIRES NOTIFICATION

Contact: Kevin McNaughtkevin.mcnaught@southlanddc.govt.nz

GORE DISTRICT COUNCIL

NO FILM PERMIT REQUIRED - COUNCIL REQUIRES NOTIFICATION

Contact: Emma Carle - ecarle@goredc.govt.nz

OTAGO REGIONAL COUNCIL

ALL PERMITTING PROCESSED THROUGH RESPECTIVE COUNCILS

Otago Regional Council work complements that of the city and district councils within Otago. They don't duplicate the functions of these councils. Therefore all film permitting will go to the relevant council.

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION (DOC) CONTROLLED AREAS

CONCESSION REQUIRED

DOC is the guardian of New Zealand's conservation estate and administers its national parks. If you want to film in an area managed by DOC you need to apply for a concession.

Download the DOC Concession Application Form 5a – Filming.
Download the Application Information Form 1b – One-Off Process.

We encourage you to have as much pre-application discussion with the local DOC office as possible.

Film crews should familiarize themselves with this process and follow the guidance when applying for their DOC concession - this reduces the time and cost required. In most cases the application is best lodged at the DOC office nearest the primary location that is to be used.

Concessions are governed by DOC’s Code of Practice: The Code’s stated purpose is to provide film crews with guidance and assistance. Consent forms and other relevant material such as information about fees can be found on DOC’s website : www.doc.govt.nz

Contact: permissions@doc.govt.nz

LINZ UNALIENATED CROWN LAND (includes lakebeds and riverbeds)

RECREATION PERMIT REQUIRED

Many New Zealand lakebeds and riverbeds are Crown property and are managed by LINZ on behalf of the Commissioner of Crown Lands. A recreation permit is required prior to filming on these.

Applications should be made with Colliers, who are LINZ’s service agents:
Rose Quirk - Rose.Quirk@colliers.com

Poppy Simpson-Wells - Poppy.Simpson-Wells@colliers.com

LINZ PASTORAL LAND (STATIONS OR FARMS)

RECREATION PERMIT REQUIRED

If you are filming on Pastoral lease land with the permission of the leaseholder (farmer) you will also need a LINZ Pastoral recreation permit from LINZ Pastoral.

Download LINZ 2018 Request for the Granting of a Recreation Permit for Filming over Crown Pastoral Land.

Contact: crownproperty@linz.govt.nz

MAORI LAND

PERMISSION REQUIRED

For filming that involves the following location types:

  • In and around Statutory Acknowledgement areas
  • In and around Nohoanga sites
  • In and around Topuni sites
  • Where Māori cultural, historical or spiritual information/narrative will be used
  • In and around significant landscapes
  • In and around ‘major’ waterways

Please contact Aukaha for consultation with local iwi:

Phone: (03) 477-0071

Email: info@ktkoltd.co.nz
Website: https://www.aukaha.co.nz/ 

PRIVATE LAND

PERMISSION REQUIRED FROM LANDOWNER

Permission to film is required from the landowner of all locations.

ENVIRONMENT SOUTHLAND

PERMISSION REQUIRED

As a regional council, Environment Southland is responsible for the sustainable management of Southland's natural resources - land, water, air and coast - in partnership with the community.

Each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the activity that was taking place as part of the filming. 

Contact:  Duty Consents Officer on 0800 76 88 45 or service@es.govt.nz

DRONES

  • QLDC requires all drone/UAV operators to have a CAA Part 102 license
  • Read full Dunedin drone guidelines here
  • 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 is required if over land administered
  • DOC - a concession is required from DOC to fly a drone on public conservation land
  • 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

Visit the Civil Aviation Authority website here for further information.

ROADS AND MOVING VEHICLES

  • Filming on any part of a local public road where no road closure is required: you'll require a temporary traffic management plan (TMP) and discontinuation of parking controls.
  • Filming on a state highway involving either roadside filming or holding of traffic: you'll require a temporary traffic management plan or temporary road closure.
  • Filming from a moving vehicle on a road, and/or filming actors in a moving vehicle mounted on a towed low-loader: you'll require a temporary traffic management plan or temporary road closure, and a Health and Safety plan.

FILMING ON/NEAR WATER

  • Filming in beach areas: requires compliance with council bylaws and consent from adjacent landowners if access is required.
  • Filming on lakes, rivers, harbours: requires landowner consent, alteration to navigation bylaws/rules, and resource consent if structures or alteration to natural features is involved.

More info: Maritime New Zealand

Queenstown Harbourmaster Contact: 
harbourmaster@queenstown.co.nz

For further information about location access and permits, please visit our FAQs or contact us: +64 (0) 3 441 0475 or info@filmotagosouthland.com

Note: This information has last been updated April 2019.

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