Bylaws and Guidelines
This section contains information on the bylaw regulations and guidelines that underpin the Screen Auckland permit process that will inform your pre-production planning. We also detail the New Zealand Government legislation that covers Health and Safety on-set and personal accident insurance requirements in Aotearoa New Zealand.
If you are filming within the Auckland region in public spaces owned or managed by the Auckland City Council the following local government documents and bylaws apply:
- Auckland Unitary Plan
The Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) is a statutory document that guides the use of Auckland’s natural and physical resources. It provides guidelines around temporary discretionary activities including filming, to minimise any possible adverse effects on local communities, businesses, and the environment.
The Auckland Unitary Plan sets the zoning and mapping of Auckland’s physical resources, including Sites of Significance to Mana Whenua, known sites of historical and ecological significance e.g., Auckland’s regional parks, beaches and areas that cover closed landfills. Specific local conditions for filming may be set around the usage of these locations.
The Public Trading, Events and Filming Bylaw 2022 applies to council-controlled public spaces, and regulates trading, event and filming activities.
Film Facilitators will help ensure your shoot is not in breach of any bylaws by liaising with landowners and yourselves.
- The Auckland Film Protocol
This practical resource is Auckland Council’s set of guidelines and requirements to enable filming in the region. It’s recommended that productions familiarise themselves with this framework before filming.
Health and safety requirements in Aotearoa New Zealand workplaces are regulated by the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015, which focuses on preventing harm to employees. The Act applies to all screen production activity, including international productions while they are working in New Zealand as they are a Person Conducting a Business Undertaking (PCBU) as defined in the legislation.
Screen Auckland requires complete Health and Safety plans with all film permit applications.
- Personal accident insurance
New Zealand has unique personal accident insurance based on a no-fault compensation scheme. While you are in New Zealand, this scheme provides automatic accident insurance cover that replaces your ability to sue for damages due to accident.
- Public liability insurance
To ensure productions are covered should incidents occur, Auckland Council asks for insurance as part of the permitting process. Insurance is voided if unpermitted filming occurs as landowner approval was not obtained.
If you are filming in public spaces, you need public/general liability insurance cover to a minimum of $5 million. Some locations require more, so please get in touch if you are unsure.
- Aviation liability insurance
Aviation insurance covers damage inflicted by drones. Many policies specifically exclude drone or unmanned aerial vehicle use, so it needs to be added as an additional clause to the public liability cover. The minimum cover accepted can depend on the location and shoot details.
- Worker compensation insurance
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand if they are injured at work. Find out more about what ACC covers for your production.
- Public liability coverage for contractors
For tax and ACC reasons, most of our cast and crew teams prefer to work as contractors, rather than production company employees. It’s important to ensure contractors working on a production have their own public liability cover, as public liability policies (unless endorsed) only cover the company and its employees.
- Statutory liability insurance
Statutory liability insurance in New Zealand generally covers the cost of defence for fines and penalties, and in some limited circumstances may cover the fines and penalties themselves. Your local line producer can advise whether you’ll need to adapt your health and safety practices for New Zealand regulations.