News

  • 2 Jun 2021 17:07 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    Auckland United are seeking feedback from you on the proposed new Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Te Ture ā-Rohe Tauhokohoko, Whakahaerenga me te Tango Kiriata Tūmatanui 2022 / Auckland Council Public Trading, Events and Filming Bylaw 2022 from Tuesday 8 June to Friday 16 July 2021.

    About the proposed new bylaw

    • We recently checked how our trading, events and filming rules are working and identified improvements. These improvements will allow us to better minimise public safety risks, nuisance and misuse of council-controlled public places. We propose a new bylaw that:

    • continues to regulate trading, events and filming in a similar way to the current Bylaw
    • clarifies the need for rental micromobility devices to be approved under their own licence instead of a mobile shop licence as they currently are
    • clarifies which activities require an approval, don’t require an approval as long as certain conditions are met, and those which are not addressed in this bylaw
    • updates the title, structure, format, definitions, and wording to ensure that a new bylaw is easier to read, understand and comply with.
    • The proposal is the result of a statutory bylaw review completed in 2020 of the current Te Ture ā-Rohe Te Mahi Tauhokohoko me nga Takunetanga ki ngā Wāhi Marea / Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw 2015, during which we also sought feedback from you.

      You can view more information, including the proposed new bylaw at akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

      How you can give feedback

      You can have your say on the proposal from Tuesday 8 June until Friday 16 July 2021 by:

    • completing the online feedback form here, giving feedback at an in-person or online drop-in session, or emailing or posting a feedback form to us. Details available here.
    • giving feedback to the Bylaw Panel one-on-one on 11 June 2021, at a time between 12:30pm – 3pm. Click here to register by 5pm on Thursday 10 June 2021. You must register for this event as otherwise we would not be able to accommodate your request.

    What happens to your feedback

    We analyse all feedback received and provide a summary available to the public on akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

    All feedback will be considered by a Panel at a public meeting on 20 October 2021. The Panel will use the feedback to make recommendations on the proposal to the Governing Body.

    Any person is welcome to attend and listen to the Panel and Governing Body proceedings, but there will not be an opportunity to have your say at either meeting.

    Further enquires

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please email us at ptefbylaw@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

  • 25 May 2021 12:19 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    Screen activity is booming again across the region and we have some important updates to share with you to ensure you get the best from Auckland’s diverse locations.

    Location Updates:

    Auckland Domain Wintergardens 

    Due to seismic strengthening and joinery replacement works, the Wintergardens is closed to events, photography, and filming until December 2022. Applications for any filming activity in the area immediately surrounding the Wintergardens’ glasshouses and inside the houses and courtyard will regretfully be declined until further notice.  

    High Street (Shortland to Victoria Street), Auckland central  

    Continuous civil works will take place on High Street between Shortland and Victoria streets from 16 to 30 June 2021. Traffic management, including full road and shoulder closures will be in place. Filming and/or parking permits will not be issued for High Street during these dates. 

    Please also note that filming on Freyberg Square will be visually affected, and additional disruption to the Chancery area will need to be carefully coordinated if you wish to shoot in the area, for example, while parking is unavailable on High Street, Chancery and Kitchener streets  must be kept free for public parking. 

    Fatigued locations 

    The following locations are experiencing high levels of activity and are fatigued. We recommend you consider finding alternative locations for: 

    • Orbit Drive, Rosedale 

    • Oakley Ave, Waterview 

    • Tudwood Glade and Northgrove Avenue, Hillcrest   

    Film application process

    Screen Auckland would like to thank you for your ongoing patience and co-operation as we continue to receive unprecedented numbers of film permit applications.  

    It is fantastic to see our local industry flourishing and we are doing everything we can to assist your activities, but we need your continued support to ensure a smooth application process. Please note the following before submitting your film permit application:   

    • A reminder that all filming activity on public open space requires a film permit application 

    • Before lodging a film permit application, your production must register with ScreenSafe 

    • Applications must be fully complete and lodged by 8.00am five full business days prior to the shoot date, contingency date or first date of bump in / parking reservation – whichever occurs first. 

    • A longer lead time may apply for applications involving complex logistics, locations, central city locations or traffic management. Please contact Screen Auckland for guidance and note: 

      • Parking resolutions require 30 business days lead time 

      • Road closure applications require 15 business days lead time  

      • Stop/Go traffic management in central city locations require 6 business days lead time 

      • Filming on Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains) require 20-25 business days lead time 

    Changes requested within application timeframes may not always be achievable. It is important that feasibility discussions are carried out prior to lodging an application to avoid disappointment. 

    All enquiries about filming on public open space (including Regional Parks) should be directed to Screen Auckland so that we can coordinate your activity. We kindly ask that you do not directly contact other Auckland Council departments or staff, as this can unnecessarily slow the process. 

    Please submit your enquiry to screen@aucklandnz.com or via the ‘Contact Us’ page on the Screen Auckland website. Film applications can be lodged online using the Screen Auckland application portal. A film facilitator will then be assigned to your application or enquiry and will get in touch as soon as possible. 

    Please note that direct support and guidance is available during business hours, 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). If you require out of hours assistance, please contact the Auckland Council Call Centre on 09 301 0101. 

    Hei kōnā mai,

    Marie Jenkins
    Screen Facilitation Manager
    Auckland Unlimited

  • 21 Dec 2020 18:57 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)


    While Challenges Beset Global Screen Production, 6,500 Miles South of Hollywood a Tiny Nation Has Led by Example

    Rampaging dinosaurs and James Bond aren’t halted easily, but Covid-19 managed that feat. In October shooting of Jurassic World: Dominion was forced to pause due to on-set tests returning positive for Covid-19. And, evidently, 2020 is no time for No Time to Die. Release of this title, the 25th in the 007 franchise, has been pushed back to April 2021. There’s even been talk of it going the way of Disney’s Mulan and debuting on a streaming platform. 

    The global pandemic has dealt a body blow to the global theatrical exhibition industry, already on the ropes after years of audiences or “content consumers” getting their fix from streamers. It’s long been the crowd-pleasing blockbusters that have enabled cinemas to keep their lights on. Quoting industry players, recent headlines have depicted a high-stakes narrative; “We’ve literally been killed by James Bond”.

    Streaming platforms and broadcast networks aren’t immune to the vicissitudes wrought by a pandemic. They too rely on a steady supply of fresh content to service existing subscribers/consumers and entice new ones. Given that it often requires the assembly of hundreds of people working in close quarters, screen production has been testing producers as never before.

    6,504 miles south of Hollywood a very different picture has emerged. Identified by business leaders in a Bloomberg Media survey as the country that has had the best response to the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand is at present home to a thriving screen production sector. Shooting alongside numerous local productions have been such notable US titles as Netflix’s Sweet Tooth and Cowboy BeBop, James Cameron’s recently-wrapped Avatar sequels and Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings series. With a budget north of a billion dollars, Rings will be the most expensive series ever filmed. This sector is, according to NZ Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan, tracking toward a year of peak production. How has this been achieved?  

    Commencing in late March, New Zealand’s government implemented a nationwide lockdown. The Prime Minister expressed confidence in and deferred to medical and scientific experts. Guidelines and updates were communicated daily via televised press briefings with the Kiwi “team of five million” encouraged to stay safe and be kind to one another. 

    Testing for Covid-19 was widespread and, for once, the relative isolation of our South Pacific island nation proved advantageous. Quarantine was mandated for all visitors entering the country. The government actioned a wage subsidy for businesses and self-employed contractors (i.e. many screen industry workers). In a further effort to boost activity, it committed additional funds to local screen production. Despite some hiccups at the border and a few small outbreaks, we might as a nation take some pride in how we’ve meet this challenge, head-on. 

    The screen industry responded with remarkable cohesion. Two significant pan-industry projects had recently drawn together guilds, unions and stakeholders: 1) consultation over a somewhat controversial piece labour relations legislation, known colloquially as “The Hobbit Law,” and 2) preparation of a document describing potential for industrial growth; the Screen Sector Strategy 2030. In short, Covid-19 hit at a time when constructive dialogue was occurring within the field. 

    Four initiatives proved vital: 

    1) A Screen Sector Covid-19 Action Group was established, ensuring government messages and guidelines were articulated with maximum clarity. This body served as a conduit for industry-specific information (i.e. financial support for businesses and individuals). Says Action Group chair Felicity Letcher, “We knew that there was going to be a content demand at the tail end of Covid and we wanted New Zealand to be able to be a part of that. We had a really great pipeline of work and we could see the potential of that was even stronger”. 

    2) Led by ScreenSafe, guilds and unions produced the world’s first government-endorsed health and safety guidelines to facilitate ongoing production in the Covid-19 era. Templates were made available for producers to download. 

    3) Armed with data from producers, the Film Commission communicated with government to seek “smart border entry”. It was demonstrated that, by allowing a relatively small number of international crew members into the country, hundreds of millions of dollars of production expenditure would flow into the economy. This case was made for both large scale international projects and smaller scale domestic films. 

    4) With shooting halted indefinitely, it was recognised that the mental health of screen professionals could be at risk. Vista Foundation (a local company specialising in globally-licensed ticketing software) forged an alliance with Home & Family Counselling to sponsor free access to mental health services for all screen industry workers.

    A number of challenges remain. For example, in several territories it is proving nigh-on impossible for independent producers to obtain production insurance against pandemics. In the UK and Australia government measures have helped address this obstacle. Elsewhere, not so much. 

    Production is occurring in various global locations, albeit under onerous health and safety protocols. And, eventually, inevitably, mass vaccination will help facilitate a return to some kind of normalcy. Granted, New Zealand benefited from having manageable borders and a relatively small population. And yet, the greatest advantage NZ enjoyed may have come in the form of responsible leadership coupled with public compliance. 

    The screen industry itself, a sometimes fractious place of competing interests, managed in this instance to perceive opportunity in trying times. Determined to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it moved nimbly and worked collectively. Now seen as a Covid safe haven, New Zealand is home to a booming screen sector with no shortage of “Action!” 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dr Gabriel Reid holds a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Auckland and has extensive screen production experience. He sits on the board of Film Auckland (FAI) and is vice-president the Directors and Editors Guild (DEGNZ).

    Email: gabriel@pageantfilms.com

    IMDB: www.imdb.me/gabrielreid

    LinkedIn: Dr Gabriel Reid

    Instagram: drgabrielreid

    Twitter: @drgabrielreid

  • 9 Sep 2020 12:54 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)


    The 36th America's Cup begins in Auckland this December and runs through to March 2021. Hosting an event of this scale is a fantastic opportunity for Auckland, but it is important to understand how the events may impact on the availability of locations for filming activity and infrastructure.

    Click here for more detailed information from ATEED and Screen Auckland.

  • 7 Sep 2020 14:45 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    'Greening the Screen' should be an ongoing focus for all of us. The Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund (WMIF) is open now, closing 30th September, for applications requesting grants between $250 and $50,000.

    Funding workshops can be made available upon request should any organisations or communities within Auckland have interest in receiving in-depth information on the application and assessment process. Support and guidance is also available to applicants and grant recipients by phone, email, Skype and face-to-face engagement should it be required.

    Further information and guidelines for the WMIF can be found on the Auckland Council website here or email aucklandwastefund@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

  • 12 Aug 2020 09:59 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    Due to Auckland returning to lock-down level 3, we have postponed tonights Election Forum 2020 event until further notice.

    We hope everyone in Auckland stays home and stays safe so we can stop the spread.

  • 30 Jul 2020 12:56 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    This year, the NZIFF have curated a special programme of more than 80 feature length films and short film collections for streaming on your television, computer, handheld device or home cinema setup.

    Online films are available as Online Rentals, viewed within 48 hours of purchase, or Online Premieres, viewed at a set date and time and including special Filmmaker Extras and selected live post-film Q&As.

    You can read the clear instructions how to go about this here


  • 24 Jul 2020 11:16 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    Local boards decide on how parks can be utilised, including film permitting parameters. Therefore, it’s important we give feedback when opportunities like this arise, so the Council can hear our perspective.

    Click here to have your say


  • 17 Jul 2020 10:52 | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

    New Zealand’s screen sector is set to take another leap forward with the opening of X3 Studios, the country’s newest large studio complex.

    Situated only 30 minutes’ drive south of Auckland’s city centre, X3 Studios are the most flexible turnkey studios in New Zealand and have been specifically designed for large scale ‘build the world’ productions. The studio complex comprises more than 11,725m2 (126,200 sq/ft) of clear span high-stud studio and flexible production space offering multiple configurations of up to four studios, including the X3 Mega Stage - the largest clear span mega stage in the Southern Hemisphere.

    X3 Studios was developed by Xytech Studio Management Co, part of the Kiwi-owned technology company Xytech Group.

    Xytech’s owner, Stephen Pryor, says the new studio complex is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the local screen sector: “New Zealand is internationally renowned as a production location - we have terrific screen production incentives that make us an attractive destination for international studios, not to mention some of the best crews and views in the world. However, as the country has become a more popular destination for large scale film and television projects, we’ve almost become a victim of our own success and the lack of local studio infrastructure has been a hindrance to increasing New Zealand’s capacity as a screen production location. Xytech is thrilled that our investment in X3 Studios will contribute the growing health of our local screen sector by attracting more of those big international productions, creating hundreds of local jobs, and, in turn, giving a boost to the New Zealand economy.”

    X3 Studios are located on a secure, 2.4 hectare site with easy access to coastal, forest and rural scenic wilderness. Xytech Studio Management Co. expects the first production on-site in coming months and is now accepting inquiries from interested parties: www.x3studios.co.nz

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