Image: Auckland City Waterfront


Change to the way parking permits are regulated

The new Auckland Transport Parking Strategy, which took effect on 1 July 2016, outlines the guiding principles and policies for the management and supply of on-street and Auckland Transport (AT)-controlled off-street parking in Auckland.

This strategy enables the application of a consistent approach across the city, and contributes to the achievement of AT’s Strategic Themes and target Auckland Plan outcomes relating to parking management.

As a part of the new strategy the ‘parking permits’ (sometimes referred to as ‘Ops Permits’) previously issued are no longer valid or available.

The impact on screen productions

From 1 August, anyone wishing to reserve parking spaces for any vehicles associated with a film shoot in Auckland will be required to apply for a new ‘Screen Works Access Permit’.

To ensure that the industry operates safely and efficiently, AT and Screen Auckland have developed a set of best practise operational guidelines which all production companies and Location Managers should become familiar so that they comply with national legislation for working within the road corridor and health and safety regulations.

We understand that the film industry has operated for many years under a system where productions have used cones on location to mark areas required to service filming, and that detailing a full TMP for these activities would increase costs and add time to an already fast turnaround activity. 

However, we recommend that any staff who regularly work at locations which involve the road corridor – particularly those who manage reserved parking areas or park vehicles – attend an NZTA Traffic Controller course.  Screen Auckland will provide a subsidised course in coming months for Auckland-based location managers and staff.


What does the new process involve?

What benefits will the new process bring to the film industry in Auckland?

This new process is designed to:

  • Remove the ambiguity around the current process.
  • Allow film production companies to legally place cones to reserve parking for film equipment vehicles.
  • Integrate parking applications with the AT works system.  Not only will AT’s coordination and maintenance team have greater visibility of the whereabouts of film shoots, but the applicant will be informed of any potentially clashing activities and have the opportunity to work through these prior to filming taking place.
  • No more having to pick up permits! Approval documentation will be emailed directly to the applicant.

How to apply:

Established location managers will be able to apply for parking permits directly through once they have agreed to and signed the Screen Auckland operational guidelines TMP.

Productions that do not have a recognised Auckland based Location Manager may submit applications via Screen Auckland. A Screen Auckland Facilitator will process your application through Submitica on your behalf, but please be aware this is likely to take an extra day or two. Once approved, the permit will be emailed through to the applicant.

Required information includes:

  • Location (including exact length or number of spaces requested).
  • Site map.
  • Timing (dates and times including ‘bump in’ lead time if applicable).
  • Contact details.

Submitica process

Step 1: Register or login to Submitica.

Step 2: Create new application type: Event. Make sure you have a site map ready to upload prior to starting.

Step 3: Follow the prompts to fill in your details, upload site map of parking plan – SA crew as principal.

Step 4: Submit

NOTE: This process only replaces the old parking permit system (ie. where reserved parking is the only requirement).  All other film-related applications are to be sent through to Screen Auckland as per the current process.


Once your application is submitted, the request will be reviewed by Auckland Transport Special Events.  Allow at least two working days for your approval to be returned by email. This should be available on site at all times, in either paper or electronic form.

Costs and payment

There is a slight increase in charges in line with AT’s increased parking rates.  The previous parking charges have been in place for about 10 years. Maximum fee per space/per day will be charged at $43.91 (inner CBD, exc GST).  Payment will be directly invoiced by AT on approval.

Zones Exc GST Inc GST
Pay and Display- Inner CBD (Blue Zone) $43.91 $50.50
Pay and Display- Inner CBD (Green Zone) $27.45 $31.57
Pay and Display- Outer CBD (Yellow Zone) $18.29 $21.03
Pay and Display- All other areas Free Free
Time restricted parking areas Free Free
Non restricted parking areas Free Free


Map of Auckland City parking zones



How can I ensure the spaces required are available?

A Screen Works Access Permit – or approved Traffic Management Plan (TMP) – will give you permission from Auckland Transport to reserve parking space by placing cones in the locations specified on the layout diagrams. This enables you to ‘reserve’ your workspace to allow filming to take place in a safe and efficient manner without having to filter out public vehicles throughout the day.

Screen production companies must seek to limit inconvenience to neighbouring businesses and residents to ensure the sustainability of filming in public spaces. As this is public space, we cannot guarantee exclusivity of parking spaces (unless you have a parking resolution).  Permit holders should notify businesses and residents in the immediate area via a letter drop or door knocking at least 48 hours in advance. Production companies may also want to consider having a marshal on site to advise people of the permitted parking area.

Can I place cones out in advance?

Yes. The change in process is designed to legitimise the practise of ‘coning out’ space for production sites and give you the right to occupy the space requested in the TMP documentation.

There is a common misconception that the previous ‘Parking Permit’ process allowed for ‘reserving’ parking space, but this was never the case. The permits actually only allowed vehicles to exceed time limits in restricted parking areas without being towed.

How far in advance can we reserve parking (cone out)?

Usually no more than 24 hours in advance unless a prior agreement has been made with the affected parties. This can be discussed during the notification stage.

Can I reserve parking without a film permit?

No. From 1 August 2016, any reserved parking must be in line with a Screen Works Access Permit. If an AT auditor is called to a job where cones have been put out to reserve parking, and no permit has been obtained, fines may be issued.

Can I park normally without a film permit?

Yes. As long as you are not reserving any spaces in any way, and you are happy to comply with the time restrictions – or pay and display conditions of that particular area – then you may park your vehicle.

Can my security contractor cone spaces on the productions behalf?

Yes, as long as they have the relevant approval documentation. They should also have read and carry with them a copy of the Screen Auckland operational guidelines TMP.
Many security guards do already hold TC or STMS qualifications so please consider this as potential criteria when selecting staff to operate within the road corridor on your behalf.

Am I able to tow vehicles under a SWAP permit?

No. A SWAP or TMP does not allow you to remove any vehicles that legally occupy spaces that you have ‘reserved’ (but please see ‘Parking resolutions’ section below). If there a legitimate safety issue, or vehicles are breaching normal parking controls (such as blocking driveway access), then please call the Auckland Transport call centre and request assistance from the Parking Compliance team which will be able to assess the situation and remove the offending vehicles if deemed necessary.

Please note that a vehicle parked legally in the middle of your intended shot does not constitute a safety issue.

So what can I do if a car is parked in the space that I have applied for?

As above, a legally parked car cannot be removed without good reason. So the best course of action would be to try to locate the owner and politely ask them to move their vehicle.

Parking resolutions

If a certain space is absolutely critical to the production value, and you wish to be able to ensure spaces are kept vacant by being able to tow vehicles, you must apply to Screen Auckland for a ‘parking resolution’ to temporarily change the legal designation of the requested space. This parking resolution process requires a 4-week lead time. So if you have a large project on the horizon, please flag this issue with the Screen Auckland team as early as possible to see if a resolution can be created. This process requires full TMP documentation and the involvement of a traffic management company.

Can I apply to park in loading zones?

Only outside specified hours as per the permanent signage. Loading zones cannot be used during their specified times as these are vital to the operation of the surrounding businesses and their locations have been carefully considered prior to installation. Please take note of the times and conditions on parking signs when scouting and submitting your applications.

Can I apply to park in bus stops?

Not under a SWAP Permit. Sometimes using bus stop space is requested or unavoidable for short periods of time during filming or other works environments, and this can be accommodated with a TMP if necessary. But this is not encouraged by Screen Auckland. In most cases, a temporary bus stop location will also be required and these requests will be dealt with by AT on a case by case basis.