For a smooth filming experience, make sure your screen production has the right permits and comprehensive insurance, and follows Auckland’s film protocol.
Auckland Film Protocol
The Auckland Film Protocol outlines conditions and guidelines for filming in Auckland. It covers topics such as conduct while filming in public spaces or filming that may affect the public, local businesses, iwi (local Māori) or the environment.
New Blue Book!
A new edition of The Blue Book was released in October, replacing the 2004 edition. Developed and published by The Screen Industry Guild Aotearoa NZ with cooperation from the Screen Production & Development Association, The Blue Book references best-practice processes for freelance crew members in the New Zealand screen production industry. There is some really useful information in there, so we highly recommend film crew members take the time to read the new book.
Health and safety in New Zealand workplaces is regulated by the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015, which promotes health and safety management and focuses on the prevention of harm to employees. The Act applies to all screen production activity, including international productions while they are working in New Zealand.
Your obligations under the Act will depend on your role in the production process, including the amount of control and influence you have over any particular aspect of the project. The more senior your role or the more influence you have, the more responsibility you will have for ensuring the safety of yourself and others.
In addition to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, all film crews must comply with the Screen Safe Health and Safety Guidelines and best practice processes for the engagement of crew in the New Zealand screen production industry as outlined in the 2017 Blue Book. You will also be required to comply with any specific health and safety requirements or instructions set out in, or issued in conjunction with, your film permit and Auckland Council bylaws.
As part of your application for a film permit, you will be required to provide Screen Auckland with a site-specific Health and Safety Plan for review. That plan should be submitted to Screen Auckland at the same time as your application for a film permit. Where this is not possible you must provide your site specific plan to Screen Auckland at least 3 working days prior to your intended filming.
The level of plan required and the timeframe for review will vary depending on your activity proposal and proposed location. Some sites, such as closed landfills which are now used as parks, are considered higher risk than other sites. Higher risk sites may be subject to additional conditions and requirements - for example, a site induction may also be necessary and this will require additional time.
To ensure you have sufficient time for your plan to be reviewed, contact Screen Auckland for preliminary advice. A film permit will not be issued without a reviewed site-specific Health and Safety Plan.
Further information and resources on health and safety regulations specific to the screen industry can be found online at Screensafe.
Personal accident insurance
New Zealand has unique personal accident insurance based on a no-fault compensation scheme. While you’re in New Zealand, this scheme provides automatic accident insurance cover that replaces your ability to sue for damages due to accident.
Talk to us about policy options.
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. Find out more about what ACC covers for your production here or talk to us about policy options.
Public liability insurance
If you’re filming in public spaces, you’ll need public liability insurance. Public liability insurance limits are typically much lower in New Zealand because under our ACC scheme, citizens can’t sue for damages caused by accident.
Talk to us about policy options.
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.