A collective commitment by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Film New Zealand (Film NZ) to improve the permit process has streamlined the Code of Practice for Filming on Public Conservation Lands.
Sue Thompson, Acting CEO of Film NZ says that the national film office is keen to develop a long-term strategic relationship with DOC so that the screen production industry can demonstrate its commitment to environmental protection.
During the consulting process around the revised Code of Practice, Film New Zealand proposed that the industry be encouraged to adopt sustainable filming practices which would become an integral part of the revision. This fits exactly in line with Film NZ s current work around sustainable practices as evidenced in our website, Greening the Screen.
Al Morrison, Director-General, Department of Conservation says the Code of Practice will help clarify responsibilities regarding filming on public conservation land. It s our job to ensure that protection of sensitive sites remains paramount, but we also appreciate the value of the screen production industry to New Zealand.
Ms Thompson says that Film NZ needs to work closely with DOC to create a nationally consistent concession framework. We put forward the idea that DOC establishes a national Screen Desk . We are very pleased that the Department has adopted this streamlined approach and that DOC understands our needs.
Mr Morrison also wants to fast track the applications for permits to film. Appreciating that timeframes for filming vary considerably, Morrison says that, DOC is going to oil the wheels a bit to ensure the permitting process is as efficient as possible based on realistic filming timeframes. We want to keep the cameras rolling because, at the end of the day, all New Zealanders benefit from a healthy film industry in a healthy natural environment.