Covid-19 update: Taupō is currently at Alert Level 2.
For large-scale film productions the Film Bay of Plenty Office will connect you with the right people, place and infrastructure to serve your production. The office provides assistance with location scouting, facilitation, permitting, crew and service provision, advocacy and liaison with local government.
Depending on the nature and location of your work, you may require permits for filming and photography due to the natural and cultural significance of these resources. Permits can be required from several different entities for the same location, so it is worthwhile to do your research.
Maori owned land and areas of cultural significance
Many locations throughout Taupo have cultural significance to Māori, which often extends beyond the owner of the land, and may require consultation with iwi. Any filming or photography undertaken on Māori owned land or in areas of significant cultural importance particularly mountains, rivers and lakes, will require support of local iwi/hapu.
Project coordinators will need to consult with iwi about the proposed project, especially around any intended use of the content and whether any indigenous history, stories and legends will be shared in the production. Consultation also applies to photography.
Initial contact can be made through Te Kotahitanga o Ngati Tuwharetoa, who will contact the affected hapu directly.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngati Tuwharetoa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note it can take anywhere up to 60 days for iwi consultation, so we advise you to make this your priority.
Taupō Waters Trust
Anyone wanting to conduct filming or photography on or above Taupō Waters (Lower Tongariro River, Lake Taupo, upper reaches of the Waikato River and various tributaries) will need to complete a Filming and Photography Application form which will need to address certain guidelines as outlined by Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board.
The Taupō Waters Trust is set up by the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and holds title to:
These titles are collectively known as “Taupō Waters”. If you are unsure on any of your proposed filming locations please contact email@example.com.
There are several prerequisites including Public Liability insurance, a Health & Safety plan compliant with the Health & Safety Act 1992 and pre-approval from the Taupo Harbourmaster for any drone activity within the Lake Taupo aerodrome.
The Department of Conservation (DOC)
To film anything for commercial purposes on public conservation land, you must have a concession from the Department of Conservation. Depending on what you plan to do, when and how you want to do it, you will either need a one-off concession or a longer-term concession. The concession application process may also require iwi consultation. You can request details of the interested parties from a local Concessions/ Iwi Ranger at DOC.
Civil Aviation Authority
If you want to operate a drone, there are Civil Aviation Authority rules and regulations in place that require operators to get consent from landowners and individuals who they may fly over, as well as seeking permission from the local aerodromes.
Aerodromes in the Taupo region:
Please note that completing an airshare.co.nz flight plan does not provide an approval in the Taupo area as Taupo airspace is uncontrolled.
It is the responsibility of the drone operator to ensure they fully comply with CAA Rule Part 101 or 102.
Getting consent from landowners
Another aspect of being compliant with CAA rules is ensuring you get permission from property owners before flying over their land. Private property owners must give personal consent while in the case of public land, you will need to get approval from the relevant governing authority.
Taupo District Council