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Councils Could Provide Stage For Film Makers

Friday, 19 April

Councils are being called upon to support the film industry by making planning approval, street access, parks and amenities more accessible to film crews.

To encourage stars to “strut their stuff” on local streets best practice guidelines are being developed that councils can easily apply when filming is required in their areas, says Local Government New Zealand Strategy Leader Tim Davin.

“We want to encourage the film industry to come to New Zealand and view us as a film friendly place.”

Local Government New Zealand is holding council road shows around the country to develop guidelines to assist in improving their responsiveness to future approaches from the film industry.

“The industry has specific needs in regard to timing, flexibility, responsiveness, certainty and cost. Despite the efforts made by councils many people in the film industry believe that regulatory practice does not provide the certainty of timing or responsiveness required by the industry,” says Mr Davin.

The road shows are seeking input into draft guidelines that councils, Film New Zealand and Industry New Zealand that councils could use to have film friendly practices and co-operative marketing programmes.

“If councils decided to use these guidelines they would provide a base for the film industry to be treated in a consistent way.”

The guidelines would cover the positive actions that parties would undertake to promote filming, including film friendly regulatory controls, advertising and publicity campaigns.

“Councils could promote their areas as good locations for the film industry bringing employment and economic development advantages.”

He says that the guidelines are important not only for the film industry, but are also useful as a guide in building a way for councils to respond to industry needs.

He says that often councils are faced with a conflict between resource management objectives and economic development objectives.

Mr Davin says that being industry friendly does not mean compromising environmental standards. What is required is a method to access the impact of what the company would like to do and to make a fair assessment.

Mr Davin says that he hopes this project will be the first of a series that will help to build a stronger service ethos in the way councils’ provide approval.

The Film Road Show’s timetable is as follows:

- Monday 29 April - Waitakere

- Tuesday 30 April - Napier

- Wednesday 1 May - New Plymouth

- Thursday 2 May - Wellington

- Friday 3 May - Christchurch

- Tuesday 7 May - Dunedin

END

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