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Auckland to become more film-friendly

Auckland City Council
Media release

16 December 2009

Auckland to become more film-friendly

Auckland City Council is making it easier for filming to take place in the city, in support of the region’s screen production industry.

The regional industry generates $878 million in gross revenues annually and employs around 3,600 people in 1,200 companies – a 40 per cent increase in employment since 2000.

The move to become more film-friendly follow a meeting held with industry body Film Auckland in September.

“Key industry players have said that they would like Auckland City Council to follow other international cities and introduce a streamlined protocol for granting permission to film in the city,” says City Development Committee chairperson Aaron Bhatnagar. “We don’t want to be in a situation where Auckland misses out on film business because we can’t respond quickly enough.”

The City Development Committee agreed to a three-phased response. It will immediately issue a Memorandum of Support to council staff and businesses in the film industry signalling the council’s intention to support the film industry and introduce measures to make filming in the city easier. Between now and March, council will work with industry stakeholders to develop a protocol for filming in Auckland that will streamline the processes for obtaining consents and permits. Council will also work with Film Auckland to develop a register of assets in the Auckland area listing locations where filming is permitted and this will be compiled by May.

Councillor Bhatnagar said that the steps taken to make Auckland city more film-friendly could be applied to the whole region after the Auckland Council is formed next November.

“Auckland has the infrastructure, technology and skilled workers to make the city an attractive place to film. We believe that by reducing compliance costs and responding more quickly to requests we can help grow Auckland’s film business still further,” says Councillor Bhatnagar.

Anzak Tindall, Executive Producer of Joyride Films says the most important film investment decision is securing the right location.

“Currently Auckland city is not near the top of the competition internationally or domestically when it comes to film friendliness. Investors want certainty about what can be achieved and Auckland hasn’t previously had a strategy in place that builds confidence. Hence we miss out on many opportunities. The new protocol should address this and lift Auckland’s attractiveness.”

Film Auckland executive manager Michael Brook said he also welcomed the council’s moves to make Auckland a more attractive place for film companies.

“I don’t think many Aucklanders realise the economic contribution the film industry makes to the city. That’s perhaps a contributing factor to why there can be delays in getting permission to film or sorting out logistics like parking for film trucks or consents for temporary structures. Film Auckland looks forward to working closely with the council enhance Auckland’s reputation as a world class screen production centre,” says Michael Brook.

Mayor of Auckland city Hon. John Banks said that attracting more film business to Auckland would provide economic benefits to the city.

“Auckland’s screen production industry has kept on growing despite the recession. The new film protocol will be good for jobs and growing the creative sector. It’s also part of council’s overall push to reduce compliance costs and be supportive of business,” says Mr Banks.


© Scoop Media

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