To ensure that you enjoy a successful filming experience in our city, it is important to think about what you will require, before you arrive in Christchurch.

two surfers leaving the water at New Brighton Pier on a cloudless dayDeciding on your location is one of the first steps.
The Council is generally happy for filmmakers to make the most of our green spaces, parks and streets but asks that they gain approval to use these locations. 

Christchurch people are rightly proud of their unique surroundings and want to ensure that they are valued and protected by everybody.

Contact the Council as early as possible.
This should ensure that there is enough time to process your filming application. If you are unsure whether you need approvals for your project please see the criteria below, or email an outline of your proposed activities to filmingcoordinator@ccc.govt.nz

The coordinator will reply as soon as they have looked at your request and determined which approvals may be needed. Given the popularity of Christchurch's public places, it pays to apply early to secure a location for the time that you need it.


Filming without a permit

If your activity fits within the criteria below, there is no need to apply for a Filming Permit but please notify the Filming Coordinator about your activity on: filmingcoordinator@ccc.govt.nz

Criteria for filming without a permit:

  1. A filming activity of six people or less, inclusive of all production crew and talent
  2. Infrastructure of no more than hand held camera's, one tripod and handheld sound recording equipment. No lighting or sheltering equipment on stands. No camera tracking devices, vehicles, sizeable props or generator are included
  3. Public safety is maintained at all times and all public pathways / footpaths / cycling paths and roads must not be blocked. A minimum of 2.5 metres is required on footpaths for pedestrian thoroughfare at all times
  4. No disruption is caused to the city's stakeholders (traders, residents and businesses) or motorists or other events in the vicinity of the activities
  5. Filming equipment must not be hard up against or attached to any Council street furniture, infrastructure or assets including trees, shrubbery and garden beds
  6. No vehicle access is permitted in Parks and gardens or past any street bollards without a permit.

Filming permits

If your activity does not fit the above criteria you must apply for a Filming Permit.

Download and complete an approval to film in and around Christchurch form [PDF 136KB]

Application assessment and approval takes approximately two weeks.

For more complex filming it may be necessary for the Film Officer to consult with Council regulatory units, outside agencies and other stakeholders. This may take longer depending on the planned activity. In the instance of a major road closure up to 84 days notice can be required.

Fees and bonds may be required to cover the cost of accommodating some filming activities. A copy of the fee schedule will be supplied  on the acceptance of an application to film.


What the Council may need to know

Road closures generally require the greatest amount of prior warning. A full road closure can require up to six weeks notice but sometimes applications can be processed in just a few days, if for example the request does not require traffic stopping.

Other information the Council may require includes:

  • the precise location of the shoot
  • how parking will be managed
  • procedures to tidy up and remove any waste
  • potential impact on the park/space (eg altering tracks and vegetation)
  • if any structures are to be erected
  • procedures to protect public safety (signage, security)
  • health and Safety Plan confirmations
  • public Liability Insurance coverage
  • how noisy your activity will be
  • access to power and water supplies
  • toilet facilities
  • temporary road closures – the effect of your activity on traffic flows
  • a traffic management plan may need to be submitted with the application form if any activity is to take place on the city's streets or roads. This plan should say what will happen to traffic during filming and what actions will be taken to ensure public safety and minimise traffic disruption.

So that everyone, including local residents, enjoys a positive film friendly experience, the Council may ask you to advise affected residents and business owners of your filming activity by mail, a letterbox drop or a personal visit.

Leaving the site as you found it and being polite to passersby will also help in fostering the community's receptiveness to location filming in our area.