Auckland to be Hollywood of NZ

19:17, Nov 14 2012
Christine Fletcher
ON BOARD: Auckland councillor Christine Fletcher supports the idea of making it easier to film in Auckland.

More films, television shows and advertisements could be shot around Auckland city as the council readies to make changes that will make it easier to get permission to film.

The draft plan, which was given the green light from the council's Economic Forum committee yesterday, would see filming applications dealt with within three to five days.

Film Auckland, a group part of council-controlled organisation Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, would contact relevant council departments before the decision is made, and give the community where the filming is taking place 48-hours' notice.

Councillors on the committee supported the initiative, with Christine Fletcher saying she supports the idea to avoid awkward situations when people are not able to film in public locations. 

"We had an embarrassing moment...Tamati Coffey wanted to do the weather from a train station," she said.

"There was a little drama on screen. I recall ringing the CEO and asking what's happening, and it was abundantly clear that we do need to have some protocols. I think this should ensure those types of situations don't occur again."

A Film Auckland spokeswoman said contrary to popular opinion, Auckland got much more filming activity than Wellington despite Sir Peter Jackson's presence in the capital.

"People say Wellington is the Hollywood of New Zealand...but 90% of filming takes place in Auckland," she said.

"Peter Jackson provides most of the filming in Wellington City. Whereas Auckland catches the rest."

The film industry employs over 6,000 people in more than 1,440 local businesses, and generates $2.2 billion a year.

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