Film Industry

If you are filming in, on or around public open spaces (e.g. forests, lakes), public transport or roads, streets or footpaths in Rotorua, you will likely need a film and/or parking permit. This also applies for commercial photography.

Not every production will require a permit, however we ask all productions to complete the application form below so that we can advise any relevant stakeholders about filming activity in the area, and support your production as best we can.

Film Rotorua requires a minimum of three full working days for processing and consultation from the date we receive a completed application. However, the time it takes to approve a permit will depend on the scale of your production. Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Please read the Film Rotorua Protocol Booklet before you apply.


Apply to film in Rotorua

Complete the Filming Permit Application Form and email to


Filming at the lakes

If you are planning to film an area of a Te Arawa lake you must first apply for a permit through Te Arawa Lakes Trust and then approach Film Rotorua for a general filming approval or permit. 

Note: filming applications to Te Arawa Lakes Trust must be lodged at least six weeks prior to filming. 

Filming at the forest

The land on which the Redwoods (Titokorangi and Whakarewarewa Forests) sits is privately owned by iwi through CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd. The forests are managed by Rotorua Lakes Council and Kaingaroa Timberlands who work together with iwi, Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao and Ngā Hapū e Toru, to manage them as productive plantation forests alongside recreational use. 

Once you complete the application form, Film Rotorua will advise what steps need to be taken to obtain a permit for the forests.  

Note: Applications to film in Titokorangi and Whakarewarewa Forests must be lodged at least four weeks prior to filming. Public liability insurance of $5million is required to film in the forests.