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, please complete a filming application. This also applies for commercial photography.

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 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 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 through Te Arawa Lakes Trust and then approach Film Rotorua for general filming approval. 

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 the next steps that will need to be taken. 

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.