The news media have the same access to public conservation land that the general public enjoys.

This means that the requirement for media permits is waived on the basis that:

  • the media activity is 'low impact', ie the media are
    • using public tracks
    • using standard media tools (excluding drones), and
    • abiding by the guidelines provided by DOC
  • the public conservation land is identified as a place that the general public can access freely
  • the site is not a wāhi tapu or known site of significance to tangata whenua that has public access restrictions.

Contact if you are unsure.

Low impact usually means up to two people (one camera operator/one reporter) with no disruption to cultural sites of significance or taonga. The activity would be similar to what the public can do, eg walk into an area and take photographs.

We expect media to adhere to their professional codes of conduct including health and safety and cultural sensitivity.

This is for news media only. The waiver approach does not apply to other commercial activities or occupations.

We encourage you to think ahead and speak to tangata whenua to seek their perspective before you venture out. 

When permits are required

The waiver for access to public conservation land is for news media only to allow them to film or record in the same way as the general public.

Permission is required if:

  • your impact will be more than ‘low’, eg if you have a large crew, several cameras and lighting operators
  • you want to go somewhere that is closed to the public or is culturally significant and where public filming is not permitted
  • you want to interact closely with wildlife
  • you want to use a drone (contact for media drone requests)
  • you are a commercial documentary maker, film company, advertiser, or social media influencer. 

You will need to apply for a filming concession instead.

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