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Remote Possibility

New Zealand’s Chatham Islands are a place of astonishing natural beauty, offering a visual spectacle of fairytale quality 

Filmmaking in the Chatham Islands is a journey of discovery. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the archipelago of the Chatham Islands in the Pacific Ocean, a New Zealand territory, is a picturesque location to film.

Minus noise and pollution, and gigantic facades, this destination allows filmmakers to re-engage with the natural world. With no more than 650 inhabitants, the largest islands in the archipelago are Chatham Island and Pitt Island.

Prepare to be surprised as these mysterious islands yield their secrets – landscapes with volcanic peaks thrust up out of rolling lands, forest-topped towering sea cliffs, the vast expanse of endless sandy beaches and the ever-present scenic ocean. These secluded islands, a total of ten, offer an unforgettable experience. It is beautiful, tranquil and ideal for romantic getaways, eco tours and capturing nature at its best on camera. The place is definitely one-of-a-kind.

Isolated for millions of years, rare varieties of plants and animal species can be found here. The economic mix of fishing and crabbing and a bit of adventure tourism have been stable for the last 60 years. Wooden houses surrounded by acres of land used for farming instantly take you back in time. The changeable, moody and stunning landscape is a photographer’s delight.

With nothing but ocean at every end, the locales are well-stocked with marine life and jagged mountains. Open spaces all around allow production houses to build large-scale movie sets or simply shoot the setting as it is. Administered by New Zealand, facilities and equipment can be made available easily. The indigenous population of these islands, Moriori and Maori, are very friendly.


Chatham Islands have a maritime climate characterised by a narrow temperature range and relatively frequent rainfall. Its isolated position far from any sizeable landmass renders the record temperature for main settlement Waitangi to be just 23.8 °C. The climate is cool, wet and windy, with average high temperatures between 15 and 20 °C in summer, and between 5 and 10 °C in July.


New Zealand Screen Production Grant – international July 1, 2017: The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) offers a baseline cash grant equivalent to 20 per cent of Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure (QNZPE) for International productions. In addition to the baseline grant, some projects may also be eligible for an additional 5 per cent uplift if they can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand.

Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Productions can access a grant of 20 per cent of QNZPE up to QNZPE of $25 million, and 18 per cent of QNZPE for QNZPE above $25 million. A smaller number of productions may be invited to apply for a 5 per cent uplift if it is anticipated that they will provide significant additional economic benefits to New Zealand. The International Grant aims to encourage large budget productions to film in New Zealand.

Payment of the grant will be dependent on the Inland Revenue Department verification of the audited information provided to the NZFC. Provided that the application for expenditure is complete and verified, the NZFC will endeavour to approve payment within three months of application. Feature films, television and other non-feature film formats are eligible.


Expenditure Threshold: Feature films must incur NZ$15 million or more QNZPE.  Television and other non-feature film formats must incur NZ$4 million or more QNZPE.  PDV Production must incur NZ$500,000 or more QNZPE.  Productions can be bundled together to meet the threshold provided each production has QNZPE of NZ$3 million or more and the total bundle has QNZPE of NZ$30 million or more.   

QNZPE is generally production expenditure spent by the applicant on:

uiyjhdfeghServices provided in New Zealand

Use of land located in New Zealand

Goods purchased, hired or leased in New Zealand, provided they are sourced from within New Zealand

Goods sourced from overseas, provided those goods are not otherwise available in New Zealand, are located in New Zealand during the making of the production and are purchased, hired or leased from a New Zealand Resident who typically supplies that type of good.

QNZPE includes fees and expenses of non-New Zealanders who work on the production in New Zealand, provided (in the case of non-cast members) they work on the production for at least 14 days in total.

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