After the local film industry was halted by coronavirus, New Zealand's health and safety production protocols have now been endorsed by the Government so filming can resume.

The New Zealand Film Commission has confirmed some film and TV shoots "are already safely underway," which means some of the country's highest-profile production - including James Cameron's Avatar sequels and Amazon's The Lord Of The Rings series - can resume.

Hundreds of cast and crew on Amazon's Lord Of The Rings series reportedly had to be sent home from the production's West Auckland location in mid-March, and James Cameron was reportedly in the process of filming live-action elements of the films when the pandemic struck.

READ MORE:
Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new cases; Auckland rest home nurse tests positive
Covid-19 coronavirus: What will life look like under alert level 2
Covid 19 coronavirus: What you need to know about Friday's big developments
Covid 19 coronavirus: PM warns level 2 freedom might not all come at once

Advertisement

During lockdown, he has been working on the film's virtual production in California.

According to the New Zealand Film Commission, every production in the country will now be required to complete a registration with portal ScreenSafe in order to help the Ministry of Health with contact tracing and WorkSafe with monitoring.

Earlier this year, release dates were announced for the Avatar series: Avatar 2 on December 17, 2021; Avatar 3 in December 2023; Avatar 4 in December 2025; and Avatar 5 in December 2027. Photo / Supplied
Earlier this year, release dates were announced for the Avatar series: Avatar 2 on December 17, 2021; Avatar 3 in December 2023; Avatar 4 in December 2025; and Avatar 5 in December 2027. Photo / Supplied

The New Zealand Screen industry's Covid-19 Health and Safety Standard and Protocols were officially endorsed by government agency WorkSafe. Funded by the NZFC, the Standard and Protocols were developed by ScreenSafe, with a team of industry experts.

"The NZFC's focus and commitment since the industry hiatus, has been the health and safety of all those who work in the New Zealand film industry and the ongoing sustainability of the wider screen sector. We are heartened and grateful for the hard work and partnership of the guilds who have worked to get this document completed so quickly," New Zealand Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan told Deadline.