Rotorua's mayor says it's too early to say whether the council would invest in a proposed Bay of Plenty film office - but she believes the idea has potential.

The proposal was pitched to the region's councillors, investors and local film contributors earlier this week. The office would showcase the area as a filming location for national and international makers.

Estimated costs are about $180,000 per year, not including the initial development. On top of that, the brand development was estimated to be $72,000, which included the establishment of a $30,000 showreel of the area and website.

Bay of Plenty Film president Anton Steel said the Bay was the only region in New Zealand without a film office, which was limiting filming potential in an area which already had "the people, the location, and the infrastructure".


"We really need to be part of this," he said. "It's a great location, it would give our screens a breath of fresh air."

He said Rotorua was an ideal place to shoot.

"Rotorua's got amazing natural features, there's a great industry there already. We would really like to be able to do a lot more in the Bay, build a solid foundation and make it really amazing."

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said Rotorua's strong history in film, television, animation and the creative arts meant it would be well placed to contribute to a film network in the region.

"Our region's been a filming location many times. We've all got unique points of natural and cultural difference that make this region an ideal location for all types of filming."

Mrs Chadwick said she had discussed the concept with Mr Steel and believed it had potential.

"It would be something that would play to Rotorua's strengths - to our creative, cultural and natural strengths.

"We'd certainly be interested in further discussion if the idea is progressed - it's a very good idea but it's too early to talk about investment at this stage," she said.

"I like the idea of a network that links talent and locations - that's what I would support in the first instance. I think we need to establish a regional network before we start talking about a physical base. We'd need to make sure we had all aspects right."

Maui TV producer Ratu Tibble said there was no better place to develop a hub for film.

"It has really solid roots and there's a lot of talent."

His only concern was that films cost a lot of money leaving the question of how to entice international organisations to come here.

"The number one issue in New Zealand is that we are too small, we need to be realistic about the cost of film-making, but whatever comes into Rotorua is a great benefit."

In recent times, Rotorua has hosted crews filming for the upcoming Disney film Pete's Dragon, which was partly shot in Whakarewarewa Forest and the Cliff Curtis-directed Maori Television sitcom This is Piki.