Permission from a judge is required to film, take photographs, or make sound recordings in court. Find out how to apply for permission, including for third-party use and content sharing.
On this page:
Guidance for in-court filming, photography, and recording
The rules for filming, photography, and recording are contained in the following documents:
Note: The addendum was issued by the Chief District Court Judge in April 2018. It varies the timeframe for lodging in-court media coverage applications in the District Court from the timeframe in the senior courts (High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court).
Guidance for covering remote (virtual) court hearings
Paragraph 13 of the current COVID-19 Protocol for the District Court covers media viewing remote court hearings held in virtual meeting rooms.
District Court COVID-19 Protection Framework Green, Orange and Red Protocol [PDF, 423 KB]
It refers to the Protocol for remote viewing of hearings, which is held on the Courts of New Zealand website:
Protocol for remote viewing of hearings(external link)
You can also find information about remote court hearings on the Ministry of Justice website:
Participating in a virtual meeting room court hearing(external link)
Apply for permission to film, photograph, or record in court
Permission from a judge is required to film, take photographs, or make sound recordings in court.
This must be requested:
- in advance (see the form below for details), and
- through the registrar at the court where the case is being held.
Use this form: Application for in-court media coverage [PDF, 186 KB]
Once you have filled out the form and signed it, you can either:
- post or hand deliver it to the relevant court, or
- scan and email it to the relevant court’s email address.
See the Find us(external link) page of the Ministry of Justice website for court addresses.
Content sharing and third-party use
Step 3 of the application form asks where the recording or photos might be used. Make sure you provide complete and accurate information about any content sharing or anticipated third-party use of the material you intend to gather.
In the question about syndication, include details of any:
- affiliated news outlets, and
- content sharing arrangements.
If a third party not named in your original application wants to use a recording or photograph, a new application form is required. This can either come from:
- the original applicant, on behalf of the third party, or
- the third party, with written endorsement from the original applicant.
The new application should, if possible, include the name of the original presiding judge.