Filming, recording or taking photographs in court

The rules for filming, photographs and recording are contained in the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines available as a pdf download from the Courts of New Zealand:

Please note the Chief District Court Judge issued an addendum to these guidelines in April 2018 varying the timeframe for lodging in-court media coverage applications in the District Court from that in the senior courts.

Specific permission is required to film, or take photographs or make sound recordings in court. This must be sought in advance from a judge through the registrar at the court where a case is being heard, using the application form:

Fill out the form, print it, sign it, scan it and send it to the appropriate court located using the Court locator:


Special information regarding third party use of in-court film, photographs and recordings

Media organisations are asked to be thorough when providing information to the District Court around content sharing or anticipated third-party use of material that they intend to gather when making applications under the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines 2016.

The detail is requested at step 3 of the form Application for in-court media coverage, under the heading “Where may the recordings of photos be used?”

As well as the details regarding syndication arrangements sought on the form, it would help the court if details also include any affiliated news outlets and any content sharing arrangements.

Subsequent to any successful application, should a third party not named on the application seek to use that approved recording or photograph, further leave of the court is required.

This will require fresh application to the court from either the original applicant on behalf of the third party, or the third party with written endorsement from the original applicant.

The fresh application should, where possible, stipulate the name of the original presiding judge.