Taylor Swift’s Film Crew Responds to Conservationists, Denies Endangering Local Bird Population


Taylor-Swift-1200x800Taylor Swift visited New Zealand on Monday, filming a new music video on Bethells Beach in Auckland that is also the home of the endangered dotterel population, a local bird that makes nests on that very beach. Despite securing permits and licenses and allegedly following protocol, Swift’s film crew, Cherokee Films, has come under fire from conservationists claiming they flouted the rules, thus placing the bird population in further danger.

Instead of following the protocol of just two vehicles on the beach, the conservationists claimed she had a dozen. And since the dotterels nest in the sand, they worried that by walking and driving “all over the beach,” nests may have inadvertently been crushed.

“It’s really disappointing that such a large number of vehicles would park all over the beach and drive all over the beach. Park’s not happy at all. We are trying to minimise vehicles on beaches for good reasons but at Bethells there are baby dotterels. We have developed a dotterel management plan as there is a heap of filming out there, and we welcome it as economic activity that should leave no footprint. But Taylor’s lot did not respect the environment or the conditions of their consent.”

As a response, Cherokee Films issued a statement denying that it had put the local dotterel population in danger, saying that they had complied with any restrictions and guidelines:

“Taylor Swift and her management team were in no way at fault and did not do anything that violated permits or ordinances. At all times the film crew adhered to the dotterel protocol in guidelines provided about the dotterel nesting sites, and at no time were the film crew close to that habitat.”

The film company also responded with an annotated map showing that they were not even able to endanger the population even if they had flouted regulations, because they were filming nowhere near the Dotterel Protection Zone of the beach. The company also did research of the hatching/fledgling periods of the bird (from January to April), which they then noted was “well outside our filming dates.”


But the sass didn’t stop there. Cherokee Films also agreed to donate money to the conservationists’ effort, noting that they supported the cause to protect the local dotterel population:

“In acknowledgement of the concern this has added to those in charge of protecting local dotterel population Cherokee Films will make a donation to the breeding program as we support your concerns.”

In keeping with the current trend to quote Taylor Swift lyrics when commenting on her actions, Sandra Coney, chairwoman of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, said she can’t “shake it off.”

“I don’t know whether ‘Shake It Off’ is the right thing. But she’s got another song that says ‘say you’ll remember me’, maybe I’ll do that instead.”


Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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