Taylor Swift’s film crew deny harming rare birds in video shoot

Crew reportedly disregarded permits protecting nesting dotterel birds on Bethells Beach in New Zealand

Taylor Swift’s film crew have responded to claims that they harmed and unsettled rare birds during a video shoot on Monday (November 23) at Bethells Beach in New Zealand.

Campaigners have accused Cherokee Films of disregarding council permits and taking too many vehicles onto the beach where many rare dotterel birds have their nests.

Cherokee Films have issued a full statement responding to the claims and explaining that Swift was not connected to the planning of the film shoot.


“Taylor Swift and her management team were in no way at fault and did not do anything that violated permits or ordinances.”

“Cherokee Films were filming at Bethells Beach on Monday 23rd November where a base camp was set up on private land which allowed for access to the beach. We had permission from the landowners and paid a fee for use of the land.”

“At no time were the film crew close to that habitat,” Cherokee Films said. “No dotterel were harmed.”

“Cherokee Films has a long history of responsible film shoots across Auckland, including Bethells Beach, where we have filmed many times. Our shoots have always been with the guidance and support of the relevant local authority – most recently Screen Auckland and Parks – and landowners.

“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. Cherokee Films is working with Screen Auckland to resolve this issue.”

As reported by Stuff.co.nz, Sandra Coney, chair of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, took to Facebook to condemn Swift’s crew.

“Taylor Swift filming at Bethells this week. Permission was given for I think 2 vehicles, instead there were about a dozen. Parks not happy at all,” Coney wrote.

“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.”

Taylor Swift is yet to comment.