Taylor Swift’s Film Crew Apologizes Over New Zealand Bird Row
A representative for Taylor Swift’s music video crew has apologized after they were accused of disturbing endangered birds during a shoot in New Zealand. The “Shake It Off” singer spent this week filming her latest promo, reportedly for her song “Out of the Woods,” on Bethells Beach, a beauty spot in the north of the country which is home to the New Zealand dotterel, an endangered shorebird.
Swift’s crew from the Cherokee Films production company obtained permission to work on the beach, but the shoot angered local conservationists who accused them of violating their permits and putting local wildlife at risk. Sandra Coney, the Chair of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, which manages the Waitakere Ranges national park where the beach is situated, criticized the singer and her team in a statement posted on Facebook. “Taylor Swift filming at Bethells this week. Permission was given for I think 2 vehicles, instead there were about a dozen,” she wrote. “We are trying to minimize 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 (team) did not respect the environment or the conditions of their consent.” A representative for the production company has now issued an apology over the furor, and told WENN that Swift’s crew adhered to the guidance they received from local authorities. They have also agreed to make a donation to an organization which helps protect the birds. “As the local film production company, Cherokee Films, we accept responsibility and apologize for this situation,” the spokesperson told WENN. “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. No dotterel were harmed… 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.”