Taylor Swift’s NZ Film Company Swoops In, Claiming Singer Did Not Kill Endangered Native Birds

Taylor Swift has been ruffling a few feathers in New Zealand. She’s inadvertently created some Bad Blood with Auckland’s local authorities, who are accusing her of harming endangered Dotterel bird nests during her recent video shoot at Bethells Beach.

But Tay Tay’s Kiwi-based film company, Cherokee, has just swooped in, claiming that the songbird had nothing to do with the alleged incident.

Environmental groups are in a flap because Tay’s film crew supposedly stormed the beach with more vehicles than they were permitted to, and could have crushed the rare birds’ nests.

But now the feathers are really flying, with Cherokee defending both itself and T-Swizzle from the flurry of nest-mowing accusations.

They’ve denied causing any harm to the dotties and argued that – regardless – T-Swiz isn’t to blame because she wasn’t involved in the planning process.

“Taylor Swift and her management team were in no way at fault and did not do anything that violated permits or ordinances,” the company said in a statement (via the BBC).

It continues:

“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.”


In response to further accusations that they invaded the beachside in a dozen-strong motorcade of vans and forbies, Cherokee have also released a detailed map specifying the areas that they filmed on, and were allowed access to (above), along with a longer statement documenting their activities.

It reads:

“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 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.

Our filming occurred outside of the Dotterel breeding area (as per referenced map which indicates the area and also the breeding seasons).

Once on the beach, via the restricted access zone, the film crew presence was always in the hard sand area only – as per the permit.”

Taylor Swift filming at Bethells this week. Permission was given for I think 2 vehicles, instead there were about a…

Posted by Sandra Coney on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Despite Cherokee’s assurances, Sandra Coney of conservation group the Waitakere Ranges Local Board still reckons she’s going to ask Auckland council to investigate the behaviour of all those involved.

Hilariously, despite admitting to being a fan of Tay’s music, Coney also told the BBC that she was in no mood to follow the advice of the singer’s biggest hit, Shake It Off.

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

Sounds like she knew Tay was trouble when she walked in.

The Australian leg of Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour gets underway in Sydney tonight.

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