The Studio New Zealand brand partnership, which promotes the notion that the whole country can be a film studio, was launched today in Wellington.

At the event, 11 of the country's local government authorities and regional film offices were presented with certificates confirming that they were meeting the terms of the new Local Government Filming Protocol.

The gathering was another indication of how hard NZ is working to encourage offshore production on the back of the publicity garnered by director Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Cementing the long-term viability of NZ as a location is seen as having great economic potential and for the last few years there has been much behind-the-scene jostling to ensure it has national cohesion as a service centre.

"A studio doesn't have to be bricks and mortar, it can be God's studio," said Jane Gilbert, head of marketing body Film New Zealand. "New Zealand has the infrastructure in place to fully support large overseas projects and filmmakers can expect and enjoy consistent regulatory and service levels throughout the country."

"The Studio New Zealand Brand Partnership model is unique because in other countries, regions and their film offices compete against each other rather than co-operating within a nationwide framework. What we are doing in New Zealand is saying, let's work together so we can all benefit."

Her organisation, Local Government New Zealand, the Economic Development Association of New Zealand and Industry New Zealand have all been working towards instituting a protocol across all 87 regional and local authorities as part their efforts. This best practice guide covers building consents, helicopter flights and the use of parks, for instance, and aims to remove perceived barriers and encourage film friendly attitudes. It also takes into account environmental issues.