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Taylor Swift's NZ beach vid 'put rare native birds at risk'

POP superstar Taylor Swift has angered Auckland conservationists who say her crew put a rare native bird at risk while they were filming at a west coast beach.

Swift is believed to have made a music video at Bethells Beach this week, where it is alleged her production team breached their permit by taking up to 12 vehicles on to the beach.

The crew had approval to use two vehicles.

The beach is home to endangered baby dotterels.

Waitakere Ranges local board chairwoman Sandra Coney posted on Facebook today alleging Swift broke the conditions of her filming permit, and voicing her concerns for the endangered coastal bird.

"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," she said.

"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's record label, Universal Music, has declined to comment.

Waitakere Ranges local board member Neil Henderson said the news was "disturbing" as there were only about 10 dotterels at the beach at any one time.

"The numbers aren't large by any means," he said.

"People needed to stick to the rules," Mr Henderson said, regardless of how famous they were. The west coast is a very beautiful place, but we have to minimise the impact.

"Once we lose the birds they don't come back in a hurry. If one person gets away with that, then others think, 'why can't we?'," he said.

He hoped it was a misunderstanding but said the set guidelines were "pretty clear".

News of the alleged permit breach sparked anger among Facebook users.

One enraged person wrote: "Dear those amongst the production crew who knew the limits of the consent but decided to ignore them, May a giant bird s**t on each of your heads every day until you are so covered in sticky mess that you can't function physically as a human being.

"F*** off and stop using our west to inflate your egos..."

Another wrote: "There will be a stampede of teenage girls there now ... so much for respecting the environment..."

Michael Brook, of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), confirmed a permit was issued at Bethells Beach for Monday, November 23, for 9am-7pm.

The permit had special conditions that allowed two essential vehicles to be on the beach.

The production crew were also warned to "stay alert for baby dotterels", he said.

Mr Brook could not confirm how many vehicles had turned up to the beach that day, nor if the film crew had breached any of the special conditions.

However, he said, in instances where permits were breached, they didn't just "shake it off", but rather worked with companies to stop the breach from occurring in the future.

Meanwhile, the singer was spotted touching down in Queenstown via a private jet this morning.

A woman dressed in a long black jacket with a hood up - who was believed to be an incognito Swift - was spotted at Queenstown Airport, the Otago Daily Times reported.

She was later filmed boarding a private jet to leave the popular resort town.

There were also whispers of the popstar hiding away at her best friend Lorde's family holiday home, south of Auckland, during her stay in New Zealand, but if so she managed to avoid the attention of local residents.

A neighbour who didn't want to be named, said she didn't think Lorde's family were currently at their holiday home.

"No one is around the house."

Even Lorde's mum can't escape the Taylor Swift hysteria, today tweeting: "Random nosy person at the supermarket yesterday wanted to know if the limes & sunflower seeds i had in my cart were for taylor [sic]."

Swift is in New Zealand filming for her latest video, en route to Australia where she is due to perform as part of her 1989 world tour. The Blank Space hitmaker has no gigs planned for New Zealand.

- NZME.


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