The list below provides Council (and other landowner) policies relating to drone flights over publicly owned land. If you are flying a drone anywhere in New Zealand over publicly owned property, please check below. This list is regularly updated, however we recommend you check directly with landowners for their most recent policy.
If you have information relating to a property owner’s policy on drones, please email us and we will update this list.
Remember it is your responsibility to adhere to Civil Aviation Rules when flying your drone.
AT’s position on drone flights is that only Part 102 certified operators will be considered for permission to fly over AT property (this includes the public road network in the Auckland region). AT have taken the approach not to allow Part 101 operations over their property due to the high-risk nature of the road network, risk of driver distraction and safety of all road users. AT requires all applicants applying for permission with 102 certification to submit flight plans, evidence of public liability insurance cover (minimum $2,000,000 cover), 102 certification and a hazard management plan for consideration. Information on how to apply for permission to fly over AT property is available on the AT website here.
The Council has a simple online ‘request for approval’ form available for people wanting to fly drones over Council-owned land, parks or facilities. You will be asked to confirm that you comply with CAA Rule Part 101 and the time, date, and approximate flight area. If someone else has already made a booking for the same space, the Council will not approve your request.
You must have Christchurch City Council’s permission to fly:
- Over Council permission-required areas (see below)
- Over Council roads or buildings
- An RPAS that weighs more than 1.5 kilograms (over ANY Council property)
Department of Conservation (DOC) require you to apply for a concession to fly a drone (of any size) on public conservation land for any reason (including private, non-commercial use). The DOC site now has a full section detailing the processes for applying for a drone concession with different guidelines for recreational and commercial operators. There is also a helpful list of National Parks which you may apply for concessions to fly over, and those where you are recommended not to apply as it is very unlikely permission will be given.
Recreational drones 1.5kg and lighter can be flown without a permit over some DCC-owned parks. However, flying is prohibited (unless you have permission) over other DCC-owned land, including roads, playgrounds, cemeteries, and water and wastewater facilities. Anyone using a drone for commercial purposes, or flying a drone weighing more than 1.5kg, over DCC owned land requires a permit. You can find an online permit www.dunedin.govt.nz/drone-permits in the related information section.
The Council have adopted a blanket consent policy for flying over Council-owned property
Gore District Council have set aside eight reserves where you can fly a drone without a permit.
These areas are Hamilton Park, Newman Park, Woolwich Street Walnut Plantation, Greenvale Domain, McKelvie Heights playground, Tulloch Park, Pukerau Recreation Reserve and the Waikaka Domain.
It is important to remember you cannot fly a drone over a playground or near other park users. We also ask that you consider any animals in the area, such as dogs off the leash, that may be frightened by a drone.
You will need a permit to fly a drone in other public spaces. You can apply in writing to us for a permit, or email our Parks and Recreation Manager.
GWRC identify areas where UAVs are permitted and note that you can not operate a UAV at the following: all designated picnic areas, all designated camping areas, areas of Battle Hill Farm Forest Park and Belmont Regional Park seasonally closed for lambing and calving, all wetland and nesting or roosting bird habitat areas in parks, closer than 30 metres to any vehicles, boats or park buildings or structures, in other locations when asked to cease flying by a Park Ranger or member of the public.
Drone pilots can use their craft in or over one of our parks without express permission from Council, but must ensure it doesn’t disrupt the use of the park by other people in the community. The Council asks drone pilots to be courteous and respectful of other park/facility users.
There are some Council owned/operated places where the Council will not permit drone flying, and prior permission must be obtained from the relevant unit of Council. These locations are: playgrounds, pedestrian malls, cemeteries, Hamilton Zoo, water treatment plants and resevoirs, and particular Council-owned buildings. See Hamilton City Council’s website for the locations where you will need permission from Council staff.
2.11.1 In this clause: “aircraft” has the same meaning as in the Civil Aviation Rule and includes an aeroplane, balloon, glider, hang glider, helicopter or microlight “RPA” means any remotely piloted aircraft and includes: an unmanned or free flight aircraft and a model aircraft under line control
2.11.2 A person must not take off or land, or attempt to take off or land, an aircraft in a public place except in the case of an emergency or with an approval
2.11.3 A person must not operate an RPA over a public place in breach of clause 2.2
2.11.4 A person must not operate a RPA from or over a road, cemetery or crematorium without an approval.
2.11.5 Nothing in clause 2.11.4 applies to a person operating a RPA for the purposes of a civil defence, accident or other emergency service response, at the direction of the person in charge of that response.
RPAS operators are permitted to fly over council parks and reserves, with the exception of council cemeteries, upon application to the Hauraki District Council Parks and Reserves Manager. For more information visit the Hauraki District Council information page here.
Hurunui District Council grants permission for drones to be flown over Council controlled reserves (as identified in the Council’s Reserve Management Plan) subject to the conditions specified, and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Part 101 and Part 102 rules. If you wish to fly a drone over or within 10 meters radius of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pool Reserve, you need to contact the Pool Manager using the application form on our site.
To read the policy on drone use over Council land within Hurunui District visit our page here.
The Council policy permits persons flying drones for recreational purposes to use Hutt City Council owned and managed parks and reserves, with the exception of Taita Cemetery, subject to the conditions set out in this policy document.
The Council has no formal policies or Bylaws in place relating to the new drone laws. The Council believes there are only two parks which do not fall within the 4km restricted zone around Kapiti airport, one of these (QE II) has an existing model aircraft club which may have some controls in place via the Greater Wellington Regional Council. The Council has no formal stance and potentially will not as the land it administers (except the two parks mentioned) falls within the exclusion zone. As for the use of drones within the other two areas/parks, there are limits already in place regarding height and arguably requirements to seek approval from adjoining land owners around the park on a case by case basis. Once and if a formal policy/guidance is developed it will be placed on the Council website.
A blanket consent is granted, without the need for individual applications, in the following circumstances: Permission is granted to fly unmanned aircraft over Mackenzie District Council land, with the exception of: Council offices; Council land managed as plantation forest; Council cemeteries; Any Council land that is leased to another party (e.g. golf clubs, camping grounds, grazing licenses); Any location on Council land during an organised gathering of people (including sports events); Lake Alexandrina Bach settlements; Formed Council roads; Pukaki Airport; Playgrounds; and Water and sewer treatment plants and reservoirs.
Property owner consent is required to fly drones/UAVs/Model aircraft over land that is owned, managed or leased by Council.
Provided you follow the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) operating rules and subject to conditions you have Manawatu District Council’s permission to fly unmanned aircraft over Council land and facilities, with the exception of:Council Offices, Libraries and Swimming pools, Councils Water, Waste Water Treatment Plants and its Resource Recovery Centre, Dog Pound, Council Cemeteries, Within the Road corridor, Any Council land or property that is leased to another party, Any location on Council land during an organised gathering of people (including sporting events),Specified Parks and Playgrounds (see prohibited flying zones).
Prohibited UAV flying zones: Johnson Park, Timona Park, Kitchener Park, Kowhai Park, Mt Lees Reserve and the Makino Precinct. The Council will consider requests for permission case by case. Before you apply to the Council, you need clearance from air traffic control or a shielded operation exemption.
This policy aims to enable and promote the safe and efficient use of RPAS (also known as remotely piloted aircraft systems, or drones) within and above Council controlled land parks.
This policy is limited by, and subordinate to the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ) Rule Parts 101 and 102.
Most of the parks and open spaces within the Blenheim and Picton area fall within controlled airspace or within 4km of an airfield so additional permission will be required from other agencies – details of these agencies are available in the policy and links to contact details for these agencies are available on this page.
The operation of RPAS within Marlborough District Council owned and controlled land is permitted with the following requirements:
- A. Operation must not be within 50 metres of children’s playgrounds.
- B. All flights must be conducted within 100 metres of, and below the height of trees or other structures (termed shielded operations). Permission may be sought from the relevant airspace controlling authority for flights above this height, via the Airshare website, www.airshare.co.nz
- C. All operations must be conducted in accordance with CAANZ Rule Part 101. The only exception to this is operators who are certified to CAANZ Rule Part 102, who must comply with the requirements of this rule.
- D. Flights must not be conducted over, or near persons who have not explicitly given their permission.
- E. Booked events on Council Reserves take precedence.
i. Any RPAS operations associated with these events will still need participants’ permission for overflight.
ii. Permission of the event organiser will be required.
- F. The requirements of the Privacy Act 1993 must be observed.
- G. The operator of the RPAS is responsible for any damage or claims caused by the operation of the RPAS. h. All operations must be well clear of, and not cause any distress to any livestock on the land
Approval is required to fly over council land. As all of Masterton township is within 4 kms of Hood Aerodrome and/or the helipad at the Hospital, anyone that wishes to fly a drone including over council land should contact the Hood Aerodrome Manager email@example.com or 0276060190.
If flights are proposed within 4 kms of the hospital helipad please also contact Bernadette Cloutman for approval.
Excellent local information is available on the Wairarapa Drone Pilots Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/waidrone/?ref=bookmarks including application forms and requirements.
Currently, anyone wanting to operate RPAS over our parks needs to apply for permission. We can be contacted on 07 884 0060 or through our website www.mpdc.govt.nz
Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. There is no fee involved. If permission is granted it will be on the condition that the relevant Civil Aviation Authority rules will be complied with. We may also include other conditions, if necessary, such as restricting the flying to a particular part of the park or time of day.
In the future, we are planning to include policies about RPAS in our reserve management plans. This may include setting aside particular areas at some of our parks where flying RPAS may be allowed without the need to apply for permission.
There shall be no kite surfing, paragliding or other activity involving the presence of people/equipment in the air, in the Napier Pilotage Area as shown in Map 1.5, (see page 42) unless approved by the Napier Air Traffic Control.
Drones in and around town
Model Aeroplanes 4.14
No Person must, from or in the air space above any Reserve, fly any form of model aeroplane except with the prior permission of an Authorised Officer and then only in compliance with every condition under which such permission is granted.
3.1 Except with the prior permission of Council or an Authorised Officer a Person must not on any Public Place:
m) Take off or land any aircraft including helicopters, model aeroplanes, a hot air balloon or hang-glider, parachutes or similar devices, except in an emergency;
Operators can contact Customer Service on 03 546 0200 or come into Civic House and register over the counter. Alternatively, you can fill out this online form. Applicants will need to list the properties (e.g. parks, sports grounds, playgrounds, etc.) and a description of the RPAS they will use, including the weight. This gives applicants consent to operate until 30 June 2016, at which time they will need to re-register.
As the road controlling authority for New Zealand’s 11,000 km of state highways, and adjacent land potentially zoned for roading projects, the Transport Agency is responsible for permitting any flying in the airspace above these roads. The Transport Agency considers RPAS to be a distraction to road users that may result in or be the cause of an accident, or be a direct hazard to people and vehicles due to misadventure or a malfunction. The Transport Agency’s policy is to not permit non-certificated operations (covered under Part 101 of the CAA Rules) to fly directly above or along the road corridor, or cross over a section of the state highway, or on land potentially zoned for roading project, regardless of whether the highway is open or closed at the time of operation. To meet the Transport Agency’s health and safety obligations, this also applies to worksites which are contracted to suppliers by the Transport Agency. Operators who hold, or are planning to apply for, a certificate issued by the CAA (governed by Part 102) who intend to fly above or adjacent to a state highway, should approach the Regional Performance Manager in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington or Christchurch for permission. You can contact the applicable office here . Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account an agreed safety plan that will describe how you propose to manage the risks to road users, the state highway network and any contractor or supplier staff and equipment.
There are three categories of parks in Palmerston North in terms of flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) or drones as they are commonly called: Prohibited Parks – these parks are close to the airport and PNCC will only consider permission on a case-by-case basis to fly at them AFTER you have received Air Traffic Control (ATC) permission for your flight or you have been granted your shielded operation exemption. Restricted Parks – these are parks where casual fling is not suitable but permission may be granted on a case-by-case basis for special events and activities. All other parks – are considered suitable for flying as long as some general PNCC rules are followed and the CAA rules are complied with. Check out PNCC’s handy information brochure here.
The Council are not changing their current bylaws. To obtain consent to fly your drone, you will need to complete an application form and send to the Council who will process and approve the application on a case by case basis over PCC owned spaces.
QLDC isn’t giving approvals for remote controlled aircraft (including drones) to fly over their parks, reserves and roads at present, unless it is for a Commercial Film permit and the operator is certificated under Rule 102 of the Civil Aviation Act. They are working on a new policy that will consider all the implications for public spaces and the community who use them. In the meantime, if you wish to fly drones in the Queenstown Lakes District you will need to approach private landowners independently for their approval. It is important to note that CAA rules will still apply and must be adhered to including rules restricting use of remote controlled aircraft (including drones) within controlled airspace and within 4km of aerodromes.
Provided you follow the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) operating rules, Rotorua Lakes Council permits people to fly drones over their parks and reserves in a shielded operation except in specified parks located close to registered aerodromes.
RPAS may not be flown over any land owned, controlled or managed by the Council (including reserves, parks and Council maintained public roadway areas) unless prior written permission has been obtained from the Council. RPAS may be flown in council Recreation Reserves if they are under 1kg and other conditions in the bylaw are met.
Please see the following link for Selwyn District Council’s statement of position on drone use and application form to obtain permission to operate.
Provided you follow the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) operating rules and subject to conditions*, you have Tasman District Council’s permission to fly unmanned aircraft over Council land with the exception of Council offices and libraries; Council land managed as plantation forest; Mapua precinct and wharf area, and Waterfront Park; Washbourn Gardens; Pethybridge Rose Gardens; Takaka Memorial Gardens; Council cemeteries; Motueka sandspit (Council owned portion. Refer to the Department of Conservation on rules for its portion of the spit); any Council land that is leased to another party (e.g. bowling greens, tennis courts, grazing licences); and any location on Council land during an organised gathering of people (including sporting events). *Further conditions for drone operations can be found on Tasman District Councils website.
Anyone wanting to operate a remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) commonly known as a drone on or from (fly above) Taupo District land, including reserves, is required to apply for a permit.
This is covered by the District’s general bylaw which states:
“Except with the prior permission of Council or an authorised officer a person shall not on any public place: Fly from or land any aeroplane including model aeroplanes, a hot air balloon or hang glider, parachutes or similar except in an emergency.”
Provided you follow the CAA operating rules, you have Tauranga City Council’s permission to fly in Council parks and reserves, with the exception of: Memorial Park; Blake Park; Arataki Park; Council cemeteries; Local Roads; and any active reserves when organised sports events or training are taking place. Council may consider specific requests to fly over these areas.
Mauao or the Mount, is not owned by Tauranga City Council, however The Mauao Trust as the owners of Mauao, do not give permission for any drones to fly over the Mount.
A consent is granted, without the need for individual application, in the following circumstances: The flying is within Geraldine Domain, Temuka Domain, Pleasant Point Domain, Sir Basil Arthur Park, Marchwiel Park, Ashbury Park, Aorangi Park, Centennial Park, Anzac Square, Caroline Bay, Caledonian Grounds, West End Park, Timaru Botanic Gardens and members of the South Canterbury Model Aeroclub may use their Redruth Airfield. Where the park borders a private residence, flying may not occur closer than ten metres to that boundary; The flying is carried out in a careful and considerate manner; and public events and sport will take priority over flying remotely piloted aircraft. For other Council controlled land consent may be granted to fly for a specific purpose and timeframe where the application is received in advance during normal working hours. This consent approval is delegated to the Unit Manager responsible for controlling that land.
Upper Hutt City Council consents to unmanned aircraft being flown over its parks and reserves as long as the operator complies with the Civil Aviation Authority Rules and does not:
- Damage or cause damage to the Council’s property, parks and reserves
- Damage or cause damage to the property of road users, and parks and reserves users
- interfere with organised activities
- interfere with the operation of the road or roads
- create a hazard or increase risks to road users in terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
- put road users or parks and reserves users at risk of injury
Prohibit the use of model aircraft and UAV on reserves unless required for reserve management purposes, search and rescue (including search and rescue training) or as provided for in the specific policies of individual or group reserve management plans. Temporary permission may be given to members of the public and commercial users to use UAV from certain reserves where there is no other practical launching place. In every case an application shall be made in writing to which Council will attach conditions. Council may charge a fee for the use of the reserve for commercial purposes.
A blanket consent is granted, without the need for individual application, for flying within Sefton Domain, Gladstone Park, Southbrook Park, Maria Andrews Park, Kendal Park, Swannanoa Domain, Ohoka Domain, Waikuku Domain, West Oxford Reserve, Murphy Park and Wylie Park subject to the following conditions:
- Where the park borders a private residence, flying may not occur closer than 10 metres to that boundary;
- The flying is carried out in a careful and considerate manner; and
- Public events and sports will take priority over flying remotely controlled aircraft.
For other Council controlled land, written application will be needed to the Unit Manager responsible for controlling that land. The application form can be found here.
Where Council consent is granted the person/s operating the remotely controlled aircraft will still need to comply with the Civil Aviation Authority rules.
The Waipa District Council have adopted a policy for drone flights in their district. Please see the link below for detailed information.
Wairarapa comprises 4 different Councils each with different rules. Masterton, Carterton, South Wairarapa and Greater Wellington Regional. Rather than reading each individual council’s policy documents, use this quick reference guide which grids all of the local rules, provides maps and contact details for local airfields.
Drone flights are allowed in parks and reserves. However, the Public Places Bylaw requires that any activities such as UAV flights need to be managed to ensure they do not cause a nuisance or adversely affect other peoples use and enjoyment of open space. Anyone operating a UAV in parks and reserves will also need to ensure they do not interfere with other recreation or sporting activities and act in a safe manner. In addition, given that most of Wellington is covered by a controlled airspace drone operators should register on www.airshare.co.nz. For more information and advice please contact Steven Peters, Senior Park Ranger.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council permits the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) – commonly known as drones – on Council-owned land.
There are however strict conditions on the use of RPAS. They can be flown provided all Civil Aviation Authority Part 101 regulations are obeyed and that operation of the aircraft does not cause annoyance, hazard or inconvenience to other users of Council’s reserves.
Under CAA rules, a drone or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) cannot fly within 4km of Whanganui Airport’s boundary without permission from the airport authority.
The same rule applies to Whanganui Hospital – no drone or RPAS can fly within 4km of the hospital (because of its helicopter landing pad) without obtaining permission from the airport authority.
These restrictions effectively cover most of Whanganui city, including the North Mole and South Beach, as well as the sea area next to Whanganui Airport.
Permission is also needed to fly a drone or RPAS over any Whanganui District Council-owned park or reserve.