The use of drones poses a number of health and safety risks for other users of airspace and our native species.
The information below tells you how you can operate your drone safely and report inappropriate and/or suspected unauthorised drone use.
For rules and guidelines around flying your drone responsibly around New Zealand’s wildlife see:
The operation of drones presents a number of safety risks, particularly close to controlled airspace and over densely populated areas.
The Civil Aviation Authority classifies drones (of any size) as aircraft. This means that if you are operating a drone, you are a pilot and must follow safety rules so everyone in the air and on the ground is safe.
Users of drones must follow the Civil Aviation Rules for Drones, RPAS, UAV, UAS and Model Aircraft (see Part 101 and Part 102). It is recommended you read the relevant section (Part 101 or Part 102) in full before flying your drone.
The Civil Aviation Authority rules are in place to manage safety only. To fly a drone over public conservation land for any reason, you must have authorisation from DOC. See Commercial drone use or Recreational drone use for more information.
If you are granted a concession, one of the conditions will be that you must comply with the Civil Aviation rules for flying a drone.
Reporting unauthorised drone use
If you see or experience inappropriate drone use report it to your local DOC office or you can call our emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).