Drone Laws in New Zealand
In this post, you will find the current legislation for the use of drones in New Zealand.
At the other end of the world, breathtaking panoramas are waiting for you. The fascinating landscapes have served as a backdrop for many well-known films. You will surely find impressive motifs for drone flights in New Zealand. Here you will find everything you need to know.
Overview: Drone rules in New Zealand
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Further drone rules in New Zealand
You must always be able to see your drone with the naked eye during the flight. If you want to do FPV flights, an observer can also watch the copter.
Private drones in New Zealand should weigh no more than 25 kilograms.
In New Zealand, a multicopter may not fly closer than 4 kilometers around an airport.
Drones may only be used in daylight. An exception can be made if you fly within 100 meters of a hill (for example, a tower, a church) and do not rise higher than the elevation itself. Then it can be assumed that no other aircraft is flying as close. In New Zealand, one speaks of a shielded operation, for which no further conditions are to be fulfilled.
New Zealand does not distinguish between private and business drone flights.
Currently, I know nothing about mandatory insurance coverage for drones in New Zealand. Nevertheless, I recommend everyone to insure their copter.
In public areas you need permission from the City or District Council. You can find more information in the links above.
Drone flights in national parks are only allowed if you have a permit, which costs 65 NZ $ for recreational flights. You can find application forms on the DOC website. It also lists the national parks they do not recommend you apply because the application will most likely be denied and you will have paid the fee for nothing. These national parks are:
- Abel Tasman National Park
- Arthur’s Pass National Park
- Egmont National Park
- Fiordland National Park
- Mount Aspiring National Park
- Nelson Lakes National Park
- Paparoa National Park
- Tongariro National Park
This list is subject to change. For example, the maximum number of permits for Fiordland National Park was reached in August 2019, which is why no more are issued until further notice.
Also note that the other national parks may have regulations that make normal drone flights difficult. For example, according to a notice board, Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park has special landing sites for drones and most of them are on the Tasman Glacier, which is not easy to get to.
Good to know: Available frequencies are 5.8 GHz and 2.4 GHz
We have researched the listed drone regulations for New Zealand to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in New Zealand!