New Zealand Drone Laws (2019)

New Zealand Drone Laws

Img 1: Aerial Photography In New Zealand


  1. General New Zealand Drone Laws
  2. Drone Permits In New Zealand
  3. Brining Your Drone On Airplanes Guide
  4. Buying Drones In New Zealand
  5. Drone Travel Guide Articles
  6. Contact Information For Questions

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General New Zealand Drone Laws

Drone use is allowed in New Zealand, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following drone laws when flying in New Zealand,

  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Do not fly your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including government or military facilities. Use of drones or camera drones in these areas are prohibited.
  • If you wish to fly in Queenstown, you need to follow the drone policy of the Queenstown Lakes District Council. (Which states that they currently do not give approval for drones to fly over any of their parks, reserves or roads at present. You are required to seek approval from each individual private landowner whose property you wish to fly over.)

Can I fly my drone in/above National Parks around New Zealand?

New Zealand’s National Parks are managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). They have specific guidelines for flying drones for any purpose above New Zealand’s conservation estate which includes National Parks. To fly over National Parks you must first apply for a concession which can take up to 5 days to be approved, so you need to plan ahead.

Permit Needed For Recreational Drone Use?

A drone permit is not required for recreational drone use.

Please adhere to the above General New Zealand Drone Laws however when flying your drone. (What Is Recreational Drone Use?)

Permit Needed For Commercial Drone Use?

A permit is required for commercial drone use in New Zealand.

Click here to purchase a permit, or contact the local aviation authority. (What Is Commercial Drone Use?)

Bringing Your Drone On Airplanes Guide

For a detailed guide to bringing your drone on airplanes click here. All drones should be brought on carry on luggage if possible. This is because according to the Montreal Convention, airlines are only liable for losses up to ~$1,000 USD. When traveling internationally, theft and lost luggage can be common issues, particularly if your flight has many connections. If your drone is worth more than $1,000 USD and you cannot bring it onto the plane you should consider shipping it with DHL, Fedex, or UPS instead and fully insure the shipment.

You should NOT place drone batteries in your checked baggage. All drone batteries should be placed in a Medium Size Lipo Battery Bag" data-src="//" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> like the one shown here in the link and brought onto the plane in your carry on bag. Lithium-ion batteries are considered “dangerous goods” by airlines and rules surrounding these batteries on planes are EXTREMELY strict due to multiple incidents of these batteries catching fire. Failure to properly pack lithium-ion batteries in a bag such as the one shown in the link above can result in the airline seizing them, you getting fined, or being denied boarding.

Here is some video footage shot by View From Above when flying a drone in New Zealand.

Buying Drones In New Zealand

Read all of our New Zealand Drone Laws, and now looking for drones, parts, accessories, or something else? Read our guide for Buying Drones In New Zealand. It includes information on drones for sale in New Zealand, import taxes, payment options, and shipping.

Drone Travel Guide

New Zealand drone laws are up to date as of June, 2019. Please email [email protected] , or click “leave a message” at the bottom right of the screen if you have any questions or comments.