Getting drone clearance for New Zealand

The short answer is yes, despite what you’ve probably heard from the internet, you are allowed to take your drone to New Zealand and you can even fly in the national parks if you follow the process.

DOC website for recreational drone permits



  1. kenwooiTV on October 28, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    How about droning at areas far away from the cities? Such as transiting in between 2 towns? Thanks! This is really helpful!

  2. Jay B on October 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    In NZ we have a fantastic app put out by the CAA called “Air Share” check it’s out

  3. we3fh1b41wr6e5b4r65t on October 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Good advice 👍
    General laws are CAA, then yes also DOC requirements, Also local councils have their own bylaw requirements.
    It is also not legal to fly over public roads or shipping ports or people without permission. is a great website to start at.

  4. Flashworks Media on October 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Vern, some great info in there re landowner permissions. The one thing missing is the requirement: 4km from AERODROME, not "airports". An aerodrome is anywhere used for takeoff/landing any 7 days out of 30. So, this includes helicopter landing / take-off areas such as the one at the end of Mt Roy, in Wanaka, as well as the helipads in town. CAA do require people to hold a 101 wings certification to fly within 4km of these aerodromes. has some good info and an interactive map – although smaller aerodromes may not be listed on here. Also of note, any flying over any road (even just to cross it) requires permission from transit NZ (as well as stop-go traffic management, and 102 certification). Hopefully, this helps others looking to follow the reg and keep everyone safe. Cheers!

  5. simplicated99 on October 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Do you have to get permission even for ultra-light drones? A lot of countries only have restrictions for drones >250g in weight.

  6. Paul Gerlitz on October 28, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Hey this was very helpful. Thanks for that. I am going to be doing a work and travel experience for half a year in New Zealand. I’d have to buy the drone first though…which I’m very close to.
    Anyways, would you recommend me going through the whole process of getting a permit and the drone? Is it worth it?
    Also, how can I get my hands on these blank forms for property owners to fill out?

    Thank you very much in advance

  7. High Country Aerial Photography on October 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks heaps for doing this mate, this is really helpful. We are heading over in October and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Legend

  8. Guillaume Fo' on October 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Hi, thanks for the tips. Do you know if there are areas where we can fly without a permission ? i.e : non conservation areas and non private properties areas ? thanks

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