Drone permits

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules require people to obtain approval from the landowner or the occupier of the land you want to fly over.

How must you fly?

For Council owned land including open spaces, local road reserve, sports fields, beaches, parks and reserves you will to need apply for a permit.

  • Never fly higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level.
  • Flights within the 4km radius of all aerodromes must only be operated as a shielded flight.
  • Only fly during daylight hours.
  • Always fly within visual line of sight – you need to be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes at all times (i.e. not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone).
  • At all times take all practicable steps to minimise hazards to persons, property and other aircraft (ie don’t do anything hazardous).
  • Give way to all other aircraft, and have abort systems in place in the event of a system failure (know how your aircraft will behave if a failure occurs).

Please visit the Civil Aviation Authority website to view the operating rules in full.


Users of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) need to follow the Civil Aviation Authority rules on the use of UAVs. In addition, when flying in a public space or over a beach, you should adhere to the following:


  • Fly a drone over a sports field if it’s in use.
  • Fly within 4km of any aerodrome or airport (unless a specific permit has been granted).
  • Operate within 20 metres of, or fly over other people in the area.
  • Fly over or within 50 metres of livestock on parks, sensitive wildlife habitats such as wetlands, or nesting or roosting birds.
  • Operate within 20 metres of or fly over park buildings and overhead wires.
  • Operate over dry flammable vegetation.
  • Fly over adjoining private properties.


  • Be courteous of others.
  • Keep the UAV in full view at all times (eg not operated through binoculars, video monitor or smartphone, unless an observer is present).
  • Fly in daylight hours only.
  • Cease operation if requested by Council staff.

Waitaki Aerodrome Areas

Drone flying is either restricted or banned in all marked areas, click/tap for more information. This map is only a guide.

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How do I get a permit?

You need to be 16 years or over to apply for a permit or be supervising someone under 16 operating a drone.

Please be aware that permission can only be given in relation to land owned or administered by Waitaki District Council. You will still need to comply with the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) rules, Part 101 when operating your drone.

What is the weight of the drone you want to fly?

  • Up to 15kg - please proceed with the application below.
  • 15-25kg you must obtain approval from Model Flying New Zealand before applying to the Council – refer CAA rule 101.202(6).
  • Over 25kg - you must apply to CAA before applying to Council. Include your approval confirmation from CAA with your application.

Application form

Where do I send my application?

Applications can be dropped at our Council offices in Oamaru, the Waihemo Service Centre in Palmerston, or posted to: Waitaki District Council, Private Bag 50058, Oamaru 9444.

Commercial flights

‘Commercial’ is defined as where an aircraft is operated in return for a financial payment to the person operating the aircraft. You need a permit to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over any public space for commercial purposes, including:

  • Film and television productions, including documentaries, TV shows and music videos
  • Commercials
  • Videos for the web
  • Student films.

Please contact us for information on getting a permit and the costs.