height flight limit

400ft max height

cant fly over crowds of people

Don't fly over people

plane icon white 1

Don't interfere with aircraft

line of sight law

Only line of sight

All Drone Laws in New Zealand for 2021 (Complete Guide)

New Zealand is an excellent destination for drone pilots. The beautiful country is a popular destination for grabbing panoramic images. The kiwis have some of the most liberal drone laws of any country.

Table of Contents

Can I fly a drone in New Zealand?

Yes, you can fly a drone in New Zealand, and the landscape is superb! However you need to abide by some specific laws.

The regulatory body charged with the overseeing of drone rules and regulations is the New Zealand Civil Aviation. 



Phone: +64(4)5609400

What are the Drone Laws in New Zealand?

drone laws by country updated map

There's a few categories we need to take into account here depending on their weight and such.

To simplify everything I will put them into categories:

  • CAR Part 101
  • Operate aircraft below 25 Kg and ensure its safe for use
  • All necessary steps must be taken to prevent exposing others to risk 
  • Fly during the day
  • Prioritize manned aircraft
  • View the drone from your naked sight only.
  • Do not go over 120 m in height
  • Know your airspace restrictions
  • Keep 4 Km away from any aerodrome
  • Ask for permission before flying over anyone


  • CAR Part 102
  • Laws around 102 are flexible as they are mainly for extremely flexible users. Certification here is granted on a case basis after all assurances are met. 


  • Concerned with areas such as national parks


  • New Zealand Transport Authority and Local Council
  • Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate

Do you need a license to operate commercially in New Zealand?

Not necessarily, you can still operate under the CAR 101 rules. However, there are companies today that only hire RPAS operators with CAR 102 licenses.

Frequently asked questions


These are some frequently asked questions by foreigners bringing drones to New Zealand

Sure. As long as you adhere to all AVSEC rules, you are set.

Unfortunately, you need prior approval from the property owner to do that.

By public land, you must be referring to roads, lakes, beaches, parks, rivers, forests, mountains or glaciers. To fly over, get permission from the authority that manages or owns them. The best place to start is the local or regional authority. In the event the land or property is not under the ownership of the council it lies with the Department of Conservation or some other agency.

Flying the drone at night is a no-no for various reasons. However, there are exceptions if you get a Part 102 certificate.

Yes, provided you observe your copter.

Drone operators are mandated by law to respect the privacy of others. Operators must ask for consent before taking any pictures or filming anyone.

Unfortunately, no. New Zealand has no version of RPAS (Remotely Piloted License Systems). Instead, all drones must follow CAR Part 101.

Not necessarily, however, you must adhere to CAR Part 101 and other rules governing the use of drones.

Anyone can fly a drone provided they can confidently control it.

No, registration is unnecessary.

You can if you have the consent of everyone you are flying over

Drone laws Ending

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