Drones on conservation land raise concerns
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionRecent reports of unpermitted drone use over Mangatutu Hot Springs in the Kaweka Forest Park have raised safety concerns.
Date: 01 July 2019
DOC, who regulate use of recreational and commercial drones on public conservation land, are conscious of the risk this can create for others in the area.
“Using drones without permission may seem like a minor offence, but the Mangatutu area is close to helicopter operators flying into the Kaweka Forest Park,” DOC Hawke’s Bay Acting Operations Manager Carl Baker said.
“There’s the potential for a serious incident if a drone collides with aircraft in the area.
“We are following up on this reported illegal drone activity at Mangatutu. Drone users need to check where they can fly their aircraft legally. We provide information about where drones can fly and what user obligations are on our website.
“Anyone wishing to operate a drone over public conservation land or water needs to contact DOC and obtain the correct permission.”
DOC reinforces safety requirements under Civil Aviation (CAA) regulations and regulates drone use over public conservation land for several other reasons. This includes the protection of wildlife, respecting cultural values, and allowing people to visit sites with minimal disturbance.
CAA regulations apply to all drone use throughout New Zealand.
Information about using drones on conservation land and drone safety can be found on the DOC website. Further information can be found on the CAA Fly Your Drone website.
If you see inappropriate drone use, report it to your local DOC office or call the emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
Chris Wootton, Senior Ranger Community (Hawke’s Bay)
Mobile: +64 27 422 5823