Unmanned aircraft / drones

​​​As remote-controlled unmanned aircraft (drones) become more affordable and accessible, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has introduced rules about their use.

One of the important aspects of the CAA's new drone rules is the issue of consent: the CAA states drone pilots must obtain the consent of property owners if they wish to fly their craft over land or property.

View more details on the CAA's rulesIf you want to get permission to fly in controlled airspace over Hamilton, you can do it online via airshare.co.nz​.

As an owner/administrator of a large tract of public land in the city, including numerous parks and large facilities, Council has adopted a simple and common sense approach to giving consent for drone use over its properties.

Drone pilots should be aware there is a no-fly zone over a large part of Hamilton — due to its proximity to Hamilton Airport — and they should check with the Hamilton Airport control tower before using their devices. It is the drone pilot's responsibili​ty to adhere to all Civil Aviation Authority rules on the use of their aircraft.​

​If you plan to use a drone or similar craft over Hamilton’s road reserves – our city streets – you will need to apply for a corridor access permit. That will require you making a Corridor Access Request, which you can find here. When you make Corridor Access Request, you will need to meet a number of conditions i.e. public insurances, a traffic management plan if required, health and safety plan details around civil aviation requirements. We’ll review those documents, which generally takes four-five working days, and then we will confirm via email if you have been granted permission to fly a drone or similar craft over one of our streets. 

It’s important to be aware that you may incur some cost in meeting these conditions. We expect most road-related drone flight requests will relate to worksites or roadworks, or specific events. Our primary focus is on the safety of our roads and the motorists and other people who use them.

Drone pilots can use their craft in or over one of our parks without express permission from Council, but must ensure it doesn’t disrupt the use of the park by other people in the community. We ask drone pilots to be courteous and respectful of other park/facility users.

There are some Council owned/operated places where we will not permit drone flying, and prior permission must be obtained from the relevant unit of Council. These locations are: pedestrian malls, cemeteries, Hamilton Zoo, water treatment plants and reservoirs, and particular Council-owned buildings.

The table below shows the locations where you will need permission from our staff.

Drone "pilots" must adhere to Civil Aviation Authority rules on the use of these devices.

If you're using a drone over or from a Council-managed site, and you're asked to stop by one of our staff, we hope you'll do so.

​If you have any questions about use of a drone near or from Council property, please email us – drones@hcc.govt.nz​​

Unmanned aircraft (drones and motorised helicopters) fly zones


​All parks and reserves (includes Hamilton Lake, Taitua Arboretum and Council-owned gullies)​Noting that flying within 100m of a children's playground within a park is banned at all times.
​Car parks (Council-owned)​Flying over only
​Council-owned or operated buildings​​Flying over only



​All public roads including Worley Place shared zone​Assessment-based requests for activity:
  • during when road closures in place
  • whether the activity is for the purposes of project mapping, inspections (e.g. under bridges) or similar activities
​Cemeteries​Special requests can be considered on a case-by-case basis for activities such as mapping etc.
​Hamilton GardensTo fly a drone over Hamilton Gardens, you will need written permission from the control tower at Hamilton Airport. This must be provided to Hamilton Gardens staff before approval will be given.

​Assessment will be based on whether the request is for:
  • occasions where people book out certain parts of the facility for events and occasions
  • instances where people may want to do scenery photography
​Hamilton Zoo​Special requests can be considered on a case-by-case basis for controlled filming over specific areas for activities such as mapping etc.
​Pedestrian malls (Garden Place and Commerce Street) Civic Square​Assessment will be based on where activity is linked to an event
​Pools and surrounding play areas​If the venue is booked out for an event a request could be considered
​Treatment plants, water reservoirs​Special requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis
​FMG Stadium Waikato, Seddon Park, Claudelands, The Grandstand, Founders Theatre​
  • Formal approval by venue management and the client would be required around any drone usage
  • Flying drones is banned in Mill Street field, Willoughby Park, Beetham Park and Claudelands Oval in the case of events being held in the relevant H3 facility


​Fire ban period​All such activity banned during a fire ban
​Car parks​Taking off and landing in car parks
​Children's playground​​Noting that flying within 100m of a children's playground within a park is banned at all times.
​Council-owned or operated buildings​Take off and landing banned​


Page reviewed: 23 Oct 2019 2:16pm