Skip to main content


Filming with a drone

Using a drone for filming over public open space in Auckland often requires a filming permit, and conditions can be different depending on the location. The information below is a guide to different scenarios. 

If your production plans to use a drone get in touch with Screen Auckland and make sure you read the Civil Aviation Authority Rules before getting started.

A drone is also known as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). If you require a permit you must upload these documents with your application:

  • Flight plans
  • Copy of aviation insurance covering the use of a drone
  • Part 102 certification
  • When flying near Railway Lines, a KiwiRail permit. Contact:
  • When flying near the motorway, written confirmation from Auckland System Management. Contact:
  • When flying over schools, written confirmation from the school

Additional consultation may be required. 

An aeiral view of suburb of Herne Bay looking towards Auckland Central

The Auckland CBD with inner suburbs and the Waitemata harbour

Drone FAQs
Civil Aviation rules

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) has two parts to the rules that regulate drones, one for general use of drones under 25kg (Part 101) and one for drones over 25kg (Part 102), for which your drone operator must be certified.

Read the CAA rules

Consultation considerations

Additional consultation over your planned door knock/letter drop area may be required to reassure residents. Drones are very visible from the sky and therefore it may not be apparent what the drone is filming, even if the filming activity is in a nearby reserve or private property. Please consider surrounding properties and ensure they are consulted. 

Filming in a residential area

Drone operations are not permitted in residential areas between 10pm and 7am. If you’re filming with a drone in a residential area, consultation with property owners, tenants and residents is required (for example, a letter drop) and you’ll need to apply to Screen Auckland to oversee this.

Filming specific properties or flying over private property requires explicit permission from affected businesses, property owners, residents or tenants. 

Filming on a beach, council-owned parks or regional parks

Organised filming activity in public open space always requires a filming permit. Note your drone use and planned flight paths in your permit application and site maps. Drone filming in regional parks requires a part 102 certified drone operator, and could increase environmental considerations.  

Be prepared to work around the public and avoid filming on weekends or public holidays where possible, as parks and beaches are popular public spaces. Spotters are required to ensure pedestrians in the flight path is aware of the drone use, as you must not fly over people without permission. 

Drone filming over road and footpaths

The road, footpaths and berm are part of Auckland Transport’s (AT) road corridor, and traffic management may be required to fly a drone over the road.

AT requires a part 102 certified drone operator to fly a drone over or around AT road corridor or property, including AT car park buildings.

Drone flights are prohibited in, near, or above public transport stations, on board public transport, and on roads around Auckland Zoo (Motions Road, Western Springs Road and Great North Road.) 

Filming where public drone use is banned

Public use of drones in these spaces is not allowed, but consideration may be given for filming use, under additional requirements. If you wish to fly your drone over any of these areas, please contact Screen Auckland for advice first:

  • Public cemeteries  
  • Tūpuna Maunga
  • Regional Parks
  • Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • Wynyard Quarter
  • Waitemata Harbour, Hauraki Gulf or Manukau Harbour 
Aerodrome maps for shared air space

Airshare maps are useful for identifying if you are flying within a shared air space. You can also click on the air share overlay to see the contact details of who needs to be notified if you are filming in that area. 

Filming within 4km of an uncontrolled aerodrome

Under CAA Rule Part 101 a drone operator must get approval from an aerodrome operator to fly a drone within 4km of that aerodrome. There are four uncontrolled aerodromes in Auckland’s CBD: the water drome at Wynyard Quarter, two hospital helipads and Mechanics Bay.

Certified Part 102 operators can notify their operations in lieu of getting an agreement, but the CAA still has a clause for Part 102 holders to contact the operators and discuss the operation before starting flight. This is a responsibility of the operator, not Screen Auckland.

Read the full rules

Kei te hiahia kōrero atu anō?

Want to know more?

Get in touch