Drone Use in Kaikōura
Guidance for flying drones near marine mammals
Flying drones in the vicinity of marine mammals (such as whales, dolphins, and seals) can stress or disrupt them. Even though an animal might not appear to be disturbed, it could be quite stressed.
It is an offence to harass or disturb marine mammals. To avoid disturbing or harassing marine mammals you must:
- fly no closer than 150 m horizontally from a point directly above any marine mammal
- not disturb or harass any marine mammal with your drone; e.g. don’t chase, herd or scatter them
- not make any sudden or repeated change in speed or direction
- not make any loud or disturbing noises near marine mammals
- abandon contact at the first sign of any marine mammal being disturbed.
- take off at least 100 m from any marine mammal on the shore or the land
- not fly within 300 m of any marine mammal if there are already three drones, other aircraft, or boats within 300 m of that marine mammal
- keep at least 50 m from any other drone
Getting closer to marine mammals
If you want to fly your drone closer than 150 m horizontally from a marine mammal, whether commercially or recreationally, you must have a permit from DOC to “disturb or harass” marine mammals.
See interacting with marine mammals for more information about the marine mammal permit application process.
If you have any questions or concerns about flying your drone near marine mammals contact the Christchurch Permissions Team.
Reporting unsafe drone flights
If a drone presents an immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the Police.
If you see or experience inappropriate drone use on DOC land or near marine mammals report it to your local DOC office or you can call our emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
To report a rule breach or an aviation concern contact the Civil Aviation Authority 0508 4 SAFETY (0508 472 338) or email email@example.com
You will need to provide the time and location of the incident, and any other details about the person flying the drone (such as their vehicle registration plate).