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Statement Of Position

Use Of Drones On Council Reserves, Roads And Other Land

The Civil Aviation Authority introduced new rules for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, commonly known as drones or quadcopters, which came into effect on 1 August 2015. The rules can be viewed at

Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) also known as drones, quadcopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), on Council Reserves is controlled under the Selwyn District Council Parks and Reserves Bylaw.

Radio controlled model aircraft (which includes any man made device capable of flight, including, but not limited to aeroplanes, helicopters, gliders, hang gliders, hot air balloons and radio controlled model aircraft), either battery powered or electric powered of any weight may not be flown over any land owned, controlled or managed by council (including reserves, parks and council maintained public roadway areas) unless prior written permission has been obtained from the Council, except RPAS may be flown in council Recreation Reserves. If your Drone is under 1kg you do not need to apply for consent. 

RPAS of any weight must not be flown over any cemeteries and gravel reserves.

RPAS, UAVs and UAS are not allowed to be used within or crossing council maintained public roadway areas without the prior written permission of the council.

If permission is given it will be subject to conditions we consider appropriate and will be issued for no other purpose than for the operator to fly RPAS over identified council land during the time period specified by the user in their application. In formulating those conditions, our focus will be on potential hazards and the preservation of the health and safety of users and the public at large during operation of RPAS on Council land. Selwyn District Council will not accept any liability for any action or inaction of the RPAS operator causing loss, damage and/or injury.  

To apply for permission you must be 16 years or over, or be supervising someone under 16 operating a RPAS. We will endeavour to process your request within three business days. Please note that further information may be required to enable us to process your application.

Apply Online

If you have any questions regarding the use of RPAS and the application process please contact us on