NZ – Christchurch drone operator urges suspicious public to stay grounded



Commercial drones operators are urging the public not to become paranoid after a spate of privacy stoushes.

The increasing use of drones has raised concerns about potential invasions of privacy, particularly after the Civil Aviation Authority introduced new regulations covering the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on August 1.

In Timaru last month, police spoke to a drone operator after his machine followed a woman home from a dairy.

Charges were considered under the Harassment Act but no further action was taken because officers accepted the man was just learning to fly the drone.

However, Simon Done was sentenced to 80 hours’ community work and ordered to pay drone owner Aaron Wagstaff reparation after he stomped on his $1700 “Phantom 3”.

The remote-controlled craft had been taking scenic shots over an estuary Waikanae, north of Wellington, last month.

Done, who was found guilty of intentional damage, said he was concerned about people recording footage from drones and was standing up for personal privacy.