web analytics

Drones over NZ

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, April 3rd, 2013 - 32 comments
Categories: police, war - Tags:

Drones have been all over the news these last few years, and America’s indiscriminate use of drones is both a hallmark of and an indictment of Obama’s presidency. I guess it’s no surprise to find that they have flown in NZ airspace:

The United States has flown highly sophisticated Global Hawk drones through New Zealand airspace, official papers reveal.

With a price tag of $250 million and a wingspan greater than a 737 airliner, Global Hawk surveillance aircraft are amongst the largest and most expensive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The US has tried to keep their operations secret. But Civil Aviation Authority documents released to the Herald under the Official Information Act say the mega-drones have flown numerous times in New Zealand airspace.

“Most [UAV] activity is from military users who are well informed and usually conduct operations away from the commercial airspace corridors,” reads an issue assessment paper from last year. “There have already been a number of occasions when Global Hawks [35-40 metre wing span, 3 tonne payload] have traversed New Zealand’s oceanic airspace transiting between Australia and the US.” …

A spokesman for Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said he would not comment as there had been no involvement with the NZDF.

Must admit I didn’t know that:

The NZDF operates its own Kahu drones in what Ms Rendall said was a “limited interim capability for military tasks”.

And of course the police are getting in on the act (albeit with drones that are a lot less scary than a Global Hawk):

Police have confirmed to 3 News they have purchased a spy drone or unmanned aerial vehicle for use in criminal investigations. They say at this stage the technology, used in war zones such as Gaza and Afghanistan, is only being trialled here. Greg O’Connor of the Police Association says it is an innovative breakthrough for the force. “It’s smarter, it’s cheaper, it’s more efficient,” he says. “Why wouldn’t police use it?”

See David Beatson at Pundit for a discussion.

Mmmmm. With all this drone activity, I wonder if we will see an increase in this kind of response – from a recent article in the Guardian (which I initially thought was an April Fool’s joke, but apparently not):

The anti-drone hoodie that helps you beat Big Brother’s spy in the sky

Anti-drone hoodie worn by Tom MeltzerI am wearing a silver hoodie that stops just below the nipples. Or, if you prefer, a baggy crop-top with a hood. The piece – this is fashion, so it has to be a “piece” – is one of a kind, a prototype. It has wide square shoulders and an overzealous zip that does up right to the tip of my nose.

It does not, it’s fair to say, make its wearer look especially cool. But that’s not really what this hoodie is about. It has been designed to hide me from the thermal imaging systems of unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles – drones. And, as far as I can tell, it’s working well.

“It’s what I call anti-drone,” explains designer Adam Harvey. “That’s the sentiment. The material in the anti-drone clothing is made of silver, which is reflective to heat and makes the wearer invisible to thermal imaging.”

The “anti-drone hoodie” was the central attraction of Harvey’s Stealth Wear exhibition, which opened in central London in January, billed as a showcase for “counter-surveillance fashions”. It is a field Harvey has been pioneering for three years now, making headlines in the tech community along the way.

Strange days indeed.

32 comments on “Drones over NZ”

  1. aerobubble 1

    My question is, if the state can have drones, them so can private firms, and even politicial parties???
    Can you foresee a time where drones track the PM or other politicians?

    How about this? If bank customers were to collect the names of the people working at a bank, or customers of any company, could they on sell them? How about AA meetings? Are Banks and other companies, like telecos, and yes even google playing with fire when they on sell peoples preferences?
    Would the CEO of a high tech firm stand a chance of have a private life if the world of people were to decide to declare his every movement, his buying habits, who the people they meet, on line 24-7?

    Isn’t that the real test, would the Police want drones tracking them? Or politicians?

    Well lucky for drone companies we have the National party in power, since they have no
    limits on profits and no idea of collatoral damage.

    • McFlock 1.1

      Drones are covered in the CAA regulations, although I suspect it might be rather difficult to get the permits to possess the hellfire missiles to attach to them. The larger drones increase accordingly in both aircraft certification and operator certification requirements. But anyone can buy a wee self-stabilising helicopter from Jaycar or similar and hack it to run almost autonomously.

      Although one might have some surreptitious filming issues.

      I think there are a few real estate companies using small UAVs of varying levels of sophistication to take high shots of properties for sale. Cheaper than a helicopter or plane, and can get closer.

      The interesting thing about on-selling preferences is that it happens already, in some cases anonymised and in other cases signing away your right to privacy is part of the conditions for e.g. getting a bank loan (e.g. enabling info sharing between bank, finance coy and credit agencies).

  2. McFlock 2

    The Kahu is a hand-launched short range drone with cameras. Big difference between that and a global drone that launches missiles at folks.

    That having been said, it’s a bit much to call drones in transit flying through our EEZ “over NZ”.

    • Populuxe1 2.1

      Especially if, as one suspects, they were in the cargo hold of a plane at the time…

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        So the most efficient way to transport a globe-trekking aircraft is to disassemble it and stick it into another aircraft?

  3. Populuxe1 3

    Drones fire exactly the same missiles as attack helicopters. Would you feel better if they were fired from a helicopter? If not, why are you so obsessed with the fucking drones?

    • Pete 3.1

      Global Hawks are purely surveillance drones. Definitely a concern, but not as big as if they were Predators. I am a little surprised that they fly them around like that to get to a theatre of operations, rather than transport them in a cargo plane, but perhaps it’s cheaper.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And not just cost, it simplifies logistics enormously, plus they are items which need secure military transports, you can’t just fed-ex a Global Hawk.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Yes of course its better if they were fired from an attack chopper eg. you can down the chopper and kill or capture the enemy pilots.

      Also attack choppers are relatively short range so you have a good chance of attacking their operating base as well, whether its on land or at sea.

    • Murray Olsen 3.3

      Drones depersonalise war and allow murder without oversight or public knowledge. They make the use of deadly force far more likely, especially since many anti-war Americans are more worried about their boys dying than anything else. That’s why I’m “obsessed with the fucking drones.”

  4. Wayne 4

    From what I read, the Global Hawk wasn’t even over the EEZ. It was in the international airspace for which NZ has air traffic control responsibility, essentially of passenger jets. That is an area almost up to Fiji.

    It is a bit like saying that ships are using NZ waters, when in fact they are in international waters where NZ has search and rescue responsibility (which is most of the SW Pacific).

    Presumably the “incursion” was during the transit from US to Australia.

    • lprent 4.1

      Yep. That is what has been reported so far.

      After Herald inquiries about the Global Hawk flights, a CAA spokesman said the authority knew of only one Global Hawk which had briefly overflown the upper reaches of the Auckland Oceanic Airspace.

      New Zealand’s sovereign airspace extends 12 nautical miles (22.2km) from the coast. The Auckland Oceanic Airspace extends beyond that and into the South Pacific Ocean, up to Tonga and Samoa.

      Of course given the usual reticence of the CIA and US military, we’ll probably have to spend the next few weeks getting drip feeds from people with sightings, access to civilian and military radars, and access to satellite images

  5. Kaahu 5

    Global Hawk drones having been flying the Pacific to Australia for about a decade.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Northrop Grumman Global Hawk operational range over 8,000 nm; some sources say over 10,000.

    nb this was in reply to P1 whom I presume has now realised that there are some continent hopping military UAVs out there.

  7. joe90 7

    The US military has launched drones from an Australian airbase and there have negotiations that may let them base more on the Cocos Islands for use in the South China sea. Their renewed interest in the region means that it’s quite likely that the US would be keen to base surveillance operations here in NZ too.

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      Makes sense now that North Korea is escalating their rhetoric and quite possibly have the tech to back it up now

  8. drones could explain muzza’s sighting of suspicious ‘trails’ in the air on his commercial flight where he thought they shouldn’t be.

    • McFlock 9.1

      lol

    • One Tāne Huna 9.2

      Yeah, but Muzza’s not stupid enough to buy that line. Everyone knows the Reverse Vampires control that section of the stratosphere.

    • muzza 9.3

      Possibly Marty, but I also saw the planes, which were not drones per se.

      Good to read that OAB’s level of maturity is on the up at (9.2)!

  9. David 10

    Up to the minute story on drone use in New Zealand on NZ Herald here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10874979

    a recent story in the New York Times pointed out that drones will soon be as common as muck. Obviously there are issues with privacy, noise, air safety etc some of which are mentioned in the NZ Herald story

  10. The Al1en 11

    Like storm troopers in drag, are drones. Use the force.

    These aren’t the islands you’re looking for. We can go about our business. Move along.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    With a price tag of $250 million and a wingspan greater than a 737 airliner…

    ZOMG, it’s got a big wingspan, PANIC!!!111!!!

    Goddamn, I get pissed off with scare reporting like that. Yes, it’s got a long wingspan but the craft itself is actually quite small. Certainly nowhere near the size of a 727 airliner and considering it’s estimated range I suspect a lot of that is fuel tank (which is probably why they fly the damn thing rather than stripping it down and putting it in another aircraft – can’t really get those tanks to take up less room).

  12. Erentz 13

    Drones have useful purposes. I hope people don’t overreact to them. One example that would make sense for NZ in future might be maritime surveillance. Rather than flying a fully crewed P3 Orion, use remotely operated UAVs to provide better coverage, cheaper.

    • Ugly Truth 13.1

      Given the lack of transparency over chemtrails it’s rational to be skeptical about the motivations behind the use of drones.

  13. TEA 14

    Yep !
    And another 100+ drones in the beehive keeping NZ ticking like a bomb.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago