Quiet Sky Waiheke

Advocating for safe & quiet skies

When will we see some action?

Helicopter consent issues were supposed to have been addressed by Auckland Council in 2019, back when only twenty helipads had been consented on Waiheke. Here’s how it was reported in the NZ Herald. “[Planning Committee Chairman Chris] Darby said a practice note/interpretation guidance to consent planners was now being developed and will be in place “very quickly”. He believed the rules…require a plan change in future to “bolt down the specific provisions and take out the wriggle room”. Here’s Council’s Planning Manager Phill Reed’s memo of July 2019. It put three options to…

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Helicopters on Waiheke

Auckland Council has consented 50 helipads without notifying either close neighbours or the general public. Nowhere else in New Zealand is there such a concentration of helipads.

There has never been a study, or consideration of, the cumulative impact of exploding helicopter traffic, nor the safety implications of this uncontrolled growth.

This must be changed.

And existing helipads must stop ignoring their consent conditions and strictly comply with restrictions on number of flights, flight paths, and other mitigations.

Quiet Sky Waiheke was born from concerns around noise and air pollution created by increasing numbers of helipads and helicopter traffic over Waiheke Island. As we found out more about the helicopter industry and the lack of regulation and control, our scope broadened. We are now also campaigning for improved safety – for people and wildlife both above the ground and on the ground.

To find out more about our proposed programme for Waiheke go to our Information page

PLEASE NOTE: Quiet Sky Waiheke supports and values the vital emergency and medical helicopter flights that service the island and we encourage you to support this essential service by making a donation to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Waiheke Island helicopter consents

Click on image to access up-to-date interactive map

What can you do?

Quiet Sky Waiheke hopes to mobilise the greatest possible participation of Waiheke residents in this issue. We have already had one success, with the new owners of Obsidian Vineyard withdrawing their application for a helipad. But there are others waiting in the wings.

You can help in the following ways:

  1. Write an email to Pippa Coom and other political representatives
  2. Contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when you notice low-flying helicopters or helicopters deviating from their official flight path.
  3. Track helicopters through Flightradar24. Take note of near-misses and any other safety concerns or breaches of rules.
  4. Let us know about helicopter violations – like helicopters ignoring authorised flight paths, excessive number of landings, low flying, landing in unconsented locations etc.
  5. Spread the word – talk to your friends and neighbours about the ongoing impact of helicopters on Waiheke, and forward them a link to this website
  6. Volunteer to help us reach out to more residents on Waiheke

Unless the public engages in this issue, there is no telling how crowded, noisy and unsafe the airspace over Waiheke will become. (Covid-19 has caused just a temporary reduction in helicopter traffic.)

This is a key moment for the public to speak up and show that:

  • Helicopter impacts aren’t “minor”….speak from your personal experience
  • Public notification is needed for all helipad applications
  • The cumulative impact of all helicopter activity must be studied before any new helipads are consented
  • Further helipad applications aren’t consistent with Objective 13.3.2 (6) of Auckland’s District Plan Hauraki Gulf Islands Sections to “not provide for helipads in locations that can adversely affect the amenity of surrounding residents”

Send your emails to:

Pippa Coom, Auckland Councillor for Waiheke pippa.coom@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Please copy your email to:

Chris Darby, Chair, Auckland Planning Committee chris.darby@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Brad Allen, Planning Team Leader, Auckland Council brad.allen@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Cath Handley, Chair, Waiheke Local Board cath.handley@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Quiet Sky Waiheke info@quietskywaiheke.nz

Climate Emergency

How can recreational use of helicopters burning 80 litres per hour be justified when New Zealand has declared a climate emergency and convenient ferry transportation is available?

Mayor Phil Goff is quoted on the Auckland Council website as saying:


“By unanimously voting to declare a climate emergency, we are signalling the Council’s intention to put climate change at the front and centre of our decision-making”


Expanding helicopter use would directly contradict the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

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QuietSkyWaiheke info@quietskywaiheke.nz

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