About us

DroneMate was formed in 2015, providing aerial services across New Zealand that included, aerial video/photography,

3D modelling of land for quarrying, stockpile estimation, mining, construction, other earthworks, and forestry mapping.  In 2016 we expanded into the agricultural sector forming a relationship with Sentera, a global leader in sensor technology while growing our services in precision agriculture.


We began our first official training courses with DJI/Ferntech and NMIT in 2018 and continue to offer them throughout the year in both Auckland and Christchurch. For the last 2 years, DroneMate has been expanding its consulting services for drone-based product development and turnkey solutions for large and small organisations across New Zealand.

The people behind DroneMate

AJ Thompson, Executive Director. After Initially being associated with the company from early 2020 in an advisory capacity AJformalised his involvement as Executive Director at the beginning of 2021. He has set up and developed businesses both nationally and internationally in the wine and agricultural sectors over the last 25 years, primarily with a technology focus. In addition to these he currently also has involvement in wine importation and the tourism industry. 


Geoff Sherlock, Non-Executive Director.  With a BRP Hons, Geoff started Sherlock Landscaping in 2007 and has built it up to be one of the largest privately-owned landscaping business in Nelson Tasman.  As an experienced businessman and landscaper, he saw the potential for UAV capabilities across many sectors and has been a leading exponent of the technology for many years.

Jonathan Lopardo, Technical Director.  Formally a specialist with the US Army’s 101 Airborne division and 88th regional support, Johnny had a career in crown and bridge manufacturing and quality control for dental laboratories before moving to New Zealand in 2014.  A lifelong operator and exponent of radio-controlled aircraft, he has been full-time in the use of UAVs and mapping since 2014 and is highly regarded in the RPAS industry in New Zealand.  Johnny is an RPAS certified Part 102 pilot, holds a Pix4D photogrammetry software certification, is the lead instructor for DJI New Zealand ran UAV surveying courses, is New Zealand’s Sentera rep/on seller/trainer of their multispectral sensing equipment, had first become a member of AMA in America in 1994 and is an active hang glider pilot.

Sheree Sherlock, Marketing and Administration Manager.  Sheree is a Graphic Designer with 20 years of experience in all forms of marketing and promotional materials.  Sheree is responsible for creating and maintaining the DroneMate brand along with many other well-known brands.

McKinlay Clark, Creative Director.  After running a successful boutique media agency in Nelson for 2 years, Macca decided to pursue his ambitions to become a specialist drone pilot for Film/TV. Macca has the ability to provide the shots you need not only from the sky, but from the ground too with a full video production arsenal. He’s had experience being a crucial part of large productions and can project manage creative workflows from start to finish.