Meet your DroneMates

DroneMate was formed in 2015, providing aerial services that included, aerial video/photography, 3D modelling of land for quarrying, stockpile estimation, mining, construction, other earthworks and forestry mapping.  In 2016 John Bampfylde came on board as a new business director and co-owner of DroneMate. We then expanded into the agricultural sector forming a deep relationship with Sentera, a global leader in sensor technology, while growing our services in agricultural plant health surveying.


We’re a core team of five:

Geoff Sherlock, Director and co-owner.  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.

John Bampfylde, Director and co-owner.  With an MBA and BSc, John has over 30 years commercial experience in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.  Initially a geologist in West Africa and on oil rigs, he has traded in commodity and financial markets and was a core team member of the NZ electricity market implementation in 1995, before becoming a management consultant and risk manager focusing on energy and inter-connected complex systems.  A keen private pilot with a PPL(A), he built his own aircraft and consulted with Airways Corporation prior to moving to Nelson in 2015.  John is an RPAS certified Part 102 pilot.

Jonathan Lopardo, Chief Pilot and Operations Manager.  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 and has been an AMA member since 1994.

Sheree Sherlock, Marketing Manager and Administration.  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.

Ryan Groves has been a professional health and safety trainer and advisor, for the past 16 years. In 2001 he completed his fixed-wing Pilots training and holds a PPL. Ryan flies in many model aircraft competitions and currently flies turbine powered jet models. Being involved in the model aircraft industry for over 30 years, he is now a qualified instructor and assessor.  Ryan has also spent 15 years as a volunteer senior firefighter for the Fire and Emergency Service.


Three years ago he saw a need to provide the emerging drone industry with a robust training programme that new pilots could gain knowledge and skills from. Approaching the CAA due to the shortfall of trainers in the market, they were delighted to gain his assistance to help teach the current rules. The bulk of Ryan’s work being referrals for training through the CAA Airshare and industry.