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Our Story

About: Welcome

About us

DroneMate, which is one of New Zealand's oldest drone companies, was formed in 2015, initially 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 holding our first official training courses with DJI/Ferntech and NMIT in 2016. Since that time we have continued to expand and adapt our training services to encompass all aspects of drone operations and now provide in-house, online and tailored solutions to an extensive and diverse range of clients across government, corporate and private organisations. 

Lately, with the inception of our road to drones program we have provided a complete pathway to commercial drone operation across the rapidly developing agricultural and building spraying market. This incorporates all aspects of training, certification and operational management. 

Our teams diverse individual and collective knowledge, experience and skills further enhances our position as the leading consultancy in all aspects of the drone industry in New Zealand.

The Team at DroneMate

AJ Thompson, Executive Director.

After initially being associated with the company from early 2020 in an advisory capacity AJ formalised 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. 

Jonathan Lopardo, Co-Founder and Technical and Training Director. 

Jonathan is one of the most experienced drone pilots in the country having been working professionally with UAVs and mapping since 2014 and is highly regarded in the RPAS industry in New Zealand.  As well as being one of the first NZ RPAS certified Part 102 pilots, he is also a Flight Test examiner under Drone Trust, holds a Pix4D photogrammetry software certification and is the lead instructor for DroneMate's UAV surveying courses and any other drone training.

McKinlay (Macca) Clark, Operations Manager. 

Macca is an invaluable asset to our team, possessing a wealth of expertise in the implementation of streamlined systems and processes, project management, solution building, client management, and staff training. Macca is also a Flight Test examiner under Drone Trust and is highly skilled in the art of aerial surveying, with an advanced understanding of GIS and data processing software. Macca is also a talented professional videographer and photographer, adept at producing creative and engaging content that captures the imagination of our clients.

Geoff Sherlock, Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director. 

With a BRP Hons, Geoff identified the value of drone technology in 2014 after meeting fellow co-founder Jonathan Lopardo.  Geoff has been heavily involved in the development of DroneMate through the years, has owned and operated a large landscaping company and continues to play a key role in facilitating DroneMate's growth.

Sheree Sherlock, Co-Founder and Marketing, and Administration Manager. 

Sheree is a Graphic Designer with 20 years of experience in all marketing and promotional materials. Sheree created and continues to maintain the DroneMate brand and many other well-known brands and is an integral part of the company's presence in the digital space.

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