The Civil Aviation Authority has changed tack and started fining drone users who breach the rules instead of just issuing warnings.
The organisation found the educational approach wasn't working and says a steady number of complaints has forced it to issue fines of up to $2000.
Aviation companies are meeting in Masterton to discuss the growing use of the unmanned aerial vehicles, their safety, and how drones can be integrated into the existing aviation system.
Civil Aviation director Graeme Harris said current regulations were not sufficent and the authority had a set of draft rules for drones out for public consultation with submissions closing at the end of the month.
He said the drone industry was growing rapidly and New Zealand had a chance to be a world leader in drone safety.
Fighter jets over Wellington
The drone conference is part of the biennial air show, Wings over Wairarapa.
About a dozen rare First World War planes were due to take to the skies over Masterton this afternoon.
They include the oldest plane in New Zealand - the BE2F, the only one of its kind still flying in the world.
Three fighter jets were also expected to fly over Wellington.
The former Air Force jets - a De Havilland Vampire, and two Strikemaster jets - were part of a squadron at Ohakea airbase.
At about midday, the jets were scheduled to fly down the Hutt Valley, across the harbour and over central Wellington.