A flight by a mystery drone over a Waikato prison has sparked a police complaint amid contraband smuggling fears.
Waikeria prison staff scrambled after the early evening incident on Tuesday, May 10 after they saw the unmanned aircraft flying directly over the site for 10 minutes.
Acting prison director Rosemary Firth said officers searched the grounds but did not find anything dropped by the drone.
Firth said police were notified and drone sightings were not taken lightly by Corrections due to the risk they could smuggle illicit goods.
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"Drone sightings around our prisons are taken very seriously and referred to police, as this one was," she said.
"The safety of our staff and prisoners is our top priority, and the introduction of contraband can pose significant safety and security risks in a prison environment.
"We place considerable emphasis on preventing contraband from entering prisons, apprehending those who attempt to smuggle it, and stamping out opportunities for organised crime."
A police spokeswoman confirmed the incident was reported to officers of the Waikato West Police area but there were "currently no lines of enquiry".
A Kiwi drone industry source, who did not want to be named, said it would be fairly straightforward for someone to use a drone to smuggle contraband.
That was because modern models are very simple to fly, and remotely operated "droppers" are available online from overseas retailers for under $40.
"It'd be pretty straightforward," the source said.
"It's not rocket science."