Featherston primary schools are on the hunt for a mystery drone operator, after a drone was seen hovering over the Featherston swimming pool during the combined schools' swimming sports.
The drone was sighted above the pool at the cluster swimming sports on February 13 and was understood to have turned up at last Wednesday's South Wairarapa swimming sports event.
A posting on Featherston's community Facebook page suggests a drone has also been seen during swimming club evenings.
St Teresa's School principal Jennifer Muth said all the schools that attended the event had been alerted, in an attempt to identify the drone's owner.
"The day following the swimming sports we were made aware of the drone so we have alerted the other schools and asked for their help to help identify who was using the drone."
So far none of the schools had any idea who the operator was, Mrs Muth said.
"The schools have to protect the privacy of our students so we want to know the purpose of any photos taken."
When she saw the drone it was hovering overhead for only a few seconds.
One parent who spotted the drone at the pool, Mike Taylor, said the drone was about three or four metres off the ground, and appeared to have a camera.
Mr Taylor said he saw a man operating a remote control standing next to a silver ute with a flat deck, which was parked just past the refuse station, opposite the pool.
The man appeared to be in his 50s or 60s, he said.
While he was not especially worried, other parents had expressed doubts about whether it was appropriate, Mr Taylor said.
"The lady who was with me was a little bit concerned."
The Times-Age talked to parents and their children at the pool on Saturday.
Year 5 pupil Jack, whose parents asked for anonymity with his last name, said he saw a man in a car parked outside the pool fence operating a remote control from inside the car.
Jack had been taking part in one of the swimming events.
"He was an older man with white hair," he said.
"He was just in the car there, beside some other cars."
He said the drone did not fly directly over the pool, but flew to the trees beside the pool, and returned.
"Me and my friend saw it, we could see it had a video camera thing."
Parents at the pool said they had heard about the drone but had not been present during the school events. Their children had told them about it.
Some parents described it as "creepy".
A warning has since been posted on the Featherston Community Facebook page, asking residents to report any sightings to the police.
The page's administrator said it was "highly inappropriate and is making people very uncomfortable".
"It appears that someone has been flying a drone over the Featherston swimming pool during school swimming lessons, swimming sports and club nights. If the person responsible is reading this, please stop."
The administrator urged people to call the police if they saw the drone again.
Facebook poster Andrea Longhurst said it was not "normal behaviour" to fly a drone over a public pool where children were swimming.
"Innocent or not, it's an invasion of privacy and highly inappropriate. I'd be pissed if my child was there."
Hayley Abbott said the police should have been called.
"This is not okay for many reasons."
As of Friday, police had not received any complaints over the incidents.