Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy

The Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy provides strong foundations for fast-paced change in our aerospace sector, carving out our niche on the global stage and strengthening our connections to the global aerospace economy.

The Strategy

The global aerospace sector is growing fast, and an increasing number of commercial space and advanced aviation companies are launching, flying, manufacturing, and operating in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy will build on our national strengths to establish a distinct New Zealand approach to aerospace while managing national security risks.

The Strategy comprises 3 foundational pillars to underpin the success of the sector:

  1. Unlocking aerospace potential
  2. Future-facing Government
  3. Aerospace nation

The pillars will enable us to achieve 5 ambitious goals for the sector for 2030:

  1. Establish a sustainable air-passenger journey
  2. Safely integrate autonomous aerial vehicles
  3. Be at the forefront of sustainable space activities
  4. Actively support exploration in space
  5. Enhance decision-making using aerospace-enabled data

A staged action plan outlines the work required to deliver on this ambitious vision.

The government has a range of levers to assist sector development

By being an early adopter and investor in aerospace technologies and the supporting regulatory framework, we can align sector ambition with government objectives and drive towards the desired outcomes of this Strategy. Consideration of national security interests and New Zealand’s foreign policy will also be important as sector development plans are designed and implemented.

Policy and regulation

  • Maintain fit-for-purpose policies and regulations that support the sector and build public confidence
  • Ensure government has the people and expertise needed to enable the safe development of new technologies
  • Work with other countries to develop policies and regulations, such as for the integration of drones.
  • Aerospace technologies can support New Zealand’s work on decarbonisation of the transport system, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity and safety, search and rescue, medical logistics and supply-chain resilience.

Research and development

  • Support research and development that creates world-leading technology and New Zealand-specific solutions
  • Partner with industry, researchers and international firms to support the development, testing and trialling of new aerospace technologies in New Zealand.

Security and resilience

  • Oversee the intersection between civil aerospace, defence, national interests and the broader security environment (including cybersecurity)
  • Use aerospace technologies to improve disaster resilience.
  • Improve public safety and resource management compliance by managing disaster risk and improving maritime domain awareness.

Procurement and investment

  • Procure aerospace activities that are important to government.
  • Use aerospace technologies and data, with a strong focus on downstream applications.
  • Encourage aerospace technologies to be used for a range of different applications to make the most of investments.
  • Invest in critical infrastructure.

Business environment

  • Provide support for start-ups and scale-ups
  • Address barriers to aerospace market participation, both for domestic and international companies
  • Protect emerging technologies and intellectual property
  • Support trade diversification objectives.

Future workforce

  • Build awareness of aerospace career paths
  • Sponsor internships, challenges and other education initiatives
  • Create networks and collaborations that fill gaps in New Zealand's capability needs
  • Create the right conditions, including improving diversity, to grow the future workforce through education and vocational training pathways.

Partnerships and connections

  • Connect industry and academia with international partners to foster collaboration and build capability in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Enable international opportunities through co-investment, government-industry partnerships, and international bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

Applications of aerospace technologies and downstream uses by government include:

  • Maritime domain awareness
  • Monitoring and mitigating climate change and meeting other environmental objectives (eg sustainability)
  • Understanding pests and diseases
  • Conservation of natural ecosystems
  • Forestry
  • Decarbonising the tourism industry  
  • Emissions trading
  • Supporting global positioning systems (GPS)
  • Topographic and hydrographic mapping
  • Understanding and managing land and resource use
  • Fisheries patrol
  • Sea level monitoring
  • Satellite communications
  • Monitoring fisheries
  • National security
  • Precision farming
  • Remote monitoring of energy grid
  • Disaster resilience
  • Monitoring and building resilience in the Pacific
  • Monitoring economic indicators.

The following information outlines the government agencies with interests in the aerospace sector, which span these and other areas.

Core agencies and responsible Ministers


  • New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA) located in MBIE– Space Regulatory Systems, Space Policy and Sector Development

Advanced aviation

  • Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport (MoT)
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)—Tourism 

Space and advanced aviation

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) – Innovative Partnerships


  • Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
  • Minister for Space
  • Associate Minister of Transport

Aligned agencies

Environment and data

  • Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  • Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
  • Department of Conservation (DoC)
  • Ministry for the Environment (MfE)
  • Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ)

Defence, intelligence and international

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
  • Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)
  • New Zealand Intelligence Community (NZIC):
    • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC)
    • Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)
    • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)

Skills and capability

  • Ministry of Education (MoE)
  • Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
  • Ringa Hora Workforce Development Council
  • Hanga-Aro-Rau (Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics) Workforce Development Council
  • Tertiary education providers
  • Te Pūkenga—New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
  • Universities

Innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Callaghan Innovation
  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)
  • KiwiNet
  • UniServices

Local agencies

  • ChristchurchNZ
  • Tātaki Auckland Unlimited

Other agencies

  • The Treasury
  • Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
  • Airways New Zealand

Māori agencies

  • Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK)
  • Te Arawhiti

Related strategies, papers, government policy and regulation

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Te Manatū Waka | Ministry of Transport

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Ministry of Defence

New Zealand Defence Force

Manatū Mō Te Taiao | Ministry for the Environment

Department of Conservation

Toitū Te Whenua | Land Information New Zealand

Manatū Ahu Matua | Ministry for Primary Industries

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga Ministry of Education

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)

Ringa Hora | Workforce Development Council

Government and Industry partnership

Community engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Public consultation

In September 2022, we published a consultation document on the Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy to seek feedback from the sector and wider public on the key components of the Aerospace Strategy.

Consultation on the Aerospace Strategy was open from 5 September to 31 October 2022.

We also published a summary of submissions which informed development of the Aerospace Strategy.

Have your say: Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy (closed)

Aotearoa Aerospace Strategy summary of submissions

Available below is a summary of submissions received on the Aerospace Strategy. We have provided a visual overview which summarises the key themes in submissions and a report that provides more detail on these areas.

Read the Aotearoa Aerospace Strategy individual submissions 

Individual submissions are available to view on the MBIE website:

Read the individual submissions(external link)

Case studies

This section includes a range of case studies that showcase New Zealand’s capabilities and contributions to the aerospace sector.

Aerospace sector case studies

Last updated: 22 November 2023