Te whakarāpopototanga matua | Executive Summary

A strategy to build our aerospace sector

The global aerospace sector is growing fast, already worth over $600 billion annually. Past estimates have valued the Aotearoa New Zealand space economy at over $1.69 billion, while the benefits of using drones are estimated at up to $7.9 billion over 25 years. The value of the wider aerospace sector, which includes design, manufacturing, fabrication, and engineering and technical services, is even higher.

An increasing number of commercial space and advanced aviation companies are launching, flying, manufacturing, and operating in Aotearoa New Zealand. There is also an increasing market for products and services using the data generated by aerospace technologies.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Aerospace Strategy aims to establish a distinct New Zealand approach to developing the aerospace sector, by building on our national strengths, while managing national security risks. The Strategy comprises three foundational pillars for the sector:

  1. Unlocking Aerospace Potential
  2. Future-facing Government
  3. Aerospace Nation

The pillars will enable us to achieve the 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.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s strengths across the aerospace value chain are in research and development, manufacturing, operations and data processing. We also have natural advantages foraerospace activities. The diversity of our geography is ideal for developing and testing a variety of technologies and our clear seas and skies provide access to a wide range of launch and take-off angles. Our aerospace sector is highly innovative, with products and services developed here helping to address challenges such as decarbonising the economy, conservation, improving agricultural productivity, protecting our seas, monitoring natural hazards and supporting emergency response.

Aotearoa New Zealand has cutting-edge research capabilities and a highly educated workforce, but barriers to education and training, as well as diversity and inclusion challenges are limiting the pipeline of talent entering the sector.

While Aotearoa New Zealand has a business-friendly environment and a government that supports innovation, we need to continue addressing barriers to innovation as the global sector evolves and opportunities arise.