About us

We are the front door for space activity in New Zealand – the lead government agency for space policy, regulation and sector development.

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We regulate the use of space from New Zealand

Our regulatory regime provides for the safe, responsible and secure use of space from New Zealand, and includes the following legislation:

See Our regulatory regime for more information about the Act and regulations.

We support rocket launches

Rocket Lab, a United States (US) corporation with a subsidiary in New Zealand, has established the world’s first private orbital launch ranges on the Mahia Peninsula, on the east coast of New Zealand.

Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Rocket Lab conducted its first test launch in May 2017 with its first fully commercial launch completed on 11 November 2018.

Rocket Lab agreement

The Government has an agreement with Rocket Lab USA Inc and Rocket Lab NZ which authorises their current launch activities.

Agreement between the New Zealand Government and Rocket Lab Ltd New Zealand and Rocket Lab USA Inc (Sept 2016) [PDF, 2.7 MB]

Contract between the New Zealand Government and Rocket Lab - Cabinet paper (Sept 2016) [PDF, 1 MB] 

Contract between the New Zealand Government and Rocket Lab - EGI Minute (Sept 2016) [PDF, 221 KB] 

The Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act came into force in December 2017, and Rocket Lab is in the process of transitioning to the relevant licences.

We enable space-related business, science and innovation

New Zealand is an attractive place for space-related commerce.

We’re growing a space industry that is internationally credible, innovative and competitive. We want our economy to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits associated with the use of space.

We’ve already seen the following developments:

We’re interested in advancing areas where New Zealand has existing and emerging strengths, including developing and applying space-based data in areas such as agri-technology, hazard management, oceanography and meteorology.

Over time there may be opportunities for New Zealand businesses and other organisations to develop capabilities in a range of space-related areas — such as satellite design and manufacturing and space science, technology and engineering research activity.

For more information about why New Zealand is an attractive place to do space business, see Space-related opportunities in New Zealand.

We develop space policy and strategy

We have a work programme of strategic advice and policy development that includes assessment of, and advice on:

  • the opportunities and risks associated with the use of space, and
  • the role of government.

We believe New Zealand can become a significant player in the global commercial space launch industry. However, the opportunities for New Zealand are much broader than launch activities.

Last updated: 01 June 2021