Our international engagement programme includes visits to, and discussions with other national space agencies, potential investors and entrepreneurs and other government regulators.
New Zealand has joined an international arrangement to co-operate with NASA on peaceful exploration and activity in outer space.
The Artemis Accords set principles
- around the peaceful exploration of space, transparency, inter-operability, release of scientific data, safe and sustainable use of resources, safe disposal of debris, and prevention of harmful interference in other’s activities, amongst other principles.
- to guide space exploration cooperation, in particular in support of NASA’s Artemis program to return humans to the Moon in 2024, and explore Mars and beyond. The Accords align with New Zealand’s fundamental principles of peaceful international cooperation.
One issue the Accords deals with is space resource utilisation. The ability to use space resources (the mineral resources in and on the moon and other celestial bodies) is critical to enable the next phase of space exploration, including to the possibility of sending humans to Mars. Recent technological advances have made space resource utilisation feasible which has increased states interest in addressing it in national policy and regulation. Given the increasing importance of this issue, space resource utilisation needed to be considered alongside our membership in the Accords.
More information on the Artemis Accords and New Zealand’s position on Space Resource Utilisation is available below:
We’ve joined international space forums such as the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
UN space treaties
New Zealand is already a party to 4 United Nations space treaties:
- The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the Outer Space Treaty), which was ratified by New Zealand in 1968.
- The Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (the Rescue Agreement), which was ratified by New Zealand in 1969.
- The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (the Liability Convention), which was ratified by New Zealand in 1974.
- The Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (the Registration Convention), which New Zealand acceded to in 2018.
The documents below provide more information on these treaties.
- Accession to the United Nations Convention on Registration of Objects launched into Outer Space [PDF 558KB]
- National interest analysis: proposed accession to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled [PDF 341KB]
- United Nations Convention on Registration of Objects launched into Outer Space: proposed accession [PDF 585KB]
- Membership of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space - COPUOS [PDF 2.1MB]
Bilateral and technology safeguards agreements
We have bilateral agreements with the United States Government and with the European Space Agency.
We’ve signed a bilateral agreement with the United States (US) Government for space launches using US technology in New Zealand, called the Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA). This agreement enables commercial entities in New Zealand to import rocket launch technology and satellites from the US.
Under the agreement, New Zealand agencies preserve their full existing powers and functions, such as border control, health and safety, and accident investigation, by way of a Side Arrangement.
The TSA adds another strand to our close and long-standing relationship with the US, and opens the door for US space businesses to consider New Zealand as a business location.