Supporting New Zealand's values and interests in space

New Zealand’s values speak to who we are as a nation and how we act in the world.

New Zealand values

The following are values that the New Zealand government aims to reflect and promote through space activities, engagements and the use of space technologies. These values are informed by the concept of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) as a guiding framework to ensure that space, and its benefits, remain accessible for all.


We value innovation, science, and technology as means of advancing our knowledge about the universe, driving productivity in the economy and improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders. We also want to encourage innovation which is responsible, enables New Zealand to be a good steward of the environment, and enables collaboration with companies and other governments.


Space is a unique domain which is shared by all states. We act responsibly to promote a peaceful, stable, and secure space environment and to inform responsible behaviours on Earth. This includes acting in accordance with the principles in the Outer Space Treaty and other international agreements and arrangements applicable to space, as well as New Zealand’s domestic law and policies. We also seek to influence the development of new international instruments, and develop norms and standards with like-minded countries, where there are gaps.


Space offers a unique perspective that is crucial for understanding our environment, including to fight climate change, and better manage our natural resources. At the same time, we take care to act sustainably in space and on Earth to preserve the benefits of these environments for future generations.


We are better when we work together. Participation, Partnership, and Protection are key principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we want to continue to engage with Māori on New Zealand’s space activities and engagements. The government works alongside New Zealanders and the space sector in developing policy and regulations that impact them; collaborates with international partners on economic, security and other interests; and within international institutions to promote New Zealand’s values.

Cross-cutting government interests in space

The New Zealand government pursues a range of cross-cutting interests in space, including economic, national security, safe and secure regulation, international, and environmental. These interests are often articulated in broader government policies, strategies and assessments and inform our approach to space policy interests. For example, the Economic plan for a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy,[3] the Maritime Security Strategy 2020,[4] the Defence Assessment 2021,[5] and New Zealand’s Pacific Engagement – Partnering for Resilience.[6]

cross cutting government interests in space infographic 770

Space policy objectives

The New Zealand government supports each of these interests by pursuing the following policy objectives:

  • Growing an innovative and inclusive space sector
  • Protecting and advancing our national security and economic interests
  • Regulating space activities safely and securely
  • Promoting the responsible uses of space internationally
  • Modelling a sustainable space and Earth environment

This consultation document looks at how New Zealand has implemented these objectives to date. Within each section are examples of space activities, engagements, and technologies which demonstrate alignment with these policy objectives, and the need for effective collaboration on space.

Aerial view of Rocket Lab’s launch site at the Mahia Peninsula with an electron launch vehicle is on the launch pad.

Rocket Lab's first electron rocket launched from New Zealand at Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, January 2018.