The New Zealand government's role in space policy development

Rocket Lab’s decision to launch rockets from New Zealand was the catalyst for the creation of the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA) in 2016. The NZSA sits within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and leads space policy, regulation and development of the New Zealand space sector.

The New Zealand Space Agency leads space policy

Space policy

The NZSA develops space policies that support the effective implementation of the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017 and grow the sector.[2] It aims to ensure space activities and engagements help the space sector develop in a safe and secure way. When we refer to 'space' throughout this document, we are also referring to 'high-altitude' as high-altitude activities are also the responsibility of the NZSA.

Space sector development

The NZSA also leads on policies to develop the New Zealand space sector, attracting international companies to invest in New Zealand, and engaging on international science investment programmes.

Space regulation

The Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017  governs the regulation of New Zealand space activities. MBIE is the regulator, including for all payloads launched from New Zealand.

Space policy objectives are cross-cutting: for example, as well as considering sector development and regulation interests, New Zealand’s space activities and engagements should also be responsible, sustainable and aligned with our national security and interests. This reiterates the importance of a collaborative cross-government approach to space policy development.

A road beside a lake at night. The milky way is visible in the night sky.

Many government agencies lead and inform space policy objectives

The New Zealand Space Agency engages with multiple government agencies to ensure space policies are consistent with New Zealand’s obligations, laws and interests. This includes, but is not limied to the agencies shown here.