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Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges today welcomed the arrival of Rocket Lab’s launch vehicle to its complex on the Mahia Peninsula.

“This is an important milestone for Rocket Lab and a significant step in the development of a New Zealand space industry,” Mr Bridges says.

“We are taking a keen interest in the planned test and commercial launches, and a range of government agencies, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), are ensuring launch activities are safe and secure.

“We have the opportunity to leverage off the existence of Rocket Lab to build New Zealand’s capacity and expertise in a range of space-related activities and to support the strategic opportunities that are likely to flow.”

Development of a NZ-based space industry is aligned to the Government’s Business Growth Agenda which includes actions to develop New Zealand as a hub for high-value, knowledge-intensive businesses that create value through innovation and Research and Development.

“As Rocket Lab has demonstrated, New Zealand has advantages that make it an attractive location for space launches - clear seas and skies, access to valuable launch angles for rocket launchers, a skilled workforce, and an innovation friendly business environment.

“There are economic opportunities in the use of space as a whole, not just in a launch industry – space research, materials development and testing, space tourism, weather and atmospheric research.”

The Government is now developing a regulatory framework that will encourage growth of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations and manages any liability associated with space launches.

The Outer Space and High Altitude Activities Bill, which is currently before Parliament, is due to pass into law in mid-2017.

 

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