New Zealand’s Space Ecosystem: A space economy on the rise

New Zealand Space Ecosystem Market Map

Table of Contents

New Zealand’s space sector has witnessed remarkable growth in the past few years. The nation’s increasingly successful space economy was propelled by the launch of Rocket Lab’s first small orbital rocket from the Māhia Peninsula in the country’s North Island. The groundbreaking milestone paved the way for the establishment of the New Zealand Space Agency, tasked with facilitating the enactment and implementation of the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017.

Since then, initiatives like the Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre, a multi-user facility located at Kaitorete on the east coast of the South Island in New Zealand have been developed to provide critical infrastructure for advanced aviation, space flight, and launch activities – further supporting and propelling the country’s space sector. Furthermore, according to a 2019 report by Deloitte, the New Zealand space sector contributed a staggering $1.69 billion to the national economy during the 2018–19 fiscal year, supporting an impressive 12,000 jobs. 

The Space Impulse Market Intelligence Platform has captured the key companies, investors, universities and Government Entities in the New Zealand Space Sector. Read on for an in-depth analysis on the country’s current space landscape and its position in the global space tech ecosystem.

New Zealand’s Expanding Role Across the Space Value Chain

New Zealand’s role in the space industry is rapidly expanding across the entire value chain, encompassing manufacturing, data utilization, and strategic partnerships. The country is actively fostering innovation and making key investments in its burgeoning Space Ecosystem, positioning itself as a prominent player in the global space arena.

Rocket Lab’s Pivotal Role

Rocket Lab, a pioneering aerospace company, has played a pivotal role in catalyzing New Zealand’s space industry. Initially headquartered in New Zealand, the company made history by building Launch Complex 1 in Māhia, New Zealand, the world’s first private orbital launch site. Rocket Lab then launched its first small orbital rocket in 2017. This achievement not only demonstrated New Zealand’s technological capabilities but also paved the way for further investment and growth in the sector.

However, it’s important to note that Rocket Lab has since relocated its headquarters to California in 2013, a move that reflected the company’s global ambitions to access larger markets and resources. Regardless, Rocket Lab’s roots in New Zealand and its continued presence in the country have significantly contributed to the development of the local space industry and put New Zealand on the map as a global leader in space tech.

Fostering Innovation and Collaboration

New Zealand’s space sector is actively fostering innovation and collaboration through strategic partnerships and investments. Kiwi universities and research institutions play a crucial role in advancing space-related research and development, while government entities are providing the necessary regulatory framework and support to facilitate the growth of the industry. Moreover, the country is actively seeking international collaborations and partnerships, recognizing the global nature of the space industry and the benefits of knowledge-sharing and resource pooling.

By leveraging its unique strengths and capabilities, New Zealand is positioning itself as an attractive destination for space-related activities and investments.

Want to learn more about the New Zealand Space Ecosystem, or gain access to the world’s largest curated dataset on the Space industry with data from all the way back to 1987? Check out the Space Impulse Market Intelligence Platform – Get in touch at [email protected] to learn more.

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