Govt invests $16m in space venture with Ngai Tahu runanga – while protecting culture and biodiversity for good measure

The Government has invested $16 million in buying plots of land as part of a new partnership with Ngai Tahu, this one launched to take part in this country’s fledgling space industry.

It was described as “an exciting multi-pronged aerospace project” and – Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods proclaimed – it is coming to Kaitōrete Spit, a 25km stretch of land on the Canterbury coast.

It’s thanks to “a special commercial joint venture” between Kaitōrete Limited (Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Wairewa Rūnanga) and the Crown,

“ …  which will unlock jobs – including aerospace, develop a space launch and R&D facilities, protect cultural interests and the unique bio-diversity of the area.”

But wait.  There’s more:

“Project Tāwhaki is a special partnership with both Rūnanga that will rejuvenate a nationally unique environment, honour deep cultural relationships, and provide amazing opportunities to tap into the multi-billion-dollar aerospace economy. This is a very exciting day.”

We trust this venture fares better in winning the hearts and minds of local Maori than Rocket Lab has done at Māhia Peninsula in the Hawke’s Bay. Continue reading “Govt invests $16m in space venture with Ngai Tahu runanga – while protecting culture and biodiversity for good measure”

NZ’s role in missile control gives Peters a boost on US mission

Before   flying out  on his  Washington  mission,  Deputy PM Winston Peters  announced  (in his  role  as Disarmament and Arms Control Minister) that NZ will take up the chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime later next year.

Peters  says NZ’s emerging space industry makes it particularly relevant at this time that it  works on effective international control of sensitive missile-related technologies. NZ will host the annual plenary meeting in Auckland in October 2019, which is expected to attract over 200 delegates.

The  issue  may be  high  on  the agenda  for his talks in  Washington,  where  Peters  has  appointments with  key figures of the  Trump  administration, including  Vice-president   Mike Pence,  Secretary of  State  Michael R Pompeo, National Security Adviser  John Bolton and  Director of National  Intelligence  Dan Coats. Continue reading “NZ’s role in missile control gives Peters a boost on US mission”