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Changes recommended for space bill

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/04/2017

The public won't be blocked from photographing space launches but a government committee has recommended tightening planned regulations around photography of space debris.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee has reported back on the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Bill which is designed to regulate New Zealand's growing space industry.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges said changes recommended by the committee included protecting sensitive information by making it clear when debris protection areas can be declared.

That will apply where a launch is terminated or there is an accident and it would be necessary to protect international obligations.

"The Bill does not prevent public viewing, photography or videoing space launches," Mr Bridges said.

"However it does aim to strike a balance between public and media freedom while ensuring the protection of sensitive technology."

The government expects the legislation to be in place by the end of this year.

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