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MBiE funded as NZ's lead 'space agency'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017 Karen Sweeney

New Zealand might not have its own Neil Armstrong yet, but with funding for the first space agency the hunt could soon be on.

This year's budget has set aside $15 million over the next four years to fund the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment new function as the nation's "lead space agency".

"This funding will enable [MBiE] to respond tothe opportunities for economic growth the emergency space sector offers," the budget documents say.

Those advantages include the investment brought by US-based company RocketLab, which is currently in the middle of a 10-day window to launch their first test rocket from the Mahia Peninsula between Gisborne and Napier.

The company's founder Peter Beck hails from Invercargill.

The funding will provide $3.75m a year to cover operational costs.

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