New Zealand Space Agency
Agency overview
FormedApril 2016; 8 years ago (2016-04)
JurisdictionNew Zealand
HeadquartersDefence House, 15 Stout St,
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Carolyn Tremain, Chief Executive
WebsiteNew Zealand Space Agency
New Zealand Space Agency's head office on Stout Street, Wellington (the former Defence House)

The New Zealand Space Agency is an agency within the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) charged with "space policy, regulation and business development" relating to space activities in New Zealand.[1]


The New Zealand Space Agency was formed in April 2016 under the country's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The aim of the agency is to promote the development of a space industry in New Zealand and to reap its economic benefits,[1][2] and to regulate the country's growing commercial space industry. This includes space launches by the New Zealand subsidiary of Rocket Lab, an American aerospace company,[3] and creating new regulation in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand to fly a suborbital spaceplane from conventional airports.[4]

Spaceflight programs


In November 2019, the agency signed a partnership with American non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund to work on MethaneSAT, an Earth observation satellite that will study human methane emissions in order to better track and combat climate change. As part of the partnership, the agency has contributed NZ$29.35 million for research and the rights to host mission control. The mission marked New Zealand's first government-funded space mission and successfully launched in early 2024.[5][6]

On 19 August 2020, Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, a former carbon cycling expert at NIWA, was named as lead scientist on the mission.[7]

Artemis Accords

On 1 June 2021, the NZSA signed the Artemis Accords, making New Zealand the 11th signatory of the accords. An announcement released the same day stated, "New Zealand has joined an international arrangement to co-operate with NASA on peaceful exploration and activity in outer space. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash announced the government has agreed to join the Artemis Accords, launched by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and now signed by eleven nations."[8] NASA administrator Bill Nelson later congratulated the agency.[9]

NZ-USA Space Framework Agreement

On 9 August 2022, New Zealand and the United States signed a framework agreement to launch new space sector opportunities. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing followed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Vice President Kamala Harris welcoming of the completion of negotiations on this agreement during their meeting in Washington, DC on 31 May 2022.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b "About us". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Fact sheet: Development of a New Zealand-based space economy" (PDF). Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ Cruzen, Craig; Schmidhuber, Michael; Lee, Young H.; Kim, Bangyeop, eds. (2017). Space Operations: Contributions from the Global Community. Springer International Publishing AG. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-51941-8. ISBN 9783319519401. LCCN 2017936667. Archived from the original on 31 October 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Dawn Aerospace Licensed to Fly NZ's First Spaceplane". Dawn Aerospace. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  5. ^ "New Zealand joins MethaneSAT climate mission in space". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 7 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  6. ^ "MethaneSAT". MethaneSAT. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  7. ^ "Lead scientist named for MethaneSAT team". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 19 August 2020. Archived from the original on 21 February 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Space exploration soars with Artemis Accords". The Beehive. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  9. ^ NASA Congratulates New Zealand on Signing the Artemis Accords, retrieved 2 June 2021
  10. ^ "Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector". The Beehive. Retrieved 19 August 2022.