NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion

A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today.

The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand has a globally unique and diverse ‘New Space’ economy that is driven almost entirely by the private sector. 

“The findings of this report show that New Zealand is extremely well-placed to increase its share in the NZ$647 billion global space economy,” Phil Twyford said.

“The space economy’s $1.69 billion contribution in the 2018/19 financial year is significant for New Zealand and there is huge potential for us to grow our share.

“The development of New Zealand’s space economy hasn’t followed traditional paths and its diversity reflects our innovative spirit.

“Through Rocket Lab, we are home to the world’s leading small-launch provider, and we attracting other leading international space companies, such as Silicon Valley start-up LeoLabs who have built their KiwiSpace Radar in Central Otago.

“There are good reasons why we are attracting global interest in our industry – we are adaptable, innovative and the Government is committed to supporting the growth of an industry that represents huge opportunities for New Zealand,” Phil Twyford said.

The report’s key findings are that New Zealand’s space economy:

  • Is ‘New Space’-driven, characterised by a mix of start-up and well-established entrepreneur-driven and privately-funded space companies;
  • Has strong space manufacturing and space applications sub-sectors, and cutting-edge research and development capability within several universities across the country; and
  • Draws on local as well as international talent, and has strong connections with the global space economy.

New Zealand Space Economy Report Highlights

  • Direct contribution of the space economy to New Zealand GDP in 2018/19 was $897 million, representing a value-added share of 51 per cent of total revenue.
  • Indirect contribution of the space economy to the New Zealand economy in 2018/19 was $789 million.
  • Space directly supports an estimated 5,000 full-time equivalent roles (FTEs). Total employment (including indirect effects) is 12,000 FTE jobs.
  • The total estimated revenue of the space economy was $1.75 billion in 2018-19, representing 0.27 per cent of global space economy revenues.
  • By sector, this revenue is broken down as follows:
    • 14 per cent – Space Manufacturing
    • 8.6 per cent – Space Operations
    • 57.5 per cent – Space Applications
    • 12.6 per cent – Ancillary Services
    • 6.8 per cent – Research and Development
    • 0.5 per cent – Government
  • The New Zealand space economy largely consists of small, new businesses.

The most commonly reported turnover range of an organisation in New Zealand’s space economy was $200,000 to less than $2 million. The most commonly reported full-time equivalent (FTE) range was 1-19 employees.

  • However, there are some well-established companies earning significant revenue. Survey data shows there are 14 companies earning more than $10 million per annum and 16 companies employing more than 200 employees. There were eight respondents that identified as being part of a large multinational organisation.