Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Bill passes into law

  • Simon Bridges
Economic Development

The Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Bill has passed its third and final reading.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says it marks a new phase in the development of a safe, responsible and secure space industry in New Zealand.

“It’s vital we provide a regulatory framework for the space industry which encourages innovation and industry development, while ensuring all activities are run safely and securely,” Mr Bridges says.

“The Bill is informed by international best practice and aims to meet the future requirements of this emerging industry.

“Considerable thought has gone into ensuring that the Bill is flexible enough to accommodate rapid advances in space technologies, space applications and related market demand. For example, the regime covers a range of activities conducted at high-altitudes such as super-pressure balloons.

“This is a key part of the regime as developments in technology have meant that high-altitude vehicles can now undertake similar functions to satellites.  Getting the provisions in the Bill to enable New Zealand to manage these activities appropriately has been a key part of this legislation.

“The Bill also seeks to minimise compliance costs for operators. One example of this is the enabling of overseas licences to satisfy New Zealand’s requirements. This will help position New Zealand as an internationally competitive location for space activities.

“I firmly believe the new law strikes a balance between encouraging space activity while minimising risks to public safety, national security and the environment,” Mr Bridges says.

The Bill will come into force on 21 December 2017.