Advancing Aerospace Christchurch Report

Updated: Aug 3

The purpose of the report is to present a validated strategy to address the question; how can Christchurch create a competitive advantage in the highly advanced and sophisticated global aerospace sector, and to achieve its vision to be a New Zealand Aerospace Hub by 2025.

Research and Analysis
A tailored approach to research was undertaken, including a facilitated stakeholder workshop with a focus on testbed capability requirements, opportunities and challenges for the advancement of Christchurch and New Zealand. For the purposes of market validation, access, sector organisation and global recruitment, this report draws heavily on the insights and contributions derived from more than 50 interviews – conducted across national and international industry, academia and government organisations. Additionally, a survey to ascertain the needs of existing industry was carried out. These findings will assist in the design of the MVP testbed, the identification of success barriers and the probable outcome if aerospace pioneers are not supported by the region and government. Central to the work undertaken was to reflect the views of industry, and present the opportunity and recommended pathway for Christchurch to participate fully in the global landscape.

This report is intended to validate and extend the Christchurch Aerospace Sector Plan presented by Deloitte in late 2019, and is positioned as follows:


Click here for the Christchurch Aerospace Sector Plan and the Executive Summary.

Organising for Competitiveness – Commercial Aerospace Cluster
A strong theme emerged from the research regarding the lack of cohesion, organisation and strategic direction, particularly for the New Zealand sector. Using the examples provided from a global sector benchmarking analysis and case studies featuring Luxembourg and Belgium, the report recommends that a national and regional industry-based cluster/s are established, with the purpose of laying foundations to create long-term sustainable competitiveness.

The following four strategic growth pillars provide a framework to organise and advance the entire aerospace ecosystem, with the cluster being the mechanism to address the needs and challenges of each pillar.

1. Accelerate the startup sector

2. Source users for existing sector capacity

3. Maximise industry export participants

4. Attract overseas investment

Delivering Christchurch’s Beachhead and Niche Value Proposition
The delivery of a world-class testbed is being positioned with key stakeholders as the beachhead to advance the regions aerospace ecosystem. Central to this initiative is the creation of a value proposition for Christchurch that enables aerospace companies who develop satellites, launch systems and aerial vehicles to create their own sustainable competitive advantage – Christchurch then becomes the ‘maximiser’ of their success. The research highlighted a number of fundamental challenges for industry, which currently undermine the delivery of Christchurch’s future value proposition.

Final recommendations address the challenges drawn from the research to assist Aerospace Christchurch to achieve their vision:

  1. Design and launch of the commercial cluster for the Christchurch and New Zealand aerospace sectors.
  2. The development and release of Aerospace Christchurch’s strategy to communicate key sector objectives and the plan to achieve these.
  3. A validated model to develop deep sector capability and collaboration.
  4. Key business development and marketing initiatives for business attraction and global recruitment.
  5. Christchurch’s beachhead development phases to address current sector challenges including the MVP for launch startups.

The “Advancing Aerospace Christchurch Report” was completed in May 2020 and was written by Anna Powell.