Recently we held our inaugural New Zealand Aerospace Summit at Te Pae in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The event brought together individuals from every walk of Aerospace, to showcase some of the latest and greatest innovations happening right here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Some of our keynote speakers included Deputy Director of NASA, Pamela Melroy, and Peter Beck from Rocket Lab, and in addition to keynote speakers, we also hosted a number of panel discussions spanning everything from Women in Space to Aerospace and High-Altitude Policy. Be sure to check out the post-event recap video here!


The New Zealand Aerospace Summit was the very first of its kind, being the first Aerospace Summit held here in Aotearoa New Zealand. With over 300 attendees, from startups, businesses, individuals and passionate students, it’s clear to see that the Aerospace Sector is already taking off. In addition to our already jam-packed lineup of speakers and panels, we included a unique chance for a showcase of Aerospace in New Zealand, through an exhibition room, with actual prototypes from Wisk, Dawn Aerospace, Pyper Vision and Kea Aerospace.

The event opened with a Mihi Whakatau, and speeches from Mayor Dalziel, Kea Aerospace CEO Mark Rocket and NASA Deputy Director Pamela Melroy.

I’m so personally thrilled to be speaking to the New Zealand Space Community because you WILL be a critical part of the future

NASA Deputy Director Pamela Melroy on the Aerospace Industry in Aotearoa New Zealand
NASA Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy speaking to the NZAS

Following the Deputy Director Pamela Melroy’s speech, our second keynote speaker, Peter Beck, CEO and Founder of Rocket Lab delivered another powerful speech on the opportunities that the Aerospace Sector represents, not only to the economy, but also to further humanities reach to the stars. He mentioned a number of projects that Rocket Lab were working on, including a brand new rocket called ‘Neutron,’ but also highlighted the achievements made so far, including the establishment of the Launch Complex on the Mahia Peninsula.

‘I think New Zealand has a huge opportunity in the Space Industry, and if you look across other nations, quite frankly a lot of them look across to New Zealand in absolute admiration’

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck on Leaders in the Space industry
Minister Nash announcing the Government plan for Aerospace

Following various engaging panels were Minister Nash and Minister Verrall, announcing a brand new Government funding plan for the sector. Minister Nash mentioning ‘Christchurch IS a hub of Aerospace,’ and backing up his support of the sector announcing ‘The Government is pursuing a range of measures to support economic growth, including 8 industry transformation plans that set out a joint path for sectors and the government to grow priority areas of the economy.’

‘The Aerospace Sector is a prime example of the type of innovative high value, R&D intensive industry that can deliver on these goals’

Minister Nash on growing Priority Areas of the Economy
Minister Nash and Minister Verrall with President of Aerospace Christchurch, and Kea Aerospace CEO Mark Rocket

But fear not, the summit was not all speeches and panels, with two networking, and food breaks on the day, and a further post-summit networking drinks event. In addition to the breaks, we put on a number of truly ‘out of this world’ performances, with breakdancing Stormtroopers, alongside a band playing the Star Wars theme, and a performance of David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ and ‘Space Oddity.’ Furthermore reinforcing the importance of Matariki, a performance in a Harakeke was presented. The Harakeke weave symbolizing the gathering of people, the weave of community, culture, past, present and future.

The Harakeke Dress Performance

We look forward to hosting our Aerospace Whānau again next year, with a bigger and better summit next year!