Widening the permitted area for deposits of debris from space vehicle launches in New Zealand

Date:  23 May 2018

IMAGE: Kieran Fanning, Rocket Lab

Space vehicle launches are expected to result in the deposit of some material on the seabed in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf.

The area in which the activity was previously managed as a permitted activity has been extended to the north, east, and south off the coast of New Zealand in the EEZ and extended continental shelf, under new regulations.

The work falls within amendments to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects—Permitted Activities) regulations, after public consultation closed in September 2017.

Rocket Lab, the only licensed commercial operator in New Zealand, is preparing to launch a rocket off Mahia Peninsula in the East Coast using the new areas set out in the regulations.

The expansion of the area for allowed deposits of space vehicle debris is an extension of the work done in 2016 - you can find out more background about this project on our website.