Watch Infrastructure Minister Megan Woods speak to reporters here (courtesy of NZ Herald):
The government is pledging $5.4 million to help build runway and hangar facilities at Kaitorete on Banks Peninsula to support the aerospace industry.
Infrastructure Minister Megan Woods announced the move in Christchurch on Tuesday, saying it would allow Tāwhaki Joint Venture to immediately look at scaling up the site.
Tāwhaki is also putting $700,000 towards the project, which includes a 1km sealed runway, and hangar facilities allowing "new crafts and companies from here and abroad to take flight and gain access to space".
It said Dawn Aerospace was looking to use the new runway for horizontal launch of its MK-II Aurora spaceplane.
The total cost of the project comes to about $6.1m.
Woods said Tāwhaki had predicted the development would contribute to more than 1300 high-skilled jobs and up to $2.4 billion in economic benefits.
"Without this investment, there is risk that some flagship aerospace companies would move offshore. We want this sector to continue to thrive here, directly benefitting the local community in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand economy," she said.
Tāwhaki is a partnership between the Crown and Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Wairewa Rūnanga set up in 2021, owning the 1000ha of land that makes up the Kaitorete site about 50 minutes drive from Christchurch CBD.
The current facility at Kaitorete is being used by local companies including Kea Aerospace, Aerosearch and Swoop Aero, as well as the University of Canterbury.