Rocket company in talks with iwi

7:08 am on 15 July 2015

A space company is in talks with South Island iwi over its plans to build a launch site for rockets.

Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck.

Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck (file) Photo: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab has applied for resource consents to build a site on Kaitōrete Spit in Canterbury.

The organisation has been in contact with three iwi groups, including Ngāi Tahu, about the proposal.

The Kaitōrete Spit is considered a site of cultural importance to Māori and was once a crucial thoroughfare for those travelling from Horomaka to settlements such as Kaiapoi and Kaikōura.

I think this is where the launch pad is?

Photo: SUPPLIED / Google

A spokesperson for Rocket Lab said it wanted to take iwi views on board.

The company aims to get satellites into space and estimates the facility would be able to launch 100 times a year, at a cost of about $5 million.

Rocket Lab said launching in Canterbury would be much cheaper than in the United States.