Minister for Economic Development Stuart Nash, who has veto power over any space launch from New Zealand soil, gave it the go-ahead.
“Unfortunately our outer space legislation has so many gaps and grey areas foreign military powers are literally launching rockets through it,” Green MP Teanau Tuiono said in June. Auckland Peace Action claimed the satellite – and others Rocket Lab has put into orbit – could be used for “communications with troops, surveillance and reconnaissance, intercepting information or spying, and targeting weapons, like drones, bombs, and also nuclear weapons”.
It’s against New Zealand law to help “any person to manufacture, acquire, possess, or have control over any nuclear explosive device”, and any launch has to be in New Zealand’s national interest – what that means exactly is left to the Minister for Economic Development.
Cabinet says payloads with the “intended end use of harming, interfering with, or destroying other spacecraft, or space systems on Earth” are banned, as are those “with the intended end use of supporting or enabling specific defence, security or intelligence operations that are contrary to Government policy” or likely to cause “serious or irreversible harm to the environment”.
New Zealand is part of the ‘Five Eyes’ surveillance network with the US.
This Article firstly Publish on www.newshub.co.nz