Regulatory policy

New Zealand’s role in space takes center stage at Foreign Policy School

As New Zealand takes its place as a space nation, this year’s Otago Foreign Policy School will address the regulatory, scientific, cultural and security aspects the nation needs to consider when developing its policy. and its spatial framework.

Maria Pozza

The school’s principal, Dr. Maria Pozza, who is also a director and senior attorney at space law firm Gravity Lawyers, says that an increasing amount of activity is taking place in space and that the New Zealand has the potential to become a world leader in low Earth orbit activities.

“The space industry in New Zealand has grown tremendously in recent years and globally its importance is increasing with the increasing commercialization of activities,” she said.

“While some countries have developed their respective space programs on military research and design, the New Zealand space industry is built on a base of commercial space activities, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

“The country is at an important turning point, given both its regulatory infrastructure and its unique position on the planet. However, it does mean that, now more than ever, New Zealand must strive to work with its security partners, and this is especially true when it comes to shaping its own foreign policy.

Alongside New Zealand’s own space programme, Dr Pozza identifies space debris as a growing problem that warrants increased international concern. It further indicates that commercial human space exploration is on the rise, more and more space agencies are being created, and more and more countries are now devoting time to developing their national space laws.

The 56th Otago School of Foreign Policy will include lectures on space cybersecurity, space tourism, culture and the stars, international law and other countries’ space programs.

Each of the speakers is an expert in their field, but Dr Pozza is particularly interested in hearing from Professor Dale Stephens (Director of the University of Adelaide’s Military Law and Ethics Research Unit), Dovilé Matuleviciute ( Luxembourg Space Agency), Emeritus Professor of Astronomy John Hearnshaw (University of Canterbury), Toni Hoeta (Otago Museum) and James Powell (Dawn Aerospace).

There will be over 17 presentations during the School with speakers addressing four key themes:

  • New Zealand’s commercial, defence, security and regulatory positions regarding space activities and development.
  • International relations between New Zealand and other space nations.
  • Challenges and opportunities that technological developments, such as cybersecurity of space assets, may pose.
  • Collaborative scientific developments that take into account the environmental impacts of space activities and the maintenance of cultural heritage.

“The school offers participants the opportunity to expose themselves to a range of ideas and concepts in different disciplines,” says Dr. Pozza.

Registration is now open for the event:

Otago Foreign Policy School 2022: Ascending into space: New Zealand’s role as a space nation

July 1-3, 2022, St Margaret’s College, University of Otago

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