Space vehicle launches

Material jettisoned from a launch of a space vehicle can be deposited on the seabed, if you follow certain rules.

This activity is regulated under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects - Permitted Activities) Regulation 2013.

We encourage you to contact us well in advance of any planned space launch to find out about the rules and how to follow them.

Sticking to the rules Plus

Under Regulation 8A you don’t need a marine consent to deposit jettisoned material onto the seabed of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf, so long as you and your launch plans comply with certain conditions.

These include only depositing debris in the authorised zones, while avoiding closed seamounts, as well as not exceeding the set frequency and maximum number of launches.

There are also pre- and post-activity requirements you must follow. These are set out in Schedule 4A of the regulations. Pre-activity requirements include providing us with certain information no later than 10 working days before the planned launch. Post-activity requirements include reporting to us no later than five working days after the space vehicle launch, and also providing a post-activity report either quarterly or after 10 consecutive launches, whichever happens first.

To find out more about the requirements visit the New Zealand Legislation website and search for the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects - Permitted Activities) Regulations 2013. A link to the website is provided at the bottom of this page.

This map shows the exclusion areas within the Exclusive Economic Zone; one zone in grey on the West Coast with two red lines delineating the boundaries, and multiple zones represented by orange boxes scattered around the Exclusive Economic Zone. Jettisoned rocket material is not permitted to land anywhere within the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) outer limit, as represented by the orange line.

Map of closed seamounts

Forms and submission Plus

We have created three forms to help you meet your legal notification and reporting requirements. These have been provided below. You can choose to use these, or you can email us the required information instead.

We prefer all forms and reports to be submitted electronically. The email to which you attach your forms and reports must include details of the person undertaking the activity ('the operator'), the name of the person supplying the completed form(s) or reports, and a statement that the person is authorised to supply these on behalf of the operator. You can email them to:  

If you prefer to submit your forms or reports by mail you can send a hard copy forms to the Environmental Protection Authority, Private Bag 63002, Wellington 6140.

Space vehicle launch - pre-activity Notice (docx 0.2MB)

Space vehicle launch - post-activity Notice One (docx 1MB)

Space vehicle launch - post-activity Notice Two (docx 1MB)

We want to make sure people know the rules, and follow them. If you want further information or help with this, get in touch with us.