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New space prizes announced

Hibiscus Coast App

Staff Reporter

08 July 2024, 8:15 PM

New space prizes announcedEncouraging innovation and young talent

Hibiscus Coast space enthusiasts have reason to celebrate as the government launches the inaugural Prime Minister’s Space Prizes.

Announced by Space Minister Judith Collins, these awards aim to recognise and encourage innovation within New Zealand’s burgeoning space sector.

Minister Collins highlighted the importance of celebrating the high-calibre individuals contributing to the sector's success.

“These outstanding achievements will be recognised by an award for professionals which carries a $100,000 prize,” Collins stated.

"It is crucial to celebrate the people who are making an impact now and to inspire the next generation.”

The prizes include an annual award for professionals, with a substantial $100,000 prize, and a youth-focused award for students in Years 12 and 13.

The student prize, worth $50,000 towards tertiary education, also offers a unique opportunity to visit Rocket Lab’s facilities in both New Zealand and the United States.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon expressed excitement about the initiative, emphasising New Zealand’s growing reputation in space missions and research.

“These prizes will showcase the high calibre individuals working in our space sector now who have greatly contributed to its success,” Luxon said.

Collins added that fostering young talent is essential for the sector's future growth.

“Encouraging our young people to aim high and develop their talents is essential in helping us maintain the momentum and grow the local talent needed for our space sector to thrive in the future,” she said.