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Event Reports

56th Otago Foreign Policy School

by Eva Wagner

1 to 3 July 2022 Dunedin/New Zealand

The 56th Otago Foreign Policy School was held in hybrid format with KAS Australia’s support again this year, and was concerned with “New Zealand’s Role as a Space-Faring Nation”.

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The host university explained its choice of topic as follows:


The space industry in New Zealand has grown significantly over the few past years. Unlike its Five Eyes partners that have developed their respective space programmes upon the foundations military research and design within the cold war context, New Zealand’s space industry lays within a foundation of the rapid development of commercial space activities. This presents both opportunities and challenges. Currently, New Zealand sits at an important juncture and has the potential to become a global leader as a premier nation-state for Low Earth Orbit activities given both its regulatory infrastructure and unique positioning on the globe. However, it also means that, now more than ever, New Zealand must turn to its Five Eyes partners for security, especially when shaping its foreign policy, and take-stock of the lessons learned from its partners’ experiences as it to mould its space policy and framework. To a large extent, this means that New Zealand’s space posture needs to account for commercial (regulatory and technological), national (environmental and cultural), and security (national and international) considerations.


Key themes discussed at New Zealand’s premier foreign policy forum include:


New Zealand commercial, defence, security, and regulatory, postures concerning space activities and development

International relations between New Zealand and other space-faring nations

Challenges and opportunities that technological developments, such as cyber security over space assets, may pose

Collaborative scientific developments that consider environmental impacts from space activities


The presentations and lively discussions showed how difficult it can be for lawmakers to keep up with rapidly growing industries, and the need for internationally harmonised rules.


For more information on the 2022 School, please refer to the programme:

Otago Foreign Policy School 2022 programme, Otago Foreign Policy School, University of Otago, New Zealand



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Contact Person

Eva Wagner

Eva Wagner

Senior Programme Coordinator
Rule of Law, Energy and Development Policy +61 2 6154 9323


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