Tawapata South Incorporation's Onenui Station has been gone from a struggling lamb and beef operation, to a big player in the space nation. Its multi-million dollar deal with Rocketlab in Auckland will see satellites launched into space from their farm.
When Rocketlab came calling with a quantum opportunity, Tawapata South Incorporation couldn't turn it down.
George Mackey from Tawapata South Incorporation says, "When you're struggling away for so long running a sheep and beef farm and you're looking for alternatives to have something like this come along, it's pretty exciting."
Established in the 1950s, the incorporation knew it needed to diversify so it's signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with Rocketlab.
Mackey says, "It's not costing us anything so this is probably one major advantage to us, Rocketlab has come on with a significant initiative and project and it hasn't cost us anything yet."
The deal got the go-ahead from its 1700 shareholders after the deal included protection of the environment and cultural sites first.
"I hope that we can become role models like Miraka have and other Māori entities that have just gone out there and broken boundaries and hopefully we can be the same for our other Māori incorporations to see you can just go out there and do it and don't be afraid to do it," adds Mackey.
There is no shortage of demand for the space race, with monthly launches booked out for the next two years already, as they now look to 2019 and 2020.