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Rocket Lab planning all go at Mahia

Satellite-launching company Rocket Lab has succeeded in gaining resource consent to establish a satellite launch site at Onenui Station, Mahia.

Wairoa District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have both granted consent for the Auckland-based company to begin developing the local site.

Council chief executive Fergus Power said it was the first step in an exciting journey for the Wairoa community. This was an important milestone for Wairoa and would be certain to provide positive aspects for the community, such as employment.

Mr Power said the consent included details surrounding environmental effects and other potential disturbances like noise.

Rocket Lab’s environmental footprint was tiny, which gave them a “competitive advantage”.

To begin the necessary buildings for the launch site, regulatory manager Helen Montgomery said Rocket Lab would need to apply for building consent, or an exemption for building works.

The council has not yet received these consent applications.

Launch site manager wantedMeanwhile, Rocket Lab is looking for someone with strong leadership skills and motivation to join its team.

Rocket Lab are on the lookout to locally hire for the position of launch site manager as the first of a number of roles they will look to fill.

The company is looking for someone who has the willingness to take on a huge level of responsibility and the ability to build excellent relationships with the community.

The role will involve the management of day-to-day operations for the site, handling logistical requirements critical to a quick turnaround and regular launches.

Rocket Lab’s detailed job description states it is a “vital operational role which is pivotal to Rocket Lab’s ongoing success”.

The description states the first “major challenge” the role will encounter would be the build and commissioning phase of the launch range, utilising strong site and project management skills with extensive knowledge and connections with Mahia sub-contractors and suppliers, to ensure every step of the process can be managed efficiently.

Rocket Lab highlights the importance of this role, stating “the difference with this project compared to other construction projects is it will be an opportunity to manage the facility once it is completed — this is truly an end-to-end project”.

The minimum requirements for the role include five or more years as a site or project manager, five or more years experience working within an operational, logistics or maintenance environment and being experienced in motivating a team, coupled with leadership skills.

Rocket Lab began the process of scouting the Mahia site in April when they made their first visit to the area.

Artist's impression of launch site.