Locals who helped construct the world's first private orbital launch station have benefited from the presence of Rocket Lab on Mahia Peninsula.

Ground was broken on the Onenui Station site in December last year, and staff, including local contractors, were recruited for site works including a concrete pad, a launch tower for the carbon composite rocket, and a hangar.

Where possible, the company had tried to use local contractors, which Wairoa mayor Craig Little said had been of huge benefit for local residents.

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said he hoped this was the case.


"We've certainly really enjoyed their local contractors," he said.

Although Mr Beck said local employees had had to come to the Onenui Station site in wet weather, they had done so with immense pride.

"You won't fault any of the workmanship ... we're really, really pleased," he said.

The remote site might have presented challenges, but Mr Beck said it was a positive that locals knew the land and the community.

One of these contractors had been Quality Roading and Services from Wairoa.

Chief executive officer Mark Browne said the one-off job meant they had around 10 to 15 staff working at the site permanently for around six months.

This began earlier in the year, when the company was given a week to lay the site's integral foundations.

"Rocket Lab signed for [the site] on the Saturday and they wanted the floor done by the following Saturday," he said. "We hadn't even ordered the steel."

After the necessary due diligence, Mr Browne said they had "every concrete truck from Gisborne and Wairoa" at the site - completing the concrete foundation of the hangar, and launch pad, in only nine days.

The company then began work on improving 3.5km of road to the tip of the peninsula. The existing road had been a "rough farm track", but now needed to be safe enough for the trucks and heavy machinery travelling to the site.

The contract with Rocket Lab had benefited the company immensely, he said.

"It's a one-off job and within that year made a substantive difference to QRS and hopefully it will into the future as well," he said, adding they were just one of several businesses benefiting from Rocket Lab's presence in northern Hawke's Bay.

"The potential here is astronomical, I don't think we realised the actual potential we are going to get as a country and for the East Coast," he said.

Another company was Short Contracting, whose "big job" was securing the site.

Over two months, principal Nick Short said their team had installed nearly a kilometre of security fencing and gates at the launch site and nearby control centre.

The job came with some different challenges for the Gisborne company.

"It was a remote location, and there were extreme conditions of weather," he said. "It'd be boiling hot one day, then there'd be wind going up to 130km/h."

Despite what would one day happen at the site, Mr Short said it was really just another job.

"It was a benefit for us," he said, "and every job always leads to another."

More locals could benefit if the Wairoa District Council is successful in their bid for Rocket Lab to base a facility for the manufacture and maintenance of their vehicles in the district.

This week, Mr Beck said they were currently focused on the testing phase of the programme, and would decide where the facility would be located after that.

However, if placed in Wairoa, this could benefit the town's businesses - who so far have not been impacted as much by the launch site.

On Wairoa's Marine Parade, Jason Clough of JC Electronics said he had done a few jobs as spin-off's from the complex - mostly involving security.

While he did not think businesses in town had benefited much from Rocket Lab's presence yet, he thought they would when launches began, with more people visiting the district.

Angie Whitworth of Upstream Wairoa - a group which promotes business in the district - agreed.

She said Rocket Lab had not impacted businesses in the CBD much, but there were possibilities for new opportunities.

"Anything in Wairoa that uplifts employment and helps to grow the town is a positive for any business owner," she said.

As tourism around the launches developed, she thought there would be opportunities for people to grow their businesses.

"There's certainly scope for more and new ideas around tourism, for people to take advantage of these numbers as they start to visit Wairoa," she said.

Business Hawke's Bay CEO Susan White said now construction on the complex had been completed, tourism would be the key opportunity for businesses going forward.

"There might be other things that come from [the complex], but it's in its infancy," she said. "The challenge is balancing the juxtaposition from a traditional industry of tourism, and a new one."