Wairoa accommodation providers have mixed views on how future rocket launches from Mahia Peninsula will benefit their sector.

Rocket Lab have begun a 10-day test window during which they will attempt to launch their rocket Electron from Mahia Peninsula into space. The past two launches have been delayed because of weather conditions.

In Wairoa accommodation providers are close to fully booked, however few bookings are thought to be related to the testing phase.

Several guests at Wairoa Motel were thought to be there to catch a glimpse of the launch.


Owner Reuben Wilson said this was the second night in a row his 11-room motel had been fully booked, with at least four people expressing an interest in viewing the launch.

"One of the reasons I bought the business here was I thought it [Rocket Lab] might increase visitor numbers into the town," said Mr Wilson, who has owned the motel for six months.

Although his motel was not packed with eager rocket spectators for the testing phase, he thought more visitors might travel to Wairoa for the commercial phase - when the launch times were thought to be more set.

"It might take off, it might not," he said.

However his optimism was not shared on the other side of Wairoa, where Vista Motor Lodge owner Peter Nash said he felt Rocket Lab's presence would not increase visitor numbers.

Yesterday he was fully booked, but no guests were there for the tests. He felt the unreliable timing of the launches during this phase would deter people from visiting.

And while launch timing during the commercial phase is thought to be more widely announced, he said the past two days had shown how easily the weather could change the company's launch plans.

Launches planned for the past two days were called off because of unfavourable weather - firstly high winds, and then atmospheric conditions.


"I'm in the business of selling rooms, not holding them," Mr Nash said.

He thought those most likely to travel to the site for launches would be tourists using campervans.