Possibly Hawke's Bay's most forward-thinking business resident - the US-based Rocket Lab - set up a rocket launch facility in Mahia, in part, due to the region's ability to 'get things done' and founder Peter Beck sees more opportunities ahead for the region.

"I think there's a massive opportunity for tourism in the region. The real opportunity for the region is space tourism. There are large numbers of people who travel the world watching rocket launches and I think there is a real opportunity to leverage the natural beauty of the region as well.

"Generally, when you go to a launch site, it's a desert or like Cape Canaveral, there's alligators and you can't get very close. So there is a real opportunity here for the region to capitalise on the space tourism that will come."

That would also lead to the creation of more infrastructure in the region and future marketing opportunities.


"I think New Zealand is a good place, though there are challenges. We struggle to hire enough people to feed the business - we hire four to five new people every week. So, there's advantages and disadvantages of having significant operations in New Zealand.

"The country is stable which is excellent and that certainly helps."