Covid-19

Rocket man: Don’t waste the crisis.

WATCH: Belinda Henley speaks to the founder of Rocket Lab, Peter Beck, who is in lockdown with his family in Auckland.

In the second of our video interviews with prominent New Zealanders, Belinda Henley asks Peter Beck for his thoughts on how New Zealand can rebuild after the current crisis.

Rocket Lab is now headquartered in Long Beach, California but its rockets carrying satellites into space are launched from the Mahia Peninsula, on the East Coast between Gisborne and Napier.

“Usually, I am in the US every two weeks and my life is very fast. For me, it’s [lockdown] been a real privilege to spend much more time with the kids,” says Beck.

One lesson he’s taken from the enforced confinement in Auckland is that he doesn’t need to travel as much, he’s getting the work done via video link.

“The day rolls from one Zoom meeting to the next Zoom meeting and you lose track of all  time.”

Beck believes New Zealand can emerge from the crisis better than other countries because of our unique nature.

“We are self-isolated by geography and New Zealanders are robust and pragmatic….Kiwis just get on with it. Number 8 wire, I really hate that term. I call it ingenuity and I think New Zealanders have a high level of ingenuity and the ability to adapt and use resources to come up with solutions.”

Beck subscribes to the theory of “never waste a good crisis”. He says the “hard reset” is a major opportunity for industries to take stock.

“What does tourism look like look like for New Zealand [now]? Maybe we can recalibrate to a high-end market”

Beck says he doesn’t expect the crisis to have much of an impact on his own company.

“ We are a critical part of global infrastructure.”

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