Four Kiwi students score NASA internships

Four Kiwi students have been selected for NASA internships under a new agreement between the space administration and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The four, who received the award at the ceremony in the Beehive, were selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants.

The standard of applications demonstrated the "high quality of New Zealand's tertiary education", Economic Development Minister David Parker said.

Parker said one goal of the scholarship was to support the country's high-achieving students in space-related activities.

"This Government is committed to building an innovative and disruptive space industry in New Zealand," he explained.

The four selected were Rosemary Swears and Steven McCabe from the University of Waikato, Hammond Pearce from the University of Auckland, and Andrew Alder from the University of Boulder in Colorado - previously from the University of Auckland.

"I'm pleased this vision includes supporting students like Rose, Steve, Andrew and Hammond as they pursue their research in space-related fields at the highest levels," Parker said.

The Government says the scholarships are part of a pilot. An assessment will be made at the end of the year whether they will be continued.

US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown previously said he's "very excited" by the opportunity for Kiwi students to work with leading NASA researchers.

"Working on the US-New Zealand relationship is one of the best jobs in the universe, and this agreement shows why," he said.