Aerospace Summit protesters claim Rocket Lab has 'unethical and unacceptable' military links

A group of protesters in Christchurch have accused Rocket Lab of lying about their work for the US military, and are demanding better transparency. 

But Rocket Lab fired back at what they believe is misinformation, saying society needs military-enabled satellites like GPS for technology that makes modern life easier, such as air travel, GPS mapping and Tinder.

The protesters were seen beating drums, blowing bubbles and chanting outside the annual New Zealand Aerospace Summit.

A variety of sounds coming from chanting men and women could be heard as police ensured the peaceful protest only disturbed the peace and quiet.

"We're here today to protest outside the Aerospace Summit which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, to protest against the growth of the aerospace industry which is contributing to climate chaos," Auckland Peace Action's Eliana Darroch said.

The 500-plus attendees were unphased as they were entertained.

"The theme today is launching a sustainable future," New Zealand aerospace entrepreneur Mark Rocket said.

"There's a real interest in trying to develop aerospace technologies that benefit humanity, the environment and the planet."

But the protesters are calling for transparency and accusing Rocket Lab of lying. 

"The majority of launches that Rocket Lab have been doing are for military purposes and we think that is unethical and unacceptable," Darroch said.

In a statement Rocket Lab said it does not and will not launch weapons, not only is it the company's commitment, but it's also against New Zealand law. 

Experts say that society is reliant on national security and military satellites for defence purposes and for other aspects of everyday life.

Without space-based systems like GPS, there would be no Tinder, Sky TV, GPS maps, bank transactions and Starlink when our cell phone towers go down in a storm.