Debate in Parliament on the bill to help Rocket Lab launch was taken out of this world by Labour MP David Clark this afternoon when he read out the lyrics of Elton John's hit song Rocket Man.
Mr Clark was having a tongue-in-cheek dig at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce's enthusiasm for Rocket Lab and its launch site, on the Mahia Peninsula.
During debate on the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Bill, Mr Clark adopted a formal tone as he read out the lyrics of Rocket Man which was composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and released in 1972.
"I'm not the man they think I am at home. Oh, no, no, no, I'm a rocket man. Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone. Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids," Mr Clark read.
He then claimed it was a "modest poem penned recently by our very own parliamentarian Steven Joyce during one of his many visits to the Rocket Lab launch site".
"It's often said these days in Mahia that Steven Joyce is seen there more often than John Key outside Richie McCaw's dressing room. That is how central it is to his programme. And I take my hat off to him," Mr Clark said.
"Steven Joyce is absolutely critical to Rocket Lab's success," he said, citing "media reports".
The Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Bill establishes a regulatory regime to govern space launches, including both launch vehicles and payloads such as satellites, from New Zealand and by New Zealand nationals operating overseas.
It also provides a legal framework for high-altitude activities that originate from New Zealand.
Both National and Labour support Rocket Lab's plans, with New Zealand having to sign a number of international treaties and laws still needing to be passed domestically.