Published date

A major initiative to improve the accuracy of global positioning services was today announced by Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor.

The Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) project is being led by Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Geoscience Australia.

Proposed locations for the SouthPAN uplink centre and GNSS reference stations

Proposed locations for the SouthPAN uplink centre and GNSS reference stations

In a joint media release with the Australian Minister for Resources the Hon Madeleine King, Minister O’Connor said the initiative will be a “game-changer” for the Australasian economy.

Read the joint Australia and New Zealand SouthPAN ministerial media release

The project, which has been years in the making, will refine the accuracy of existing satellite positioning systems. It represents a joint investment of $2 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

Toitū Te Whenua Chief Executive Gaye Searancke says this will make current positioning tools, like GPS, as much as 50 times more accurate than we have now.

“This will improve the safety of our roads, shipping, and air travel. It will also be transformational for any New Zealand sector that depends on accurate and reliable positioning data.”

The first SouthPAN services will be available in just a few weeks and be fully operational by 2028. Once fully operational, SouthPAN will provide benefits such as improving aviation safety by providing more certainty to allow both emergency and domestic flights to operate in poor weather conditions.

Background information

  • SouthPAN is a partnership between Toitū Te Whenua LINZ and Geoscience Australia under the Australia New Zealand Science, Research, and Innovation Cooperation Agreement.
  • SouthPAN will augment satellite positioning services to improve the accuracy and reliability of existing global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). It will improve accuracy for devices capable of receiving a satellite-based positioning signal, unlocking significant benefits for Australasia.
  • The quantified benefits of SouthPAN for New Zealand are estimated at $864m over 20 years. This value will increase as new applications are developed. · LINZ is funding 25 percent of the project and Geoscience Australia 75 percent.

Read the joint Australia and New Zealand SouthPAN ministerial media release

More information

If you are interested in how SouthPAN can benefit your business or organisation, please contact SouthPAN@linz.govt.nz

Please contact Media@linz.govt.nz for media queries.

Media contact

Email: media@linz.govt.nz or phone: 027 566 5251