National Science Challenge

About Science Challenges

Eleven National Science Challenges were created in 2014 to answer some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest science questions. The Challenges bring together the country’s top scientists to work collaboratively across disciplines, institutions and borders to achieve their objectives.

In total they were given just over $680 million by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). This was to fund research from 2014 – 2024, with a review period at the end of ‘Tranche 1’ (2014 – 2019).

New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge was allocated $63.7 million of this to facilitate research and impact in the areas of biosecurity and native biodiversity. We are hosted by the Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, with our offices in Lincoln, just south of Christchurch.

Leading our mahi (work) are Co-Directors Daniel Patrick and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, as well as a dedicated Leadership Group.

You can keep up-to-date by checking out our research programmes or following us on social media.

Follow us on social media

You can keep up-to-date by checking out our research programmes or following us on social media.

Our National Science Challenge Programmes

Inland From Kaikoura

Science Excellence and Impact

Understanding the benefits, challenges and impact of BioHeritage's approach to mission-led research.
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Ferns And Lycophytes

Te Aho Mātauranga

Māori have strong connections to Aotearoa New Zealand's environment, with valuable inter-generational views and belief systems that can underpin decision-making, governance and stewardship.
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Crystal Ball Magic In The Rotorua Redwoods

Crazy & Ambitious Think Tank

Stimulating new ideas, approaches or syntheses that are needed to improve our biological heritage over the longer-term.
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Tūī Launching From A Perch

Ngā Pī Ka Rere – Early Careers Network

The future of our science system, and our country, depends on those who come after us. That’s why BioHeritage is investing in the next generation.
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For May Qr Mataura Falls Web Size

Freshwater for our Taonga

Te Tiriti-led research looking at how we can enable our freshwater taonga to thrive.
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Molecules and atoms 3D structure

Molecular Technologies

Exploring future pathways for protecting our taonga
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He Mātai Rangi And Komene With Matamoe

He Mātai i te Taiao

The perpetual examination of the environment
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So7 Edited

Adaptive Governance and Policy

This investment tackles the ways in which governance and policy need to change to better protect te taiao (the environment).
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Pathways to Ecosystem Regeneration

Our teams are aiming to quantify social-ecological linkages for use in managing, protecting and restoring land and water ecosystems.
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Novel Tools and Strategies

Novel tools, technologies and strategies need to be deployed to eradicate biotic threats.
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Biologicalheritage Newzealand Predatorfree2050

Supporting a Predator Free 2050

Novel tools, technologies and strategies need to be deployed to eradicate biotic threats.
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So5inv Image

Invertebrates

Novel tools, technologies and strategies need to be deployed to eradicate biotic threats.
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State-of-the-art Surveillance

Automation can improve biosecurity surveillance systems
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He Tangata, He Taiao, He Ōhanga

A values-based biosecurity risk assessment framework for Aotearoa.
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Whitebait1

Predicting and Preventing Ecosystem Decline

Researchers are developing a framework to help predict and prevent the approach of rapid, harmful and difficult-to-reverse changes in ecosystems.
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Bioheritage Researchers Catherine Febria And Elizabeth Graham Sample A Degraded Waterway In Lowland Canterbury

Rebuilding Healthy Rivers

Researchers are using freshwater systems as a model to test how degraded ecosystems can be resistant to disruptions – including those that aim to restore…
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