Strategic Partnerships

Partnerships and collaboration are central to the Challenge way of working – we can only tackle Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest environmental problems by working together.


Our goal is to partner for impact – building relationships that will help us achieve national-scale impacts, or aspirational goals, for Aotearoa New Zealand’s land-and freshwater-based ecosystems. We use a collaborative, innovation system model to work with our partners to achieve this.

BioHeritage is comprised of 18 Challenge Parties who we work closely with to build cross-organisational, inter-disciplinary teams to achieve the Challenge mission. We also work with them to identify and co-ordinate aligned research within their organisations. This inclusive approach breaks down barriers between research organisations and individual scientists, generating synergies that are leading to ground-breaking scientific advances.

In addition, we have many other partnerships that are critical when it comes to protecting Aotearoa’s environment. This includes connections with industry, non-government organisations, hapū, whānau and marae, communities and government agencies.


With the following organisations, we have formal agreements that incorporate investment or sharing expertise.

  • Regional Councils: Biosecurity & biodiversity priorities
  • Ministry for Primary Industries: Biosecurity 2025 Science Plan
  • Flagship sites: Biodiversity, Biosecurity, Industry partnership
  • Ministry for the Environment: Science Strategy and Our Fresh Water 2017
  • Department of Conservation: New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy
  • Primary sector: Primary Sector Science Roadmap
  • Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE):
    Social research and Mātauranga Māori
  • Bio-Protection Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE): Plant biosecurity
  • Genomics Aotearoa: Genetic and genomic tools for pest control
    and biodiversity resilience
  • Better Border Biosecurity (B3): Biosecurity risks, pathway management, surveillance, diagnostics and eradication
  • Te Tira Whakamātaki (The Māori Biosecurity Network):
    Biosecurity management: strengthening the interface between Māori communities and western agencies
  • Predator-Free 2050 Limited: Predator Control
  • Our Land & Water National Science Challenge: Land-water interface
  • Deep South National Science Challenge: Climate change models
  • Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge: Ecosystem resilience
  • Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge:
    Novel biosecurity and pest control tools & technologies
  • Tahuri Whenua (National Māori Vegetable Growers Collective):
    Māori horticultural networks

International partnerships

We’re building high-impact, enduring international partnerships as a way of leveraging international expertise and developing global networks for New Zealand researchers.

We have an International Science Advisory Panel who periodically review and inform our work from an international perspective. This approach has already resulted in new collaborations and opportunities that have the potential to scale-up, and increase research impact in, areas of strategic importance to New Zealand’s environment.

An example of a formal global connection is our partnership with Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd). Focused on advancing gene drive research, the GBIRd consortium has the potential to scale-up efforts to protect island communities and prevent island species extinctions. Read more about this partnership.


All global partnerships are in line with our International Investment Strategy and help us to:

  • assist in delivery of the Challenge objective
  • enhance science quality and excellence
  • leverage international capability and resources in priority areas
  • contribute to global research efforts
  • build the international profile of New Zealand and the BioHeritage Challenge.
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