News and events

We’ll be updating the latest news and information on the Our Land and Water Challenge as we make progress on our three themes, and work alongside our community to share our activities.

 

NZ Geographic August feature - Troubled Waters

 

NZ Geographic article - Our scientists explain the new swimmability guidelines

 

TVNZ Seven Sharp story - Our Challenge, our people, taking the water shortage seriously

 

Check out the Our Land and Water online news hub

 

Click here to read our latest newsletter

 

 

Our Land and Water — Key Dates

1 December, 2017

Our Land and Water Latest News Update released

In this issue we give you our Chief Scientist update, we highlight one of our research papers’ that was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Quality and we share some of the stories that the Challenge has featured in in recent media.

December 2017 - Newsletter
22 February, 2018

Future Challenge Research and Funding Roadshow - Nelson

Challenge Director, Ken Taylor and Chief Scientist, Rich McDowell, are hitting the road to discuss the future direction of Challenge science and Tranche Two funding

The format for these discussions includes a presentation and discussion from Challenge leadership followed by short presentations from participants on research ideas that could be Challenge funded

RSVP for Nelson roadshow
1 March, 2018

Future Challenge Research and Funding Roadshow - Auckland

Challenge Director, Ken Taylor and Chief Scientist, Rich McDowell, are hitting the road to discuss the future direction of Challenge science and Tranche Two funding

The format for these discussions includes a presentation and discussion from Challenge leadership followed by short presentations from participants on research ideas that could be Challenge funded

RSVP for Auckland roadshow
4-5 April, 2018

Our Land and Water Symposium 2018

Our Land and Water invites you to our 2018 symposium - The Way Forward, Te Arā Whakamua.

The symposium will be held on Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th of April in Wellington.

This event provides an opportunity for us all to discuss the key results from the Challenge so far and to think ahead about what land and water science we should do in the future.

RSVP for the Our Land and Water 2018 Symposium

MEDIA RELEASE - Our Land and Water National Science Challenge launched.

Our Land and Water National Science Challenge launched.

Enhancing New Zealand’s primary sector economic contributions while improving our environment is the aim of the newest National Science Challenge, Our Land and Water – Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai.

The Challenge, the largest of the 11, was officially launched by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce in Wellington last night [26th January]. It is hosted by AgResearch and brings together researchers from all seven crown research institutes and four universities. Funding for the Challenge is nearly $100 million over 10 years. This will be supported by additional co-funding of up to $130 million from the crown research institutes.

“It’s a truly auspicious day,” says Dr Paul Reynolds, the interim board chair. “The primary sectors underpin the country’s economy and it has never been more urgent to provide research solutions that enhance productivity whilst maintaining and improving the environmental values on which farming, as well as society, depend.”

He says researchers have worked extensively with farmers, growers and foresters, environmental managers and Māori to co-develop a programme to meet the Challenge’s objective. The Challenge has four research themes: Innovative, resilient land and water use; Collaborative capacity; Greater value in global markets; and Operating at the Nexus.

The Challenge is hosted by AgResearch, and its research partners are University of Auckland, ESR, GNS Science, Landcare Research, Lincoln Agritech, Lincoln University, Massey University, NIWA, Plant & Food Research, Scion, and University of Waikato.

“The Challenge has been influenced by and will build on the good work already done by the Land and Water Forum. We have close links with several of the other Challenges, in particular Biological Heritage which focuses on our native biodiversity, biosecurity, and resilience to harmful organisms. Together we will be working to accelerate science for the betterment of our land and water and the next generation.”

Dr Reynolds announced the first two official Challenge appointments: Ken Taylor as permanent Challenge director and Professor Richard McDowell as Chief Scientist.

“Mr Taylor is currently the Director of the Science Group at Environment Canterbury, and chairs a reference group of the Land and Water Forum, and is ideally placed to lead the Challenge.”

Professor McDowell has been the Interim Chief Scientist, and is a Principal Scientist at AgResearch and Professor of Soil and Water Quality at Lincoln University.

“His special interest in providing options and tools to mitigate water quality contamination while maintaining profitable primary production enterprises will be invaluable to the Challenge,” says Dr Reynolds.
AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Tom Richardson says it is a privilege for AgResearch to host the Challenge and lead its establishment.

“This has been a huge combined effort to date, with more than 50 stakeholder organisations involved. The Challenge team has already determined there are 350 research projects contributing towards the Challenge outcome. The research plan for the Challenge has focussed on filling the gaps.

“In addition to the new government funding, the Challenge has the mandate to act as the integrator and influencer for all of the research projects in this area. I think this is where the most value will be created for New Zealand.

“The launch marks, in Winston Churchill’s words, the end of the beginning. The way ahead and the opportunity for transformational science for the benefit of all of us is very exciting,” says Dr Richardson.

Announcements on the first projects funded by the Challenge are expected in May.

 

The Challenge science

Initial research under consideration:

  • Determine how to achieve greater value from global markets – designing production systems that meet both international consumers and local community needs.
  • Identify next generation primary production systems - opportunities to change the face of farming
  • Use natural and enhanced resistance to land use pressures in soils and waters to meet community values and guide land use suitability decisions
  • Determining land use suitability to enable more productive land use
  • Determine the role of collaboration in transforming management of land and water
  • Develop an integrated set of economic, environmental social and cultural indicators to support enhanced primary sector performance
  • Develop a mātauranga-centred framework to assist land and water utilisation and community engagement

 

Media contact: Sarah Fraser,
National Manager Corporate Communications, AgResearch.
Tel 021 609 703 / 07 834 6620
www.ourlandandwater.nz
@ourlandandwater

Contestable Funding Request for Proposals 2016

Our Land and Water Videos

 

Challenge partners