Our Land and Water is dedicated and designed to break new ground in areas of science that are crucial to New Zealand’s future. In our case, this means, tackling the biggest science-based issues and opportunities facing our country in the area of primary production, and the complex relationship it has with our precious land and water resources. 

A fundamental driver in the Challenge is the importance of Māori playing a more active role in the sustainable management and economic development of our land and water resources. This takes shape in a vision mātauranga strategy that is woven into our Challenge’s research programmes. The Challenge has three Māori research programmes which respond directly to vision mātauranga in its fullest extent; Mauri Whenua Ora, Communicating Kaitiakitanga and Toitu te Whenua - Toitu te Koira - Toitu te Tikanga.

Successful collaboration is at the heart of the Challenge. Only through collaboration will we create a New Zealand environment we can all be proud of. The Challenge involves science, innovators, producers and communities working together. One of the Challenge research themes Collaborative Capacity focusses on the best processes and methods to enact change via an increase in understanding of collaboration and collaboration itself.

Our Land and Water provides an opportunity for collaboration between the best teams and researchers from universities and other academic institutions, Crown Research Institutes, businesses and non-government organisations to create sustainable and long-term research plans, activities and solutions together. We have brought together the best team for the job to deliver our aim. 

There are fourteen partners in our Challenge including our host AgResearch: Cawthron Institute, ESR, GNS Science, Landcare Research, Lincoln Agritech, Lincoln University, Massey University, NIWA, Plant & Food Research, SCION, University of Auckland, University of Otago and University of Waikato. These fourteen organisations are represented in the Challenge in the Challenge Parties Group which meet with the Challenge Directorate quarterly.