Current programmes in the Challenge are researching:

Value Chain - How to achieve greater value from global markets.

This research is developing methods for understanding our international customers’ demands for products from New Zealand’s land and water and aligning those with local community expectations for their environment and wellbeing. The aim is to design production systems that meet both needs. It will also design value chains which will ensure that producers – farmers and growers – have a share of the increased value created through this better alignment.

Integrating Value Chains Programme

Next Generation Solutions - Identifying next generation primary production systems and opportunities to change the face of farming.

This project is aimed at capturing New Zealand’s acknowledged innovation talent, bringing in the knowledge and experience of our leading farmers, growers and foresters to co-design targeted solutions for primary production systems.

This research will systematically analyse, and then further develop (in partnership with landowners, industries and communities especially Māori), future land use mixes and new systems of primary production that will make best possible use of New Zealand’s diverse land resources. Technologies such as drones, precision agriculture, animal and plant genetics, information systems and diverse products will be explored.

Next Generation Systems Programme

Land Use Suitability - Using natural and enhanced resistance to land use pressures in receiving soils and waters to meet community values and guide land use suitability decisions.

Soil and water have natural processes which dilute contaminants. This research will explore how these processes limit the impact of contaminants resulting from land use and reduce their effect on the environment.

Major advances will come from being able to understand these processes and link the soil and water’s responses, resilience and interventions back to land-use and land-management choices, thereby making the consequences of those choices clear and predictable.

Land Use Suitability Programme

Sources and Flows - Determining land use suitability to enable more productive land use.

Having the right action in the right place at the right time is required to unlock the potential of our land and water while minimising the environmental footprint. We want to develop the concept of “land use suitability”. This describes not just the land’s capability to grow a product but takes into account flow-on impacts into soil and waterways, economic, social and cultural outcomes. Identifying pathways of contaminant flow and where in the landscape this flow can be impeded or the impact reduced through natural dilution processes will allow the targeting of critical areas on the land for interventions.

This will help guide decisions on the best use for that land area within the context of the wider landscape and soil and waterways affected. It will also guide investment decisions on the appropriate mix of land use and management practices, and mitigation options to achieve the desired outcomes for the catchment.

Sources and Flows Programme

Collaboration Lab - Determining the role of collaboration in transforming management of land and water.

This research will improve our understanding of how collaboration and co-development of knowledge can be used to design effective collaborative processes and tools for development and implementation of pathways towards achieving water quality limits and other community values. It will use case studies from the best collaboration occurring throughout the country, including how to visualise future pathways using a mixture of science and community knowledge and developing tools that show the impact of the choices that communities will have to make.

It will also build collaborative practice and capacity and, support co-development of within and outside the Challenge.

Collaboration Lab Programme

Mauri Whenua Ora - Developing a mātauranga-centred framework to assist land and water utilisation and community engagement.

Through collaboration of Tai Tokerau land entities, iwi and hapu organisations and multi-disciplinary expertise, we will develop models and frameworks – innovative tools and processes – to guide communities’ innovation aspirations for their land, water and people. As a first of its type, our programme will result in targeted investment, innovative production systems and new market channels, that will enhance Māori agribusiness and align it with community values. The mātauranga from these will inform collaborative processes New Zealand-wide.

Mauri Whenua Ora Programme

These individual proposals work together to share sites, knowledge and Vision Mautauranga. Teams undertaking the research have come from a wide range of organisations and disciplines. Stakeholders are embedded in the research design and implementation, embracing the approach of co-innovation, which will lead to greater uptake of the research.


For more information on our research programmes please follow the links in the diagram below

The Nexus