The Commissioner is urging the Government to reconsider the way it funds environmental research in New Zealand.
New Zealand's current public investment in environmental research is fragmented and funding for New Zealand’s environmental collections and databases has been inadequate. This makes it harder to respond appropriately and in a timely fashion to the many environmental challenges New Zealand faces.
This report examines how public funds are invested in environmental research in New Zealand, and calls for an environmental research strategy to be developed by the Ministry for the Environment, and dedicated, long-term funding for environmental research to be ringfenced. The Commissioner proposes two models for disbursing the research funds, one of which would involve the establishment of a dedicated Environmental Research Council. Under both models, funds would be allocated by people with an understanding of what environmental research entails and the expertise to see that there is a clear line of sight with the national environmental strategy. In addition, mātauranga Māori would be integrated in a way that allows both mātauranga and science to prosper.