Challenge to focus on New Zealand’s marine environment

Victoria University of Wellington scientists will play a key role in developing New Zealand’s world-class marine environment as part of the Sustainable Seas Ko Ngā Moana Whakauka National Science Challenge.


In an announcement today by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce, the government has selected Victoria University, Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, GNS Science and Auckland, Canterbury, Otago and Waikato universities to participate in the Sustainable Seas Challenge, to be hosted by Crown research institute, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

This is the fourth challenge to have funding confirmed. The challenges are aimed at responding to the most important scientific issues facing New Zealanders.

The challenge aims to enhance the utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints. Funding of $31.3 million over the next five years will enable the challenge to focus on:

  • research to describe in detail the make-up of our oceans
  • developing a better understanding of the dynamics and sensitivities of our ocean and coastal systems
  • working towards the effective integrated management of our oceans and coasts that takes into consideration environmental, societal, cultural, Māori and economic concerns and informs governance of marine resources.

Professor Mike Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Science is delighted Victoria will play a role in this important research. “This challenge presents a valuable opportunity for Victoria to contribute to growing and protecting our marine economy, while building on New Zealand’s expertise in this area.”