New Zealand's biological heritage

The science programmes

Real-time biological heritage assessment

Creating solutions to allow biodiversity and biosecurity decision makers to have accurate, comprehensive information at their fingertips.

Reducing risks and threats across landscapes

Reducing rates of incursion or establishment by foreign invader species; improving efficacy of pest management by scaling-up control operations.

Enhancing and restoring resilient ecosystems

Enhancing and restoring the resilience of vulnerable ecosystems; preventing biodiversity loss, and mitigating the effects of global change.


The National Science Challenge, New Zealand’s Biological Heritage, has been created to protect and manage our native biodiversity, improve our biosecurity, and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms.

New Zealanders value highly our biological heritage – the natural, production and urban environments in which we live, work and recreate. These environments underpin our economy, particularly through primary industries and tourism, are integral to our sense of national identity, and have important cultural and recreational significance.

Elements of our environment are under increasing pressure.

With 17 partner organisations and input from dozens of other stakeholder entities, this National Science Challenge will transform the way that we as New Zealanders respond to that pressure.

News Feed

Warm, dry springs mean more wasps

19 Jan 2017
New research, lead by Professor Dr Phil Lester, has shown that climate has a significant effect on common wasp populations, numbers are higher in favourable years.

The battle for our islands

11 Jan 2017
Science reporter Jamie Morton talks to Auckland University conservation ecologist Dr James Russell about the ongoing battle to sweep our islands clear of pest predators.

Why is killer disease drawn to our kauri?

10 Jan 2017
Scientists are seeking to solve one of the most intriguing mysteries of the disease that's killing our kauri - why it's attracted to the native tree's scent like we're drawn to coffee.

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