Review of the funding and prioritisation of environmental research in New Zealand

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, is urging the Government to reconsider the way it funds environmental research in New Zealand.

In a new report, he says 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 country;s many environmental challenges.

The report examines how public funds are invested in environmental research in New Zealand.

The Commissioner recommends an environmental research strategy to be developed by the Ministry for the Environment and dedicated, long-term funding for environmental research to be ring-fenced.

He proposes two models for disbursing the research funds, one of which would involve the establishment of a dedicated Environmental Research Council.

The council would provide funding similar to how health research funding is managed. Continue reading