Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Stakeholder partnerships for National Outcomes

Launch of the Bio-Heritage National Science Challenge: Bruce Clarkson, Justine Daw, James Bulwalda, Professor Emily Parker, Richard Gordon.Image - Andrew Trevelyan

Goal: Landcare Research's science framework is clear, effective and facilitates engagement with stakeholders who support our approach to achieving National Outcomes.

Goals: Landcare Research's key stakeholders value highly their involvement in the direction and resourcing of our research, knowledge transfer from our work, and also the trusted advice and constructive engagement they receive from our people.

The four National Outcomes set out in our Statement of Core Purpose can be only be achieved through partnerships with our key end-user stakeholders – they are shared National Outcomes. Progress towards these Outcomes will be assessed over a time frame of 10–15 years, with Impacts assessed every 3–5 years. These Impacts represent Landcare Research’s contribution to the National Outcomes. To maximise our contribution, we actively work with our stakeholders in developing our science priorities, programmes and outputs, and on approaches to knowledge and technology transfer. Key stakeholder organisations are represented on our Outcome Advisory Panel, which is a conduit for end-users to influence our science direction, priorities and delivery.

Our key end-user stakeholders

Timely, tailored knowledge and technology transfer are vital to ensuring end-users effectively take up and apply our research outputs. Our most significant stakeholder partners are members of the Natural Resources Sector in central and local government: the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), the Department of Conservation (DOC) and regional councils; and to a lesser extent Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK). Another key partner is TBfree New Zealand (a subsidiary and programme within OSPRI) with whom we partner on a range of research of relevance to both primary industry and the conservation sector. While we work directly with businesses in the certification programmes run by Enviro-Mark Solutions, strategic engagement with the private sector is mostly through industry bodies such as BusinessNZ, the Sustainable Business Council and primary sector groups such as DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb New Zealand, Fonterra, the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand (FANZ), IrrigationNZ and ZESPRI. Increasingly, we work directly with industry on specific issues – our science supports the Government’s Business Growth Agenda, including the sustainable use of New Zealand’s natural asset base.

As tangata whenua, Māori are important stakeholders and research partners – our contribution to Vision Mātauranga is outlined in that section.

National Science Challenges

Landcare Research is the host agency for the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage Challenge, having co-led the bidding process with Plant & Food Research. Through that process, we engaged with a wide range of stakeholders via sector workshops and the Stakeholder Reference Group representing MPI, DOC and others in the Natural Resources Sector, the primary sector, Māori and regional councils. Thirty-eight partner organisations, including key end-users, formally supported the bid submitted. The extent of engagement throughout bid development and the high levels of support from stakeholders were key factors in the proposal’s success – it was acknowledged as demonstrating “a clear understanding of the research, management, and governance needed to deliver step change and additionality. The team has also embraced other Challenge principles, including integration of Vision Mātauranga, collaboration, mission-led science, and public engagement.”

We are also involved in developing the proposal for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, which is being led by AgResearch.

National Land Resource Centre

The National Land Resource Centre (NLRC) is a partnership between six CRIs, with Landcare Research the managing partner. The NLRC is an important knowledge broker for land-related science and land resource information for a wide range of stakeholders. This year, the Centre worked with regional council and central government stakeholders to include their priorities in the research plan for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge. The Centre’s focus on increasing the uptake and impact of science is closely aligned to and complements the goals of the Challenges.

During the year, the Centre hosted a workshop 'New Media Matters – Building Stakeholder Engagement', which explored how social media could be used to engage with stakeholders working with land-based resources. Thirtyfive attendees (including journalists and representatives from Beef+Lamb New Zealand, One-Farm, Royal Society of New Zealand, OSPRI, Massey University and four CRIs) shared experiences of working with digital media platforms. The workshop resulted in more than 2,500 tweets and a short overview video.

The Lincoln Hub

We continued working with AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, Lincoln University and DairyNZ to develop plans for the Lincoln Hub, which was launched in April 2013. Science excellence and collaborative partnerships with industry will ensure the Hub is an incubator for research, innovation and wealth creation in the agricultural sector, and help grow the agricultural economy while maintaining environmental integrity. The integrated campus of the organisations at Lincoln comprises more than 900 scientists, teachers, research support and industry specialists and this will increase in the next five years. Government support for the Hub was confirmed by the allocation of $107 million to Lincoln University in July to fund the rebuilding of science facilities damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.

We have engaged with work streams to progress development of infrastructure for a campus plan, research and science to develop an integrated programme of 'flagship projects'; communications; and management and governance. Plans for engagement with stakeholders are in the early stages but these will soon proceed rapidly.

Steering groups for S-map and NZLRI/LUC

This year, we established senior-level steering groups for both S-map and the Land Resource Inventory/Land Use Capability Classification (NZLRI/LUC). MPI, MfE, regional councils, the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA), the primary sector, FANZ and relevant CRIs (notably AgResearch in both groups) are represented, with MBIE participating as an observer. The steering groups provide advice on strategic direction and priorities, identify future funding opportunities and champion these two land resource data assets. The move to appoint the steering groups has been welcomed by these stakeholder partners, who see significant value in improving and ensuring ongoing access to these national assets.

Biological Collections Advisory Group

During the year, we developed the Terms of Reference for the senior-level Advisory Group for our Biological Collections, representing a number of key stakeholders: Chair (David Penman), DOC, MPI, EPA, Tūhoe Tuawhenua Trust, Te Papa Tongarewa, AgResearch, Better Border Security, NIWA, the Allan Wilson Centre, Tāhuri Whenua, and regional councils. Regular meetings with this group were held to review priorities to better meet sector needs, and build more relevance and value from our Core-funded Nationally Significant Collections of plants, invertebrates, fungi and micro-organisms.

Other advisory groups for our research

In addition, we have advisory groups for other areas of our research, including freshwater values and monitoring, wetland restoration, maximising value from irrigation, managing ecosystem services for multiple outcomes, building trustworthy biodiversity measures, building biodiversity into an ecosystem-services approach for resource management, and environmental domains analyses for the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica. Stakeholders on these advisory groups provide valuable advice on research priorities and directions, expert scientific and technical knowledge, and practical guidance from the end-users’ perspectives.

Our role in stakeholders’ advisory groups

In addition to end-user stakeholders being part of advisory groups providing direction and priorities for our research, we also contribute practical expertise to stakeholder groups (this year, 33 staff held 61 advisory positions). These groups encompass a wide range of our expertise in areas such as fresh water (e.g. National Objectives Framework, monitoring, irrigation, consents); biosecurity (e.g. insects, fungi, plants, diseases); TB and pest management; animal welfare; geospatial data and standards; biodiversity (e.g. threatened species, restoration, eco-sanctuaries); land rehabilitation (e.g. post mining, erosion mitigation).

Our involvement contributes to the science that underpins policy development (e.g. the National Objectives Framework for freshwater management, National Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (NEMaR)) and the operational management decisions made by the stakeholders. In the latter, our expertise contributes to fit-for-purpose strategies, greater cost-effectiveness of projects, and better evaluation of outcomes. For example, one of our staff is a member of DOC’s Lizard Technical Advisory Group. Based on the group’s advice, the Grand and Otago Skink Recovery Programme was redesigned, with changes to the method, frequency and intensity of skink monitoring, and refi nements to the pest trapping regime over 4000 ha of tussock grassland. This redesign has saved DOC $260k a year, some of which has been reallocated to other needier parts of the programme, and some to overall reduction in government expenditure.