Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Landcare Research’s Core Purpose

Landcare Research’s Core Purpose3, is to drive innovation in New Zealand’s management of terrestrial biodiversity and land resources in order to protect and enhance the terrestrial environment and grow New Zealand’s prosperity.

Our National Outcomes

With innovative science leadership and effective collaboration with our stakeholder partners to apply research, we will
  • improve the measurement, management and protection of New Zealand’s terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, including those in the conservation estate
  • achieve the sustainable use of land resources and their ecosystem services across catchments and sectors
  • improve the measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gases from the terrestrial biosphere
  • increase the ability of New Zealand industries and organisations to develop within environmental limits and meet market and community requirements
Our key stakeholder partners are the Natural Resources Sector, businesses implementing sustainable good practice, and Māori organisations.

Our scope of operation

Landcare Research is recognised as the lead CRI in the following areas:
  • Catchment-level ecosystems (including wetlands) and related ecosystem services
  • Terrestrial vertebrate pest control
  • Terrestrial carbon processes and inventory, and other greenhouse gases from soil and land
  • Land cover, land use capability and effects, and spatial land information that integrates across sectors and scales
  • Soil characterisation, processes and services
  • Integrated social and biophysical research to support the sustainable management of terrestrial biodiversity and land resources
Landcare Research is expected to work with other research providers and end users to contribute to the following:
  • Biosecurity, land, soil and freshwater management
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Industry and business environmental performance including verification
  • Indigenous forestry
  • Urban environments
  • Antarctica
Landcare Research contributes to a set of four National Outcomes, defined in our Statement of Core Purpose. We have a direct role in achieving a set of eight Impacts (see figure section 1). In improving the outlook for biodiversity, society, the economy and Māori, Landcare Research works where society and the economy intersect with the environment. A key part of our role is empowering the users of our research and technology with new and improved tools and the ability to make better decisions on natural resource conservation, management and sustainable use.

To facilitate this, Landcare Research must maintain and build enduring relationships with the users. A key mechanism for achieving this is our Outcome Advisory Panel, which consists of senior representatives from key stakeholder organisations in central and local government, industry and business, the primary sector and iwi. The Panel meets with our Senior Leadership Team and provides high-level strategic advice to our Board of Directors. National Science Challenges and regional hubs are furthering such connections, entailing much wider collaborations with stakeholders and other research providers.

Within research initiatives our citizen science is growing. Citizen science cultivates public engagement with science and technology and builds trust between New Zealand’s science system and the public, which contribute to outcomes signalled in the NSSI. Citizen science also contributes directly to our research.

To achieve our national Outcomes, we must also ensure strong financial resilience, grow the capability and leadership potential of our people, ensure effective communications and engagement with our key stakeholders – clients, national and international collaborators – and maintain and develop critical research and other infrastructure.

Annual planning and process for allocating MBIE Strategic Funding

Our key Strategy 2017 document is used by senior science staff to set our future strategy and direction. Other important strategic documents and inputs include our Māori strategy, our digital and collections strategies, our capability priorities and positioning alongside National Science Challenges. Our thinking is influenced and shaped by leadership from the Minister and our Board, guidance from our Outcome and Science Advisory Panels, and our market knowledge and research driven opportunities. Together these provide direction and input for our annual planning workshops.

Following the workshops, Science General Managers propose research priorities, focus areas and portfolio funding allocations to SLT and then the Board. Funding allocation proposals include an accompanying analysis of rationale for the proposed portfolio investment, including expected impacts internally from any funding shifts. Our allocation process is guided by a set of principles to enhance delivery against our SCP outcomes. Key principles are enhancing our science excellence and impact as expected by the NSSI. Other principles are enabling our stakeholder partnerships, developing our capability and growing the value from our Collections and Databases. Annual planning and allocation of MBIE Strategic Funding culminate in our Statement of Corporate Intent and more detailed internal documents such as our Annual Science Plan.

Performance monitoring and reporting

As part of our performance monitoring framework, we regularly assess and report on progress against our activities, impacts and outcomes, including via quarterly reports to MBIE and our annual report. The NSSI has signalled the need for improved evaluation, monitoring and reporting across the science sector, with a focus on impact. The NSSI also calls for a system-wide monitoring, evaluation and information system. To advance this, we have made some key changes:

  • Revised Outcome KPIs to those that are nationally recognised best measures. ‘Sharing’ Outcome measures across agencies signals that we are one of many contributors to these national goals and creates a common starting point for collaboration discussions. It also aligns with the State Services Commission call for improved state service collaboration.
  • Re-worded our Impact statements. They have the same intent, but with reduced jargon to be more accessible and meaningful to our stakeholders.
  • We have taken a wider view of impact KPIs. Moving from the previous narrow focus on single examples to an integrated suite of quantitative and qualitative measures that span from resource inputs to project completion rates to the difference we have made to the environment and the social, cultural and economic well-being of New Zealanders.
Footnote [3] Landcare Research’s Statement of Core Purpose, National Outcomes and scope of operation were agreed with stakeholders, including our shareholding Ministers, in 2010, in a process that included all Crown research institutes. The statement was intended to be enduring for at least ten years.