Our research

We have 6 research themes, and an Innovation Fund

Our Seas

This programme will develop participatory processes and frameworks to enhance engagement across all sectors of society, and result in more efficient and effective decision making using ecosystem based management approaches.  

Valuable Seas

This programme will develop methods to incorporate the economic, social, environmental, spiritual and cultural values of New Zealand’s marine ecosystems in decision-making and identify innovative ways to add value to the marine economy.


This programme will develop innovations that enable Māori to participate as partners in marine management and decision making, providing for the practice and maintenance of tikanga approaches, while supporting economic growth.

Dynamic Seas

This programme will use biophysical science to quantify stressor ’footprints’, determine ecological responses of ecosystems to multiple stressors, identify ‘tipping points’ that transform ecosystems into non-desirable states, and provide empirical underpinnings for effective ecosystem based management.

Managed Seas

This programme will deliver innovative and effective decision support tools. These tools that integrate the knowledge generated by the Challenge to allow ecosystem based management, ensuring sustainable utilisation of our marine resources.