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Our Land and Water National Science Challenge


Toitū te whenua, toiora te wai

Let the permanence of land remain intact, let water abound


This is a significant opportunity to lead one of New Zealand’s largest National Science Challenges, Our Land and Water. Our Land and Water (OLW) focuses on the research needed to support positive large-scale change in outcomes for both our environment and our primary producers. We aim to preserve and enhance the most fundamental treasures of our country – our land, water and associated ecosystems – while producing economic value from those same treasures.


Strong partnerships with Māori, land-based primary production sectors, science providers, national and regional policymakers, and environmental NGOs are critical to the success of the Challenge.


OLW has placed Te Ao Māori at its heart, combining cultural and commercial imperatives by acknowledging the intrinsic values of land, the interconnectedness of all living things, and the responsibilities we have for environment and community.


We are seeking a Director who has a deep understanding of the challenges we face in the sustainability of our land and water use, and is well connected across the primary production sector. We need a person who can hit the ground running, provide passionate and energetic leadership, and has the mana to influence science, policy, farming and business leaders.


OLW is mid-way through its term as a National Science Challenge. This is a critical stage for Our Land and Water in building on research to drive step change in rural enterprise. Transformative leadership and networking will be front and centre for this role.


The Director will be employed for a fixed term until December 2024 by the Challenge host AgResearch, preferably be based at AgResearch’s Lincoln campus (22km/25-minute drive from Christchurch), and report to the Challenge Governance Group. The Director leads a team of seven based at Lincoln, collaborates with senior members of primary sector bodies, ministries and regional councils, and oversees an extensive network of over 200 involved researchers across New Zealand research institutes and universities. Flexible employment options, such as secondment, will be considered.




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Confidential enquiries can be made to Graham Ewing or Lynell Bell of EQI Global on +64 3 377 7793 or email at search@eqiglobal.com


Applications for this role should include a cover letter and resume.


Closing date for applications is Wednesday 19 February 2020.

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