About Us

New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho aims to protect and manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve our biosecurity and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms.

Aotearoa has a unique environment that makes up our biological heritage. As our climate changes and biological pressures on te taiao (the environment) increase, we continue to see a decline in biodiversity and increasing pressure on our biosecurity system.

The BioHeritage Challenge aims to reverse the decline in our biological heritage by creating real, on-the-ground impact in the areas of Whakamana/Empower, Tiaki/Protect and Whakahou/Restore.

We are doing this through national partnership, delivering a step-change in research innovation, globally leading technologies, and community and sector action.

About Science Challenges

We are one of 11 National Science Challenges funded through the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.
The National Science Challenges were created in 2014 to answer some of the country’s biggest science questions.

About Nga Rakau Taketake

In 2019 we were given guardianship of extra funding specifically to research the plant diseases that cause kauri dieback and myrtle rust. Using our ‘BioHeritage’ processes we are focusing on accelerating work already being done by government agencies, councils, research providers, Māori and interest groups.

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We use a collective approach – building on the strengths of many people and organisations – to creating long-term impact and benefit for Aotearoa, across natural and production landscapes. Our strategy is to use our investments to change the competitive nature of science funding to a more collaborative approach, and foster broad connections across organisations, communities and stakeholders to effectively and holistically protect our biological heritage.

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BioHeritage is supported and managed by a team of people dedicated to creating real solutions that protect Aotearoa New Zealand’s biological heritage. We facilitate research and related activities in the most holistic and effective way in order to create transformational change.


Partnership with tangata Māori underpins everything we do at BioHeritage. We strive to uphold the principles and values of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and empower traditional knowledge and processes. We expect all of our investments to rate a minimum of 3 on the Vision Mātauranga scale.

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We have 18 research organisations that have signed a Collaboration Agreement to become one of our ‘Challenge Parties’ – showing their intent to co-ordinate collaborative, multi-disciplinary investments.
We also partner with industry, non-government organisations, communities, iwi, hapū and whānau, and government agencies to co-ordinate aligned research and break down silos.

About Aligned Research

Identifying aligned research efforts is critical because we can only achieve the mission of saving Aotearoa New Zealand’s biological heritage by working together, to focus and scale-up efforts for maximum impact. We often work together with aligned organisations to make the most of the resources we all have.

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Our Pou are investments that span across research programmes because they aim to add value to everything we do. They involve groups of passionate researchers who have identified gaps in the system that won’t be filled by a traditional research programme model, but are vital to the success of the mahi (work).

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