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Director - Biological Heritage National Science Challenge Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho

Full Time - Fixed Term Role to 2024 - Lincoln

  • Are you a bold, confident and courageous leader in the research/science space?
  • Do you have a genuine affinity for engagement and connecting with others?
  • Be at the forefront of transformative change to secure New Zealand’s biological heritage.

Ko tā te tangata hononga ki ngā koiora tuku iho, he taukaea e kore rawa e whawhati. E ora ai tātou te tangata, me ora anō hoki ngā koiora tuku iho. Heoi nā tātou anō ēnei taonga i tūkino, ināianei mā tātou anō rātou hei tiaki, hei penapena kia taurikura anō ai rātou. Me mahi ngātahi hoki tātou ahakoa Māori mai Pākehā mai. Me uru mai ko ngā pūkenga o tēnā o tēnā, te mātauranga Māori me te pūtaiao hoki kia mauriora anō ai te tini a Rangi rāua ko Papa ki runga i te mata o tēnei whenua.

About the organisation
Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic, environmental, personal and cultural prosperity is heavily dependent on our biological heritage. Elements of this heritage are under severe pressure and everyone with a stake in these issues needs to work effectively together to reverse its decline. We need science and research working with mātauranga Māori, to discover, develop and deploy new knowledge in innovative ways.

The Biological Heritage National Science Challenge Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho has a clear mission to reverse the decline of New Zealand’s biological heritage through a national partnership to deliver a step change in research, innovation, globally leading technologies and community and sector action. Hosted by the Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Biological Heritage Challenge will deliver a collective impact at a national-scale, alongside its 18 Challenge Partners, and leave a valuable legacy for Aotearoa.

The opportunity exists for a new Director to take on the leadership of this influential National Science Challenge, building on the Challenge’s progress since inception and enabling the achievement of its 2024 Goals. Could this be you?

About the opportunity
Reporting to the Mana Rangatira (Governance Group), which is responsible to the Board of the host organisation (Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research), the Director will be at the forefront of a national partnership that has been developed over the past five years and is highly regarded for bringing together all the key sectors - government, research, business, and the public - and for working in partnership with Māori. In doing this, the Director will, among other things:

  • Provide strategic leadership of the Challenge in the realisation of its 2024 Goal to reverse the decline of New Zealand’s biological heritage.
  • Champion the Challenge vision - uphold values of the Challenge, growing effective research, innovation, collaboration, prioritisation and acceleration across a range of organisations, and linking the Challenge to relevant international initiatives in this globally significant space.
  • Build and sustain proactive stakeholder partnerships and relationships including with Māori and in alignment with Te Tiriti o Waitangi - leveraging these relationships to ensure collective impact.
  • Lead a diverse and experienced team - ensuring all team members are engaged, supported and achieving their individual and team goals.
  • Drive effective governance for the Challenge and engage with Mana Rangatira to ensure best practice reporting, engagement and conformance.

This role needs a true leader who can foster a culture of engagement and connection with diverse stakeholder groups to deliver collective impact.

About you
Given the scale, complexity and niche nature of this Challenge, this role calls for a unique mix of skills. To be successful in the role, you will come with proven experience in leading research collaborations, knowledge translation and science communication and managing international science networks, as well as success in stakeholder engagement, outreach and media engagement. Equally important will be your reputation for impact in a relevant area of research or research application, your understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and commitment to the interests of Māori in the Challenge, a demonstrated expertise in delivering results and ensuring impact from large-scale research programmes.

The Biological Heritage Challenge is leading transformative change in the design and adoption of science to achieve alignment and outcomes through cooperation between multiple parties. This is a unique opportunity to make an impact that will deliver enduring national benefit. Are you ready for the challenge?

How to apply 
Click on 'Apply Now'. 

To discover more about the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho, visit

For a confidential discussion about the role; contact Nicola Cull on 021 686 082 or

Applications close: Monday 20 July 2020  

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