Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways is a multi-year programme focused on the future of New Zealand’s RSI system. Through Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways, we are building a modern, future focused research system for New Zealand to meet the challenges and make the most of the opportunities ahead of us. Te Ara Paerangi signals the pathway by which we will achieve the significant additional government investment needed to achieve the goal of overall R&D expenditure of two percent of GDP by 2030.

The focus for Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways is the design of the ‘public’ RSI system, that is aspects of funding administered as part of the RSI ministerial portfolio and public research organisations within that portfolio; principally the Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) and Callaghan Innovation. The research that takes place in other public institutions, such as universities, Te Pūkenga and wānanga, is also within scope, as is the publicly funded research that takes place in independent research organisations and other independent entities, to the extent to which it is funded from the RSI portfolio. All research conducted in public organisations, or funded by government, is of relevance to Te Ara Paerangi. We expect the effects of change to extend beyond the RSI portfolio and into government departments, Crown Entities, and tertiary education organisations; particularly with regards the changes we would like to see in the RSI workforce. Later in the programme, we will work with our tertiary education colleagues to consider changes to tertiary education settings, if they are needed, to align with the objectives of the programme.

While Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways focuses on levers and shifts within the ‘public’ RSI system, the benefits of the reform will reach far wider. We acknowledge the important role of private industry and entities in New Zealand’s entire RSI system, and the change programme has been developed with this in mind.


The purpose of this White Paper is to provide a single, enduring policy reference point for the Te Ara Paerangi reform programme. This White Paper presents a high-level design and vision for New Zealand’s ‘public’ RSI system, including key policy directions and actions, and provides a roadmap to implement the reform programme.


On 28 October 2021, the Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways Green Paper consultation document was released to seek views on how to best position Aotearoa New Zealand’s future RSI system. During the consultation period to March 2022, a total of 903 submissions were received and over 1,000 people attended workshops and seminars to provide input.

Dedicated Māori engagement also took place, including conversations and online wānanga with over 100 Māori, representing Te Pūtahitanga (Māori research leaders collective), Māori innovators, Pūhoro STEMM Academy (rangatahi), and Rauika Māngai. In addition to this, MBIE met Māori rōpū such as Te Kāhui Amokura, Te Ara Pūtaiao, Taumata Aronui, Wakatū Incorporation, and Māori business leaders.

MBIE also held talanoa with 27 Pacific researchers and research users in June 2022.

This White Paper communicates our position and commitments on how Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways will best position our RSI system for the future, informed by Green Paper submissions and consultations. Detailed policy proposals to deliver Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways will be developed, consulted on, and implemented in line with the Implementation Roadmap (Part III).


To identify opportunities for change in the RSI system and seek input on possible solutions, the Green Paper for Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways was structured around six main aspects of the RSI system: research priorities; institutions; funding; Te Tiriti, mātauranga Māori and Māori aspirations; workforce and research infrastructure. This framing was helpful in identifying opportunities for change in the RSI system and seeking input on possible solutions. The aspects of the system do not work in isolation; therefore, this White Paper structures the reform programme of Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways around four system-wide strategic objectives, namely:

  • Creating New Futures
  • Embedding Te Tiriti
  • Valuing Our People
  • Building System Agility.

Case for change

Our researchers and innovators have served New Zealand well over the past 30 years. Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), universities and other TEOs, independent research organisations, and other parts of the RSI system have contributed to New Zealand on multiple fronts. Their contribution has spanned breakthrough research, supporting critical sectors of the economy and society, enhancing understanding of the natural world, solving environmental challenges, and responding to multiple emergencies, including underpinning our world-beating response to COVID-19. New Zealanders have all benefited environmentally, economically and socially from the work the research community has undertaken on their behalf.

But our system does not always set up our researchers and innovators for success. Too often their tremendous achievements occur despite the system in which they are operating, not because of it. In the face of tough economic conditions, social equity and inclusion challenges, and a climate emergency, it is essential that our RSI system is positioned to face the future and uplift the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

A well-functioning RSI system is essential to our economic wellbeing. Technological innovation and digitalisation, supported by knowledge generated within and mobilised from the research sector, can help drive the productivity increases that are essential to a high-wage economy. While our RSI system provides excellent support to many of our existing industries, particularly in the primary sector, our economic security is enhanced by growing new and diverse industries, many of which will have their roots in discoveries made by our researchers. By providing strategic direction we can channel the ingenuity of our RSI system towards the greatest challenges we face, like transitioning to a high-wage, low-emissions economy. Through these mechanisms, a reformed RSI system will directly contribute to the key pillars of the Government’s Economic Strategy.

A well-functioning RSI system is essential to our social and health wellbeing. An ageing and more ethnically diverse population; new, emerging and increasing threats to health, such as infectious diseases, anti-microbial resistance and mental health; and rapid technological change including increased digitalisation are demanding more from health research. The support the RSI system provided to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of this, and, while our system underpinned our world-beating response to the pandemic, we must ensure it is even better prepared to face future challenges.

A well-functioning RSI system is essential to our environmental wellbeing. In the midst of a climate emergency, and in the face of loss of biodiversity, and water and air quality degradation, our ability to tackle the pressing environmental problems and threats we face is heavily dependent on science and research over many years to monitor, understand and mitigate these changes. Research and innovation play a critical role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s emissions reduction plan[1] to contribute to the global effort to limit global temperature rises.

A well-functioning RSI system is essential to our cultural wellbeing. Research and scientific endeavours play an important role in supporting communities to build, retain, interpret and express their arts, history, heritage and traditions. It develops our human capital and shapes our shared and contested understandings of the world. RSI plays a vital role in conserving and protecting our taonga and our unique heritage.

Our RSI system has many positive aspects and already delivers tangible improvements in the wellbeing of all New Zealanders across all the above areas. However, the system is not perfect and faces some significant challenges. In the following section we focus on those challenges as the areas to be targeted for improvement by Te Ara Paerangi, while continuing to preserve what is best about our current system.

Our RSI system is too small and under increasing pressure

Our RSI system is much smaller than it should be. Resources are spread too thin, and the system is under increasing pressure.

New Zealand invests a much smaller percentage of GDP in R&D than comparable Small Advanced Economy Initiative countries. Total (business, government and higher education) R&D expenditure in New Zealand was only 1.4 per cent of GDP in 2019, compared to the OECD average of 2.5 per cent[2].

In recent years business expenditure on R&D has increased substantially from $971M in 2010 to $2,709M in 2020, with an 18 per cent increase relative to GDP between 2019 and 2021 alone[3].

Government is contributing to this growth via the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI), which is counted as business expenditure in these figures. The RDTI was established in 2019 as a globally recognised best-practice support for business R&D, with a strong evidence base indicating additional business expenditure will exceed Government’s investment by some margin[4]. The first two years of the RDTI supported over a billion dollars of industry R&D, and we expect growth to continue, with forecasts suggesting future years will see government investment of over $500m supporting business R&D of over $3.5bn.

The trend of increased business expenditure, supported by Government where necessary, will need to continue for several years if we are to reach international norms of expenditure or meet our goal of two percent of GDP. In comparison, despite nominal increases, the remainder of government expenditure has remained unchanged relative to GDP, moving only marginally from 0.52% of GDP in 2010 to 0.56% of GDP in 2020[5].

Figure 1 – New Zealand R&D expenditure by sector per year in millions of dollars[6]

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Government investment needs to increase and diversify

Government expenditure on R&D should complement business expenditure; by focusing on the public good in environmental, health and social research, by developing new and transformative technologies and economic sectors, and by investing in basic and fundamental research. But low levels of government expenditure have constrained the RSI sector’s ability to adapt to new opportunities and challenges, instead concentrating its efforts into traditional and “must do” areas of research.

As a result, and reflecting New Zealand’s economic history, New Zealand spends a higher proportion of government expenditure on agricultural science and environmental science than any other country in the OECD, while significantly under-spending in health, social research, industrial production and technology, and energy. Increased investment in these areas is required to rebalance the overall portfolio.

Figure 2 – Fractional government budgeted appropriations on R&D by socio-economic objective 2012-2016 (OECD)[7]. Black lines represent New Zealand’s proportion of expenditure; green shading shows the proportion of other countries which reach particular proportions of expenditure.

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Our investments need to be re-tooled, grown, and focused directly on the things that matter. We can no longer afford to spread too little investment too thinly over areas critical to our collective future.

As the Productivity Commission notes[8]

If New Zealand is to achieve innovation-driven export success on the scale of comparator SAEs [Small Advanced Economies], it must be similarly bold in identifying the most promising areas for focus, establishing effective governance, institutions and processes and allocating substantial resources to chosen areas over a sustained period of time… A repeat of past “sub-therapeutic doses” will achieve little or nothing.

Achieving a resilient and genuinely low emissions economy requires us to consider radical changes to the way we produce existing products, as well as a shift to creating new products that have significantly lower emissions. This requires us to develop new sources of comparative and competitive advantage built on new sets of technological and digital capabilities that will predominantly come from investment in research and innovation. Diversifying our industrial base requires us to reorient our investment towards the technologies and industries that can underpin future competitive advantage, and thereby provide a wider range of high value jobs into the future.

The RSI system is not well-placed to absorb the increased funding that is necessary to prepare us for the future

Our RSI system is fragmented, with poor visibility of the effectiveness of current investments. It lacks specific system-wide direction, and siloed strategy-setting means the system is not well-configured for assembling multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams integrating expertise across organisations, or building new capabilities in areas of emerging national research priorities[9]. Fragmentation, lack of role clarity, and apparent overlaps between Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) ‘…mak[e] it difficult for stakeholders to access and harness relevant capabilities and creat[e] concerns about inefficient use of taxpayer funds… Incentives to compete… and the absence of suitable mechanism for addressing emerging overlaps has likely meant an increase in duplication and unproductive competition over time…’[10].  We heard similar comments about incentives to compete between other research organisations, such as Universities, during the consultation on the Green Paper. This comment is not intended as a criticism of those organisations, which were designed as part of a system which deliberately encourages competition. Rather it reminds us that a fundamental reconsideration of the basis on which the system was designed is necessary.

CRIs account for a significant proportion of government expenditure – just under half of public expenditure and 22% of New Zealand’s total expenditure on R&D[11], meaning that their focus areas of research strongly influence our pattern of investment. Current settings that create a structural, institutional focus on agricultural and environmental research explain much of New Zealand’s revealed preference for high investment in those areas.

The current settings result in an RSI system that can be slow to adapt to evolving national needs and challenges. Our system must support our researchers to meet these evolving needs and challenges by leveraging their collective capability in new, more dynamic ways. Public research organisations with broader remits will be able to respond with agility to support New Zealand to prosper in the face of significant technological and geopolitical change, increasing global digitalisation and transforming economies. We need to make responsiveness and the deliberate, rapid development of new capabilities core attributes for our research system. And we need research organisations designed to deliver such change.

A proliferation of governance and competing strategies and priorities fail to provide clear direction

Our system’s mechanisms for signalling direction to the system are diffuse and confusing, and so do not provide the system with the best support to change and adapt. Governance entities exist for seven CRIs, eleven National Science Challenges, numerous one-off platform investments, at least three Crown Entities or companies, ten Centres of Research Excellence, amongst many others. Multiple overlapping strategies contribute to a cluttered governance environment, meaning that it is hard for researchers and research organisations to detect clear signals of research priorities.

Poor integration and unproductive competition further reduce system effectiveness and impact

Submissions on the Te Ara Paerangi Green Paper[12] were clear that our system needs to be better connected and more collaborative.

Submitters and workshop participants agreed that institutions need to operate in a way that is more collaborative, adaptive, and agile. The current RSI system was described as lacking in collaboration with research institutions, who are largely disincentivised to work together due to competitive funding models, overlapping research priorities, and clunky layers of management and overheads.

Although on some measures our researchers appear to collaborate effectively, overwhelming feedback is that this is not as easy as it should be, and collaboration is often hindered by institutional and funding structures. The Te Pae Kahurangi[13] report noted that competition between organisations gets in the way of collaboration, and reported –

The consequences of CRIs being standalone companies, the convergence of previously separate areas of research, the ‘sinking lid’ on funding and the imperative to ‘follow the money’ appear to include:

  • ongoing competition among CRIs (and with other parts of the science system)
  • obstruction of otherwise net beneficial collaborations (including more systematic capability and infrastructure sharing)
  • confusion and sometimes frustration for some stakeholders.

It is not just between research organisations that connections must be greatly improved.  Our levels of business collaboration with the research system also remain poor. As the Productivity Commission[14] reported –

The starkest comparison with SAEs [Small Advanced Economies] relates to collaboration between firms and researchers. Compared to other SAEs, links between New Zealand’s firms and researchers in universities and research institutes have been very weak (Figure 6.6) [reproduced below- Figure 3, … other SAEs appear to have longstanding and better developed institutions and processes, and more deliberate policies to forge links between businesses and researchers.

Figure 3 – Percentage of innovating businesses collaborating with researchers 2012-14.

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The research system needs to better connect with itself, business, and society. The future will require greater flexibility, more cross-cutting and transdisciplinary research, much closer integration across organisations and research areas, and much deeper and more productive ‘vertical’ links with business, government, and other users of research. Competition can be healthy when it is bounded and focussed; competition of ideas and approaches is the lifeblood of a healthy research system. A fight for resources between government-owned organisations focussed on preserving their own revenue is a waste of time and resources, encourages duplication, and discourages necessary cooperation. Instead, we need to create the conditions that support a higher level of connection and co-ordination of our investments to support knowledge mobilisation, greater impact and support for public good outcomes.

Our system’s investment in research by, with, or for Māori is disproportionately low.

Surveys of the research workforce reveal the extent to which the RSI system fails to grow and retain Māori researchers in the workforce. Māori are significantly underrepresented in research careers; there are over 80% fewer Māori staff in research positions in research organisations than could be expected based on proportion of Māori in the general population (Figure 4).

Green Paper submissions overwhelmingly supported prior reports from the sector that the current RSI policy settings and research institutions fail to adequately uphold the commitments in, and the spirit of, Te Tiriti o Waitangi[15].  This echoes MBIE's own analysis. MBIE’s RSI policy settings refer to Te Tiriti o Waitangi via the Vision Mātauranga Policy but are unclear on how it is upheld. We are generally silent on Te Tiriti in almost all RSI funding policies, instead referencing the Vision Mātauranga Policy.

Several reports from across the RSI sector[16][17][18][19] have also highlighted a lack of explicit Tiriti presence in RSI policy and legislation, despite existing Tiriti obligations. These reports have sought that Te Tiriti be explicitly addressed in RSI policy and across the RSI sector.  Greater investment was firmly recommended for mātauranga Māori and its protection, for the development of the Māori STEM workforce pipeline, for research led by Māori, and for research outcomes that address the aspirations of Māori communities and end users. Furthermore, Te Pae Kahurangi[20] highlighted that CRIs’ policy settings do not adequately align to Te Tiriti and Māori aspirations in RSI.

As noted in the Ko Aotearoa Tēnei Report[21], government policies were - “meant to provide an avenue for mātauranga Māori to be recorded and preserved, while championing the ‘distinctive’ opportunities that mātauranga Māori offered science in New Zealand. Both policies, however, have failed, as mātauranga Māori remains clearly at the [RSI] margins.” 

These reports reinforce a consistent message that the RSI system does not uphold the Government’s Tiriti commitments. Consequently, the benefits that arise from research, science and innovation are not equitably shared across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Figure 4– variation of proportion of Māori employed in research organisations compared to proportion of Māori in the general population[22]

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Our research workforce is under pressure, lacks diversity, and career paths are unstable

The OECD has noted a growing global mismatch between the things researchers will be required to deliver, and the career structures which support those researchers[23].

Academic career structures and the allocation processes for research funding largely reflect merit-based competition among individuals, which has proven its effectiveness over time in promoting excellence in fundamental research. However, concern is growing about how these structures and processes affect the precarity and attractiveness of research careers, and generate a lack of diversity in the scientific workforce. There is an expectation that science will not only produce highly-cited publications, but also rapidly translate into societal benefits and solutions to global challenges – such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The emphasis on individual disciplinary excellence and short-term outputs fits uneasily alongside the need for more transdisciplinary research, more novelty and risk-taking in research, and more data-intensive research.

As noted above, Māori and Pacific Peoples are under-represented in our research workforce. Furthermore, women make up the majority of the research workforce but the minority of those in senior leadership positions. These inequities present a disappointing picture of the career norms, expectations and decision-making structures that lead to such outcomes.

Poor diversity, equity and inclusion outcomes are strongly linked to the instability of RSI careers. A significant number of researchers are on fixed-term or casual contracts, particularly those employed in tertiary research organisations. The over-use of short-term employment contracts means that researchers whose circumstances mean they are less able to tolerate the uncertainties of these arrangements will exit the RSI system. As a result, researchers who are caring for children or relatives, needing, or choosing to work part-time, or entering research careers later in life, are less likely to experience successful research careers. Such a situation artificially limits the potential and productivity of the RSI system.

Figure 5 – Researcher employment agreement types by organisation type[24]

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We must better support a diverse range of career pathways to enhance the value of the research system

We need to re-think what careers in research, science and innovation look like, to broaden our understanding of research success and how we support, recognise and value it, and how best to deploy the talents and skills of our workforce to meet the challenges of the future.

While the proportion of our population qualified to PhD level is around the OECD average[25], we are not making the best use of the valuable skills they can offer to our society and economy. Many submissions to the Green Paper supported the idea that a research career that offered greater opportunities for mobility of people and knowledge, thereby enabling broader range of experiences, would enhance the quality of our research, the value of the research system, and, through an extended range of opportunities, provide greater stability for research careers[26]:

“A research system that provides both the skills and opportunities to undertake research in different ways and in different organisations would do more to support the long-term reduction of a precariat workforce. It would also be a significant step to ensure our homegrown talent is able and willing to stay in Aotearoa New Zealand, while providing an attractive option to bring overseas talent here. (Tertiary education organisation)”

We need to develop new workforce career trajectories that enable more diverse and multidisciplinary pathways within academia, but also enable people to move in and out of other sectors while maintaining their links to the traditional RSI system.


An RSI system that supports wellbeing for all current and future New Zealanders, a high-wage low emissions economy, and a thriving, protected environment through excellent and impactful research, science and innovation.

The Government has clearly communicated its goal to advance the wellbeing of New Zealand for current and future generations. To ensure our next generations will thrive in New Zealand, in a range of future industries that will generate improved incomes and sustainable careers, with improved health and social wellbeing outcomes, and through sustainably managing our environment, we must harness the collective capability and impact of our research, science and innovation system.

The substantial reforms signalled in Te Ara Paerangi will create the uplifts required to grow both individual and collective wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and economic productivity. This means building a future RSI system that gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, is adaptable by design and connected for impact, and reflects Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique context and diverse population.

The RSI system of the future needs to:

  • create the knowledge and innovation that will drive improvements in individual and collective health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and economic productivity
  • Affirm and embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi and provide appropriate opportunities for mātauranga Māori, Māori researchers and Māori-led research
  • capture and enhance the full value of investment, nationally and internationally, from research and science
  • improve system efficiency and effectiveness.
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Te Ara Paerangi- Future Pathways will support the delivery of the Government’s economic plan and wellbeing agenda. Our vision for the Te Ara Pearangi – Future Pathways reforms directly aligns to the Economic Plan to build a high-wage, low-emissions economy to improve the wellbeing and living standards of all New Zealanders. When implemented the plan will support key strategic shifts:

  • Greater investment in innovation and knowledge mobilisation will support a more productive more diversified economy in line with initiatives to move the economy from volume to value and will result in improved multifactor productivity and product complexity measures.
  • The reforms will grow existing connections between research, industry and other end-users to help take research through to impact. For example, we expect to see growth in commercialisation pathways and other indicators of impact in specific areas such as health and digital technologies.
  • Key government priorities will be supported by comprehensive scientific monitoring data and prioritised research programmes. These will be fundamental to the delivery of initiatives to deliver greater value and improve environmental outcomes from the use of land and resources. Long-term investments are required to support the innovation for sustainable and affordable energy systems, and to monitor and mitigate climate change. The Te Ara Paerangi - Future Pathways reforms will stabilise and grow funding for the scientific services that underpin technical and scientific advice for policy makers.
  • The reforms will ensure Māori and Pacific people are integral to the RSI system, as both participants and users. This will grow the innovative Māori and Pacific economies and support the aspirations and well-being of Māori and Pacific Peoples. These changes will improve the wealth and resilience of Māori and Pacific communities, and will be demonstrated through improved economic, social, and well-being indicators for Māori and Pacific people and communities.
  • Strengthening the RSI system, as proposed by the reforms, is vital to growing international investment and collaboration with our innovative sectors. This will be seen through continued growth in investment and in new innovative businesses and growth of international markets for innovative technologies.
  • Greater investment in RSI will enhance New Zealand’s ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce, which is key to greater productivity and wealth.  We expect to see better workforce outcomes, including greater representation of Māori, Pacific Peoples, and women, with more globally talented people choosing to work and contribute their skills within New Zealand.
  • The reforms’ focus on lifting wellbeing will ensure that the benefits from RSI activities and investments benefit all New Zealanders. By focusing on areas that matter we expect the reforms to lift well-being indicators in all areas of priority, including health and social indicators, environmental, cultural, and economic indicators. We will assess the impact of priorities through their impact on economic and well-being indicators.

Reform Principles and Objectives

The reform objectives provide a framework for how we will achieve our vision for the RSI system and respond to the case for change. Each objective is supported by key policy directions that set the course for the reform programme.

The diagram below demonstrates that our people and the ability of our system to adapt to new challenges and opportunities, will enable the maximal output and impact of the RSI system. Underpinning this and encompassing all other objectives is the embedding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the design of the RSI system.

The objectives of Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways emphasise a wellbeing approach to reform. As such, they reflect the four wellbeing principles of He Ara Waiora, a framework to understand a Māori perspective of wellbeing: Kotahitanga, Tikanga, Manaakitanga and Whanaungatanga.

Figure 6 – Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways vision and objectives

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Creating New Futures

We want research and science to deliver value from new knowledge and ideas, and we look to the process of innovation to turn our best ideas into economic growth and improvements in our collective social, health, and environmental wellbeing by translating discoveries into new products, services and jobs. We want the sum of research, science and innovation activities to enhance the capacity of our society to take onboard RSI advances in knowledge, digitalisation and innovation, address what is most important, and create positive change in business, environment, health, public services, government, and for communities and wider society. As a Pacific nation we also want our Pacific communities and neighbours to be able to benefit from, and contribute to these advances.

Te Ara Paerangi aims to create a closer link between RSI investment and Government’s social, environmental and economic policy objectives. It is important that RSI resources are more effectively directed towards the most significant challenges and opportunities for Aotearoa’s wellbeing to result in impactful change, in addition to allowing space for investigator-led and ‘blue skies’ research.

A much greater emphasis on alignment and co-ordination (Kotahitanga) will be required to grow the value that we want and need from our RSI system. National Research Priorities will create a locus for connectivity, alignment, and coordination across the system. Supporting people and organisations to collaborate will harness the resources of the system, to provide greater traction from combined efforts across the system. Investment supporting priorities will drive new capability, enhance infrastructure planning, workforce initiatives, and incentivise connectivity between the RSI system and stakeholders.

Embedding Te Tiriti

New Zealand is a multicultural society where the Crown and Māori are working towards partnership. Te Ara Paerangi acknowledges and responds to a strong call from across the sector to address marginalisation of Māori by the RSI system. We want the RSI system to reflect this partnership through affirming and embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its design, to enable opportunities for mātauranga Māori, Māori researchers and Māori-led research to deliver on Māori aspirations (Tikanga).

Valuing Our People

We want to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders by respecting our workforce and reflecting our community in the RSI system (Manaakitanga). We support the wellbeing of our people by providing them with the resources and opportunities to have meaningful, inspiring and stable careers. We want to encourage smooth transitions and make pathways more visible between the RSI system, industry and the wider public sector; where people will take their knowledge and skills into new fields to deliver impact. Te Ara Paerangi recognises that a talented, diverse and well-connected workforce is critical to growing research and innovation in areas of high priority and value for New Zealand. Te Ara Paerangi is signalling greater investment to build and develop the people and capabilities needed for future opportunities and challenges.

A goal of the reform is to create viable career pathways for our people, and to support workforce requirements across the sector, spanning both research and research support staff. To ensure the benefits and opportunities from research and innovation accrue to a broad and diverse constituency the system must recognise, value and enable the contribution of diverse communities to research and innovation. A system that looks like this also enables researchers to engage in Manaakitanga in their work in relation to Aotearoa.

Building System Agility

A dynamic and high-performing system is a key determinant of impact. We want settings, institutions, governance arrangements, and our investment approach to allow for change while providing the necessary stability that enables our people to deliver high-quality research, science and innovation.

Its only by working together and harnessing our collective efforts (Whanaungatanga) that the system will be able to achieve our ambitious goals. The reforms seek to foster relationships and networks to promote collaboration where possible. We will harness the collective capacity of our RSI system by supporting relationships through collaboration networks centred on National Research Priorities, funding reform to reduce unproductive competition, and encouraging workforce mobility across the system. We will also need to coordinate access to, and investment in, key research infrastructures that drive research productivity, excellence, and impact.


[1] Towards a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy: Aotearoa New Zealand’s first emissions reduction plan, Ministry for the Environment, 2022

[2] Main Science and Technology Indicators database, OECD, 2022

[3] R&D Survey, Stats NZ , 2021

[4] OECD (2020), "The effects of R&D tax incentives and their role in the innovation policy mix: Findings from the OECD microBeRD project, 2016-19", OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 92, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[5] The Research, Science and Innovation Report, MBIE, 2021

[6] R&D Survey, Stats NZ, 2021

[7] Main Science and Technology Indicators database, OECD, 2022

[8] New Zealand firms: Reaching for the frontier, NZ Productivity Commission, 2021

[9] Te Pae Kahurangi – Positioning Crown Research Institutes to collectively and respectively meet New Zealand’s current and future needs, MBIE, 2020

[10] Ibid

[11] R&D Survey, Stats NZ, 2021

[12] Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Summary of Submissions – Part One, All Submissions and Engagements, MBIE, 2022

[13] Te Pae Kahurangi – Positioning Crown Research Institutes to collectively and respectively meet New Zealand’s current and future needs, MBIE, 2020

[14] New Zealand firms: Reaching for the frontier, New Zealand Productivity Commission, 2021

[15] Cabinet Office Guidance (CO (19) 5) Te Tiriti o Waitangi Guidance simply refers to the three articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as: Article One – the Government gained the right to govern. Article Two – the Crown promises that Māori will have the right to make decisions over resources and taonga which they wish to retain. Article Three – the Crown promises that its obligations to New Zealand citizens are owed equally to Māori.

[16] Te Pūtahitanga A Tiriti–led Science-Policy Approach for Aotearoa New Zealand(external link), Kuktai, Tahu et al., 2021

[17] Ko Aotearoa tēnei: A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity(external link), Waitangi Tribunal, 2011 (see 6.1.3 The research, science, and technology agencies)

[18] A Wai 262 Best Practice Guide For Science Partnerships With Kaitiaki For Research Involving Taonga(external link), Rauika Māngai, 2022

[19] A Guide to Vision Mātauranga: Lessons from Māori Voices in the New Zealand Science Sector, Rauika Māngai, 2020

[20] Te Pae Kahurangi- Positioning Crown Research Institutes to collectively and respectively meet New Zealand’s current and future needs, MBIE 2020

[21] Ko Aotearoa tēnei: A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity(external link), Waitangi Tribunal, 2011 (see page 573)

[22] Tā te Rangahau, Pūtaiao me te Auahatanga Pūrongo Ohu Mahi o ngā Whakahaere: Research, Science and Innovation Workforce Survey of Organisations Report, MBIE, 2022

[23] OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2021: Times of Crisis and Opportunity, OECD, 2021.

[24] Tā te Rangahau, Pūtaiao me te Auahatanga Pūrongo Ohu Mahi o ngā Whakahaere: Research, Science and Innovation Workforce Survey of Organisations Report, MBIE, 2022

[25] OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2021: Times of Crisis and Opportunity, OECD, 2021.

[26] Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Summary of Submissions – Part One, All Submissions and Engagements, MBIE, 2022