A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara

A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara is our national strategic plan for science in society.

Science and technology in Aotearoa New Zealand starts with curiosity. With an objective to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology in all sectors of New Zealand, the A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara strategy outlines the Government's key objective to be achieved over a 10-year period (from 2014 to 2024) and with key action areas to progress.

The strategy at a glance

Curious Minds main objective: Encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology in all sectors of New Zealand

Strategic action area MBIE-funded activities, initiatives and programmes that collectively contribute towards the strategy’s main objective
Enhancing the role of education
Focusing on science / pūtaiao and technology / hangarau education for young people
Public engaging with science and technology
Building on the importance of parents, families/whānau and locals to create opportunities for engagement through community-focused and collaborative opportunities.
Science sector engaging with the public
Supporting the different ways in which science and tech researchers, specialists and institutions can share their work and connect with other people, places and organisations.

Why Curious Minds was developed

In February 2013 the National Science Challenges panel was asked to identify the most significant science-based issues and opportunities facing New Zealand. The panel submitted its report in March 2013. In response to the recommendations in their report:

  • The Government announced 10 research areas as New Zealand’s National Science Challenges in May 2013. An 11th area was added in 2014.
    National Science Challenges(external link)
  • The Minister of Science and Innovation and the Minister of Education with close involvement from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor developed a strategic plan A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara : A National Strategic Plan for Science in Society which was officially launched(external link) in July 2014.
    The strategy responded to the panel’s recommendation for an additional Science in Society Leadership Challenge to ensure the success of the National Science Challenges if New Zealand is to responsibly apply science and innovation as well as benefit from its investment in scientific research.

Monitoring the strategy’s progress

The plan details how these actions will be monitored and evaluated throughout their initiation and continuation. It also identifies the outcomes we should expect to see over the 10 years, which include:

  • more science and technology-competent learners, and more choosing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related career pathways
  • a more scientifically and technologically engaged public and a more publicly engaged science sector
  • a more skilled workforce and more responsive science and technology.

Resources for project teams

Materials to help Curious Minds funded project teams set up, manage and evaluate their activities.

If you currently manage or are about to begin a project funded through the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund or the Participatory Science Platform, these materials can help you.

Brand guidelines [PDF, 4 MB] — To help you know where to put our logo and what formats to use.

Curious Minds logo kit [ZIP, 16 MB] — Downloadable pack of logo formats to use in your documentation and marketing.

Photo consent guidelines [DOCX, 51 KB] — To help you get permission from participants (if adult) or their parents that allows you and us to use and share photographs/videos of your project with others.

Surveying guidelines [DOCX, 131 KB] — To help you manage the ethical and confidentiality issues that can arise from feedback surveys etc.