Nationally Significant Collections and Databases

Scientific collections and databases comprise systematically collected groups of items or data that underpin a broad range of scientific research.

About the collections and databases

Scientific collections and databases comprise systematically collected groups of items or data that underpin a broad range of scientific research.

Collections generally contain physical specimens such as animals, plants, microorganisms or fossils and their associated metadata.

Databases are stored repositories of information on particular subjects of interest such as climate observations, environmental data or natural hazards information.

The funding basis

The New Zealand Government provides $19 million of funding per year to Nationally Significant Collections and Databases (NSCDs) through us.

The NSCDs were identified in 1992 and funded on the basis that:

  • the databases and collections are critical for New Zealand science to deliver public benefit
  • the benefits accrue to many, varied users and third party beneficiaries.

In addition to the NSCDs, we indirectly fund other collections and databases through research investments.

The collections and databases we fund directly are shown in the table below. 

Collections and databases directly funded by us Custodians
Margot Forde Germplasm Centre(external link) AgResearch
Adélie Penguin Census Database* Antartica New Zealand
Micro-algae Collection Cawthron Institute Cawthron Institute
National Earthquake Information Database
National Groundwater Monitoring Programme
National Petrology Reference Collection and PET Database
New Zealand Fossil Record File
New Zealand Geomagnetic Database
New Zealand National Paleontological Collection and Database
New Zealand Volcano Database
Regional Geological Map Archive and Database
Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS)
Allan Herbarium and Associated Databases
International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants and Associated Databases
Land Resource Information System
National Vegetation Survey Databank
New Zealand Arthropod Collection, New Zealand Nematode Collection and Specimen and Information Database
New Zealand Fungal Herbarium and Associated Database
Nga Tipu Whakaoranga Ethnobotany Database and New Zealand Flax and Living Plant Collections
Landcare Research New Zealand Limited
National Climate Database
New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database
NIWA Marine Benthic Biology Collection
Water Resources Archive
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA)
Crop Germplasm Resources Unit
National Collections of Fruit and Crop Germplasm
The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research Limited
National Forest Herbarium and Database Scion
* Not classified as NSCD but funded through MBIE

Funding review

We are currently reviewing the Government’s investment in collections and databases to ensure an efficient and enduring funding model.

This review has a broader scope than the NSCDs.

Read more information about the Review including the Terms of Reference.