NIWA Science Platforms

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest and pre-eminent provider of climate, freshwater and ocean science.

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NIWA is supported by the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF). SSIF programmes are structured around science platforms. A science platform is a combination of people, facilities, information and knowledge that provide a particular ongoing science and innovation capability for Aotearoa New Zealand.

NIWA's science platforms

NIWA carries out research across three main science platforms.

Ocean science

Understanding, managing and maximising the benefits of New Zealand’s marine estate.

  • New Zealand’s marine estate
  • Fisheries stock assessment
  • Sustainable use of marine resources
  • Biodiversity and biosecurity
  • High-value finfish aquaculture

Freshwater science

Supporting the sustainable management of New Zealand’s freshwater resources.

  • Freshwater quality and quantity
  • Biodiversity and biosecurity
  • Sustainable use
  • Flood forecasting

Climate, atmosphere and hazard science

Understanding large-scale weather and climate systems through numerical prediction techniques, monitoring and advanced measurement.

  • Climate change and variability
  • High-precision weather forecasting
  • Weather-related hazard forecasting
  • Adaptation and mitigation

What they want to achieve

Increasing New Zealand’s resilience to weather and climate hazards is one of NIWA’s core purpose outcomes.

NIWA is the lead Crown Research Institute in aquaculture and its focus includes development of new high-value species such as kingfish which can be farmed with a low environmental footprint.

Tracey burton lake rotoma DSC1509 credit rod budd NIWA
NIWA’s scientific divers play a key role in freshwater and ocean science. Tracey Burton measures the invasive weed lagarosiphon in Lake Rotomā as part of a lake health survey. Credit: Rod Budd


NIWA science platforms

Read more about some of NIWA's coasts and oceans-related work