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Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory

Rafter Radiocarbon has been at the forefront of radiocarbon measurement development and application for over 60 years. We made our first measurement in 1951 and have operated continuously since then. We operate to stringent QC/QA protocols developed over the decades of operation and we will not take shortcuts in processing or measurement merely to lower our costs. Quality of the result and particularly reproducibility of results is our driver.


The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten


From 1 August 2015 we will be rebalancing our work to focus on development and applications of radiocarbon particularly in areas of research interest to GNS Science and New Zealand, including atmospheric CO2, the modern carbon cycle, global change, paleoclimate, and paleo-hazard events.

Rafter Radiocarbon will continue to provide ‘fee-for-sample’ services. Contact the lab BEFORE sending samples so we can confirm availability of our service, the likely turnaround time and costs and provide the necessary documentation needed to send samples to us.

The worlds oldest continuously operating radiocarbon laboratory, Rafter Radiocarbon, is a department within the National Isotope Centre and has a long history in radiocarbon dating.

From its first radiocarbon measurement in 1951 to the installation of a new compact AMS in 2010 this facility has been at the forefront of radiocarbon analysis.


New compact mass spectrometer at the Rafter Laboratory facility.

As well as the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) facility, the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory operates a modern, well equipped sample processing laboratory.

More information

Please contact us with any inquiries you may have.