Our Stakeholders, Relationships and CollaborationsŌ Mātau Hunga Whai Pānga, Ngā Hononga me Ngā Mahi Tahi


GNS is helping to address some of New Zealand’s most pressing environmental issues. The work we do on behalf of all New Zealanders helps build resilient communities, it improves productivity and economic growth, it supports innovation and ensures our sustainable future.

As a Crown Research Institute (CRI), our role is to deliver science that benefits New Zealand, which means our ultimate stakeholders are the people of New Zealand.

By definition, our key stakeholder is the New Zealand Government, which funds much of our science research and services. Working in partnership with other CRIs, research institutes and industry representatives, we also deliver a range of commercial services, which support business development, innovation and growth.

Our work is guided across our four science themes:

Using Chorus' copper network to monitor earthquake activity transcript
With more research we hoping to be  able to fine-tune the earthquake  
hazard probabilities along this part of the  East Coast. We're actually really excited to  
be a part of this it's not something Chorus  has done before, partnering with scientists.
You think of the subduction zone as a machine,  so what we're trying to do is understand the  
lubrication system of the machine, because we're  you've got a good lubrication system it'll slip  
slowly but we're in the lubrication system jams  up then you you store a lot of energy which is  
seen released in a very large earthquake. Today  we're at an Oda Bay 20 kilometers north of Tolaga  
Bay where we're connecting a GNS electrode to  the chorus copper Network. It's a mixture of  
high tech and low tech this so I take chemistry  inside and there on a piece of wood and PVC pipe.
So the course copper wire network  is what connects all this up and it  
saves GNS time and money of laying  very long wires along the roads.
All right we just let it cool down. Perfect.
The phone lines run 20 kilometers  back to Tolaga Bay exchange where the  
other electrode locations will also  return to on chorus copper cables.
This place is very similar to Japan, we  are we have very large earthquakes. The  
Hikurangi plate has some slow slips and also  Japan Plate also have the slow slip and we  
want to know why such a thing happened. We  don't know that we can but if we can then  
we have another tool where we can monitor  the fault zone directly from the surface,  
which should be first anywhere in  the world if we can get it to work.

Using Chorus' copper network to monitor earthquake activity

  • Natural Hazards and Risks

    One of our key roles is to help keep New Zealanders safe from the harm posed by natural hazards. We do this in partnership with EQC, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Toitu - Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and MBIE. Our expertise informs and influences the development of risk-related policies, regulations and industry standards.

    We collaborate with other CRIs and universities to research the causes, risks and consequences of geological hazards, and we actively engage with iwi/Māori, local authorities and the insurance industry to ensure they have the tools and information to understand and manage risks in their communities.

  • Environment and Climate  

    Our environment and climate research is undertaken as part of a national effort involving government ministries and agencies, other CRIs involved in environmental management (ESR, NIWA and the Cawthron Institute), Science New Zealand, all of our tertiary institutions, local and regional councils and a range of resource-specific science and research alliances.

    The relationships we have with iwi/Māori ensures the principles of participation, protection and partnership underpin our environment and climate activities. We also work alongside primary industry stakeholders to identify research priorities, resolve and mitigate issues, and assist them to sustainably manage New Zealand’s precious natural resources.

    Because environment and climate issues don’t respect borders, our work also involves working with a range of international stakeholders, including foreign governments, international research centres and aid agencies.  

  • Energy Futures 

    GNS is considered New Zealand’s ‘energy CRI’. We work very closely with MBIE, other central and local government agencies and the New Zealand energy sector, including suppliers, generators and industry representative groups, to undertake research, gather data, discover and innovate.

    We operate one of the world’s pre-eminent geothermal research centres and we have deep partnerships with iwi/Māori to understand, explore, develop and protect the geothermal energy potential of their land and resources.

    Our research, data and expertise are used extensively by the energy sector, including field operators, engineers and technicians, and industrial and agricultural clients to enable energy innovation. Our collective efforts will help New Zealand achieve its net zero carbon emissions goal.

  • Land and Marine Geoscience

    GNS work provides accurate appraisal of Aotearoa New Zealand’s on-land and offshore resource potential to enable sustainable custodianship of our natural resources. This sees us coordinating geoscience research initiatives, in collaboration with New Zealand government agencies, universities, CRIs and iwi/Māori, and alongside other countries with an interest in Zealandia and the Southern Ocean.   

  • Our Approach: Creating Communities of Practice

    Just like earth systems, Earth science is indelibly interconnected. Often our stakeholders are seeking input and expertise from across the science spectrum, so instead of them having to make the connections, GNS has embarked on a new way of engaging with, and providing services to, our stakeholders.

    Communities of Practice support collective learning and engagement. Instead of ‘going it alone’ our people take a holistic approach to working with stakeholders, which ensures our disciplines are aligned to their needs.

    The results? Better outcomes – whether for science, for business and industry or for our communities. Communities of Practice encourage innovation, novel and transformative approaches, better practice, and deeper relationships.

  • Community Engagement

    New Zealand communities are key recipients and benefactors of the work we do here at GNS. From a ‘natural hazards’ viewpoint, our communities are at risk from some of the world’s most feared natural phenomena – earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. It’s important we all understand these risks so we can prepare for them and build resilience to them.

    The same goes for our environment and climate – it’s changing, and we need people to understand the potential impacts this will have on our economy, our way of life, for public health and safety and our future. Again, it’s about understanding the potential risks so we can prepare for them, change and adapt to them and build resilience to them.

    The energy we use is already changing and it will continue to do so in the future. Electric cars, green hydrogen, supercritical geothermal – they’re all going to provide fresh opportunities for us to move towards a carbon zero and more sustainable energy future. 

    And all of this underpinned by our reliance on Zealandia - the submerged continent upon which we are perched, and which is beginning to reveal vital clues from our past and for our future.

  • International / Global Stakeholders

    GNS aspires to be a valued international partner and we lead numerous international initiatives designed to benefit New Zealand and global communities. As one of only two countries in the world considered ‘expert’ in geothermal energy (the other being Iceland), our facilities, research and commercial services are sought after by international governments, infrastructure providers, engineers and field operators. 

    Our work on building resilience to natural hazards spans the Asia Pacific region, and we are currently engaged in projects aimed to strengthen communities in Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Latin and South America and the Caribbean.

    International research collaborations and partnerships also enable GNS to grow capability, leverage co-funding and bring new knowledge and additional scientific infrastructure and equipment to New Zealand. Through strategic agreements and partnerships, GNS accesses a global network of capability and large-scale geoscience and isotope science agencies in Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy and the USA. We also hold strategic national memberships that connect us to collaborative resources, including the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and the International Continental Drilling Programme (ICDP).

  • Engaging across the science sector

    Creating and sharing knowledge is a fundamental aspect of our work. One of the ways we do this is through our participation in the National Environmental Data Centre (NEDC). 

    The NEDC data discovery portal helps you find and access environmental data from New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) and science research organisations. This includes many of GNS Science’s key science datasets. 

    Access the NEDC data discovery portal here(external link)

  • Education Resources

    • GEO Camps
    • Geo Trips
    • Tech Week (Taranaki) 
    • Geo week (Taupo)

The only way GNS can successfully deliver excellent, relevant science that benefits Aotearoa New Zealand now and into the future is by connecting with people. It’s our job to ensure they have the knowledge, awareness and tools to live safely, productively and sustainably in a world that is ever changing

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