Advisory Groups

From 1 July 2020, the NZAGRC’s new Governance Group, the NZAGRC Director and staff, and the NZAGRC research programmes, will be supported by the following Advisory Groups. Membership of each group will be finalised over the coming months and published on this website once available. For more preliminary details on each of the groups outlined below, please see the NZAGRC’s 2019-2020 Business Plan.

Science Programme Advisory Group

A Science Programme Advisory Group (SPAG) will be set up to:

  • Help develop the Science Plan and funding recommendations
  • Monitor science progress by reviewing quarterly reports from NZAGRC-funded projects and programmes
  • Work with the Director to assess each individual science project on an annual basis
  • Help assess any new requests for science funding prior to them being submitted to the Governance Group for approval.
  • Meet annually with the Governance Group to provide an independent update on how it is functioning and discuss any changes that could improve its performance

In this way, the SPAG will help ensure that the NZAGRC’s research investments are outcome-focused and of high quality. The SPAG will comprise representatives of the NZAGRC member organisations, the PGgRC Manager, two representatives from the Stakeholder Advisory Group, and observers from MPI and MBIE. The Chair of the SPAG will be a member of the Governance Group.  

Stakeholder Advisory Group

A Stakeholder Advisory Group (STAG) will bring critical sector and societal perspectives to the work of the NZAGRC. It will meet twice yearly to support the Governance Group and will comprise eight members, appointed by the Chair of the Governance Group, MPI and MBIE via a nominations process.

The STAG’s key functions are to:

  • Provide input into the research prioritisation process
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the NZAGRC programme in terms of industry and policy relevance
  • Provide independent advice to the Governance Group on the progress of the science
  • Assist with reviews of the NZAGRC science programme.

Representatives will be drawn from sector organisations, FOMA, Iwi Chairs Forum, relevant NGOs, research organisations, farmers and public sector organisations (e.g. Regional Councils). The Chair of the STAG will also be a member of the Governance Group. Two members of the STAG will also be nominated by the Group to sit on the SPAG.

Māori Advisory Group

A Māori Advisory Group (name to be decided by members of the Group) will work in partnership with the SPAG to identify priorities for the dedicated Iwi/Māori research workstream and ensure that the needs of Māori agri-businesses are being addressed by the NZAGRC.

Having a dedicated Māori Advisory Group explicitly recognises the special kaitiaki role that Māori play in managing Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural resources, and our responsibilities pursuant to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.

This group will meet quarterly to recommend specific pieces of work to the SPAG (for ultimate approval by the Governance Group), and to monitor progress of relevant contracted work. The chair of the Māori Advisory Group will sit as an observer on the Governance Group. The NZAGRC Director, the Chair of the Governance Group and MBIE/MPI will work with Iwi/Māori organisations (e.g. FOMA) to establish the Group.

Principal Investigators and Programme Leaders

The NZAGRC Director will also work with a small group of Principal Investigators and Programme Leaders to help develop, implement and monitor the NZAGRC 2019-2025 Science Plan. These are individuals who have excellent science credentials, accompanied by strong leadership, communication, strategic and inter-personal skills, and who have the trust of their peers in the wider science community.

Science Review Panel

A Science Review Panel will provide independent advice to the Governance Group and MPI/MBIE. This Panel will not be a permanently constituted group but will be assembled to meet the needs of a particular review. Its make-up and Terms of Reference will be agreed by the Governance Group and MPI/MBIE.

The Science Review Panel’s key functions are to:

  • Provide feedback to the Governance Group and NZAGRC Director on strengths and weaknesses in science quality, direction and achievement
  • Provide guidance to the Governance Group, NZAGRC Director and Principal Investigators on areas of concern, and recommend steps to address those concerns
  • Report confidentially to the Governance Group, AgResearch Board and Chief Executive and MPI/MBIE summarising review conclusions (positive and negative) and recommending any actions that those bodies should take as a result.

It is expected that the Science Review Panel will have strong international representation. A minimum of two science reviews will be conducted between 2019-2025.