NZAGRC Science Leadership Team

The role of NZAGRC Science Leadership Team (SLT) is to play a key part in the development, implementation and monitoring of all of the Centre’s science programmes and strategies.  It consists of respected New Zealand-based researchers with excellent science credentials accompanied by strong leadership, communication, strategic and inter-personal skills with expertise in those areas of science covered in the NZAGRC Strategy and Science Plan.

Membership is agreed by the Steering Group and includes the NZAGRC Principal Investigators in addition to the NZAGRC Director and NZAGRC Operations Manager.  

Dr Graeme Attwood  AgResearch  
Dr Cecile DeKlein   AgResearch 
Professor Hong Di  Lincoln University 
Dr Robyn Dynes  AgResearch  
Dr Peter Janssen  AgResearch  
Dr David Whitehead   Manaaki Whenua


Science leadership & capability building 

The NZAGRC is committed to providing opportunities for researchers to be trained and work with leading experts in New Zealand.  Some students go on to continue their studies or enter a postdoctoral position under guidance from NZAGRC science leaders, other enter into industry based positions.

The NZAGRC supports more than 50 researchers and students by providing funding via its core research programme or via its student scholarships programme.

Below are profiles of our scientists and past students. 

Research Leader - Dr Tanira Kingi

Dr Tanira Kingi leads the NZAGRC’s Māori-focussed Research Programme along with Phil Journeaux, which aims to assist the Māori pastoral sector improve its collective capacity to increase resource efficiency and farm productivity while lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Tanira is Scion’s research leader in primary industry systems and an agricultural economist in Scion’s Value Chain Optimisation Group. He leads a team that specialises in building multi-model decision support frameworks on climate change adaptation, environmental mitigation and land use change.

With tribal affiliations to Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Rangitihi, Te Arawa nui tonu and Ngati Awa, Tanira has over 30 years’ experience in New Zealand’s agricultural, forestry and horticultural industries as a research academic and practitioner.

He has a PhD in agricultural economics and development from the Australian National University and an MAppSc (Hons) in agricultural systems management from Massey University.

Tanira maintains extensive networks with industry, Government and Māori and sits on a number of tribal economic authorities and post-settlement entities with dairy farms. He chairs the Te Arawa Primary Sector Group that has 25 member entities, many with multiple dairy farms in the Rotorua district.

He has held several ministerial appointments on land tenure, freshwater, forestry and climate change policy reform.

In recent times the NZAGRC’s Māori-focussed Research Programme has been working closely with Māori Agri Business entities on their decision-making and likelihood of adopting GHG mitigation strategies.

The project has produced an information brochure for farmers and rural professionals and also assisted in the development of a pilot one-day training session on climate change issues, for rural professionals.

Field days on both Māori Agri Business entities confirmed people are very interested in the mitigation strategies modelled, and the resultant impact on GHG emissions and farm profitability.

There was also keen interest in helping identify trade-offs and synergies through the integration of issues such as farm profitability, GHG and nutrient discharge mitigation, and land use change.

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