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About our science and data

Why science and data matters

Science and data are critical for the Ministry if we are to understand our environment today and anticipate the future. They inform public debate and inspire action, and enable us to ground our advice to decisions makers and develop effective policy and guidance.

What we mean by science and data

Our definition of science is deliberately broad. Science refers to the data, monitoring, research, reports, scientific methods, and understanding we use to make decisions and give advice. It covers areas such as environmental economics, social and behavioural sciences, and Mātauranga Māori as well as the biophysical sciences.

Data is information stored in an accessible and easily shareable format, and includes tabular data (tables) as well as spatial data (maps).

Science and data at the Ministry

The following documents set out what science and data we need and our aspirations for science and data at the Ministry.

Conservation and environment science roadmap  - sets out New Zealand’s conservation and environment science needs and priorities for the next 20 years.

Our Science strategy Rautaki pūtaiao - outlines the Ministry’s aspirations for the collection, use, sharing and communication of science.

Access our environmental science and data

The Ministry and Stats NZ produce environmental reports which describe environmental pressures, states and impacts for the marine, freshwater, atmosphere and climate, land and air domains, see New Zealand's Environmental reporting series 

The MfE Data Service has our environmental datasets and the publications section includes science and data related reports.