Our projects

Our core research projects for 2021–24 are organised into four interrelated impact areas, which relate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Building a just and equitable society

Projects ranging from evaluating the effectiveness of researchers’ impact on policy, to culturally safe primary healthcare delivery, the revitalisation of te reo Māori, and the impact of the distrust of science. These interlinked projects provide the underpinning to utilising complex systems approaches in order to build a more just civil society.

Ebbs and flows of knowledge and influence across the science-policy interface

Studying the influence of scientific research on science policy, and the influence of science policy on scientific research.

Te ara o te reo Māori | The trajectory of the Māori language

Collating, analysing and transforming data on te reo Māori into an assessment of the current and future trajectory of the language.

Ngā ara hou ki te ora | New pathways to wellbeing

Modelling healthcare delivery and optimising for wellbeing, justice, equity, and efficiency.

Science, statistics and the media

Investigating how particular communities in Aotearoa New Zealand use the language, markers and tools of science and technology to promote non-credible scientific and social scientific claims.

Human and environmental health and wellbeing

A collection of projects which focuses on balancing the demands and rights of human society and the environment. Examining economic benefits of the nature of knowledge flows, through to systems mapping to understand the relationships between human and environmental health, this impact area reviews archaeological data about land management and use through a mātauranga (Indigenous knowledge) lens and develops artificial intelligence methods to improve Aotearoa New Zealand’s bioprotection.

Ki te toi o te ora: System change to reverse health inequality and environmental degradation

Creating a system-wide map to identify effective levers for systems change in the interrelated complex systems reproducing health inequalities and environmental degradation.

Kaitiakitanga and the ecodynamics of early Māori horticulture

Investigating how Māori drew on the knowledge of the founding Polynesian ancestors and developed unique perspectives and practices in response to the Ahuahu Great Mercury Island landscape.

Networks of knowledge sharing

Understanding the driving forces of knowledge propagation through communities and to investigate whether aspects of this process can shine light on quality and/or value associated with certain items of knowledge

Towards a better understanding of artificial intelligence and its interaction with its environment

Developing new tools to both understand the consequences of interactions between artificial intelligence (AI) and the systems they purport to study.

Better models and methods

Projects which focus on developing better, more transparent and equitable algorithms, exploring the mathematical roots of emergence and investigating network structure in multilayer networks, with real world applications. These projects collectively develop and test new complex systems methods and models.

Evolutionary game theory of Bellman agents

Investigating the origin of cooperation.

Maths Craft in a Box

Making maths accessible in new ways to support the vital work of maths teachers across the country.

Spreading processes on (multilayer and multiplex) networks

Understanding how the outcomes of spreading processes on real-world networks are affected by the multilayer and multiplex network structures and by different network topologies.

The Co-production Project

Developing knowledge of co-production in order to improve use of this method in an Aotearoa New Zealand setting.

Kindness in Science

Developing a culture of inclusion which sustains the robust discourse essential for science but does not come at the expense of the dignity of those who participate.

Our changing climate

Projects which explore the links between climate change impacts, mitigations, and civil society, from anthropogenic impacts in Antarctica, to rivers as testcase ecosystems for mitigation approaches, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique braided rivers in social and environmental decision-making. These connected projects tease out the complex relationships between governmental and inter-governmental policy, environmental flourishing, and human approaches to environments, using complex systems models and methods to examine these data.

Achieving sustainable and resilient river ecosystems in Aotearoa under climate change

Leveraging data and models to identify solutions to increase the resilience of river ecosystems to uncertain futures both nationally and globally.

Braided rivers: The land the law forgot

Integrating legal, economic, social, and cultural factors into the well-established models of the topology of braided rivers, along with models of climatic uncertainty to better understand these unique landscape features.

Human activity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Rescue, knowledge and understanding our role as a vector of change.

Accessing, rescuing, and analysing the vast range of (mostly hidden) historical information about human activities in this geographically and scientifically distinctive region.