About us

Scientists, industry and communities must work together if society is to adapt to the changing climate.

Climate science can be complex and overwhelming, and is not always used effectively in planning and decision-making. To guide planning and policy, we're bringing together new research approaches to determine the impacts of a changing climate on our climate-sensitive economic sectors, infrastructure and natural resources. 

Through innovative community engagement and multi-disciplinary research collaborations, our five interlinked programmes connect  scientists with society.


Our objective

Our objective, set by Cabinet, is to understand the role of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment. Building on our objective, our mission was developed to guide our vision, research priorities and activities.


Our mission

Our mission is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate.


Our governance and management structure

The following schematic outlines our governance and management structure. Māori leadership and input is included at all levels.

Deep South Challenge governance schematic. Click on the image to expand it.


Independent Science Panel

The Independent Science Panel provides our Board with independent science advice and input into the challenge’s science strategy and priorities. The panel also helps with assessments of science quality and performance.  

Read more about the Independent Science Panel


Governance Board

Our independent Board was appointed by the collaborative parties of the Deep South Challenge.

Read more about the Governance Board


Kāhui Māori

Our Kāhui Māori provides the Governance Board and Science Leadership Team with strategic advice and input into our science strategy and priorities, and helps with the assessment of science quality, performance and responsiveness to iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori business goals.

Read more about the Deep South Challenge's Kāhui Māori


Science Leadership Team

The Science Leadership Team is responsible for scoping, leading and developing of the Deep South Challenge.

Read more about the Science Leadership Team 


Challenge Parties

The Deep South Challenge, hosted by NIWA, is a research collaboration between the following Crown Research Institutes, universities and research providers:

Latest news and updates

road underwater

DSC Seminar #6 | Counting the cost of climate change: Treasury seminar redux

With Dave Frame, Belinda Storey and David Fleming

Climate change is already making day-to-day life more precarious and more expensive, both for ordinary New Zealanders and for our local and central governments. New Zealanders are increasingly interested in climate adaptation strategies. Conversations about the cost of early adaptation versus the risk of delayed action are growing in volume.

The Wharewaka on Wellington's waterfront

Deep South Challenge symposium created opportunities for researchers to hear directly from end-users 

Remember our September symposium at Te Wharewaka ō Pōneke? Well, results are in from the surveys of participants we carried out to find out how well our aims for the symposium had been met.

Wendy Saunders

“Never wrestle with a pig”

An interview with our new Science Lead in the Engagement Programme, GNS social scientist Wendy Saunders