A middle aged man stands at the front of a room and gestures to an audience

Helping New Zealanders to make decisions informed by climate science, and to inform Deep South Challenge research.

Successful public engagement in science is not only about communicating information, but involves understanding what the public know, need to know, and their different values and attitudes. In the case of the Deep South Challenge, this also means communicating these needs back into the scientific process. In order to do this we need to develop the appropriate knowledge, skills, and capacity for all those involved, both inside and outside the Challenge.

The Engagement programme will focus on working with Māori, communities, industry sectors and central and local government. These conversations will unify all three core interconnected research programmes (Processes and Observations, Earth System Modelling and Prediction, and Impacts and Implications), and work alongside the Vision Mātauranga programme to facilitate collaboration between our society and our scientists.


The Engagement programme will be delivered through six objectives:

  • Ensuring research responds to New Zealanders’ needs
  • Public engagement to inform climate-related decisions
  • Working with key sectors to enable more informed decision-making
  • Evaluation and research
  • Providing training and support in climate change engagement
  • Providing Challenge updates and information.


Funding opportunities for Engagement

The Engagement Programme has funding available for engagement activities that will enable New Zealanders to make informed decisions in regards to climate change impacts. There is a simple process and form to complete, but in the first instance please contact the following contacts to discuss your idea:

For public activities please email Alex Keeble, Senior Communications Advisor

For private or public sector activities please email Susan Livengood, Partnerships Director


Engagement Strategy and Executive Summary

The Engagement Strategy for the Deep South Challenge (DSC) outlines the goal and objectives of the Engagement Programme and describes background research, practical workstreams and example activities for delivery of these objectives. 

Engagement Strategy and Executive Summary


Funded projects

Culture & Climate Change (Contestable 2017)

Have a look at all Deep South Challenge Projects


Contact and Programme lead

The Engagement team is made up of Dr Rhian Salmon, Science Lead, Susan Livengood, Director of Partnerships, Dr Joanna Goven, Evaluation Lead, Alex Keeble, Senior Communications Advisor and Lorraine Taylor, Engagement Coordinator.  

Please email us DSC-engagement@vuw.ac.nz and will forward your email to the right person.

Engagement Team - About Us

Latest news and updates

“Gaining traction on intractable issues”: An interview with Partnerships Director Susan Livengood

Susan Livengood is the Partnerships Director of the Deep South Challenge, and works within the Engagement programme – which tries to connect what’s happening in every programme of the challenge with both the broader public and with targeted individuals and organisations throughout New Zealand’s public and private sectors.

Deep South Challenge tackles crucial task of understanding and adapting to climate change

On Monday 4 September, Minister for Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith will open the inaugural Deep South Challenge symposium at the Wharewaka (Wellington waterfront), about how New Zealand can and must change in line with our changing climate.

Climate Change Engagement in Aotearoa New Zealand

A new report released by the Deep South Challenge this month recommends increasing the availability of plain-language resources about climate change in both English and te reo Māori, framing scientific information for application to practical decision making, and increasing access to climate change conversations for a wider array of end-users.