Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor

Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaio Matua ki ti Pirimia

Professor Juliet Gerrard

The role:

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (PMCSA), Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te Pirimia, has a broad role centred around advising the Prime Minister on how science in its very broadest sense can inform good decision making in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The PMCSA:

  • provides strategic advice across sectors, and does not seek to influence operational or funding matters within the science system;
  • serves as an accessible conduit of alerts from the science community to government
  • provides advice on specific topics, to the Prime Minister or other Ministers; this advice may be informal, or in a formal commissioned report with a synthesis of the available scientific evidence on a topic to inform policy; priorities will be agreed periodically with the Prime Minister
  • plays a role in raising the profile of science in Aotearoa, New Zealand, especially amongst young people
  • plays a role in making science more accessible to the public, leading by example and encouraging the science community to build trusted relationships with communities
  • builds relationships internationally with science advisors and international thought leaders.

The PMCSA is independent and not an employee of the Government, enabling an independence of voice that is free to speak out on important issues.  The PMCSA commits to scrupulous management of conflicts, resigns from all Board appointments and leadership roles, and does not apply for research funding in New Zealand during their term.

Terms of reference:

These are currently undergoing a refresh to acknowledge the wider role played by the Departmental Science Advisor Network, who provide a broader team feeding in independent advice to the Government.  Watch this space.

Juliet’s vision for her term in the role:

Juliet has a vision for the role around four principles: rigourous, inclusive, transparent and accessible.  She aims to create a trusted bridge between science, society and government.

She notes that inclusivity needs careful definition in Aotearoa, New Zealand and is seeking partnerships to define how to frame her questions in the most inclusive way.

Contacts

  Phone: + 64 9 923 6318

Mailing Address

Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
New Zealand