Our Activities

The team has been busy moving into the offices and working hard on building the new website and developing the Instagram and Twitter social media channels.

Juliet has been connecting with the team of Departmental Science Advisors  to understand their role in the Ministries and travelling all around the country, listening to views on how science can make a difference to Aotearoa, New Zealand (see Twitter).  She is developing a list of priority projects to agree with the PM.

Hot topics

‘Hot topics’ are topics which are being discussed in the public arena. The Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor is building resources, or links to resources, which will outline the state of play on various topics and issues of public concern.

Summaries are designed to be short, easy to read and to capture the main themes of a topic in the New Zealand context. The number of summaries will keep growing as our work continues – so make sure to check back.

Active Projects

Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa, New Zealand

After broad consultation, the first project that the Office has reported on is the synthesis of approaches to reduce the impact of plastic and exploring the opportunities of alternatives in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The report can be found in an accessible form on the #rethinkplastic project page or can be downloaded using the links below.



The Prime Minister has asked Juliet to provide an accessible summary of the evidence to inform the cannabis referendum. 

Information and updates can be found on the cannabis project page. Juliet has also written about the cannabis project and the panel.

Our expert panel has been charged with pulling together as much information as we can about the impacts of cannabis, and to present it in a way that is easy to understand for voters.

Providing Advice to MBIE on the Standards Setting Process

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs asked the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor to work jointly with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) on how science is currently treated in the New Zealand standards setting process, and how this can be improved (Hon Min Faafoi’s press release is here). Our role is future focussed, to give input as to how scientific evidence might be better used to inform the standards setting process, particularly advice on how processes should accommodate new scientific evidence when it becomes available.

We have now completed this piece of work and set up a process where the Standards New Zealand Board have direct connection to the MBIE Chief Science Advisor. There are now established points in the Standards setting process where independent scrutinisation of new or unsettled science occurs. You can read about this on our page about Science and the Development of NZ Standards, which includes a summary of the policy outcome and details of the new process.


  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