Strategic vision



Aotearoa New Zealand from space. Credit: NASA.


A trusted, independent, accessible, bridge between science, society, and government.


Inclusive, Rigorous, Transparent, Accessible


To provide advice to the Prime Minister on scientific matters and to ensure that advice given is robust, fairly represents expert views, and is responsive to criticism and review.

Our goals

Build and maintain a robust and reliable science advice system
  • Provide free and frank science advice to the Prime Minister. Maintain regular check-ins on whether the level of science advice is appropriate.
  • Undertake activities that enhance the use of science and evidence in policy formation and evaluation across government.
  • Acknowledge and respect Te Ao Māori as part of the evidence base.
  • Respect Te Tiriti |the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Act as a nexus or conduit for stakeholders in science advice, and communities who can provide advice.
  • Challenge poor science advice where necessary.
  • Share good practice for science advice.
  • Identify and work with agencies, offices, or groups who have similar priorities.
Build and maintain trust in the office
  • Communicate regularly, reliably, and openly, where appropriate.
  • Ensure the integrity of our advice.
  • Be responsive.
  • Harness the best science of the day to further the resilience, wellbeing, and aspirations of all New Zealanders.
  • Provide stakeholders with independent advice.
  • Provide an accessible interface with the research community and the public and support facilitation of conversations.
Build strong relationships with key stakeholders
  • Convene a forum of science advisors across government (the Chief Science Advisor Forum).
  • Build formal and semi-formal networks of advice, assurance, and peer review within the science and research sector.
  • Recognise our stakeholders and key communities, listen to them, and build systems that acknowledge their expectations around science advice.
  • Connect advice sectors with communities who are affected by science advice.
  • Meet with sectors, groups, concerned parties, and members of the broader science system.
  • Clearly delineate mechanisms to provide advice to officials and Ministers that is timely, valuable, and rigorous.
Have an inclusive knowledge base at the core of our activities
  • Champion evidence and respect for different ways of knowing.
  • Support diversity on work programme’s expert panels.
  • Identify areas of concern, where advice, clarity or science information is needed.
  • Develop advice that is usable, intelligible, and valued.
  • Ensure transparent, useful, and timely advice is in the hands of those who need it.
Champion an equitable and inclusive science system and support increased diversity
  • Embrace and champion diversity.
  • Support an inclusive culture that supports and values diversity.
  • Encourage and promote equity.
  • Highlight initiatives that build inclusive communities.
  • Connect a network of people to advise on strategies of inclusion.
Develop communication strategies that build confidence in our processes, and communicate the limits of advice
  • Have an adaptable communication approach.
  • Summarise, explain, and be timely with advice.
  • Recognise different mechanisms for people to access our advice and different ways for people to understand and know what it means.
  • Acknowledge the need to frame advice in ways that embrace the diversity of our audience.
  • Seek to reduce redundancy of advice mechanisms, through identifying gaps and potential synergies.
Auckland from space. Credit: NASA

Measures of success

  • Prime Minister and Ministers (through the Prime Minister) actively seek advice.
  • The PMCSA:
    • has the confidence of Ministers and Ministries/Departments/Agencies.
    • is cited as a credible authority.
    • has demonstrable impact of advice e.g. policy changes.
    • is recognised as a community leader.
    • is at the table where science advice is needed, or potentially needed.
    • is recognised as a respected point of connection.
    • has a trusted relationship with press.
    • invited to speak in wide variety of forums.
  • The Chief Science Advisor Forum is consulted and acknowledged.
  • OPMCSA has a quality web and social media presence and maintains web and social media traffic.
Christchurch from space. Credit: NASA.

Last updated: 6 July 2021.