Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research and Waikato Regional Council will be working closer together on science programmes in the future.

The two organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding, creating a platform for a planned and collaborative approach to research.

Manaaki Whenua chief executive Richard Gordon says it's important for Crown Research Institutes to recognise the excellent applied science carried out by regional councils, and the collaboration of knowledge will help deliver the greatest benefits for the region, as well as for New Zealand.

"We already enjoy a close and positive working relationship on some projects with Waikato Regional Council, and this MOU covers all bases, including sharing regional environmental data and tools," says Richard.


Shared research interests include:
■ biodiversity and biosecurity research, policy and practices;
■ wetland management and restoration;
■ impacts of climate change;
■ land use intensification and mitigations such as carbon sequestration;
■ economic and environmental modelling.

Waikato Regional Council chief executive Vaughan Payne says collaborative work is already underway on a soil mapping programme to better understand land management impacts on water quality.

Among other things, this piece of work will assist in the creation and implementation of farm environment plans.

A combined project to better understand the Waikato's unique peat soils, to enable better management and protection, is also about to start.