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Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa is a new collaborative research platform for genomics and bioinformatics.

We are an alliance between Partners:

  • Universities - Auckland, Massey, Otago
  • Crown Research Institutes - AgResearch, ESR, Landcare Research, Plant & Food

We also include 32 Associates, organisations that are both researchers and end users of genomics and bioinformatics.

Contact us:

Our aims

We aim to ensure that New Zealand is participating and leading in the rapidly developing fields of:

  • Genomics - the study of the genetic information in cells and organisms (a genome is the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism)
  • Bioinformatics - the development of methods and software tools for analysing and understanding the complex biological data derived from genomics.

Genomics Aotearoa focuses on national collaborations between genomics and bioinformatics researchers and users in the areas of health, environment and primary production - life sciences that are centrally important to New Zealand's economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

We also aim to strengthen New Zealand's international links, ensuring that we acquire new techniques in this fast-moving area and operate at a global best practice standard.

This work will be underpinned by delivery of a national genomics data repository and bioinformatics analytical platform. Te Ao Māori is at the centre of our activities, including development of an indigenous genomics platform which embeds Māori management of indigenous genomics research practice and data.

Genomics Aotearoa will grow skills and capability through running workshops and courses, sending New Zealanders overseas to acquire new techniques, engaging Māori in genomics research, and supporting and growing research teams.

Linking researchers with end users will ensure that the benefits from the new genomics and bioinformatics capabilities will readily translate to economic, environmental and social benefits across New Zealand.

Research activities

Genomics Aotearoa includes New Zealand's key scientists in this field. We are undertaking a suite of nationally significant and enabling research activities. These include:

  • Developing an understanding of the variation in the genomes of the New Zealand population, which will be used by health providers to improve diagnosis and prognosis of disease and genetic conditions for our people
  • Determining how well an environment is functioning from analysis of DNA in samples of air, water or soil, and creating tools that will be used by local and central government to report on the state of our environment and determine how best to respond to threats such as climate change or invasive species
  • Expanding our ability to use genomic knowledge of indigenous and pest species to support conservation management of our endangered plants and animals
  • Developing our capability to document very complex genomes (genotype) and understand how these affect the characteristics of an organism (phenotype), knowledge that will be used to develop targeted pest eradication methods and to improve the breeding of existing and emerging primary production species.

Our people


Director: Prof Peter Dearden,, +64 3 479 7832
Peter Dearden

Operations Manager: Dr Lisa Early,, +64 3 479 7954

Business Support Coordinator: Angela Hendry,, +64 27 241 4451

Governance Board

Dr William Rolleston (Chair)
Dr Anna Campbell
Dr Warren Parker
Wayne Mulligan

Te Kāhui

Wayne Mulligan (Chair)
Prof Khyla Russell
Aroha Mead
Prof Jacinta Ruru

International Advisory Panel

Dr Nick Goldman, European Bioinformatics Institute, UK
Prof Elinor Karlsson, Broad Institute, USA
Dr Andrew Gilbert, Bioplatforms Australia


The Government is investing $35 million over 7 years in this new cross-institutional advanced genomics research platform in order to produce high quality research capability for the whole science sector. Principle funding for Genomics Aotearoa has come from the Strategic Science Investment Fund, following an application and assessment process managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).