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Principal Investigator : Professor Hugh Campbell

Staff: Dr Katharine Legun, Dr James Hale

Dashboard grapesThe New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard integrates and displays production, economic, social and environmental performance indicators for a range of primary production sectors. It is the most recent project to mine data and apply the lessons of the Agriculture Research Group On Sustainability (to future-proof New Zealand agriculture by securing export market access.

Project Overview

Standardised protocols for scoring sustainability KPIs, smart visualisation techniques and trend analysis, State of Environment reporting, survey and economic choice modelling facilities, and Decision Support Systems are all integrated into the Dashboard web application for growers and industry to monitor progress towards sustainability and resilience goals. Prototypes are being developed first for New Zealand Wine, Zespri and Ngāi Tahu in 2014 and 2015. Similar web applications will be developed for pastoral sectors, forestry and aquaculture and North Island Māori enterprises in 2016-2019. CSAFE is subcontracted by The Agribusiness Group to lead provide science overview, social research on metrology (the study of the scientific measurement, in this case on the way sustainability is conceptualised and monitored), and case studies of how North island Māori communities define and monitor sustainable exotic forestry.
Lead contractor: The Agribusiness Group, Christchurch with Jon Manhire (Project Leader); Henrik Moller Ecosystems Consulting (Science Leader)
Other subcontractors: University of Otago, Lincoln University, Lincoln Ventures Ltd., 1000 Minds, Landcare research – Manaaki Whenua, Toitu te Kainga
Centre Staff: Hugh Campbell, Katharine Legun, Marion Sautier

Research Updates

Kiwifruit (280)Work in the first year is concentrating on reviewing sustainability frameworks and indicators from around the world to design the prototype Sustainability dashboards for New Zealand wine, kiwifruit and Ngā Tahu's Ahikā Kai project. The project team did a pilot test of the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organisation's recent framework (SAFA – Sustainability Assessment of Food & Agriculture systems) and participated in a multinational workshop in Rome in March 2013 to advise on modifications of the protocols.
Vicent Gasso-Tortajada joined CSAFE in December 2012 for a 6 month sojourn as part of his PhD studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is working with Andrew Barber (the Agribusiness Group) and Henrik Moller to develop sustainability performance benchmarking models for New Zealand's vineyards and wineries.
Henrik Moller is collaborating with the European “Multitrust” project team which is using Multicriteria Assessment tools examine how to build trust and communicate the various values and attributes of organic agriculture. Henrik is currently co-editing, along with 3 others from the Multitrust team) a special feature issue of the Ecology & Society journal on food system sustainability assessment.
For more updates, go to

Project Publications

The project's goals and design are described in:
Manhire, J.; Moller, H.; Barber, A.; Saunders, C.; MacLeod, C.; Rosin, C.; Lucock, D.; Post, E.; Ombler, F.; Campbell, H.; Benge, J.; Reid, J.; Hunt, L.; Hansen, P.; Carey, P.; Rotarangi, R.; Ford, S.; Barr, T. (2012).The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard: Unified monitoring and learning for sustainable agriculture in New Zealand. ARGOS Working Paper No. 8. 40 + vi pages.

The ideas and rationale for the project are also discussed as part of a broad ranging critique of New Zealand's conservation paradigm that has recently been accepted for publication:
Craig, J.L; Moller, H.; Norton, D.A.; Williams, M.; Saunders, D. Enhancing our Heritage: Conservation for 21st Century New Zealanders: Ways forward from the Tahi Group of Concerned Scientists. Pacific Conservation Biology. (In press).

The project is to be featured in an upcoming keynote address by Henrik Moller hosted by Environment Southland and the Southern Institute of Technology in Invercargill on Saturday 13th July. This expo, which is called “Biodiversity in your back yard”, will show case environmental care initiatives of farmers and community groups from throughout Southland.

More on this project

You can check out a lot more of the detail of the New Zealand Sustainability dashboard project at the ARGOS Dashboard website. You can also download a plan that shows the overarching design of the project. So far we have nearly completed steps 1, 2 and 3 in the plan. The first prototype of a dashboard is expected late in 2013 for sustainable Wine New Zealand, and then we'll enrich it, test its use by growers and gradually roll out similar Dashboards for kiwifruit and other industries.

Funder: The AgriBusiness Group (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment)

Contract Value: $430,243

Term: October 2012 – September 2016

Centre for Sustainability researchers: Professor Hugh Campbell, Dr Katharine Legun

Industry partners: New Zealand Winegrowers, Zespri International, Trevelyans, Te Awanui, OPAC, DMS, Plus Group, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, BioGro.

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