[17 November/Radio NZ]

All of the National Science Challenges have been given an injection of more than $420 million to expand and extend their research programmes. The 11 science challenges were launched in 2014 by the National Government to target issues like climate change, housing and mental health. The Minister of Research, Science, and Innovation, Megan Woods, said a mid-way review of the programme had shown that they were delivering worthwhile research, adding that over 150 projects are now underway and already delivering over 400 publications. Science for Technological Innovation received the most funding, up from $33.3m in the first five years to $72.7m for the second. Our Land and Water, which is focused on primary sector production and productivity, also jumped from $27.6m to $69.3m. The development of high-value foods in High-Value Nutrition increased from $30.6m to $53.2m. Total investment in the programme now stands at $681m.