New Zealand–China science relationship affirmed

Research, Science and Innovation

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang met in Wellington today and affirmed the two countries’ long-standing science relationship.

Minister Wang was in New Zealand for the 6th New Zealand-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation.

Following their meeting the ministers toured the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research at Victoria University Wellington. The Malaghan Institute has a joint venture with China’s Hunan Zhaotai Medical Group to develop a new approach to fighting cancer called Car T-cell therapy.

“China is one of our key science and innovation partners and Minister Wang and I confirmed our commitment to this strong relationship,” Ayesha Verrall said.

“We have significant mutual research interests, particularly in food, environmental and health sciences. New Zealand and Chinese scientists have been cooperating for more than 40 years and each year we jointly fund research projects that benefit our two countries.”

Since China and New Zealand established the Strategic Research Alliance in 2010, the annual fund has invested in a range of different projects in the bilateral priority areas of food science, environmental science and health and biomedical sciences.  

“China is rapidly increasing its investment in science, research and innovation and has a number of research interests that align with New Zealand, including tackling the global challenge of climate change,” said Ayesha Verrall.

“Minister Wang and I discussed our next five-year roadmap for science and technology, which will set out the priorities for our ongoing collaboration.” 

Joint Commission Meetings on science and technology are held between Chinese and New Zealand officials every two to three years and each year five-year roadmaps are signed that set priority areas for cooperation. The next roadmap is due to be signed later this year.