Organisational responsibility and employer principles

"We are committed to making a difference."

 - John Morgan, Chief Executive


NIWA is committed to operating with fiscal discipline to ensure that we retain our long-term viability and meet our core purpose science responsibilities to generate sustainable economic benefit to New Zealand.

We are committed to:

  • fair trading and observing high standards of behaviour, integrity and ethics
  • maintaining positive relationships with our customers, partners and collaborators
  • taking a broad approach to decision-making and business development with the aim of benefitting all of New Zealand.

We will support the Organisational Responsibility Charter by:

  • being fair and honest in all our business dealings maintaining objectivity in our service provision and avoiding actions that could damage NIWA’s reputation for impartiality
  • taking a ‘NZ Inc’ approach to business decisions and using any market advantage responsibly
  • delivering on our project commitments – on time, to budget and with the expected quality
  • employing our assets responsibly both to benefit the company and the wider community
  • abiding by the laws of the lands in which we operate
  • resolving differences without the need for litigation.


NIWA is committed to work practices, operations and science outcomes that support our staff and the wider community.

We are committed to:

  • ensuring that people are safe in our workplaces and subject to zero harm engaging positively with the communities in which we operate
  • and live respecting cultural values and diversity in New Zealand and in the countries where we work
  • fostering positive interactions with, and outcomes for, Māori.


NIWA is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible way when carrying out our activities, and ensuring that we meet our core purpose science responsibilities to contribute to better environmental outcomes for New Zealand.

We are committed to:

  • minimising the environmental effects of performing our business
  • integrating environmental perspectives into our wider business planning
  • complying with all regulatory requirements, standards and best practice guidelines.

Operating to our Charter Principles

We must ensure that the commitments we give are owned by all our people and demonstrated by their actions. We will support the Organisational Responsibility Charter by:

  • ensuring that all our activities and assets comply with resource consents, relevant environmental standards, biosecurity and biodiversity regulations, and permitting requirements
  • maintaining full compliance with animal ethics procedures and ensuring that all sampling and work with live animals complies with the Animal Welfare Act 1999
  • minimising material waste and resource use, and making maximum practical use of recycling and electronic media
  • minimising energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, within the constraints of business sustainability
  • supporting our employees to take positive actions to reduce the effects of their activities on the environment at work and beyond.


We will support the Organisational Responsibility Charter by being a good employer, particularly in relation to:

  • providing equitable access to employment opportunities
  • leadership, accountability and culture
  • recruitment, selection and induction
  • employee development, promotion and exit
  • flexibility and work design
  • remuneration, recognition and conditions
  • harassment and bullying prevention
  • treating our employees and all others with whom we interact with dignity and respect, including fostering long-term relationships built on trust and mutual benefits
  • ensuring staff have opportunities to participate in work-place improvement programmes
  • making available best practice systems and training to achieve zero harm to any individual in our work places
  • empowering our employees to identify and resolve safety concerns so that potential hazards are eliminated and safe processes and work methods are under continual improvement
  • maintaining open communication with local communities and ensuring our activities and staff respect their traditions and cultures
  • supporting our employees to participate in voluntary activities that benefit the wider community
  • working closely with individual employees to help them reach their goals and provide NIWA with talent for the future
  • striving for ‘no surprises’ in our internal and external relationships.

NIWA is an equal opportunity employer, and we value the strengths that a diverse workforce provides. We maintain membership of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust, and ensure that all of our staff selection and development practices follow equal employment opportunity principles.

We actively engage with employees and their representatives when reviewing and renewing workplace programmes and policies, including union participation in collective bargaining and consultation with staff prior to policy changes. 

We offer flexible working hours by agreement, to ensure our staff have a work-life balance they are happy with. Personal development is as important to us as professional development, and each employee is provided with three leave days a year for personal development purposes.

Further information

Read our full Organisational Charter in our latest Annual Report 

Read more about our people in our Statement of Corporate Intent 

Read our Supplier Code of Conduct [PDF 155KB]

River Autumn. Photo: Dave Allen
Our Places Award Runner Up: Jellyfish. Credit: Paul Champion.Worldwide, there are only about 250 species of jellyfish, and we know of at least seven in New Zealand. See our Summer Series article on common jellyfish in New Zealand, as well as some footage we captured of the jellyfish species Desmonema gaudichaudi.