Infrastructure for Community Futures Research Centre

We collaborate across disciplines to understand the complex interactions between society, infrastructure and the natural environment, and the implications for future infrastructure decision-making.

The Infrastructure for Community Futures Research Centre (ICFRC) focuses on the complex challenges and opportunities related to infrastructure. We view infrastructure not as a goal in itself, but as a powerful enabler of equity, sustainability and wellbeing for communities. We consider mātauranga Māori an inspirational foundation for pursuing these goals in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our research

While infrastructure is often associated with technical disciplines, it is society that drives the creation of infrastructure and sets constraints for it. In return, infrastructure has extensive and long-term impacts on both society and the natural environment. 

Given the excessive cost and longevity of infrastructure, it is vital that strategic decision-making on infrastructure is aligned with societal goals, such as the move to net-zero carbon, sustainable economies, and a desire for a thriving natural environment and healthy, safe and prosperous communities.  

The ICFRC will seek to understand the complex interactions between society, infrastructure and the natural environment, and the implications for future infrastructure decision-making. We will engage and collaborate across disciplines within the university and with government, industry, institutions, iwi and communities to identify and answer critical research questions. We plan to identify synergies across the university that map onto critical infrastructure-related problems, allowing Waipapa Taumata Rau to produce real and meaningful impact in these areas. 

How can you work with us?

People and culture are at the heart of the ICFRC, how we operate and in how we approach partnerships and engagement. 

Our aim is to create a research platform that encourages diversity and collaboration, provides flexibility in the way groups and individuals can engage with across disciplinary boundaries, and facilitate opportunities to collaborate with other researchers and teams within the University, as well as externally.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact our centre's Co-directors. 

Our people

Professor Kobus van Zyl | Faculty of Engineering 
Dr Suzanne Woodward | Faculty of Arts

Steering Committee members
Dr Priyanka Dhopade | Faculty of Engineering 
Professor Tracey McIntosh | Faculty of Arts 
Associate Prof Marama Muru-Lanning | Faculty of Arts; James Henare Research Centre
Dr Tatjana Buklijas | Faculty of Arts; Koi Tū: The Centre of Informed Futures
Professor Peter Adams | Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Professor Robert Amor | Faculty of Science
Dr Le Wen | Business School
Dr Mike Webster | Faculty of Education and Social Work
Dr Timothy Welch | Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries

Our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi 

The ICFRC will continue to practice manaakitanga and whanaungatanga and adhere to the Te Ao Māori principles as formulated by the National Ethics Advisory Committee (2019):

i. Kaitiakitanga (protection), actively protecting Māori individual and collective rights, including land, water, data, language and culture.

ii. Whai wahi (participation), including Māori in all aspects of the design, management and implementation of research.

iii. Rangatiratanga (self-determination), working with Māori to ensure that individual and collective rights are respected and protected.

We will continue to engage with Māori and Pasifika communities, seeking ways in which we can expand this partnership. We have been invited by Chair of Waikato-Tainui Endowed College Trust, Marama Muru-Lanning, to engage with and support the Waikato-Tainui College’s research programme, as well as work with the Waikato-Tainui on water management and stewardship. A relationship between the iwi and the ICFRC will be facilitated to identify potential research needs and co-design collaborative projects.