Centres of Research Excellence

The Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) Fund are inter-institutional research networks, with researchers working together on commonly agreed work programmes.

CoRES were established in 2001 to encourage excellent tertiary education-based research that is collaborative, strategically focused and creates significant knowledge transfer activities. They build research capacity and capabilities through post-graduate programmes and the training of new researchers.

The University will host or co-host five CoREs until 2020:

  • The Maurice Wilkins Centre
  • Brain Research New Zealand/ Rangahau Roro Aotearoa
  • Medical Technologies
  • Te Pūnaha Matatini
  • Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga – New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence

The University also contributes to four further CoRES:

  • The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, hosted by the University of Otago
  • MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington
  • QuakeCore: Centre for Earthquake Resilience, hosted by University of Canterbury
  • Riddet Institute, hosted by Massey University.

Funding is fully contestable and is managed by the Tertiary Education Commission.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with the universities of Otago, Canterbury, Victoria, and Waikato, and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.

Director: Professor Rod Dunbar

The Maurice Wilkins Centre targets major diseases affecting New Zealanders, particularly cancer, diabetes and infectious disease, by delivering world-class research that enables the discovery of new therapies, diagnostics and vaccines.

Maurice Wilkins Centre

Brain Research New Zealand | Rangahau Roro Aotearoa

Co-hosted by the University of Auckland and the University of Otago, in partnership with Auckland University of Technology and the University of Canterbury.

Co-Directors: Professors Cliff Abraham (University of Otago) and Peter Thorne (University of Auckland)

This new CoRE, established in 2015, aims to unlock the secrets of the ageing brain and develop new therapies and better clinical and community care to enhance brain health throughout life for all New Zealanders.

Research focuses on intervention and treatments for neurodegenerative disorders of the ageing brain, such as dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Brain Research New Zealand

Medical Technologies

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with the universities of Canterbury, Otago and Victoria, Callaghan Innovation and AUT.

Director: Professor Merryn Tawhai

The Centre uses bioengineering technologies to develop novel bio-instrumentation and computational physiological models, and design innovative medical devices and technologies to improve healthcare and create economic opportunities for New Zealand companies.


Te Pūnaha Matatini

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Canterbury, and Motu Public Policy and Economics Research.

Director: Professor Shaun Hendy

This is a new CoRE, established in 2015. It aims to develop methods and tools for transforming complex data into knowledge for better decision-making. Research themes include complex data analytics, complex economic and social systems, and complexity and the biosphere.

Te Pūnaha Matatini

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Hosted by the University of Auckland with 20 partners including:

  • Tertiary education institutions – AUT, Lincoln, Massey, Waikato, Canterbury, Otago and Victoria universities; Eastern Institute of Technology; Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Unitec
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Cawthron Institute
  • Eco Research Associates
  • Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua
  • Te Atawhai O Te Ao
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Te Tapuae o Rēhua
  • Whakauae Research Services
  • Waikato-Tainui College of Research and Development.

Co-Directors: Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Tūhoe), University of Auckand, and Professor Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Maniapoto), University of Otago.

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) is New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, established in 2002. 

Ko te Māori e arataki ana i a Aotearoa ki te ao kei mua.

Ko ā mātau mahi rangahau he whakaea i nga wawata o te iwi Māori kia whai wāhi nui ai ia i roto i ngā whakaritenga mō te whenua katoa, he whakapiki ake i te hiranga o ngā wānangatanga ā te Iwi Taketake, ā, he hura rongoā mō ngā wero nui kei mua i te aroaro o te tangata i konei, i te ao whānui hoki.

Māori leading New Zealand into the future. 

NPM research realises Māori aspirations for positive engagement in national life, enhances our excellence in Indigenous scholarship and provides solutions to major challenges facing humanity in local and global settings.

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga