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 four CoREs until 2028:

  • The Maurice Wilkins Centre
  • Te Pūnaha Matatini
  • Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga – New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence
  • Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand

The University also contributes to six 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
  • Coastal People: Southern Skies, hosted by Otago University
  • Bioprotection Aotearoa, hosted by Lincoln University

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

Operational guidelines for billing, reporting and contract variations

Operational guidelines for the budget, billing, reporting and contract variations processes that will operate between New Zealand universities with respect to CoREs established in 2021 have been agreed with the Universities New Zealand (UNZ) Research Committee.

On occasion, a University of Auckland hosted CoRE may determine that compliance with the UNZ Research Committee approved guidelines is inappropriate for a collaborating partner. In these circumstances, the collaborating partner will be asked to comply with the Alternate Billing, Reporting and Contract Variation Guidelines.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with:

  • University of Otago
  • University of Canterbury
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Massey University
  • University of Waikato
  • Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research
  • The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • AgResearch
  • The Moko Foundation

Director: Professor Greg Cook

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

Maurice Wilkins Centre

Te Pūnaha Matatini

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with institutions throughout Aotearoa:

  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Otago
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Massey University
  • Market Economics Ltd
  • Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
  • University of Waikato
  • Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
  • Lincoln University
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation

Director: Associate Professor Priscilla Wehi
Deputy Director: Dr Michael O’Sullivan

Te Pūnaha Matatini – the place where many faces meet – is the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. The CoRE was established in 2015 and was awarded the 2020 Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their contribution to Aotearoa’s Covid-19 response.

Te Pūnaha Matatini is a network of over a hundred investigators and students who are tackling the interconnected and deeply interdisciplinary challenges of our time. This community achieves impact by leveraging big data using quantitative complex systems approaches within an informed and richly contextual social sciences framework.

Te Pūnaha Matatini

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Hosted by the University of Auckland with 21 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
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia Limited
  • Tokona te Raki; Māori Futures Collective
  • Whakauae Research Services
  • Waikato-Tainui College of Research and Development


  • Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Tūhoe), University of Auckland
  • Professor Tahu Kukutai (Ngāti Tīpā, Ngāti Kinohaku, Te Aupōuri, University of Waikato

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

Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand

Hosted by the University of Auckland in partnership with Universities, DHBs, community partners and organizations across Aotearoa.


  • Dr. Anna Rolleston (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Pukenga), Manawaora / The Centre for Health
  • Professor Julian Paton, University of Auckland

The newly awarded HHANZ CoRE aims to improve cardiovascular health and well-being in Aotearoa and achieve equity for Māori and Pacific Peoples through research excellence.

*Website coming soon