Ko Te Pokapū Auaha o Aotearoa Tātou

We are the enablers of good innovation here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Pokapū Auaha Callaghan Innovation is a government agency. We were born out of the simple but powerful idea that Aotearoa New Zealand’s intergenerational prosperity won’t come from traditional businesses or business models. It will be driven by smart, bold entrepreneurs creating world-class companies that are also dedicated to making the world better.


We champion, guide, support and advise these companies, merging modern science with mātauranga Māori to foster a progressive, uniquely “Kiwi” approach to innovation that makes a positive impact on Aotearoa and the world. We fund, upskill and connect entrepreneurs and founders, and through our business know-how and scientific expertise, we help them solve the challenges they encounter on their journey to grow their innovative ideas into commercial success.

Our ingoa Māori describes us as the heart of innovation. We fulfil that role with services designed to place innovators at the centre of a system of support, knowledge and capability.

Callaghan Innovation is 10 Years Old

Our Vision

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We’re here to help put good innovation at the heart of prosperity in Aotearoa. To achieve this, we’re committed to championing and facilitating the commercialisation of ideas that will positively impact Aotearoa and our world. We also aim to leverage the wealth of indigenous innovation and cultural intelligence we can access through mātauranga Māori and Te Ao Māori.

By doing these things, we believe we can play a crucial role in the transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand socially and economically - to make it a place where talent wants to live, in the words of Sir Paul Callaghan.

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Callaghan Innovation and

Sir Paul Callaghan

Sir Paul Callaghan was a world-leading, award-winning physicist, inspirational leader and teacher, and champion of science and business. A proud New Zealander, he had a vision for Aotearoa as a hub of smart, export-focused entrepreneurs, where a high-quality lifestyle for all is achieved through excellence in education, research and development.
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Callaghan Innovation is named after him, both to honour him and as a recognition that for our country to achieve his vision, we need an agency that operates at the intersection of science and commerce, with a remit to champion and support the kind of good innovation Sir Paul wanted to see. We were set up in 2013,  a year after Sir Paul passed away.

We are proud to have such an illustrious name to live up to.

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Our whakatauākī,

values and behaviours

We recognise that being in Aotearoa New Zealand offers us a unique viewpoint on innovation that we can learn from and use — mātauranga Māori.

We have a whakatauākī that gives us a clear path to follow to achieve our mission, and principles that outline how we want to operate. Together these elements define our values and culture and the behaviours we see as crucial for our culture to thrive.

Our whakatauākī is: Rukuhia te wāhi ngaro, hei maunga tātai whetū


Explore the unknown, pursue excellence


Our Whakatauākī

Our whakatauākī is a call to action for Aotearoa New Zealand’s innovators, encouraging them to turn their thoughts into reality by bravely exploring the unknown and persistently pursuing distant horizons till they are within reach.

“Rukuhia” evokes the fearless steps we take before diving into “te wāhi ngaro”  — the unknown.

“Hei maunga tātai whetū” reflects the pursuit of excellence and dedication to making things better that Sir Paul spoke so well about.

Taken as a whole, the whakatauākī encourages us all to be the best we can be, embed innovation in our thinking and strive to make Aotearoa New Zealand a better place to live, now and into the future.

The behaviours we hold ourselves to are:


We have the courage to give things a go

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We lead by example, and trust others to do the same

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We use and share our knowledge to create better outcomes for all

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We support others to be successful in their roles and lives

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Frontier Ventures
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Frontier Ventures

As a key part of our mission to support innovation in Aotearoa, we’re putting a special focus on innovators working on making the world a better place. We call them Frontier Ventures.

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Supporting Pakihi Māori
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Supporting Pakihi Māori

Merging mātauranga Māori with modern science and innovation.

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Our Partners
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Our Partners

Our innovation system partners work with us to provide comprehensive and integrated solutions for New Zealand businesses. There are around 500 organisations directly involved in commercialising innovation in New Zealand.

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Screenshot 2023 10 12 at 2.52.00 PM

Working with our whanau, customers and business partners, we are identifying and looking for innovative ways to reduce our emissions, test, and implement initiatives on our sites.

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