News and events

Callaghan Innovation unveils new $7.7m Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Lab upgrade to Gracefield Innovation Quarter

This article was published on 3 August 2022

Callaghan Innovation unveils new $7.7m Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Lab upgrade to Gracefield Innovation Quarter

  • Researchers and scientists will benefit from the launch of Te Pā Harakeke flexible labs at Gracefield Innovation Quarter in Lower Hutt
  • The $7.7m upgrade is part of a programme of work to redevelop the GIQ site as part of Callaghan Innovation’s mandate to increase commercialisation and the development of innovation
  • The adaptable design presents a prototype for the future co-location of New Zealand researchers, innovators and industry in one central innovation hub.

3 August 2022: Callaghan Innovation has today unveiled a new $7.7m science and research lab, Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs, at its Gracefield Innovation Quarter (GIQ) site in Lower Hutt.

While the new lab building currently houses Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington’s Te Kāuru – Ferrier Research Institute, the flexible and adaptable modular design can be reconfigured and redesigned for varied use and intends to create laboratory space that enables scientists, researchers and innovators to more easily collaborate in future.

Callaghan Innovation worked with Lower Hutt-based firm Niche Modular to build modular laboratories in a nearby factory, meaning they can be relocated relatively easily and are replicable at scale.

Callaghan Innovation’s Acting Chief Executive Stefan Korn says the laboratories are the result of a best-practice co-design process with scientists at Ferrier Research Institute.

“With a mandate to accelerate the commercialisation of R&D, Callaghan Innovation is paving the way for greater commercialisation of research and innovation with 560 sqm of new relocatable and flexible laboratory space to support collaboration between research and industry.

“Upgrading our national innovation infrastructure through buildings like Te Pā Harakeke is an important move for the future of Kiwi innovation. Innovation hubs act as catalysts of innovation activity in New Zealand, providing co-location of research and shared connection and services.”

Ferrier Research Institute Director Richard Furneaux says that Te Pā Harakeke will provide the institute with access to new best practice laboratories and workspaces to grow their existing capability in biotechnologies at the site.

“Biotechnologies are an important sector within New Zealand’s innovation economy, and so we’re excited to have brand new facilities for us to progress our work.”


Notes to editors
For more information please contact or call the media team on 027 291 9604.

About Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. The organisation’s primary mandate is to activate innovation and accelerate commercialisation to help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.
The government agency partners with ambitious businesses of all sizes, delivering a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth. Callaghan Innovation’s staff empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Callaghan Innovation also enhances the operation of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, working closely with MBIE, NZTE, NZGCP, Crown Research Institutes, and other organisations that help increase business investment in R&D and innovation. The agency operates from four urban offices and a regional partner network in a further 12 locations across Aotearoa. 

Gracefield Innovation Quarter is home to more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists, researchers and technicians, along with a suite of tenant businesses. The site features state-of-the-art specialist workshops, pilot plants, labs and equipment, and world-class measurement facilities.
For more information visit