Nature and science

We are committed to making a significant contribution to conservation and science in New Zealand.

We want to help ensure New Zealand's ecosystems and biodiversity are restored and protected for future generations. We also believe there is a critical need to advance climate science.

We do this through our ongoing partnerships with the Department of Conservation (DOC), Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute. We also recognise one-to-one partnerships will not be enough, and that collaboration between business, government, iwi and communities is critical to tackling these challenges.

Find out more in our 2018 Sustainability Report.

Department of Conservation (DOC) partnership

While New Zealand is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on Earth, we also have one of the highest rates of threatened species. Since 2012 we have partnered with DOC, working to protect and enhance New Zealand's natural environment. Our focus has been on investing in biodiversity projects on New Zealand's Great Walks network – an iconic part of our country's tourism offering. In addition, we support DOC's marine science research programmes, provide flights for threatened species, and assist in promoting the Great Walks, Short Walks and Day Hikes.

In 2016, we extended our DOC partnership until the end of 2022 and we are working with DOC and iwi partners Ngāi Tahu and Manawhenua ki Mohua to support a series of biodiversity projects across the Great Walks.

Precious Passengers

In partnership with DOC we have continued our support relocating threatened species throughout New Zealand. Since 2012, we have provided over 2,800 flights for the relocation of threatened species and Conservation Dogs, and close to 24,000 hectares of sustained pest control for the benefit of multiple species.

One of our most exciting projects with the Department of Conservation (DOC) alongside iwi partners Ngāi Tahu and Manawhenua ki Mohua, was a special charter flight that brought 18 takahē from the remote Murchison Mountains of Fiordland to a new protected habitat in the Gouland Downs area of the Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park. Air New Zealand's partnership with DOC has enabled creation of new safe habitat for the second largest wild population of takahē through a 6000-hectare predator control trapping network. Safe sites that are free from predators and have good food sources are critical for takahē to thrive in the wild.

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Marine research

Our marine environment is a precious part of New Zealand, cherished by New Zealanders and international visitors alike. We proudly fund marine science and research within New Zealand’s marine reserves. With 80% of New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity estimated to be underwater, DOC's research will help gain a better understanding of the health of marine reserves, the habitats of our native species, and how land use and other pressures are affecting them.

Antarctic research

While very few people will ever visit Antarctica, changes in this precious and fragile ecosystem have wide-reaching effects across the globe. That is why we've partnered with Antarctica New Zealand and New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute to support their research to understand and connect what is happening in Antarctica with what is happening around the rest of the world. Our partnership has enabled a new ecosystems project that examines the impact of climate change on life in Antarctica. The aim of the project is to determine the adaptation or resistance potential of Antarctic species and ecosystems to environmental stressors, such as ocean warming, increased freshwater runoff in the ocean and ocean acidification, each of which are indicators of large-scale changes to the planet from increasing levels of carbon dioxide.