Newly refurbished Waikato IDI Lab a catalyst for fostering academic-industry collaboration

16 August 2023

IDI Lab sign

The University of Waikato is delighted to announce the re-opening of its newly refurbished Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) Lab; a catalyst for fostering academic-industry collaboration and innovation in research within the Waikato.

The lab will serve as an important resource to meet the increasing demand for data and analysis. The facility has doubled its capacity in a central location on the University’s Hamilton campus, and boasts entirely new computer hardware. The IDI Lab will advance social science research, bring together researchers and industry, and provide invaluable new insights into the future for Aotearoa, and our people.

IDI Lab opening

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Arts, Law, Psychology, and Social Sciences, Professor Patrick Leman, says that the IDI Lab will be a stimulus to increase collaborative relationships between academia and industry, and will help to shape positive future outcomes for New Zealanders, particularly those living outside our three largest cities:

“At Waikato, we are rapidly becoming the place in New Zealand for innovative and entrepreneurial societal research that cross-cuts industry, academia, and the public sector.

IDI Lab opening 2

“We live in a world awash with data. The IDI Lab will give academics, students and industry unrivalled access to a rich and powerful basket of knowledge about who we are, what we do, and where we may be heading as a society. This information, along with centres of excellence at the University such as Te Ngira (Institute for Population Research), will help to inform and drive evidence-based improvements to health and well-being, environmental sustainability and the economic productivity of our communities.”

The IDI Lab provides access to an extensive research database of de-identified microdata about people and households governed by Stats NZ. The database provides approved researchers access to a large range of data on education, tax, families, households, sentencing and charges, health and safety, student loans, migration, integrated from government agencies, Statistics New Zealand, and non-government organisations.

The data is entirely anonymous, with personal information like names, dates of birth and addresses removed, and numbers such as IRD (Inland Revenue Department) and NHI (National Health Index) are encrypted.

The official re-opening took place on Monday evening, blessed by Pou Tūhono Manager Whetū Taukamo (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou). Addresses were given by Professor Leman and Director of Research and Enterprise Dr Simon Lovatt, as well as representatives from the two industry partners that helped fund the refurbishment, Scarlatti and Ohu Ahumahi Workforce Development Councils, who all spoke of the value of this lab for the Waikato and neighbouring regions.

For more information about the lab click here.

For more information about IDI data, visit

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