SDG #2 Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Partnering to provide free food for students when times are tough

Supporting the horticultural industry to nourish our communities with high-tech robotics

Innovating in aquaculture to feed the world with a greener source of protein

Some things we are especially proud of

Students at our Hamilton campus can access free grocery packs from the Kai Cupboard when times are tight.

A revolving food pantry called Pataka Kai is also available for students to ‘take what they need and leave what they can’.

In Tauranga our students benefit from a weekly supply of surplus food from around the region courtesy of Good Neighbour.

The many food outlets on our Hamilton campus which offer healthy food options, including vegetarian and vegan food.

Our Unirec sports centre provides a raft of health and fitness services for our staff, students and the broader community.

Our onsite caterer embraces sustainability and offers nutritious, seasonal menus and our events are underpinned by a commitment to minimising food waste.

We monitor and report on waste and set ambitious targets to improve, year on year.


Regenerating shellfish in our harbours by blending Māori knowledge with western science

Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke is a passionate marine scientist based at our Tauranga campus.  One of her key research projects in 2021 involved helping restore mussel populations in Ōhiwa Harbour using a blend of Māori knowledge and western science. New mussel lines made of woven, natural materials were developed and are now laden with mussels. The lines are far kinder to the harbour than the plastic lines preferred by commercial mussel farmers. In 2021 she was nominated for the second year in a row for the Kudos Science Trust Awards in both the Environmental Science and Vision Mātauranga categories.

Marie Magnusson

Unlocking the potential of algae as a nourishing food source

Following the opening of a new facility dedicated to macroalgal research in Tauranga in 2020, we have a large and growing team of researchers hard at work, creating innovative ways to use seaweed which is accumulating in our harbours. From gourmet sea salt to nutraceuticals and a food to support the growth of other plants, there are rich opportunities being explored with support from the Waikato Management School.


Waikato robotics impress at Fieldays 2021

We have a longstanding reputation in horticultural robotics, melding our expertise in mechatronics, software engineering and machine learning.  In 2021 we had a prominent display at Fieldays with three robots entered into the Innovation Awards in the Prototype category.

Our researchers are continuing to blaze a trail in this area, working closely with the industry to develop smart solutions to the many issues they face, including the difficulties in securing seasonal workers like fruit pickers. They are also innovating to help growers meet environment standards and controlling pests and disease. Ultimately, these developments are all contributing to an abundant supply of high-quality fruit and vegetables that are nourishing communities all around the world.

Related news

Robots to the rescue

Researchers from the University of Waikato’s School of Engineering and School of Computing and Mathematical Science are working with industry partners, growers and other institutions to develop high-tech solutions to challenges facing the horticultural industry.