Bottlenose dolphin and baby

Image: Zassle | Creative Commons


This fund supports research that focuses on the impact of tourist operations on cetaceans in the Hauraki Gulf.

A fund of $100,000 is available for eligible legal entities to undertake research on marine mammal of the order Cetacea (whale, dolphin, or porpoise). Research is to focus on the impacts of tourism operations in the Hauraki Gulf.

About the fund

There are currently two marine mammal tourism operators in the Hauraki Gulf: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari and Dolphin Planet.

Each operator holds a marine mammal permit which states they must contribute annually to support research into the impacts of their activity on cetaceans. A fund of $100,000 has been generated by these contributions and is available for research projects to examine these impacts.

What research will the fund support?

Funding of $10,000 to $100,000 is available for projects of up to three years, that cover one of more of the following research areas:

  • Assessment of the two current commercial operators impact on cetaceans.
  • Current state and trends in populations of cetaceans including, but not limited to, bottlenose dolphins, brydes and minke whales.
  • Identifcation of critical habitats for cetaceans such as where they feed, breed and nurse young.
  • Recreational and commercial tourism pressures on cetaceans.
  • Impact of marine mammal viewing of commercial operators ranks alongside wider pressures.
  • Measurement of recreational and commercial tourism's significance on cetacean’s well-being.
  • Consideration of matauranga (Maori values) in the context of tourism impacts on cetaceans.

Research not supported:

  • cetacean disease
  • non-target species such as seals
  • other pressures such as habitat change or fishery interaction.

How will my application be assessed?

The success of your application will depend on how well your proposal aligns with the fund's scope and assessment criteria, as well as on merit when compared to other applications. Applications will be assessed on:

  • how reasonable and realistic the budget is
  • a clear and robust methodology
  • demonstration of ability including:
    • Evidence of past project delivery
    • research team credentials
    • knowledge of the subject matter.
  • collaboration with partners or agencies.
  • level of co-funding (there is no requirement for existing funding, but where in place this should be outlined)
  • time frame including any time sensitivity
  • presentation
  • level of species threat
  • evidence of iwi engagement in research
  • evidence of robust health and safety processes
  • consideration of how outputs and results will be communicated with stakeholders
  • permits in place (where required).

How can I apply?

Submit a proposal which provides applicant details and evidence against each of the assessment criteria including:

  1. Project proposal, context and aim.
  2. Research methodology.
  3. Lead researcher, lead field researcher and research team members.
  4. Associated institution(s) or organisation(s).
  5. Field research and project delivery timeline.
  6. The value of the funding applied for from the fund with an itemised and detailed budget breakdown for the applied funds and overall project.
  7. Health and safety methodology through an example health and safety plan.
  8. Intended research outputs and timeframe.

Applications should be emailed to Katharine Lane by 5pm 15 April 2019.

What happens after I apply?

Once the call for applications has closed, the assessment panel will consider all submitted applications. The panel will have completed their review by June 2019, and then write to all applicants to tell them of their decision.

What happens if my application is successful?

By July 2019, a deed of grant will be issued to successful applicants which will include a timetable for regular reporting.

Grants will be paid in instalments. There will be an upfront payment to be determined at deed of grant negotiations. Successive payments will be every six months, or sooner if you have fully expended the previous instalment.

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