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Thread: Help please with science contacts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    New Zealand

    Default Help please with science contacts

    Hi there.

    I am an NZer now back in Bay of Plenty rather unexpectedly (work), and now my husband (South African) and I (I am NZ citizen) doing the "waiting game" in terms of when to apply for NZ residency to join me here (few current issues (to do with travel) mean he can't do it now - has to wait until July). The situation is, my husband's area of expertise doesn't really exist in NZ, but of course, being a scientist with a wide background, and knowing full well for some time he has to redirect his career for NZ purposes, I am trying to suss out contacts, etc etc here in NZ. We have up to a year to get things sorted options wise and contacts wise.

    Although registered with a few organisations in NZ, these organisations are not interested if you are not here (we know this fact). We cannot get around this at this stage, as with 3 children in the mix, we cannot afford for my husband to just up and leave his work in Belgium either financially. So I am doing as much as I can myself here, being in NZ and quite confident at picking up the phone and just contacting people here. We need to know what direction he can take, etc etc. I have only been here four weeks myself!

    My husband qualified as a chemist, specialising in industrial and organic chemistry (obtaining BSc and BSc hons degrees, Uni of Pretoria). Began career as a physical and analytical chemist at a national research institution in South Africa. Later worked as a materials engineer modelling mass transport in ceramic materials at an industrial engineering company 10 years. Obtained masters degrees in chemistry and applied engineering and finally a PhD in Physics. Now working as materials engineer and project manager in a high technology research centre in Belgium.

    Quals and experience are therefore wide in terms of background: chemistry, material science, physics and engineering background. 15 years of research, development and engineering experience, and has lectured in Europe and South Africa in workshop and summer schools and supervised two master degree students successfully. Coming to NZ will mean redirecting career completely into a new direction, and this allows him to consider a wide field of opportunities.

    He is interested in places that can utilise his scientific training, project management skills and engineering background. He needs to know what the most required skills are in NZ, that he can develop taking into consideration his background.

    If anyone out there has any contacts or suggestions that I can begin ferreting / contacting, then this would be appreciated. Of course the best would be "be here" but that is not feasible for financial reasons at the moment, and i do believe I can begin finding contacts (being positive and all that). We need to know options, possibilities so he is in a position to arrive here and start speaking to the right people, right away. Even if it is some time away. You never know what crops up! :-)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Nelson, NZ - from Boulder USA


    I would start by looking at the Crown Research Institutes - there are 8 of them focused on different areas of science. An overview is here:
    There are also university-affiliated groups at Otago, Massey, Canterbury, Victoria and Auckland (as well as elsewhere) that may be possible sources of work. There are some smaller organisations, like the Cawthron Institute in Nelson (where my partner works), but only some of them will have relevant work for your husband.

    There is definitely not the same level of investment in science, hard or soft, nor research, basic or applied, due to the smaller population and lack of big driving funders (like Defense and Energy in the US) but there are options around the country if you can be flexible and patient.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    UK to Roto-Vegas


    There's a CRI in Rotorua - Scion. They used to be the Forest Research Institute and specialise in tree stuff but they've been branching out into all sorts. They have a waste to gold project (been renamed to something I can't remember) which is quite lucrative should it be rolled out, also the team behind the water bottles made from plant materials.

    Scion have many many non-New Zealanders working there so should your husband end up there he won't be the only immigrant.

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