NEW ZEALAND SCIENCE MEDIA CENTRE
New Zealand was the third country to set up a Science Media Centre in June, 2008 after the New Zealand Government identified a similar need for greater support of the media to encourage better coverage of science-related issues.
After consulting with the UK and Australian Science Media Centres, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology issued a tender, calling for proposals for a New Zealand centre. The process saw the Royal Society of New Zealand awarded with a three year contract to set up and operate a Science Media Centre.
Since 2008 the NZ SMC has worked on hundreds of stories, most notably the Canterbury earthquakes, swine flu pandemic, Pike River mine disaster and Rena oil spill. The centre has established itself as an invaluable resource for the New Zealand media as well as for scientists looking to engage with the media as part of their science communication efforts.
In 2009, the NZ SMC set up the science blogging platform Sciblogs, offering scientists an opportunity to develop their science communication skills. The NZ SMC works in collaboration with the other SMCs on joint briefings and rapid round-ups.
Founded: Set up in June, 2008 by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The NZ SMC acts as a stand alone body overseen by the RSNZ and governed by an independent three-person board. You cna find more details on the NZ SMC's structure here.
Funding: The NZ SMC is 100% funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (formerly MoRST) with the contract overseen by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Funding is continuous through to June 30, 2013.