The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) commissioned Pragmatica to review the Envirolink Fund. The review aimed to inform MBIE of how well the Envirolink Fund operates and whether it achieved its intended outcomes and provided value for money.
Pragmatica found that:
“Envirolink makes a worthwhile and valuable contribution in the way it supports select regional councils to engage with and use environmental science research and technology. According to respondents, Envirolink increases the value of existing environmental science research by supporting higher uptake by users” (Spee & Oakden, 2017, p. 2)
This was the first review of the scheme since it commenced in 2005. The results of the review were positive and we rated the scheme very good overall.
“There is clear evidence that regional councils, through Envirolink, have built the capability to access and use environmental science information for planning and decision making. Many respondents valued the partnerships and relationships developed between regional councils and with the research providers. There was also clear evidence that the transfer of knowledge has helped mitigate some local environmental problems and concerns. Regional councils gave examples of successful implementation of practical solutions to environmental issues, as a direct result of the scientific knowledge gained from Envirolink advice and tools funding" (Spee & Oakden, 2017, p. 2)
The review found that Envirolink is a well-run fund.
“Envirolink works as intended and therefore the evaluators rated Envirolink very good for this aspect. Respondents saw Envirolink as a well-run fund that helps to connect regional councils with scientific information for better planning and decision making. A highly committed Envirolink Coordinator provides effective coordination with the Envirolink Governance Group” (Spee & Oakden, 2017, p. 2).
The review also provided evidence that the scheme makes a worthwhile and valuable contribution in supporting eligible councils to engage with and use environmental science and support uptake by users.
“Envirolink delivers on its value for money proposition. It is a relatively small investment that enables regional councils to leverage science resources to help carry out their various statutory roles” (Spee & Oakden, 2017, p. 2).
The report’s recommendations will inform future funding decisions relating to the Envirolink Fund.