Ken Taylor is the Director of the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge. This is the most senior position in the Challenge Directorate. The Challenge has a strong emphasis on working collaboratively with stakeholders and users of science to ensure that its research findings are relevant, accessible and applicable.
Prior to taking up the role with the Challenge Ken was Director of Science at Environment Canterbury, responsible for meeting the information needs of the organisation and its community with respect to the quantity and quality of natural resources in the region. This included:
• Carrying out investigations to characterise resources, understand the biophysical processes that drive changes in the nature and quality of resources and define limits to resource use
• Providing effective input to both collaborative and statutory processes that contribute to good outcomes for Canterbury
In recent years this work involved a growing emphasis on redefining both the design and delivery of science to respond more effectively to the ways communities of interest identify, process and contextualise information needs. This shift in approach is reflected in the way the Challenge wishes to operate.
Since 2009 Ken has been actively involved in the Land and Water Forum. For several years he has chaired the National Objectives Framework reference group, a joint initiative of the ministries of Primary Industry and the Environment, and the Forum, to help develop one of the central elements of the government's water reform package.