There are approximately 23 permanent staff and several temps and students based at our main Nelson site, located on the Nelson City waterfront. Known as the Seafood Research Centre, we also have two smaller sites; the Bioprocessing Laboratory in Stoke and the Maitai Site located at Port Nelson.

Our site and facilities

Being a smaller site, there is a compact kitchen but, fortunately, the building is situated close to a fish and chip shop with a coffee shop and dairy just 5 minutes walk. The view from the site is breath taking, the ocean framed by mountains. At certain times of the year, whales, dolphins, penguins and seals can be seen.


Five minutes drive or a ten minute bike ride away is Nelson City. It’s an easy drive to the airport, approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on peak hour traffic. We have plenty of bike stands as our staff is an active bunch.

The area

Nelson is New Zealand’s second oldest city and the main urban hub of the top of the South. The art deco Nelson Cathedral stands guard over the city centre, famous for its Saturday Market. Art galleries, stylish boutiques and an outdoor shopping mall making Nelson an interesting shopping destination. Nelson’s busy port exports forestry products, and the bounty of the largest fishing fleet in Australasia. Access to and from the port is through "The Cut" – a man-made gap in the remarkable 13 kilometre naturally occurring Boulder Bank with its elegant lighthouse. Tahunanui Beach is a popular swimming spot just 5 minutes from the city centre. 15 minutes north of Nelson city is Hira and the picturesque rural drive to Cable Bay with its sheltered pebble beach and unique causeway to Pepin Island separating the estuary from the ocean.

The region

Nelson Tasman is an exciting playground where fishing, diving, sailing and kite surfing are top of the list for those that want to enjoy the outdoors. Nelson is one of the world’s top destinations for kite surfing. Nelson is the Cycling Centre of New Zealand and has some great mountain biking tracks suitable for beginners, intermediate, advanced and the highly charged adrenalin junkie mountain bikers. The Abel Tasman National Park and Cable Bay are premier Sea-kayaking destinations that provide unique marine life experiences and a chance to enjoy the pristine ocean environment. The Murchison area of the Nelson Tasman region is home to some of the best white water kayaking and rafting in New Zealand. Paddlers from around the world flock to the area to partake in some of the thrill-seeking activities. The area is one of the top white water destinations in the world due to 18 rivers within 45 minutes that provide great rafting, kayaking and jetboating experiences.

The region has an abundance of local flavours, sun-kissed fruit, farm-fresh and organic vegetables and succulent seafood. The great food is complemented with over twenty-five boutique aromatic wineries and breweries - The region is home to more craft breweries per head of the population than anywhere else in the country providing endless gastronomic inspiration and liquid delights.

The Nelson Tasman region is the undisputed creative arts centre of New Zealand. This is where the World of WearableArt (WOW) event was born and the internationally acclaimed Hoglund Art Glass studio has been in operation for thirty years. The region has over 300 working artists. Painters, sculptors, ceramic artists, potters, glass blowers, jewellers, writers and creators draw energy from the spectacular natural environment and create art and crafts that have a unique and personal signature attached to them.

Further information

Copyright © 2018 The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited