The Government of New Zealand introduced The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes in 2009 as a way of raising the profile and prestige of science among New Zealanders, in Aotearoa and internationally.


There are five prizes in total with a combined value of $975,000 NZ Dollars.




The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes are awarded to:  (please click on any of the Prizes for further information and to APPLY NOW)

Te Puiaki Pūtaiao Matua a Te Pirimia The Prime Minister’s Science Prize

An individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact on New Zealand and/or internationally.

Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Maea The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize

An outstanding emerging scientist who has had their PhD or equivalent qualification conferred within the last eight years i.e. (no earlier than 1 January 2014)

Te Puiaki Whakapā Pūtaiao The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize

A practising scientist who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement, or communication of complex scientific or technological information to the public and/or science and research communities.

Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaako Pūtaiao The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize

A registered teacher kaiako who has been teaching science, mathematics, technology, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum to school-age children in a primary, intermediate or secondary New Zealand registered school or kura kaupapa.

Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Ānamata The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize

Awarded to a Year 12 or Year 13 school tauira student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative science research, maths, technology or engineering project.


Supported by the New Zealand Government with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Nā Te Hīkina Whakatutuki te mana hāpai.