New Zealand, Aotearoa, is a country known for its nature – our wild and beautiful natural places are home to many species found nowhere else on earth. Globally, New Zealand is recognised as a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ - a place where an immense variety of birds, insects, plants, fungi and other life-forms live.

Increasingly, New Zealanders are aware of the importance of protecting and valuing our unique native species and environments: they are an important part of our natural heritage and what it means to be a New Zealander.

This Hackathon will enable New Zealanders and other global citizens to explore what makes our nature so special, promote its conservation and celebrate its intrinsic value. It will also enable young, talented entrepreneurs to create new value from information about the living species and environments we have here in New Zealand. The information will be sourced from several nationally-significant science collections Landcare Research cares for on behalf of New Zealand.

The setup

The goal of Nature Hack is for your team to build a simple web service or app related to nature and/or wild life. An important part of the concept is to build something that "stands on its own". The focus is on execution, and creating something that is simple and actually works. In general, "Keep it Simple" is great advice for any hackathon.


We’ll share all important timings and details with you as we get closer to the event but something that can be good to know now is that the actual hackathon is for 24 hours. Friday is for socialising and the hacking begins on Saturday morning and ends on Sunday morning.

Before the hackathon starts, we’ll give a short presentation to outline the trends that are shaping the landscape of tomorrow as well as share a few words on the APIs. Callaghan Innovation, Landcare Research and the Hackaway team will also be around the whole time to answer questions and bounce ideas.


Just to make things crystal clear: you can build whatever you want as long as one of the data sets and/or APIs that you're using comes from Landcare Research. You need to be 18 years old to apply to Nature Hack.


After the hackathon, you'll be given three minutes to present your hack, after which we’ll name a winner.

Here are the most important criteria you'll be judged by:

  • Is it innovative?
  • Does it work?
  • Is it live?


As Nature Hack gets closer we’ll share more details, what to pack for the weekend and what the meeting point on the Friday will be. Don’t hesitate to contact Martina at if you have any questions.


Nature Hack takes place at a unique and secret location. We'll pick you up somewhere in Wellington, New Zealand.


Apply as an individual or as a team of up to three people. All you need to bring is your laptop and an open mind. Nature Hack is free of charge.


We will leave central Wellington, New Zealand on the 6th of November at 6 PM and we’ll be back on the 8th of November at 2 PM.

Apply now

Organised by

Landcare Research

The land sustains us all. At Landcare Research we believe innovation in the sustainable management of New Zealand’s land resources and biodiversity is the key to ensuring New Zealand’s society can develop within environmental limits into the future, meeting both community and market expectations.

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Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation works with New Zealand businesses to help improve their chances of turning research and development into market success. We have a range of services to make the road to success easier, faster and less risky.

We work with businesses of all sizes who share the ambition of challenging what it possible.

We’re supporting Nature Hack as it goes to the heart of what we are about - Rukuhia te wāhi ngaro, hei maunga tātai whetu. Explore the unknown, pursue excellence.

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Hackaway is an international hackathon concept from Sweden. Organized by Martina Elm, Jonny Strömberg and Ted Valentin.

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Born in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the merino sheep has a light, superfine, highly breathable coat that keeps him cool in the scorching summer heat. When winter sets in, he grows an extra layer of wool over his base coat so he can roam through ice and snow in warmth and comfort.

Icebreaker has taken the merino’s wool and created a system of lightweight layers to give you the same freedom to explore your environment in any condition. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Icebreaker is sold in more than 5000 stores in 50 countries. Created by nature, adapted by Icebreaker.

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Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is an international and domestic airline providing air passenger and cargo transport services within New Zealand, as well as to and from Australia, the South West Pacific, Asia, North America and the United Kingdom (and shortly Buenos Aires in South America).

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