Institute of Environmental Science and Research

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The ESR's logo

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) is a Crown Research Institute in New Zealand.

ESR's works in collaboration with the health and justice systems in New Zealand by providing services in environmental health and forensic science.

ESR was formed in 1992 during dissolution of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992. It is a limited liability company, wholly owned by the New Zealand Government.


ESR professionals cover a range of disciplines focused on safe environments for people. These are built on expert capabilities in:

  • identification and characterisation of microorganisms
  • surveillance of human diseases and hazards
  • molecular technologies
  • forensic science, which covers all aspects of crime scene examination, drugs and alcohol, physical evidence and DNA.
  • radiation science

ESR's National Centre for Radiation Science aims to ensure radiation science benefits New Zealand’s people, environment and industries by helping protect them from radiation and radioactive contamination, as well as promoting safe and beneficial use of radiation and radioactive materials.


ESR's 400+ staff are located at four science centres:

  • Mt Albert Science Centre, Auckland
  • Kenepuru Science Centre, Wellington
  • Christchurch Science Centre, Christchurch
  • Wallaceville, Upper Hutt (National Centre for Biosecurity & Infectious Diseases)

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