Technical review of the Overseer model

Find out about the review, and the members of the panel doing the work.

Overseer review part of wider efforts to improve tools

A technical review of the Overseer model began in early 2020. Eight independent experts were appointed to a panel to do the review.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) are working to improve the decision-making tools used by farmers and growers. This review is part of that wider effort.

Two parts to the Overseer review

The review consists of 2 parts.

The first will assess Overseer's modelling approach for use in decision-making by farmers and growers, and as a regulatory tool.

The draft report from part one of the technical review is in the process of being reviewed.  Once the panel has finalised the report, it will be provided to Ministers, and the scope for the second part of the review finalised.

The review's second part depends on the earlier findings and could take another year.

Notes from first workshop

The panel held their first workshop in March 2020. People from Overseer Limited, AgResearch, and regional councils explained how Overseer works and how it is used.

Workshop agenda [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Overseer demonstration [PDF, 3 MB]

Environment Canterbury use of Overseer [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Use of Overseer by Waikato Regional Council in the Lake Taupo and Waikato River catchments [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Stocktaking report: Overseer whole-model peer review [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Summary of existing guidance to regional councils on best practice use of Overseer in the regulation of diffuse nutrient pollution [PDF, 2 MB]

Members of the Overseer technical review panel

The 8 panel members were selected after a rigorous process involving the Prime Minister's chief science adviser and the chief scientists from MPI and MfE.

The panel members are:

  • Chair: Dr Ian Johnson – agricultural modeller (Australia)
  • Dave Clark – dairy industry and research consultant
  • Dr Brent Clothier – principal scientist at Plant and Food Research
  • Dr Donna Giltrap – research priority area leader for agricultural greenhouse gases emissions and mitigations at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • Dr Clint Rissmann – founder and director of Land and Water Science Ltd
  • Dr Nick Roskruge – Atiawa ki Taranaki, Ngāti Tama-ariki and associate professor in horticulture at Massey University
  • Dr Peter Thorburn – chief research scientist and research group leader at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia)
  • Dr Robin White – associate professor of Integrated Beef Systems Management, Virginia Tech (USA).

Find out more

Overseer whole-model peer review by independent experts: Project overview including panel terms of reference [PDF, 298 KB]

Biographies of the panel members

Overseer history and uses

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