Credit: Sustainable Seas 2020

Privacy policy

Last updated: April 2021


The Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge (the Challenge) was established in 2014. It is one of 11 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment-funded Challenges aimed at taking a more strategic approach to science investment.

The Challenge is hosted by National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA). NIWA is a Crown Research Institute operating under the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 and the Crown Entities Act 2004. Amongst other legislation, NIWA is subject to the Privacy Act 1993 and the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The Challenge is also subject to the Privacy Act 1993 and the OIA 1982.

Scope and purpose

This privacy policy applies to any personal and other information that the Challenge collects through this website, or any other ancillary Challenge website or social network account (collectively, the Website).

The purpose of this policy is to set out the basis upon which the Challenge collects, stores, manages and archives personal and other related information that it obtains via the Website. The Challenge may modify or amend this privacy policy at any time and, if so, will update the “last updated” notice on this page. Users should check from time to time to see if the privacy policy has changed.

Collection of personal information

The Challenge may collect personal information about a user of the Website (User), including a User’s:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Telephone number;
  • Email address;
  • Occupation;
  • Organisation; and/or

Any or all such personal information may be collected directly from a User when that User:

  • Registers to use the Website;
  • Emails an enquiry;
  • Adds a comment to any of Challenge’s social network accounts;
  • Subscribes to the Challenge newsletter;
  • Registers for an event;
  • Subscribes to Challenge’s news feeds;
  • Gives feedback;
  • Lodges a complaint; and/or
  • Makes an OIA or Privacy Act request.

In some cases, if personal information requested is not provided by a User, that User may not be able to access and/or use certain functions of the Website.

The Challenge also collects non-identifiable information about Users’ interaction with the Challenge’s information technology (IT) systems. This includes use of the Website and web services and emails sent to/from the Challenge’s IT systems and is done by using cookies, log files and other technologies.

The Challenge uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc, to analyse web traffic based on specific behaviour, demographic, and interest data. The Challenge may collect statistical information about visits to the Website using this service, including:

  • IP addresses (masked);
  • search terms used;
  • pages accessed from the Website and clicks on links;
  • dates and times at which the Website is accessed;
  • the referring site (if any) through which the Website is accessed;
  • operating systems (eg Windows, Mac OS X); and
  • web browsers (eg Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge, Google Chrome or Apple Safari).

The data collected through Google Analytics is aggregated and is not personally identifiable. IP addresses are masked so that they cannot be used to identify individuals and Google Analytics will also respect any “do not track” settings on web browsers.  The Challenge may from time to time use different web analytic tools on the Website for the purposes of tracking use and traffic but will ensure that any such tool respects privacy settings and has safeguards in place to protect a User’s personal information.

Use of personal information

Any information collected by the Challenge may be used for the following purposes:

  • administering and/or improving the Website;
  • providing and improving the Challenge’s services, including social media accounts;
  • market research and data analysis;
  • communicating with Users;
  • investigating and/or responding to a User’s complaint or enquiry;
  • future marketing, promotional and publicity purposes;
  • complying with legal requirements;
  • protecting the Challenge’s rights, property or safety (including the protection of IT systems and the prevention of fraud) or those of third parties (including Users)
  • providing further information to Users about other websites and services that the Challenge considers may be of interest to Users; and/or
  • such other use as a User authorises.

Disclosure of personal information

The Challenge does not sell personal information. We may share Users’ personal information with other organisations, companies or individuals where necessary for the purposes listed above, including:

  • members, agents or contractors of the Challenge, including third-party service providers such as IT systems or cyber-security services providers;
  • anyone else where the Challenge has the User’s consent;
  • courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities;
  • where required to do so by law or regulation.

Storage of personal information

The Challenge will take all reasonable steps, and maintain processes, to prevent unauthorised access to, or use of, the personal and other information the Challenge collects. In most cases, the Challenge uses the SSL encryption with HTTPS protocol for secure communication of the Challenge pages over the Internet.

Any personal information provided to the Challenge will be held by, or on behalf of, the Challenge at one of NIWA’s sites and/or by a third-party service provider.  The Challenge may use third-party service providers (whether in New Zealand or overseas, and whether contracted directly or via NIWA), to manage and store personal and other information it collects, and will ensure that any such provider has sufficient security measures in place to protect Users’ personal information.

Use of cookies

A cookie is a piece of data stored on a User’s computer or other device tied to non-personal information about the User. The Challenge uses cookies to store a User’s preferences, to record session information, and to ensure that particular features of the Website work. Users can disable cookies in their web browser settings and/or delete them from their computer’s hard drive. Users do not need to have cookies turned on to use the Website, but some online services, features or functions of the Website may not function properly if the cookies are turned off.

Links to social networking services

The Challenge uses social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and other blog hosting websites to communicate with the public about the Challenge’s work. 

When Users interact with the Challenge via these services, the social networking services may collect Users’ personal information for their own purposes. These services may track Users’ use of the Website on those pages where their links are displayed. If a User is logged in to those services (including any Google services) while using the Website, their tracking will be associated with that User’s profile with those services.

Please read our social media terms of use.

Such services have their own privacy policies which Users should also read.

User rights and choices

Users have the right to request a copy of personal information held about them by the Challenge and to ask for that information to be updated if it is incorrect. Upon request, and subject to any legal grounds for withholding, the Challenge will provide Users with access to any personal information held about them. If such information is inaccurate, the Challenge will correct it.

To contact the Challenge for access or correction please see our contact details. Users can also ask to be removed from any of the Challenge’s subscription lists at any time.

Users may need to provide evidence of identity if they make a request for access or correction of personal information.

Please contact us if you have any queries relating to this policy or the Challenge’s handling of personal information.