ESR (the Institute of Environmental Science and Research) is New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute that specialises in science relating to people and communities.

It’s our science that helps safeguard people’s health, protect food-based economies, improve the safety of freshwater and groundwater resources, and contributes expert forensic science to justice systems. See the positive impact our work has

Latest news

Wastewater drug tests show meth most common drug in Auckland and Christchurch

ESR was commissioned by police in December to test sites in both cities to allow authorities to map drug-use patterns and give a clearer picture of where and when drugs are most commonly used.

Three months of testing (external link) found significantly higher quantities of methamphetamine than other drugs.

Designer drug detection

ESR has teamed up with NZ Customs to develop new techniques to detect and seize “designer drugs” entering New Zealand, by identifying compounds of the drugs that have been tweaked for the sole purpose of avoiding detection. Read more about our role in international border dectection for designer drugs (external link) .