He Whenua Taurikura is an independent National Centre of Research Excellence hosted by Victoria University of Wellington.

He Whenua Taurikura translates to ‘a land at peace’. The Centre’s purpose is to contribute to an Aotearoa where everyone is safe in their diverse identities, by producing and coordinating research into countering and preventing terrorism and violent extremism, while promoting social cohesion. We are committed to research that contributes to social inclusion, which reflects the nation’s diversity and enhances community wellbeing.


The Centre was established in response to recommendation 14 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain. In June 2022, the Centre was launched at Parliament by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and the Hon Andrew Little, the Minister responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. The inaugural Co-Directors of the Centre are Professor Joanna Kidman and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley.

With Te Tiriti o Waitangi and tikanga Māori at the heart of its operations, the Centre aims to strengthen partnerships between researchers, civil society and government to support participatory approaches to whakahōtaetae – preventing terrorism and violent extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Centre will support research that helps to counter violent extremism with evidence-based, high-quality scholarly inquiry.


15 March 2023

Following a successful funding round, we are delighted to announce the awarding of six He Whenua Taurikura postgraduate student scholarships. Masters scholarships are worth $15,000 each and PhD scholarships provide domestic tuition fees and $40,000 per year for up to three years. The scholarships will support research in the following areas:

  • How can community-led initiatives build social cohesion and support attempts to prevent violent extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand?
  • Extremist theology in Aotearoa: Are New Zealand Christians at risk of radicalisation?
  • Understanding Contemporary Political Discontent, Dissent and Anti Government Extremism in Aotearoa (2020-2023).
  • Understanding the nature and wellbeing impacts of anti-transgender extremism in Aotearoa.
  • A Te Ao Māori approach to intelligence in Aotearoa New Zealand incorporating Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori values, and the development of locally responsive strategies to counter violent extremism.
  • Assessing threats to social cohesion and national security posed by dissidence and the rise of anti-authority ideologies throughout rural New Zealand.

23 March 2023

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) has set up a new fund to support community and civil society organisations to deliver initiatives that counter and build resilience to violent extremism and radicalisation.

The Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Fund recognises that communities play an important role in helping prevent and counter violent extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand. This initiative supports the Government’s wider response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Terrorist Attacks.

The first round of funding will open on Tuesday 28 March 2023 and close on Wednesday 17 May 2023.

You can apply or read more about the Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Fund on the Department of Internal Affairs Community Matters website: https://www.communitymatters.govt.nz/