Innovation Lab

Te Taiwhanga Auaha

Innovation Lab 

The Innovation Lab is responsible for the design and development of our innovative programmes and services – including ENGAGE, ENRICH, Virtual Reality Learning Tools, Youth Transitional Housing including a Young Mums House, an Integrated Services Hub and has delivered commissioned projects for Ministry of Education and National Library of New Zealand.

The Innovation Lab is led by our Kaiwhakawhanake Pakihi | Business Development Leader, and focusses on working in partnerships to develop evidence-based initiatives that improve life course outcomes on a large scale.

To achieve this goal, the Innovation Lab first works closely with researchers and subject matter experts to understand and translate high quality science and identify which evidence-based ideas are most suitable for real world application. Our emphasis is on ideas with the potential to significantly improve the long-term outcomes for people who are not are not currently well-supported by existing services, and who are at risk of the most negative long-term outcomes. We also prioritise ideas with the potential to work effectively at a large scale, and to meet the needs of diverse groups of people. 

Once ideas are identified, co-design work is then carried out with our clients and target users – to ensure that initiatives meet the needs and opportunities of the people we work with, take advantage of existing skills, strengths and resources, and have the greatest chance of long-term success in complex environments, when operating at large scale.

Following the initial co-design phase, initiatives are then repeatedly tested and iterated in real world settings, with outcomes closely measured, and improvements carefully designed through collective input from participants, researchers, delivery partners, funders, and other stakeholders required to grow and sustain the initiative. This process often requires several cycles to create an initiative that achieves the desired harmony between having a high impact and being suitable for large scale delivery. 

Partnerships are essential to executing this work to a high standard – especially multidisciplinary partnerships with complementary expertise in science, implementation, culture, organisational growth, technology, funding and investment and policy knowledge. Undertaking multidisciplinary work often brings more complexity than traditional unilateral projects – however the benefits of working in partnership far outweigh the relative ease of working along and are critical to achieving the Innovation Lab’s target of high impact at large scale.

If you would like to enquire about the work of the Innovation Lab, or find out how to contribute to this kaupapa – please contact:
Jimmy McLauchlan |