Dr Nick Waipara
Affiliation: Plant & Food Research
Role: Māori Kaihautū
Nick (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Ruapani ki Turanga) has a research background specialising in plant pathology, mycology, and biological control. His PhD (University of Canterbury) investigated the role of plant pathogens in the decline of pastoral productivity and economic profitability of primary production.
Undertaking a post-doctoral position at the National Veterinary Institute in Norway, he studied the bio-safety of organically produced feed and food before returning to New Zealand to work in environmental microbiology, including weed bio-control and “He Kainga Oranga” (National Programme of Housing & Health), studying the links between human health illness and mycotoxic pathogens present in leaky buildings.
He has previously worked at Auckland Council coordinating and implementing biosecurity research and innovation that underpins operational pest management programmes. This work included “Kia Toitū He Kauri” (Kauri Dieback Programme) and Tīkapa Moana o Hauraki (Treasure Islands Protecting the Hauraki Gulf).
His current position is at Plant and Food Research, continuing his research into bioprotection.
Nick's role as Kaihautū is to facilitate, link and promote research prioritised by Māori. This includes recognition of mātauranga Māori to improve the holistic health of ecosystems and their taonga species, as well as manage biosecurity threats.