Innovation Award for Māori Biosecurity Network Team

Te Tira Whakamātaki has been awarded the inaugural Dave Galloway Innovation by the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute (NZBI).

The Award recognises the efforts of the Māori Biosecurity Network team members Dr Amanda Black, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt and Dr Nick Waipara to raise awareness of biosecurity threats and develop strategies to build a healthy future for New Zealand’s biological heritage.

The Māori-led Network and has been consulting with Māori communities to better understand their needs and priorities for combatting biosecurity threats to both native and farmed ecosystems. They have completed a series of regional hui where topics such as myrtle rust, kiwifruit vine disease, and phytophthora causing kauri dieback disease were discussed.

The Māori Biosecurity Network is designed to build capability and capacity in biosecurity surveillance among Māori communities, connect Māori organisations and communities with scientists, and to provide Māori researchers a culturally-safe space to hold dialogue on biosecurity issues.

“It was a fantastic surprise and honour for the team to be the recipient of the award. This network came about as a need identified by both researchers and communities to provide a platform to discuss biosecurity issues and solutions, and to possibly act as an advocate of behalf of indigenous communities,” says the Network’s leader’s and Bio-Protection Research Centre researchers Dr Black and Ms Mark Shadbolt.

The Network is funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) through their Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund with additional support from the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

The NZBI Dave Galloway Innovation award is named in memory of NZBI Life Member Dave Galloway who passed away in January 2016. The award was presented at the NZBI’s annual National Education and Training Seminar (NETS) in Auckland.