Te Tira Whakamātaki (The Māori Biosecurity Network)
Te Tira Whakamātaki (TTW) means ‘the watchful (vigilant) ones’. The network was established in 2015 and comprises Māori scientists (plant pathologists, soil chemists, biosecurity officers, sociologists), policy makers, politicians, kaitiaki, iwi leaders and whānau. They are dedicated to ensuring Māori have a voice and are able to participate in New Zealand’s biosecurity system, plus provide technical biosecurity support and advocacy to whānau, hapū and iwi.
TTW was initially funded by a Vision Mātauranga grant from MBIE, with co-funding from the BioHeritage Challenge and support from the Bio-Protection Research Centre. The network is increasingly engaged with international collaborators. For example, TTW contributed to an international synthesis paper investigating the role of the social sciences and economics in understanding and informing tree biosecurity policy and planning1. In New Zealand, TTW has worked with MPI on the Biosecurity 2025 discussion document and the Primary Sector Science Roadmap.
In two years the team has won two awards: in 2016 they were awarded the inaugural Dave Galloway Innovation Award by the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute, and in 2017 they were presented with the Māori Award at the inaugural New Zealand Biosecurity Awards run by MPI. These awards recognised the efforts of TTW to raise awareness of biosecurity threats and develop strategies to build a healthy future for New Zealand’s biological heritage.
M Marzano, W Allen, RG Haight, TP Holmes, E Carina, H Keskitalo, ER Lisa Langer, M Shadbolt, J Urquhart, N Dandy 2017. The role of the social sciences and economics in understanding and informing tree biosecurity policy and planning: a global summary and synthesis. Biological Invasions 19: 3317–3332.
Te Tira Whakamātaki, the Māori Biosecurity Network is a network of Māori scientists (plant pathologists, soil chemists, biosecurity officers,…