15 September 2021

Tēnā koutou,

Welcome to the first internal newsletter of Bioprotection Aotearoa, our new Centre of Research Excellence. It is an exciting time, albeit now overshadowed by a resurgence in COVID. We hope you are all staying well and safe, whether you are in Auckland and still in lockdown, or with the lesser restrictions in the rest of the country.

We hope this disruption has not caused too many issues. If there is anything that BA can do to help, please contact any of the management team.

As the CoRE gets underway there are a lot things going on, including signing partnership agreements, advertising for students and postdocs and planning research. Most partner organisations have signed the Collaborating Parties Agreement, and once they all have we can sign the research agreements, for each university or CRI.

You may have seen the adverts for PhDs and postdocs that have been published on our website, and promoted through social media. It would be great if you could distribute and promote these through your own networks.

We have held a first meeting of the new advisory board, under our Co-Chairs Matua Henare Edwards and John Rodwell, which was a very good getting-to-know-each-other session and also a look at a new risk register. We held a first meeting of the Collaborating Partners representative group, which has members from each organisation. These groups will help us coordinate not just the science, but all efforts across organisations. We are also looking at our needs for support and will be advertising outreach and other positions soon.

The other area of a lot of activity is of course research planning. The teams were to be out scouting new locations for field work and meeting with iwi and other groups that can partner, but unfortunately lockdown has paused that. That will commence as soon as practical. As a result, we don’t have any research updates in this issue of enCORE, but we’ve taken the opportunity to publish several staff and student profiles, to help us get to know each other.

Noho ora mai, stay well and look after yourselves.

Amanda and Travis