18 June 2021

​Bioprotection Aotearoa is carving out a new direction in bioprotection research – one that walks equally in the worlds of mātauranga Māori and science and aims for a Tiriti o Waitangi led approach.

​Our research programme acknowledges that science and training do not exist in a social or cultural vacuum. It is founded on the model of Te Taiao ā Rangi, which considers science to be an integral part of a society and economy.

By working with different knowledge systems, and different academic disciplines, we aim to deliver world-class research, and train the next generation of researchers to protect the landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.

As well as extending our world view, we are also extending our partnerships. To the Bio-Protection Research Centre’s existing seven partners we add four more: the University of Auckland, the University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington, and Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research.

Bioprotection Aotearoa’s research programme is based around a whare model, held up by three pou (pillars) that represent our research themes.

  • Pou titirangi focuses on defining healthy, productive ecosystems. It is led by Jason Tylianakis (University of Canterbury) and Julie Deslippe (Victoria University of Wellington).
  • Pou tokomanawa focuses on defending against pathogens and pests. Monica Gerth (Victoria University of Wellington) and Matt Templeton (Plant & Food Research) are the leaders.
  • Pou nuku-a-rangi focuses on designing resistant and resilient productive ecosystems. This pou is led by Stephen Wakelin (Scion) and Amanda Black (Lincoln University).

Across all pou is the research theme Recloaking Papatūānuku – an indigenous social-ecological restoration model, using mānuka and kanuka to promote native biodiversity and restore our whenua. The leaders are Nick Roskruge (Massey University) and Nick Waipara (Plant & Food Research).

We will soon begin advertising MSc, PhD and postdoctoral positions, and expect to have the first candidates and fellows on board later this year. We aim to produce the future leaders in bioprotection science, through a programme that strengthens skills and knowledge not just in science, but also in social and ethical leadership.