Award recognises innovative network

by Anonymous Author

Lincoln University researchers who helped with the formation of a national Maori Biosecurity Network have been recognised in the inaugural New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

The network, or Te Tira Whakamataki which means ‘the watchful ones’, was awarded the top prize in the Maori category at the awards which celebrate those who are making important contributions to New Zealand’s biosecurity.

Te Tira Whakamataki’s founders, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt and Dr Amanda Black from Lincoln University, and Dr Nick Waipara from Auckland set up the network to ensure Maori have a voice in New Zealand’s biosecurity system, and to integrate Maori perspectives and solutions into biosecurity research.

“The award shows that our work is being noticed, and highlights the vital role of an inclusive biosecurity system that is robust, resilient and representative of the country as a whole,” Melanie Mark-Shadbolt said.

The network is involved with communities dealing with myrtle rust and provides reliable information for iwi throughout the country.

It consults on current and future biosecurity threats, such as kauri dieback, brown marmorated stink bug and the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

The network is supported by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, the Bio-Protection Research Centre and Plant and Food Research.