New Zealand’s response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic has presented lessons and opportunities for improvement in our research response to future infectious diseases. Te Niwha: The Infectious Diseases Research Platform has been established to prepare for known and emerging disease threats. The Platform is hosted in partnership by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and the University of Otago, engaging communities and researchers through a nation-wide network.
The aims of the Infectious Diseases Research Platform are:
- to build New Zealand’s research capability for greater strength and scale
- to ensure New Zealand is better prepared for known and emerging infectious disease threats, including future pandemics
- to meet our obligations under Te Tiriti and the aims of Pae Ora (healthy futures for Māori)
- prioritise research to address health inequities
- to link with international research.
The platfrom will achieve these aims alonside ongoing work to address COVID-19 and other serious infectious diseases. We will use a Te Ao Māori framework, recognising Rangatiratanga and Pātuitanga consistent with NZ Health Strategies and Action Plans.
The outcome will be that New Zealand’s research effort is co-ordinated and well prepared to meet the challenges of future threats from infectious diseases.
Te Niwha's co-directors are Hauora leader Te Pora Thompson (Ngati Hauā) and Distinguished Professor and expert in infectious disease epidemiology and public health, Nigel French.