Kia ora koutou,

It has been a very busy month in our Office, with lots of activity on our various work streams, and some rapid reprioritisation to assist in collating an evidence base for those supporting recovery in Christchurch.  The Chief Science Advisor Forum has played a behind the scenes role in various places, and has been reflecting on how it can play a more proactive role in providing an evidence base to support the response to future emergencies, led by Gill Jolly.

Our work on ensuring that science evidence is incorporated impartially and appropriately within the Standards setting process [LINK] is drawing to a close, with very constructive meetings with both the Standards NZ Board and Minister Fa’afoi.  I’ll provide a bit more detail on where we have landed with this after Easter, but in the meantime thanks to George from my Office and Gary Evans CSA for MBIE in supporting this work.

Juliet joined the Forum for Australian Chief Scientists in Darwin last week.

I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about the most efficient and effective way to deepen international relationships with the current science advisory network, and was delighted to attend the Forum of Australian Chief Science Advisors in Darwin last week.  This group is chaired by my counterpart in Australia, Alan Finkel, and has representatives from each state in Australia.  The agenda was a treasure trove of ideas across many issues relevant to Aotearoa, including space, clean energy, citizen science, Women in STEM and the value of indigenous research.  I look forward to attending regularly in future and exchanging ideas.

It has been great to welcome the first of our new interns to the Office, with David Pomeroy and Wayne Crump kicking off their projects.  More on these soon and thanks to Ben for getting this programme up and running.

Progress with our main project on ‘Rethinking Plastics‘ continues apace, ably driven by Rachel.  This is such an active area nationally and internationally that we have put some time into curating a collection of previous reports in the area, which are available here.  We are absolutely delighted to have had constructive engagement on this not just from researchers but also Ministries, Regional Councils, Industry and Industry Associations, and community groups.  Thanks all!

Ngā mihi nui