About Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa


We have been modelling Covid-19 and its projected impacts since January 2020. At Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa, we have built a cross-organisation, transdisciplinary, dedicated, and committed group of academic researchers and scientists to help Aotearoa New Zealand face the pandemic.

Our Covid-19 modelling programme is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, fast and committed peer review, and ethics. These parameters ensure that the modelling developed by the broad team is uniquely equipped to provide scientifically robust results which are fit for Aotearoa New Zealand and support public policy and decision-making.

Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa arose under the leadership of Te Pūnaha Matatini investigators, and has been a standalone programme hosted by the University of Auckland since January 2021. Early in the pandemic we were funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and we are currently funded by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Our people


  • Professor Michael Plank, Programme Co-Lead, University of Auckland
  • Dr Dion O’Neale, Programme Co-Lead, University of Auckland
  • Victoria Louise Smith, Research Manager, University of Auckland
  • Jonathan Burgess, Communications Manager, University of Auckland
  • Matthew Mullin, Research Coordinator, University of Auckland

Branching process modelling

  • Professor Michael Plank, Project Lead, University of Canterbury
  • Dr Audrey Lustig, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • Dr Matthew Parry, University of Otago
  • Dr Rachelle Binny, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • Professor Richard Arnold, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Thomas Lumley, University of Auckland
  • Giorgia Vattiato, University of Canterbury
  • Dr Oliver Maclaren, University of Auckland

Network contagion modelling

  • Dr Dion O’Neale, Project Lead, University of Auckland
  • Dr Emily Harvey, Market Economics
  • Dr Oliver Maclaren, University of Auckland
  • Gray Manicom, University of Auckland
  • Dr James Gilmour, University of Auckland
  • Dr Steven Turnbull, University of Auckland
  • David Wu, University of Auckland
  • Frankie Patten-Elliot, University of Auckland
  • Joel Trent, University of Auckland
  • Joshua Looker, University of Auckland
  • Brianne Halbert, University of Auckland
  • Kylie Stewart, independent


  • Dr David Hall, Ethics Reviewer Lead, AUT
  • Associate Professor Krushil Watene, Massey University
  • Dr Marco Grix, Massey University
  • Dr Vanessa Schouten, Massey University
  • Mugiho Sakotsubo, AUT

Peer review

  • Dr Matthew Parry, Peer Reviewer Lead, University of Otago
  • Dr Anja Mizdrak, University of Otago
  • Dr Fraser Morgan, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Melissa McLeod, University of Otago
  • Distinguished Professor Nigel French, Massey University
  • Dr Samik Datta, NIWA

Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa would like to acknowledge the contributions of numerous colleagues in previous iterations of the programme since 2020.