About Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa

Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa modelled Covid-19 and its projected impacts from January 2020 until July 2023. We built a cross-organisation, transdisciplinary, dedicated, and committed group of academic researchers and scientists to help Aotearoa New Zealand face the pandemic.

Our modelling programme was underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, fast and committed peer review, and ethics. These parameters ensured that our broader team was uniquely equipped to provide scientifically robust results fit for Aotearoa New Zealand, to support public policy and decision-making.

Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa arose under the leadership of Te Pūnaha Matatini investigators, and was a standalone programme hosted by the University of Auckland from January 2021. Early in the pandemic we were funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, followed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and then Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health.

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
  • Kylie Stewart, Communications Manager, Independent
  • Matthew Mullin, Research Coordinator, University of Auckland

Branching process modelling

  • Professor Michael Plank, Project Lead, University of Canterbury
  • Dr Samik Datta, NIWA
  • Dr Oliver Maclaren, University of Auckland
  • Dr Giorgia Vattiato, University of Canterbury
  • Dr Leighton Watson, University of Canterbury

Network contagion modelling

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

Mobility Modelling

  • Aaron Cutter, Project Lead, Finity
  • Jevon Fullbrook, Finity
  • Emma Vitz, Finity

Epidemiology and Public Health

  • Professor Trish Priest, University of Otago
  • Distinguished Professor Nigel French, Massey University

Data analytics

  • Pieta Brown, Precision Driven Health
  • Ning Hua, Precision Driven Health
  • Dr Kevin Ross, Precision Driven Health

Peer review

  • Dr Matthew Parry, Peer Reviewer Lead, University of Otago
  • Distinguished Professor Nigel French, Massey University
  • Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Melissa McLeod, University of Otago
  • Dr Anja Mizdrak, University of Otago
  • Dr Fraser Morgan, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • Ben Richie, Nicholson Consulting

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