Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prof Blakely to lead pandemic Royal Commission

A Royal Commission to examine New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be led by leading Australian-based epidemiologist, Professor Tony Blakely.

The Royal Commission has been asked to look at the overall response, including the economic response, identify what we can learn from it and how that can be applied to any future pandemic.

Professor Blakely will act as Chair alongside two members, former Cabinet Minister Hon Hekia Parata and former Treasury Secretary John Whitehead, CNZM, KStJ.

“Professor Blakely’s understanding of public health is extensive. He has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead this work. Hekia Parata and John Whitehead will add expertise and bring useful perspectives on the economic response and the response for Māori,” said Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti.

“New Zealand’s COVID-19 response has been heavily examined, both internationally and nationally. So far 75 reviews have been carried out within New Zealand since 2020, generating a total of 1,639 recommendations.”

Tony Blakely, MBChB, MPH, PhD, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne and Affiliate Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. From 1998 to 2019 he was at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand, where he was Director of the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost Effectiveness program (BODE3).  

The Royal Commission will begin considering evidence from 1 February 2023 and conclude in mid-2024.

“A report will then be prepared which will help inform any future Government’s pandemic response,” Minister Tinetti said. 

Follow link to read Summary of Terms of Reference for Royal Commission into COVID and any future pandemic.

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