We were privileged to have Professor Michael Baker join us for the business breakfast at the Karori Park Sports Café on 13 May. Michael has eared several awards for his services to public health in New Zealand, including receiving New Zealand Honours,  the MNZM, and being made the Supreme Award winner as Wellingtonian of the Year for 2020, which received warm acclamation from the full house attending the breakfast meeting. Michael’s address was entitled  “How Aotearoa New Zealand is beating Covid 19 and key lessons for the future”.
He addressed key aspects to the New Zealand response to Covid 19, how the pandemic threat was assessed, the range of response options, why New Zealand chose an elimination strategy, and the impact of that choice. He also discussed the importance of effective science communication, managing misinformation and disinformation, where we go from here with vaccines, our borders and medium to long term means of recovery.
The audience was very focused on key lessons for the future including the need for more flexible and vigorous approaches of managing other threats, improving decision-making globally in a crisis, ensuring science and evidence guide decision making, building effective public health infrastructures, and supporting improved global institutions. Michael produced interesting graphs of comparison between the flu pandemic of 1918 with Covid 19 and responses.
It was right up to the minute stuff with responses from Michael  on latest news items on a world scale and and what world leaders need to do to get on top of this surging pandemic. This was a very special and informative meeting for all those who attended. Our new partners, Forsyth Barr conveyed the vote of thanks and made a presentation to Michael Baker.