Acting on behalf of the NZSA, the President, Secretary and Immediate Past President sent the following email to the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor,  the Government Statistician and the Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Health


Dear Professor Juliet Gerrard, Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor

cc Mark Sowden, Government Statistician

Ian Town, Chief Science Advisor, Ministry of Health

The NZ professional statistical community stands ready to assist scientific work on the COVID-19 crisis wherever that may be of value, especially in areas of statistical survey design and execution, and in data analysis and modelling.

The New Zealand Statistical Association executive yesterday passed the following resolution unanimously:

“That the NZSA Executive authorise the President and Secretary to advocate urgently to the government on the urgent necessity for expert statistical input into the design and development of sample surveys to estimate and help understand the prevalence and transmission of COVID-19 in the population of NZ.”

The New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA, is New Zealand’s only association for professional statisticians and is a Constituent Organisation of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Our mission is to lead New Zealand to value and to make intelligent use of statistical thinking and good statistical practice. The constitutional aims and objectives of the NZSA are the encouragement of theoretical and applied statistics in New Zealand.  Our association has over 400 individual members from academia, scientific research organisations and industry etc. Our membership includes national and world-leading expertise in both theoretical and applied statistics.

Please contact us if there is anything we can do to assist with avenues for expertise or advice that our members may be able to assist with.

Thank you for your attention


Vanessa Cave

President New Zealand Statistical Association

Senior Statistician & Team Leader North Island Statistics AgResearch Ltd


Matt Parry

Secretary New Zealand Statistical Association

Senior Lecturer Dept of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Otago | Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo


Ian Westbrooke

Past-President NZ Statistical Association

Principal Science Advisor, Statistics Department of Conservation