Chairperson of National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee appointed
December 3, 2021 | 3 min read
Eastern Institute of Technology’s Professor Nat Waran has been appointed Chairperson of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) which provides independent advice on ethical and animal welfare issues on the use of animals in research, testing and teaching.
Professor Waran is an Executive Dean at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, the new unified applied and vocational education network.
"We’re very pleased to see that someone of Nat’s calibre and expertise has been appointed to chair the group of experts advising on this important mahi," says Dr Angela Beaton, Te Pūkenga Deputy Chief Executive Academic Delivery and Innovation.
Professor Waran is honoured to take on the new role, an appointment of Associate Minister for Agriculture (Animal Welfare), Hon Meka Whaitiri. Professor Waran describes herself as an applied scientist by training and an educationalist at heart.
"It’s a real honour to have been invited by Minister Whaitiri to take up the role as Chair to ensure that independent advice is provided on animal welfare and ethical matters related to the use of animals relating to research, testing and teaching," says Professor Waran.
"High quality and impactful research and teaching relies upon ensuring animal welfare is prioritised and responsibilities understood. Discharging the duty of care that we have for animals in New Zealand under our world leading Animal Welfare legislation, involves respect for the contribution they make to our society.
"I am looking forward to supporting the work of our national Animal Ethics committees in their genuine commitment to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare, as well as promoting the principles of replacement and reduction and refinement of animal use, in all of the important work they do."
Professor Waran has an established relationship with Te Pūkenga, with her contributions spanning membership of Pōari Akoranga - the Academic Board of Te Pūkenga, a part-time secondment to an Academic Advisory role, and acting for Te Pūkenga as a member of the development team for the new Openness in the Use of Animals in Research Agreement.
At EIT, Professor Waran is responsible for research in their active Research and Innovation Centre. She is also the lead for Sustainability and Environment initiatives at EIT - with EIT having just won the 2021 Australasian Campuses towards Sustainability (ACTS) - Green Gowns Award in the ‘Benefitting Communities’ category.
Before joining EIT, Professor Waran led a number of strategic projects in her role as inaugural director of the new International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the University of Edinburgh, one of the world’s leading universities where she was also International Dean for the Veterinary School. From 2006 to 2011, she was Associate Dean (Research) at Unitec’s Faculty of Social and Health Sciences in tandem with her role as Head of the School of Natural Sciences. Professor Waran was recruited from the University of Edinburgh to take up her role at EIT at the end of 2016.