The latest Ko Ngā Puipuiaki Pūtaiao a te Pirimia Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners have been announced at an event in Te Whanganui-a-tara Wellington this week. The five prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the future.

  • The multidisciplinary Neonatal Glucose Studies Team, led by Dame Jane Harding FRSNZ, won the Te Puiaki Pūtaiao Matua a te Pirimia Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their work in understanding the effects and how to prevent brain damage in newborns from blood sugar imbalance.
  • Dr Jemma Geoghegan won Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Maea Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize for her work to understand how viruses evolve and spread, including her work to genome sequence COVID-19 cases in Aotearoa.
  • Bianca Woyak, a specialist scientist teacher at Burnside Primary in Ōtautahi Christchurch won Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaako Pūtaiao Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize for her hands-on teaching of environmental studies that is inspiring her students to be leaders-for-change.
  • Toby Morris won Te Puiaki Whakapā Pūtaiao the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize for his outstanding graphics and illustrations about COVID-19, produced in collaboration with Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM.
  • Carol Khor Shun Ting, a Year 13 student at Burnside High School, won Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Ānamata Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize for her research project on overcoming melanoma drug resistance for treating skin cancer.


2021 Prime Minister’s Science Prize Winners,  with Hon Dr Megan Woods and Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall and MP for Ilam Sarah Pallett