Rako Science partners with Waipareira Trust to protect vulnerable communities

Updated: Aug 26

Whānau Waipareira and Rako Science have joined forces to expedite COVID-19 testing results and help protect vulnerable communities.


Waipareira CEO John Tamihere last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rako Science following an extensive due diligence period.


The decision to go with Rako Science’s diagnostically validated and affordable saliva testing model was a great fit for Waipareira.


“We are rolling out Rako’s highly accurate saliva test at our community testing centre for asymptomatic people because it is the best test and has better chain of custody in its collection systems,” Tamihere said.


“Our people don’t like the invasive nasal swab and will be much happier to give a saliva sample, which means they are more likely to come forward and be tested.


“This strengthens us to better serve our communities. We could also make this a mobile service to meet the demands of the community, not the demands of bureaucrats and those who have medicalised and monetarised this pandemic.


”Once we have completed a pilot, this Saliva Testing Service, will run alongside and complement our Vaccination and Nasal Swabbing centres.”


The Rako Science saliva test is the only diagnostically validated saliva test that meets the ISO15189 standard for medical tests that is available in New Zealand. Rako Science’s diagnostic validation study found 96.6% diagnostic sensitivity and 98.6% specificity.


The Rako Science COVID-19 PCR saliva test was developed by the University of Illinois and it has been licensed to hundreds of laboratories, universities, schools and businesses across the United States. Rako Science has completed thousands of tests in New Zealand since January 2021 including New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support team before departure to Tokyo, as well as film production companies and some of New Zealand’s largest businesses including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Genesis Energy.


Dr Stephen Grice said the partnership with Waipareira aligns with Rako Science’s values of increasing accessibility and affordability of world-class science and technology for all people in New Zealand.


“Waipareira have the connections to the communities and all ethnicities, they have the experience and the talent to deploy our saliva test,” Dr Grice said.



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