My name is Dr Lisa Williams and I am part of a research team at the University of Auckland. I'm writing to you (and all the other U3A chapters) regarding an exciting new research project funded by the Auckland Medical Research Foundation that will collect the views and experiences of New Zealanders aged 70+ regarding Covid-19 and lockdown. I hope you'll pass this information on to your members - our website is:

We are inviting people 70 and over to write a letter to share their experience of lockdown and other aspects of Covid-19. All letters (with the letter-writer’s permission) will become part of a permanent archive at the Auckland Museum. This will be a significant historical record as well as a resource for informing future responses to pandemics by the government and media.

(To write us a letter now online, go to:

People 70 and over were identified as most vulnerable to the virus, but were characterised by the media as passive and in need of protection. We heard very little about how people in this age group felt about the pandemic and lockdown. We feel is vitally important these voices are heard to inform future pandemic responses.

Since U3A has many members over 70 we believe you will understand why this project is so important and we hope you have the time to help us with recruitment. The more letters we are able to collect, the more weight the project will have in terms of informing government responses to future pandemics and the richer the historical archive will be.

If you would like one of the team to give you a ring to discuss the project further, please let me know. We would also be happy to give a presentation about it at a future U3A, if that would appeal to your members. The project has received ethical approval from the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this invitation and looking forward to your response.

With best wishes,

Lisa Williams
Research Fellow, School of Nursing
University of Auckland