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New strategy firmly backs NZ’s health research workforce

22 June 2017

New strategy firmly backs NZ’s health research workforce

New Zealand’s first health research strategy will help nurture and grow a strong health research workforce that can provide solutions to New Zealand’s unique health challenges, says Dr Tania Pocock, Acting Chief Executive at the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today launched the New Zealand Health Research Strategy 2017–2027 at the Clinical Trials Unit at Wellington Hospital.

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and HRC will lead the implementation of the strategy, with advice from an advisory group made up of experts from across the health system.

Dr Pocock says the health research strategy was developed following extensive consultation with more than 500 people at regional consultation meetings and targeted focus groups. She says that this, coupled with the 166 written submissions received, has had a major influence on the final strategy.

“We’re extremely grateful to all those New Zealanders who contributed to this strategy. The feedback we’ve received has been crucial to helping shape the development of strategic priorities that will guide the direction of the health research and innovation system over the next 10 years,” says Dr Pocock.

The new strategy sets out four strategic priorities for health research. The HRC will lead the strategic priority to “invest in excellent health research that addresses the health needs of all New Zealanders”, and provide support to the Ministry of Health and MBIE for the others.

“We welcome the focus on the health system playing a greater role in health research. To help us identify health research priorities, we’ll be actively seeking to engage communities and end-users in what we do, including consumers, researchers, health sector agencies, health practitioners, philanthropic bodies, iwi, Pacific peoples, community organisations, disability groups, and government agencies,” says Dr Pocock.

In 2016, the HRC received the largest-ever increase for health research in New Zealand – $97 million – and by 2020 that annual investment will increase to $120 million.

Dr Pocock says the health research strategy is another great boost for health research and health researchers in New Zealand.

“Our health researchers consistently produce excellent research that helps put our science on the map, and we are highly regarded internationally. This strategy recognises this great work – and the huge potential there is to develop the health research sector even further to maximise the impact of health research on the lives of all New Zealanders.”

Download a copy of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy from the Ministry of Health’s website at


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