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Launch of Institute for Research on Ageing

Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister for Senior Citizens

Launch of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing

Grand Hall, Parliament Buildings

Thursday 31 August 2000
17:30 hours

It gives me much pleasure to be able to launch tonight the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing and to announce the first Tower visiting fellow.

As Minister for Senior Citizens, I am very supportive of the establishment of this Institute, which is New Zealand’s first multi-disciplinary centre focused entirely on ageing-related research.

I congratulate Victoria University on this initiative and, in particular, would like to acknowledge the work of Professor Ng, the head of Victoria University's psychology department.

I know his passion in this area of research and this evening's launch stands testament to that passion.

This Institute will build on existing research expertise, broaden interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaborations, and become a national focus for multi-disciplinary research on ageing.

It will work to generate and share knowledge on positive ageing, which is very important to me as Minister for Senior Citizens and to the Government, which has now endorsed the development of a Positive Ageing Strategy for New Zealand.

A brochure produced on the New Zealand Institute for Research in Ageing, states that the Institute will aim to:
 increase and enhance multi-disciplinary research on human ageing, particularly within the New Zealand context;
 promote collaboration amongst researchers in the area of ageing throughout New Zealand and internationally;
 advance understanding of individual and societal ageing and its implications; and
 communicate research findings to improve public awareness, practice, and policy

In working towards these aims the Institute will:
 develop a network of researchers and individuals from all sectors with interests in late life issues;
 maintain a multi-sector Advisory Board;
 establish and maintain an ageing related website, which hosts webpages for national organisations;
 host visiting researchers on ageing issues;
 sponsor conferences and other meetings; and
 promote and co-ordinate research and training on ageing issues

INTERIM ADVISORY BOARD

I would also like to acknowledge the work of the working group, made up of people from Victoria University. They have been developing the project over the last two years.

I understand that a director is to be appointed in the near future, but I would like to say that in the meantime, I am pleased to see the Interim Advisory Board has many notable people on it, such as
 Colin Blair, Retirement Commissioner;
 Margaret Guthrie, President of Age Concern NZ;
 Jocelyn, Lady Keith, who is a post-graduate nurse and researcher with a broad understanding of health issues;
 David Richmond, Professor Emeritus, Chairman of the Hope Foundation and specialist geriatrician;
 Dr Sally Keeling, a researcher from Christchurch; and
 John Morrow, Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, who is currently chairing the Interim Board and,
 It also includes the manager of the Senior Citizens Unit, Natalie Lavery.

TOWER VISITING RESEARCH FELLOW

Also tonight I've been given the opportunity to announce the first Tower Visiting Research Fellow.

Tower Corporation has offered sponsorship for a research fellow to come to New Zealand for up to one month.

The total sponsorship is $100,000 over five years, with $20,000 for each of the five fellowships, and it is expected that the fellow’s activities will include public lectures, meetings with government and community agencies, and workshops and seminars.

I'm pleased to announce that the first nominated fellow is Anthea Tinker, currently Professor of Social Gerontology at King’s College in London, and also President of the Section of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Professor Tinker was the Director of the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology, at King’s College and was awarded a CBE (Companion of the British Empire) in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Over the years, Professor Tinker has completed a wide range of research in the field of social policy, specialising since 1974 in gerontology. Her research projects include projects in community care, a large number of studies on housing for older people, and work on elder abuse, health and health trends.

Her research on care issues includes:
 five major national surveys of housing and care of older people;
 the research based evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Health;
 work on the financial costs of caring for the Carnegie Inquiry into the Third age;
 a comparative study for the OECD of policies for frail older people; and
 membership of the Joseph Rowntree Inquiry into the Cost of Long Term Care.

Her most recent research is as leader of the team at King’s College, which undertook the major research for the Royal Commission on Long Term Care (1999), GPs knowledge of elder abuse (2000), and navigation aids (2000).

She is currently writing up a large study of people aged 85 and over living in their own homes.

So I think it will be a great start to the Institute to have Professor Tinker take up the fellowship and I wish to congratulate her on receiving that.

CONCLUSION

Thank you once again for coming to the launch. Quality research is an essential ingredient for quality policy development.

They go hand in hand, and the development of partnerships between community organisations, universities, research bodies and policy advisers is vital.

The work of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing will be a great boost in terms of knowledge for this country and a real asset as we develop a Positive Ageing Strategy for New Zealand.

ENDS

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