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Health research top priority for NZ science

3 June 2005

Health research top priority for NZ science

The $70 million investment in health research in Budget 2005 places health issues at the top of New Zealand's science agenda, Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Speaking at the Christchurch School of Medicine, Steve Maharey said New Zealand's reputation as a leader in health research would be bolstered by the biggest funding boost in over a decade.

"Of all the great science being produced in this country, it's health research that will have the most profound impact on the lives of New Zealanders," Steve Maharey said. "If we want to see real improvements in health and wellbeing, the government has to be prepared to invest resources to support our leading scientists.

"The $70 million we're investing over the next four years will focus on the specific needs of New Zealanders. A third of the new funding will be dedicated to research in our highest priority areas, such as diabetes and cancer."

The Health Research Council will receive $61 million of the new funding. An additional $9 million will be invested to strengthen the health research workforce, including research fellowships for frontline health practitioners.

"This new funding means that New Zealand health research will continue to play an integral role as a bridge between our world-class science system and our publicly funded health system," Steve Maharey said.


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