Supporting world class health research in NZ Friday, 23 June 2017

Source: Beehive, 23 June 2017

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith today launched New Zealand's first Health Research Strategy which aims to increase the excellence and impact of government investment in health research.

"Investment in health research is crucial to delivering better health outcomes for New Zealanders," says Dr Coleman.

"The Health Research Strategy sets a vision of creating a world-leading health research and innovation system by 2027. The strategy brings together science, health, research and innovation to form a more cohesive system.

"This strategy also reinforces the role the health sector has to play in health research. Research underpins delivery and provides opportunities for new cost-effective technologies and improved models of care.

"Research is one of the three key pillars in any high-performing health system, along with training and delivery. That's why the strategy includes a commitment to sustaining and growing a strong health research workforce. It also addresses specific areas that are unique to New Zealand, such as Maori and Pacific health."

"New Zealand produces some excellent health research which helps put our science on the map. It is important that our contributions have value internationally," says Minister Goldsmith.

"Quality health research also underpins our high-value medical technology industries. Our health research system will achieve the best results when researchers, government agencies, and the commercial sector work together.

"The Health Research Council will run an inclusive priority setting process to ensure this investment will have the greatest impact. A key focus of the strategy is to ensure effective translation of research findings into policy and practice.

"In 2016, a total of $378 million was spent on health research and development (R&D) in New Zealand, accounting for 12 per cent of the country's total R&D expenditure. R&D spending is a key driver of economic growth and an investment in New Zealand's future."

Budget 2016 saw New Zealand's largest increase health research funding. This sees funding increase by 56 per cent over four years, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website:


The Strategy sets four principles to achieve the vision: excellence, transparency, partnership with Māori and collaboration for impact. It establishes four strategic priorities:

  • Invest in excellent health research that address the health needs of New Zealanders
  • Create a vibrant research environment in the health sector
  • Build and strengthen pathways for translation into policy and practice
  • Advance innovative ideas and commercial opportunities

The strategy was developed following an extensive consultation process in 2016 during which more than 500 people attended regional consultation meetings and targeted focus groups.166 written submissions were received by officials.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council will lead the implementation of the strategy and report on progress to Ministers regularly.  An advisory group comprising of experts across the system will advise on implementation.