Health research in New Zealand has just received a major boost with the recent announcement of $97 million of additional funding. We congratulate the HRC and all those involved in achieving this significant win for health research. In announcing this investment, Ministers Joyce and Coleman have called for a more dynamic, well-connected and world-leading health and innovation system that markedly improves both the health of New Zealanders and our country’s economic prospects. To achieve this, the government is developing a new health strategy and has released a discussion document HERE. We strongly urge everyone reading this newsletter to respond to the call for submissions, and encourage your colleagues to do so too. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 29 July.

At New Zealanders for Health Research we see this announcement as a watershed moment for the health research sector. We now have the opportunity to come together to advocate for robust funding for the full spectrum of health research in New Zealand – from basic biomedical research to public health and health services research. Strong government funding for health research is critical, but we must also endeavor to ensure that our environment is strongly supportive of industry investment in clinical research trials.

As an organization, our role is to advocate for the necessary funding and appropriate policies that support the advancement of medical, health and scientific research. We are building a unified voice for health research by providing resources and creating a focal point to co-ordinate activities across our membership. Already, our members span industry, patient advocacy groups, charities and research institutions. Together, our alliance represents the interests of a broad community all working together to promote health and prosperity for New Zealanders.

One of the hallmarks of our sister organisations in Australia and the USA is an annual public opinion poll that examines attitudes to health research and its funding. New Zealanders for Health Research is following this proven path, with an opinion poll that will enable us to compare public sentiment in New Zealand with Australia, USA and beyond. We are delighted to have secured Roy Morgan as our strategic partner in delivering this opinion poll. Our inaugural poll of 500+ New Zealanders has just been completed and the data will be analysed over the coming weeks. This is a fantastic milestone for us.

We will be undertaking this survey annually, to enable insights into the public attitudes towards New Zealand’s health research ecosystem. Such insights are critical for shaping a legislative and regulatory climate that supports research and private sector innovation from bench to bedside. As such, our annual public opinion poll will serve as a framework for our engagement with the Government and industry. Needless to say, this year our results will form a major part of our submission to the government’s consultation on the health research strategy discussion document.

Please anticipate your invitation to a briefing on our survey results in conjunction with the opportunity to participate in our members-only workshops scheduled for early August – your enthusiastic participation will help shape our advocacy activities. Not a member? Talk to us today about joining, and secure your place at these events.

Regards

Michelle Sullivan
CEO, New Zealanders for Health Research