Health research and innovation system leadership

Health research leads to new knowledge and insights that can inform how New Zealanders get well, stay well and have a high quality of life. It provides evidence to support innovative approaches to health and health care and to enable the health system to best meet New Zealanders’ needs.

[Ian Town to camera]

Hi there.

My name is Ian Town, the Chief Science Advisor here at Manatū Hauora now.

I'm working and exerting a leadership role in the Evidence, Research and Innovation Directorate, one of the new directorates that has come into being since July 2022.

We have this enormous opportunity to, for the first time, really embed health research and innovation right across our health system.

Here at the Ministry we are the overarching steward of the health system, providing that high level, light touch governance and stewardship, and our new Directorate is at the forefront of these conversations.

Now of course in this reform system, we're working with our partner agencies: Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand is where a lot of the action will occur in the future around health research, our clinicians working across the sector in Primary Care Community providers, and of course in secondary and tertiary care.

We'll be taking the lead on a lot of the delivery of health research activity within the overarching framework, which is encompassed in the New Zealand Health Research Strategy.

And very importantly as we think about our Treaty obligations, we'll be working directly with Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority to ensure co-governance in co-design and to make sure that all of our activities within health research are focused on those equity and treaty objectives.

Now, as part of the Evidence, Research and Innovation Directorate we're hiring right now. So please sign up to our careers page so you get early notice of vacancies that are going to occur within the Directorate over the next 12 months.

We need to build our team so that we can be effective at providing that system leadership in stewardship.

One of our first projects will be the idea of embedding clinical trials right across the motu in all parts of our health system together with the HRC.

We funded an exciting project which has come up with a really strong evidence base for how clinical trials actually improve healthcare in all parts of the system and improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.

Now also as part of that project they did some design work looking at what a national clinical trials network would look like. We're very excited about that.

We've discussed it with ministers and in the New Year, helped by some of our new hires, we're going to be looking at developing and operating model which we can launch as funds permit in the next year or two.

So, within the Directorate we're very excited about the future and what the next couple of years will bring as we really embed research into the sector more widely. This will be underpinned by a refresh of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy, so stay tuned. Do come back and visit this page from time to time to see what's happening and learn about some of our new initiatives.

And, also, there's a newsletter. So please sign up on this page and we'll be providing you with regular updates and newsletter items of interest.

Thank you very much.

Manatū Hauora’s role in the health research sector

Manatū Hauora provides system-level, strategic leadership for health research in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more

New Zealand Health Research Strategy 2017–2027

This strategy sets out a vision for New Zealand’s health research and identifies four strategic priorities for the health research and innovation system. Read more

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