About

A warm welcome to the website for the National Science Challenge for Ageing Well – Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga.

Our website has been designed to provide visitors with information on our work: principally including our researchers, our programmes and research activities, and our stakeholders and knowledge exchange partners.

  • Tēnā koutou katoa,

    Nau mai, haere mai ki te pae tukutuku o te Kia Eke Kairangi Ki Te Taikaumātuatanga. We are delighted that you are visiting Ageing Well’s website. Ageing Well is committed to funding research that will allow all New Zealanders to experience positive, healthy ageing. This is even more important with the health and wellbeing challenges experienced by older New Zealanders. Kia kaha, kia ora, kia atawhai. Be strong, be well, be kind.

    Throughout the website you will find information about the research we are currently funding, and have funded during 2014-2019. For transformational change, we have committed half of our Focus Area research funding (2019-2024) to Ageing in Māori and half to Health and Wellbeing in Ageing. All projects have to embed the principles of Vision Mātauranga Policy to reduce disparities and inequities experienced by some older New Zealanders.

    Collectively, Ageing Well’s research projects harness science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life. Our funded research teams have nationally recognised leaders with strong international networks, use multidisciplinary techniques, and are diverse and innovative. Stakeholders, end-users and communities are integral to our research teams, and the Ageing Well whānau. He waka eke noa – we are in this together. We are excited to share what we have achieved to date.

    We welcome your feedback and questions – please email us at ageingwell@otago.ac.nz.

    Stay connected via our regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for our newsletters.

    We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

    Ngā mihi,

    The Ageing Well team

  • Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga, Ageing Well National Science Challenge, is a national research collaboration involving the major New Zealand research groups in ageing research. Across Ageing Well National Science Challenge, we have expertise in public health, Māori health, social science, biomedical science, clinical practice, population and community health, and health service provision. Through our national programme of funded research, Ageing Well links with international networks, with the other health and well-being Science Challenges, Centres of Research Excellence such as Brain Research New Zealand, and key funders such as Health Research Council, to encourage collaboration, and to build and leverage capability and resources.

    Some Ageing Well Groups and Members

    During Phase One (2014-2019) Ageing Well supported research under five interlinking strands to address our mission: to harness science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life enabling all New Zealanders to reach their full potential. These strands focused on: enabling independence and autonomy / tino rangatiratanga of older individuals and their whānau and families; ensuring a meaningful life through social integration and engagement; recognising at a societal level the value of ongoing contributions of knowledge and experience of older people; reducing disability; and, developing age-friendly environments.

    In Phase Two (2019-2024), our work is framed by two focus areas of research: Ageing and Māori and Health and Well-being in Ageing, as well as our Strategic Investment Initiatives, all of which incorporate elements of the five research strands from Phase One. Ageing Well continues to invest in work that helps sustain health and well-being by optimizing brain and body health, and social and physical environments for older people.

  • Mission

    To harness science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life enabling all New Zealanders to reach their full potential

    This will be achieved through delivery of our programme of research, underpinned by:

    • Creating an environment that encourages collaboration between researchers who specialise in ageing research, so as to develop the innovative strategies needed for realising the potential of the longevity dividend 
    • Ongoing engagement with consumers and stakeholders from health and disability, voluntary and community services sectors who are at the front line of support for New Zealand’s older people in an increasingly diverse and complex ageing society, with emphasis on co-production of research and an integrated knowledge transfer model
    • Infusing the research programme with the principles of Vision Mātauranga which seek to transform the burden of poor ageing that falls disproportionately on Māori and give expression to the long and rich tradition of Māori valueing and drawing on older people’s knowledge and wisdom

    Vision

    The vision of Ageing Well is to add life to years for all older New Zealanders

    This will be achieved by harnessing science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life, in ways that:

    • Allow personal dignity to be preserved into old age by mitigating mental, cognitive, and physical disability
    • Support health, well-being and independence for all New Zealanders as they age
    • Recognise the resourcefulness of older people and their on-going social, economic, and cultural contributions to society
    • Enable Ageing Well through mutual respect, support, and reciprocity amongst people of different ages

    Further Information

    The criteria for National Science Challenges proposals was outlined in the New Zealand Gazette:

    New-Zealand-Gazette-30-Jan-2014 (MBIE NSC Criteria)

    New-Zealand-Gazette-12-Sept-2017 (MBIE NSC Criteria for Second period of funding)

  • Ageing Well National Science Challenge aims to harness science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life enabling all New Zealanders to reach their full potential through the life course, with particular reference to the latter years of life.

    This will be achieved through a programme of world class research, underpinned by an environment of collaboration, continuous engagement with stakeholders and the Vision Mātauranga Policy embedded in the programme. 

    Strategic Documents

    Ageing-Well-Research-and-Business-Plan-June-2015 [PDF 3.9MB]

    Ageing Well Future Strategy July 2018

    Phase One (2014 -2019)

    Five Research Strands

    During Phase One Ageing Well worked with five research strands to direct research outcomes, which have been co-created between stakeholders and researchers. The strands were:

    • Enabling independence and autonomy / rangatiratanga of older individuals and their whānau and families
    • Ensuring a meaningful life through social integration and engagement
    • Recognising at a societal level the value of ongoing contributions of knowledge and experience of older people
    • Reducing disability
    • Developing age-friendly environments.

    These strands directed the development of initial portfolio of ten research projects encompassing research on maintaining social integration, including staying in work, on housing tenure and independence, dying well, healthcare needs of retirement village resident, reducing impacts of polypharmacy, preventing stroke and cardiovascular disease through coaching and reducing stroke impacts through new technology.

    Phase Two (2019 – 2024)

    Phase Two of Ageing Well’s work is framed by two focus areas of research: Ageing and Māori and Health and Well-being in Ageing, as well as our Strategic Investment Initiatives, all of which incorporate elements of the five research strands from Phase One. Ageing Well continues to invest in work that helps sustain health and well-being by optimizing brain and body health, and social and physical environments for older people.

    Ageing Well continues to utilise a Knowledge Exchange Transfer framework which is based on the principles of co-creation and knowledge exchange between researchers and knowledge users. Involving organisations and individuals who will implement the new knowledge delivered by Ageing Well. is critical to the success of Ageing Well National Science Challenge. 

    Ageing Well has already consulted with policy makers and over 50 organisations who provide healthcare, accommodation or other support to older people and will continue to work with these groups to create a Knowledge Exchange Partners Group of stakeholder representatives.

  • What is Vision Mātauranga?

    Vision Mātauranga is a New Zealand government policy that aims to unlock the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people for the environmental, economic, social, and cultural benefit of New Zealand.

    Vision Mātauranga is critical to Ageing Well because of the importance of older Māori, their knowledge and lived experiences. Ageing Well is about using science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life. Chronic health conditions occur earlier for Māori, resulting in a disproportionate burden of ageing for Māori compared to non-Māori. Reducing ethnic disparities in outcomes and supporting positive Māori health and well-being over the lifecourse is critical for Ageing Well’s mission. 

    Rangimahora Reddy Rauawaawa Trust

    Delivery of Vision Mātauranga

    A key purpose of Vision Mātauranga is to ensure that research delivers for Māori. Within Ageing Well, the delivery of Vision Mātauranga is supported by Ageing Well leaders from our Governance Group, Strategic Advisory Group, and Directorate and Management. These leaders are actively engaging with Māori researchers, scientists and communities with a focus on supporting Kaupapa Māori research and Māori-centred research.

    Kaumatua

    Ageing Well National Science Challenge acknowledges:

    • The current burden of poor ageing falls disproportionately on Māori populations and communities both in urban and rural areas
    • Within Māori communities there are a number of formal and informal processes, services and practices to support older people to age positively in place and learnings about those pathways have the potential to benefit all New Zealanders
    • Iwi and hapū, urban Māori organisations, Māori businesses, and Māori individuals have long been service providers in social service and health service provision to older people, as well as in the provision of older people’s housing solutions

    Further Information

    Ageing-Well-Vision-Mātauranga-improving-outcomes-for-Maori-people [PDF 873KB]

    Vision-Mātauranga-Ministry-of-Business-Innovation-and-Employment [PDF 359KB]

     

  • What are the National Science Challenges?

    There are 11 National Science Challenges, which are designed to take a more strategic approach to the government’s science investment by targeting a series of goals, which if they are achieved, would have major and enduring benefits for New Zealand. The Challenges provide an opportunity to align and focus New Zealand’s research on large and complex issues by drawing scientists together from different institutions and across disciplines to achieve a common goal through collaboration.

    More information about the National Science Challenges, what they are trying to achieve, and links to each is available from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
    MBIE website

    What is Ageing Well National Science Challenge trying to achieve?

    The Ageing Well National Science Challenge—Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga—is about harnessing science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life. Read more in our revised Research and Business Plan:
    Ageing Well National Science Challenge Research and Business Plan

    The vision of Ageing Well is to add life to years for all older New Zealanders.

    This vision will be achieved by harnessing science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life, in ways that:

    • Allow personal dignity to be preserved into old age by mitigating mental, cognitive, and physical disability
    • Support health, well-being and independence for all New Zealanders as they age
    • Recognise the resourcefulness of older people and their on-going social, economic, and cultural contributions to society
    • Enable Ageing Well through mutual respect, support, and reciprocity amongst people of different ages

    The mission of Ageing Well is to harness science to sustain health and well-being into the later years of life enabling all New Zealanders to reach their full potential.

    This mission will be achieved through delivery of our programme of research, underpinned by:

    • Creating an environment that encourages collaboration between researchers who specialise in ageing research, so as to develop the innovative strategies needed for realising the potential of the longevity dividend (five interlinking strands of research)
    • Engaging continuously with consumers and stakeholders from the health and disability, voluntary and community services sectors who are at the front line of support for New Zealand’s older people in an increasingly diverse and complex ageing society (the emphasis on co-production of research and stakeholder engagement)
    • Infusing the research programme with the principles of Vision Mātauranga which seek to transform the burden of poor ageing that falls disproportionately on Māori and give expression to the long and rich tradition of Māori valuing and using older people’s knowledge and wisdom

    We will work to ensure that Vision Mātauranga helps to inform the work of Ageing Well. Vision Mātauranga is a New Zealand government policy that aims to unlock the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people for the environmental, economic, social, and cultural benefit of New Zealand.

    Vision Mātauranga is critical to Ageing Well because of Māori culture valuing older people’s knowledge, the disproportionate burden of ageing that falls on Māori populations and communities, and the commitment of Māori communities to supporting older people ageing positively in place.

    Who’s Involved?

    The Ageing Well National Science Challenge team is comprised of a broad selection of subject experts from New Zealand and internationally. This team has been assembled to ensure an appropriate mix of world-class skills and experience in order to make significant impacts on Ageing Well Outcomes, ongoing collaboration between researchers in a wide range of disciplines is required.

    Neurodegeneration, stroke, gerontology, physical function, primary health care, economics, demography/epidemiology, geography and social science all have a role to play in addressing the diverse social and economic drivers of Ageing Well. This is a fundamental step-change in the approach to research on ageing in New Zealand. Indeed, rarely have interdisciplinary teams, spanning the medical, health, and the social sciences, attempted an integrated approach to address the challenges of ageing.

    Our people provides details about the governance and management of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge—including biographies of the International Science Advisory Panel.

    The University of Otago is the ‘Challenge Contractor’, contracted to deliver the Challenge by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
    Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website

    Other ‘Collaborating Parties’ from across New Zealand helping to deliver Ageing Well National Science Challenge are:

    How is Ageing Well National Science Challenge different from other funded research?

    The New Zealand Government has established National Science Challenges to focus its investment in science on nationally significant issues. This model of mission-led research funding represents a major change in the funding model for New Zealand, requiring the development of coordinated nation-wide research partnerships, working collaboratively to achieve their mission. In so doing, the Ageing Well’s research will help to drive changes to ensure that ageing is a more positive experience for older New Zealanders.

    Within the overall mission-led approach, Ageing Well has included some high risk-high return work, recognising that Ageing Well provides an opportunity for risk-taking in research that does not readily exist through other funding mechanisms. Further information about research will be published in due course.

    Meaningful, early and appropriate engagement is vital to the success of Ageing Well National Science Challenge. To this end, Ageing Well is developing an integrated knowledge exchange transfer framework (KETF). This will be based on the principles of co-creation and knowledge exchange between valued partners and researchers. Central to this model is partnership in which researchers and knowledge users—including communities, voluntary agencies, health services, ministries and New Zealanders— who will together make decisions to shape research direction, interpret findings, derive key messaging, and move research findings into practice.

    What are the timeframes for the Challenge?

    The Ageing Well National Science Challenge is a 10 year programme. It was launched in March 2015 and will run, subject to agreement, until June 2024.

    How can I get involved?

    If you are interested in the work of Ageing Well and would like to know more, we will send out regular newsletters to our distribution lists to provide updates and to signpost key upcoming activity.

    If you would like to receive these newsletters, please contact admin.ageingwell@otago.ac.nz. You can opt out of our distribution list at any time.

    What if I have questions?

    Please get in touch with us if you have questions. We’d love to hear from you.
    Email ageingwell@otago.ac.nz