The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) recently announced recent appointments to their peer-review panels for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation 2026. Six Ageing Well whānau have been tapped to chair some of the 14 area-specific panels.
The list of appointees include Ageing Well researchers Professor Brendan Hokowhitu, Professor Merryn Gott, Professor Waimarie Linda Nikora, and Associate Professor El-Shadan (Dan) Tautolo, member of our Strategic Advisory Group Associate Professor Clive Aspin, and Ageing Well Director Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie.
Director of Ageing Well Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie was buoyed by this news.
“This announcement is an external validation of the excellent quality of the researchers at Ageing Well and is also a wonderful professional acknowledgement for each of the researchers,” Professor Parr-Brownlie said.
Co-Director Professor David Baxter endorsed this view.
“Ageing Well whānau continues to demonstrate their innovation, dedication, and professionalism and it is tremendous to see the mahi of our whānau recognised in this way,” commented Professor Baxter.
About the PBRF panels
The peer-review panels are tasked with assessing all the research evaluation portfolios submitted to the PBRF Quality Evaluation. Additionally, the peer-review panels will develop the panel-specific guidelines, assess the Evaluation Portfolios in 2026, and will conclude their engagement with the writing of a final panel report in early 2027.
Further appointments for panel members will be announced in May 2023.
Ageing Well representatives
Below are the short bios of each of the six Ageing Well whānau appointed to the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation Panels 2026.
Co-Chair Māori – Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie (Ngāti Maniapoto me Te Arawa) specialises in understanding the neural changes that underlie Parkinson’s disease and understanding the broad determinants of healthy ageing. She is a Professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago and the Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.
Co-Chair – Professor Merryn Gott co-directs the Te Ārai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group who use an equity lens to explore ways to optimise palliative and end of life care for families and whānau in Aotearoa and internationally. She is Co-Associate Head of Research for Te Kura Neehi/School of Nursing, Waipapa Taumata Rau/The University of Auckland.
Co-Chair Māori – Professor Brendan Hokowhitu (Ngāti Pūkenga) specialises in critical Indigenous Studies and theory, sport, masculinity and media. He is Professor of Indigenous Research at the University of Queensland, and the Centre Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Futures.
Co-Chair – Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo (born in Aotearoa New Zealand of Samoan and Cook Islands ancestry) is a former chair of the Health Research Council – Pacific Committee, and is particularly passionate about research that supports Pacific children and families to thrive in terms of their health and wellbeing. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology, and Director of the AUT Pacific Health Research Centre.
Co-Chair Māori – Associate Professor Clive Aspin (Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Tamaterā) specialises in indigenous expressions of sexuality, Māori health and wellness, and rangatahi suicide prevention. He is an Associate Professor in Health and the inaugural Associate Dean Māori in Te Wāhanga Tātai Hauora (Faculty of Health) at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.
Social Sciences and Other Cultural/Social Studies
Co-Chair Māori – Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Tūhoe, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngāti Pahauwera) FRSNZ specialties are in the development of Indigenous psychologies. She is Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, and is Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Auckland.