Category: Publications

Ageing Well Submission to Te Ara Paerangi – Future Strategy

In response to the Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways review, Ageing Well was pleased to submit a document that encapsulated extensive consultation and internal thinking around how we feel the science sector could deliver the best outcomes for all New Zealanders. 

The Ageing Well submission provided responses to the questions posed in Te Ara Paerangi green paper, and prefaced the questions with a short contextual statement and a summary at the start of the document. Directors Associate Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie and Professor David Baxter also attended the various MBIE-led workshops to learn more about the process and to help crystalise their thinking about the review and the Ageing Well response. 

The responsibility for formulating a response to this green paper was a significant undertaking and one the Ageing Well Directors did not approach lightly. Associate Professor Parr-Brownlie and Professor Baxter understood that this document would affect generations of New Zealanders and have a significant impact on the science and research sector in Aotearoa New Zealand for decades.

“Preparing our response has provided Ageing Well with a significant opportunity to positively shape the future of the sector in which we work and engage,” said Associate Professor Parr-Brownlie.

“It was important to us to shape a submission that was well considered and innovative, but also one that emphasised equity and opportunity. We feel that Ageing Well’s experiences can offer important insights for how the science sector can move to Tiriti partnership,” she said.

The method for arriving at a completed submission was a long process over a relatively short period of time. Advantageous and important korero happened with our researchers and early career researchers, fellow National Science Challenges, Governance Group, Strategic Advisory Group, the University of Otago (as our host organisation), New Zealand Gerontology Association, as well with our key community stakeholders. Additionally, it was also informed by wānanga with Rauika Māngai (for those aligned with the National Science Challenges and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga) and Te Pūtahitanga (for Māori across the broad science sector).

Professor Baxter wished to acknowledge all the korero that took place since Te Ara Paerangi was released in October 2021.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to think strategically and to ponder what we want the future research sector to look like in Aotearoa New Zealand. It has been beneficial to connect with all who are aligned with us to hear what they had to say. It is not every day you have an opportunity to have these higher level future-building discussions that are essential to keep the sector moving in the right direction,” said Professor Baxter.

“We are proud of the submission we produced and hope that this sector review proves fruitful,” he added.

Interested in reading the Ageing Well submission to Te Ara Paerangi?
A PDF can be accessed here or read in the PDF reader below.

Read the Rauika Māngai submission to the Te Ara Paerangi.


Filed under: Publications

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways

In late October, the Ministry for Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) released the Green Paper entitled ‘Te Ara Paerangi – Future pathways’.

Te Ara Paerangi outlines the Government’s policy agenda for the future of New Zealand’s science and research system. The aim of this document is to promote a conversation about what Aotearoa needs for a modern, future-focussed research system and how best to make it happen.

“The current science system in Aotearoa New Zealand is 30 years old,” said Associate Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie, Director of Ageing Well.

“Te Ara Paerangi provides us with an opportunity to consciously shape the future of the science and research sector into an entity that is equitable and resilient.”

The review of the science and research sector has the capacity to alter the scientific landscape for New Zealand, and this significant document covers the wide range of areas, including research priorities, funding, Te Tiriti & Mātauranga, plus the workforce development, institutions, and research infrastructure.

MBIE is seeking feedback from individuals, institutions, and sector-aligned organisations until the close of the consultation period on 2 March, 2022. There are multiple ways in which you can participate in the process: through webinars and workshops, or via written submissions.

Ageing Well will be preparing a response for submission in the coming months and Associate Professor Parr-Brownlie encourages everyone engaged in the science, research, and education sector to take the time to provide feedback.

“In order to achieve something a science sector that works for all New Zealanders, we need to make our voices heard,” said Associate Professor Parr-Brownlie.


Read the full Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways document here.

Written submissions can be emailed to MBIE at

Filed under: Publications

Release of our new book ‘Celebrating Ageing Well’

After more than half a decade in operation, Ageing Well National Science Challenge has gathered a lot of knowledge in the area of ageing in Aotearoa New Zealand. We are proud to share this with you as we announce the release of our book, ‘Celebrating Ageing Well: the first five years of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge’.

The book charts the course of the organisation, from inception in 2014 through our Phase 1 studies, and to the start of our Phase 2 research. We explore our commitment to collaboration, community outreach, and sharing our knowledge, in addition to our core work of funding scientific research to help all New Zealanders age well.

Photo of the cover of the book 'Celebrating Ageing Well', featuring an energetic and happy looking older woman trying to balance on a foam block with a hula hoop around her waist.
The cover of the book features Ms Pare Meha trying out elements of our Well Balanced Exhibit at the 2019 Kaumatua Olympics in Hamilton.

Dr Di McCarthy, former Chair of Ageing Well (2016-2020) said, “Celebrating Ageing Well  tells the stories of the 18 innovative projects that Ageing Well funded during Phase 1 to address some of the most serious problems facing older New Zealanders. It also acknowledges the many stakeholders and community partners who engaged with us along this journey.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the Challenge Team and I extend my grateful thanks to all who have contributed to the Challenge’s success to date,” said Dr McCarthy.

In the book, we feature our studies across Aotearoa New Zealand that span the fields of science, healthcare, anthropology, psychology, medical research, sociology, and more. We chart the research, outcomes, and impact of each project: from tackling the issue of housing for seniors and empowering older Māori through a kaumatua peer-support program, to alternative therapies for stroke recovery and helping Pacific families care for dying relatives.

Current Ageing Well Director, Associate Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie was immensely proud of the work the organisation has already achieved, and is excited to see what the future holds for Ageing Well.

“We wish to acknowledge the mahi of those who helped shape Ageing Well. We have come a long way as an organisation, making significant and innovative strides particularly around embedding Vision Mātauranga as our guiding principle, investing in Māori and Pacific research, and improving health equity for these communities,” she said.

“Building upon what we have learned so far on our journey, we can achieve our mission to ensure all new Zealanders age well,” she said.

Researchers and participants in Dr Ofa Dewes' study, Tāpinga 'a Maama.
Researchers and participants in Dr Ofa Dewes’ study, Tāpinga ‘a Maama.

Ageing Well, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), is one of 11 National Science Challenges established to tackle the biggest science-based issues and opportunities facing New Zealand. The Challenges bring together the country’s top researchers to work collaboratively across disciplines, institutions, and borders to achieve their objectives.

Ageing Well is turning its gaze toward to the future. The Phase 1 research funded by Ageing Well was deliberately broad in scope as it sought to address the challenges facing older New Zealanders. With all the knowledge gained from those projects, the next phase of research is more focused. We are addressing health and ageing inequality with the Ageing and Māori focus area, and in the second area, Health and Wellbeing in Ageing, we are looking to encourage healthy ageing and building social connections.

Professor David Baxter, the inaugural Director and current Co-Director, believes Ageing Well is continuing to respond to the needs of the communities we serve.  

“We truly believe in this vision for Aotearoa: a nation in which all New Zealanders can age well. This is reflected in the work we have funded to date, and our ongoing engagement with communities,” Professor Baxter said.

“For me, a particular highlight covered in the book has been the Well-Balanced Exhibit, a unique display for community education on the importance of maintaining health and preventing frailty, developed by Professor Nancy Longnecker and colleagues the Otago Centre for Science Communication.”

Participants in Dr Ruth Teh’s study Staying Up Right and Eating Well

The team at Ageing Well wishes to acknowledge the leadership and guidance of our Governance Group, Strategic Advisory Group, International Science Advisory Panel, and Collaborating Parties – members past and present – in addition to the research teams for making such vital contributions to helping make an impact in the lives of older Kiwis.

Dr McCarthy said, “Despite two attempts to do so, we have been unable to acknowledge their amazing contributions and research outcomes in person due to Covid 19 lockdown restrictions.  I hope the Celebrating Ageing Well book will serve as a tribute to them all.

“I hope you enjoy the read,” she added.



Filed under: Publications

Paper calls for a more inclusive Science Sector

A group of academics have published a significant paper, ‘Te Pūtahitanga: A Tiriti–led Science-Policy Approach for Aotearoa New Zealand that “examines the interface between science and policymaking and calls for a policy approach that is enabled by, and responsive to, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Mātauranga Māori”.

The paper seeks to assess and address the need for a robust science sector that demonstrates inclusion, accessibility, and inclusion.

Ageing Well National Science Challenge is proud to sign on in support of this paper. We look forward to seeing the evolution of the science sector in the coming years.

View the paper ‘Te Pūtahitanga’ here.

Filed under: Publications

New Ageing Well publication released

A new publication – ‘Aging in New Zealand: Ka haere ki te ao pakeketanga’, written by some members of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge Strategic Advisory Group has been released by The Gerontologist on 2 May 2020.

This manuscript summarises the ageing experience in New Zealand, including research strengths, unique datasets, funding opportunities and policies that support positive ageing. This manuscript will facilitate discussion amongst international gerontology researchers, funding agencies, and policy writers with the vision that they may identify solutions to trial or avoid when addressing the needs of their country’s older citizens.

Read this manuscript here.

Filed under: Publications, Research

Frailty Care Guides Launched

Associate Professor Michal Boyd

Associate Professor Michal Boyd launched “The Frailty Care Guides” at The Selwyn Institute’s Gerontology Nursing Conference in Auckland on 4 October, 2019.  

The Frailty Care Guides were developed as part of Ageing Well National Science Challenge, in collaboration with the Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand. The project was led by Associate Professor Boyd. “Frailty is now recognised as a separate and distinct syndrome and there are many interventions that can help to increase a person’s resilience who are at risk of frailty.  The Frailty Care Guides provide concise guidance on common issues associated with frailty”, explains Dr Boyd.


The guides comprise 26 practical tools covering the full spectrum of frailty, from deterioration and specific health concerns to communication and advance treatment planning. “I’m very excited to see the Frailty Care Guides launched. I know they will be a valuable resource for all providers that care for the complexity associated with frailty”, says Dr Boyd. The Frailty Care Guides can be used in any setting where people at risk of frailty receive care.

Ageing Well National Science Challenge, Director, Associate Professor Debra Waters, commented that “the launch and uptake of the Frailty Guidelines developed by Associate Professor Michal Boyd and her team in collaboration with the Health Safety and Quality Commission, is another example of impact from the research funded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.  We congratulate the team for this outcome that will positively affect the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The launch of these guides was met with enthusiasm from the almost 300 people in attendance. The guides are available from the Health Quality and Safety Commission website:

Filed under: Publications, Research

Improved access to greenspaces needed

Ageing Well Director, Associate Professor Debra Waters, is a co-author of a new study that argues older adults need improved access to green spaces (e.g. gardens, parks).

Further information

  • You can read more about the research in a media release from the University of Otago;
  • You can read the study article here:

Heezik, Y. van, Freeman, C., Buttery, Y., & Waters, D. L. (2018). Factors Affecting the Extent and Quality of Nature Engagement of Older Adults Living in a Range of Home Types. Environment and Behavior.




Filed under: Publications, Research

Tāpinga ‘a Maama- Digital stories

Check out the “5 digital stories” and “I’ll Care For You” music video, created as part of the “Tāpinga ‘a Maama*: Pacific life and death in advanced age” research project carried out by Dr Ofa Dewes in the School of Nursing at the University of Auckland.

To view the videos please click on (Tāpinga ‘a Maama project

Filed under: Publications, Research

Ageing Well first research publication

Ageing Well National Science Challenge is delighted to celebrate the first of many Valerypublications expected from our research projects.

Professor Valery Feigin and his team’s work on stroke prevention has been published in the prestigious journal Lancet Neurology.

The research investigated data from 188 countries as part of a systematic review of the global burden of stroke and risk factors for the period 1990-2013.

The paper suggests that more than 90% of the stroke burden is attributable to modifiable risk factors and that controlling of behavioural and metabolic risk factors could avert more than three-quarters of the global stroke burden.

This research provides a valuable basis to explore effective approaches to reduce the impact of stroke in New Zealand.

Ageing Well congratulates Valery and his team.

Read the paper in Lancet:

Global burden of stroke and risk factors in 188 countries, during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013

Valery Feigin is a member of our Science Leadership Team, read more about our leading researchers:

Science Leadership team

Filed under: Publications

Ageing Well National Colloquium report

Breakout groups tnThe Ageing Well National Science Challenge held its first National Colloquium on the 14th of August at Te Papa, Wellington. Colloquium attendees included representatives from Universities, NGOs, government departments, industry and other private organisations from all over New Zealand.

After introductions and updates from the Governance Group Chair, Norah Barlow, and Director, Professor Dave Baxter, the meeting worked through a varied programme including:

  • The importance of Vision Mātauranga
  • Perspective from MBIE as funder
  • An introduction to key research areas covered by the Challenge
  • The role and contribution of the ‘Wise Heads’ group
  • The ‘how to’ and action steps for engaging effectively with stakeholders

Following this, breakout sessions with participants were held. Participants worked together to identify progress made, areas needing more investigation by the Challenge and next steps.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to making the day such a success. Outputs from the day will help to inform our thinking and to underpin our next steps.

View the presentations:

Professor Dave Baxter (PDF 25MB) NSC Ageing Well: Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga

Dr Prue Williams MBIE (PDF 2.5MB) National Science Challenges: An overview

Dr Hamish Jamieson (PDF 16.2MB) InterRAI in New Zealand 

Dr Sally Keeling (PDF 3MB) Risk factors for reduced social engagement in older people

Dr Ruth Teh (PDF 4.2MB) Staying upright and eating well research

Professor Valery Feigin (PDF 3.6MB) Health and wellness coaching for primary stroke and CVD prevention

Professor Martin Connolly (PDF 530KB) Older people in retirement villages: Unidentified need and intervention research

Ms Trina Tautau (PDF 6.7MB) Health policy and the Ageing well science Challenge

Dr Malcolm Menzies (PDF 6.5MB) Who we are and why we are interested

Dr Les Oxley (PDF 6.6MB) Who we are and why we are interested

Dr Sarah Derrett (PDF 2.5MB) Dialysis outcomes in those aged 65 years and over: A longitudinal study in New Zealand

Dr Rebecca Brookland (PDF 1.5MB) Older drivers, families and GPs: Navigating the path between mobility and safety

Norah Barlow AW Colloquium

Norah Barlow welcomes the Ageing Well National Colloquium attendees.

Prue Williams MBIE

 Dr Prue Williams gives an overview of all the National Science Challenges.

Assessing needs AW Colloquium
Dr Sally Keeling presents her research about risk factors for reduced social engagement.

Breakout groups AW Colloquium
Participants work in breakout groups to plan next steps for the Ageing Well Challenge.

Wendy Fleming and Trina Tautau

Wise Heads presenters Wendy Fleming and Trina Tautau.

Older drivers AW Colloquium

Dr Rebecca Brookland addresses the group with her research about balancing mobility and safety for older drivers.

Retirement villages AW Colloquium

Professor Martin Connolly presents his work about the needs of those living in retirement villages.

For more information about the colloquium, participants and photos contact the administrator:

Filed under: Publications