In June 2019, Ageing Well National Science Challenge was allocated $20.3M in funding as part of the second phase of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) research investment. Over the next five years (July 2019 – June 2024), Ageing Well will utilise this funding to address two focus areas of research: Health and Wellbeing in Ageing and Ageing and Māori. The Health and Wellbeing in Ageing research will provide older New Zealanders with the opportunities and tools to support their own physical and mental abilities.  The Ageing and Māori research will contribute to positive Māori ageing through Māori-led research undertaken in collaboration with key stakeholders. 

Ageing Well allocated $10M in 2019 to fund research programmes in these two focus areas. This funding was distributed equally between the Health and Wellbeing in Ageing and Ageing and Māori research areas. Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie, Co-Director Māori, confirmed that “Ageing Well is committed to equitable outcomes for kaumātua. We have invested half of our funding into programmes that will support positive Māori ageing. This is critical because the number of older Māori will more than double in the next 20 years.”

Today, Ageing Well is delighted to announce the awarding of $5M towards the Ageing and Maōri programme of research. The Director of Ageing Well, A/Prof Debra Waters, said “I am thrilled the Challenge is funding two high quality programmes of research that will positively impact Māori kaumātua and their whānau both now and into the future.”

Tai Kaumātuatanga Older Māori Wellbeing and Participation: Present and Future Focus
Dr Catherine Love – Programme Leader
$2.5M (2019-2023)

As the number of older Māori increases there is a need to develop more information about their strengths and vulnerabilities. This research, through a country wide survey asking kaumātua about their experiences and quality of life, and a two year follow up, aims to provide information for policy formation, environmental planning and culturally responsive services. This survey will also be complemented by an in-depth qualitative study that asks them about their lives as kaumātua and their understanding of their roles, inter-generational relationships and the knowledge they pass on. The research will be co-designed with them to ensure that it can be of the most use to them and the groups they belong to. The research findings will contribute to better service provision and strengthen kaumātuatanga and kaumātua contribution to whānau and the country. 

Kaumātua Mana Motuhake Pōi: Enhancing Wellbeing, Social Connectedness and Cultural Identity
Professor Brendan Hokowhitu – Programme Leader
$2.5M (2019-2023)

This research aims to build on kaumātua strengths to enhance hauora (holistic approach to health) and mana motuhake (autonomy, identity and self-determination) through collaborative research network including academic and community researchers, kaumātua service providers and other stakeholders.  Two health research projects will be conducted: i)  a tuakana-teina peer educator model where kaumātua help other kaumātua in need to identify and utilise key health and social services and ii) an inter-generational model for increasing physical activity and cultural knowledge exchange including te reo Māori. The projects include co-design and co-implementation processes with kaumātua, kaumātua service providers and other health and social service experts. Hauora and mana motuhake will be measured before and after the projects are implemented. The anticipated impacts include the creation of culturally appropriate and sustainable projects that support kaumātua to age well.

Congratulations to the research teams and thank you to our community for your continued support.