The HRC funds research into all aspects of health and disease to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities for all New Zealanders. Many of the health research achievements made by New Zealand researchers are funded by the HRC. However, we can only afford to fund less than 20 per cent of the many worthy funding applications that we receive each year using government funding alone.

Achievements in health research

In many fields, New Zealand research teams are among world leaders. Some of the significant achievements of our health research includes:  

  • providing the first evidence that the human brain can repair itself by the generation of new brain cells, which has led to new insights into the treatment of brain diseases such as epilepsy, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
  • discovering that certain steroids given to mothers in premature labour prevent the death of their babies from breathing problems, saving hundreds of thousands of lives
  • significantly reducing the rate of cot death by encouraging parents to put babies to sleep on their backs
  • reducing asthma deaths, identifying causes, and improving asthma management
  • showing that effective home insulation not only improves health and wellbeing in terms of reducing wheezing, coughing, and lost days off school, it also produces energy savings and reduced carbon emissions
  • developing ways to reduce child pedestrian injuries and motorcycle crashes
  • understanding the causes of youth suicide and developing effective prevention strategies
  • developing new treatments to improve health outcomes following strokes
  • designing more effective anti-cancer drugs, and
  • making dramatic improvements in the treatment of osteoporosis, a gradual loss of bone mass with increasing age, which is a major issue for older New Zealanders

Have a look at our research profiles to find out more about the wide range of research projects we fund.

A life-changing decision – how you can help

You can help us improve the health and quality of life for all New Zealanders by making a donation or by making a bequest to the HRC in your Will.

We also offer opportunities to sponsor:

  • general health research
  • career development awards for emerging researchers, which can be named after the donor
  • particular research projects
  • research conferences or summer studentships

If you are interested in supporting the HRC’s health research work by a donation or bequest, we would be happy to talk to you, or your financial/legal advisors. Please contact our Finance Manager, Grant Barnett, or phone 09 303 5200 to discuss your ideas.

Donors can be publicly acknowledged, or choose to remain anonymous.