Celebrating 30 Years of NIHI


On Monday 9th September, over 150 attendees registered to attend a full day conference at Grafton Campus, to recognise NIHI’s 30th year. The day celebrated NIHI’s ground-breaking work over the last three decades, which has informed policy, driven innovation in practice, and influenced quality health care delivery. 

It was an opportunity to both reflect on the past and acknowledge those who have contributed to NIHI’s success and look to the future.  During the opening sessions we reflected on the history of NIHI, the establishment of CTRU (The Clinical Trials Research Unit) in 1989 to primarily undertake large cardio-vascular pharma trials, through the merger of CTRU with ‘little NIHI’ in 2012, to form the NIHI of today. The merger of both units bought together CTRUs expertise in research, innovation and discovery with NIHIs experience in data and digital innovation. It was a unique and timely merger to address the growing importance of technology in healthcare, the emergence of CTRU as a leader in mHealth and the changing needs of the health sector and funders.

Throughout the day strong themes emerged: our people and partnerships are key to our longevity and success; the importance and difficulty with innovation to implementation pathways; how to ensure equity and ‘nobody is left behind’; the importance of co-design with developing products that meet the needs of the audience.  

Attendees heard from leading and emerging research researchers from the UoA and the NIHI Business Unit service teams.  A panel of leaders in their fields discussed issues affecting the health system today and how we shape the equitable future of healthcare. Attendees also had the opportunity to interact with some of NIHIs apps, websites and innovations.

The day concluded with keynote speaker, Professor Eric Topol, discussing The future of health research: what will it look like? and how technology is disrupting health research.

The feedback following our conference has been extremely positive with a number of attendees making contact to let us know how much they enjoyed the day and found the content to be thought-provoking and inspiring.  We hope that connections were made, partnerships formed or fostered and opportunities will arise.

The day coincided with the first day of Maori language week. We were honoured and privileged for the day to be opened with a mihi whakatau led by Kaumātua Rawiri Wharemate, UniServices kaiārahi Geremy Hema and whaea Julie Wade from Te Kupenga Hauora Māori.

The essence of day was perfectly summed up by Professor Chris Bullen during his speech:

“Kua tawhiti kē to haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa o mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu.

You have come too far not to go further, you have done too much not to do more"

 – Ta Himi Henare  ( Sir James Henare ) Ngati Hine elder and leader

Check out the photos from the event here.