2016 - Launch of Bariatric Management Innovations Initiative, Wellington Hospital

Thank you for your warm welcome.

It is a pleasure to be here today to officially launch the Bariatric Management Innovations Initiative.

I would like to start by acknowledging those who have developed this initiative – Dr Caz Hales, Lecturer and Researcher, and Lesley Gray, Senior Lecturer and Researcher, both of the University of Otago; and Todd Bishop, General Manager of Essential HelpCare.

I want to recognise your vision and commitment to working together, and acknowledge that this event today represents a lot of collective energy, development and focus to see the Initiative become a reality.

I applaud partnerships such as this one, which demonstrate the benefits of collaborative efforts between health, academia and communities to address major health and social issues, improving outcomes for New Zealanders.

The Government considers that science and research will increasingly play a vital role in developing knowledge that can help address our particular environmental, health and social advantages and challenges.

Collaboration between researchers and those that deliver health services is important, as it will increase the likelihood of research being translated into ways that improve health outcomes and health system performance.