New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study

Elderly couple in supermarket

The New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study (HWR) is a study of people aged 55 years and over who live in New Zealand.

The study aims to provide information on issues such as health, work, retirement and housing, which are relevant to people in this age group. This research provides New Zealand residents with the opportunity to share their experiences to help inform national and international discussions on these important issues.

The New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study began in 2006 and is led by Professor Christine Stephens and Professor Fiona Alpass from the School of Psychology.

The research has two parts:

  • a biennial health survey, and
  • national health data linkage.

Biennial health survey

Every two years, people who have previously filled out a questionnaire are re-surveyed, and the study randomly selects additional people from the electoral roll to be surveyed. To date, more than 8,000 New Zealand residents have been surveyed.

National health data linkage

This is the linkage of national health record data, held on file by the New Zealand Health Information Service, to other data provided by study participants.

New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Independence Contribution Connection study

As the Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) has collaborated with other partners on particular projects, the New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study has also been known as the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NZSLA) and the Independence Contribution Connection (ICC) study. These projects have been led or co-led by HART and have fallen under the broader focus, resources and participant base of the New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study.

Māori Advisory Group

The Health and Ageing Research Team is obliged by the Treaty of Waitangi to take responsibility for the inclusion and protection of data provided by Māori participants.

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