Physical activity and wellbeing focus of new research and teaching centre

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa have launched Te Hau Kori—Centre for Physical Activity and Wellbeing.

Te Hau Kori is a partnership jointly funded by the two organisations and aims to lead the delivery of research and the development of workforce capabilities to promote physical activity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Justin Richards, co-director of Te Hau Kori, says the centre will fill gaps in research both domestically and internationally.

“This partnership will enable us to identify under-researched areas and influence policy-level decisions that affect participation in physical activity,” he says.

The centre plans to develop a post-graduate course for people wanting to develop expertise in promoting physical activity.

Dr Richards says the centre will also provide an avenue for collaboration across the tertiary sector and will work closely with the cross-government physical activity group, which currently includes representation from about 15 government agencies.

Te Hau Kori co-director Dr Geoff Kira says equity is a primary focus of the centre, reflected in its structure.

“Our structure and processes are already a transformation of the way we work together, with the emphasis on an equal partnership between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti creating a framework from which we can directly address equity together,” he says.

Tangata whenua and tangata tiriti are equally represented in the centre’s academic and governance positions.

Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa chief executive Raelene Castle says Te Hau Kori is an exciting and important initiative.

“This new centre and our partnership with Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington will provide new insights and help develop policy initiatives to support the growth of participation in sport and physical activity. We’re excited to see what we can achieve by working together.”