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New Zealand's Injury Prevention Research Unit: helping shape injury prevention policy and practice
  1. David J Chalmers,
  2. John D Langley
  1. Injury Prevention Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Chalmers.

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The Injury Prevention Research (IPRU) was founded in 1990, as the result of a successful bid to establish New Zealand's first centre for injury prevention research. The need for such a centre was identified in a review of research on unintentional injury prepared for the then Medical Research Council of New Zealand.1 The authors of that review argued that an analysis of national data on injury mortality and morbidity would provide the basis for establishing research and prevention priorities for New Zealand, and would be of international interest given the uniqueness of New Zealand's national data resources.


At the heart of the IPRU is a core staff of eight, comprising the Director, Deputy Director, Health Promotion Specialist, Junior Research Fellow, Biostatistician, Data Manager, Administrator, and Secretary. This core is funded jointly by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (the successor to the Medical Research Council) and the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation (ACC)—administrators of New Zealand's compulsory, no-fault, injury compensation scheme. To this core are attached researchers and support staff funded from project grants, fellowships, and contracts. The total staff ranges from 15–25 depending on the programme of research.

Up until recently, core funding has been provided on a five yearly cycle with a review at the end of the third year of the cycle. This level of support has been a critical element in the IPRU's success. Differences between the core funders in terms of the expected outputs from the IPRU has resulted in the development of two separate contracts for core funding for 1999 and beyond. This split in funding will present a challenge for maintaining the core in the years ahead.

Goal and aims

The goal of the IPRU is to undertake research and health promotion activities that will contribute to reducing the incidence, severity, and consequences …

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