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Growing Up a substantial investment in NZ Families

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment

4 April 2008 Media Statement

Growing Up a substantial investment in NZ Families

Social Development and Employment Minister Ruth Dyson today welcomed the launch of Growing Up in New Zealand a new longitudinal study of children and families in New Zealand.

More than 7,500 Maori, Pacific, Asian, and Pakeha children and their families from the Auckland and Waikato regions will be recruited during their mothers’ pregnancies and will be followed through birth, childhood and adolescence and on to adulthood.

“Our Labour-led government has committed $7.5 million to get this study started and I am extremely pleased to be able to announce today a further investment of $6 million over two years to enable the study to get on a firm footing and position itself to seek ongoing support as it progresses in the future,” said Ruth Dyson.

“This new study will give us information on new generations of children growing up in twenty-first century New Zealand. There’s intense interest in the study from across the whole of the Government social policy sector.

“This study will be one of the most significant social science research projects ever undertaken in New Zealand, it will be the first New Zealand-based longitudinal study to start before children are born, and will capture the increasing diversity of New Zealanders.”

Growing up in New Zealand will build on the success of the internationally acclaimed Dunedin and Christchurch longitudinal studies and lay the groundwork for future Government policy on children and their families.

The Auckland University-led study will also involve researchers from the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, and Massey University, and will draw on the expertise of a range of New Zealand’s leading researchers.

“The study will help identify opportunities to improve children’s lives by studying parenting behaviours, health and environmental factors, child development, education, nutrition and social interactions. This research will help us produce evidence-based policies to improve the lives of New Zealand children and their families,” said Ruth Dyson.


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