Our children are the future
Every child should have the best possible start in life. To achieve this A Better Start researchers are creating the tools and methods to predict, prevent and intervene early so children have a healthy weight, are successful learners and teenagers can access the tools they need to look after their mental health.
A Better Start is the National Science Challenge working to help children, teenagers, their whanau and family achieve the best possible start in life. Our job is to find practical, evidence-based solutions that make a measurable difference for tamariki.
We can do that only when we work with communities, draw together indigenous and Western approaches to knowledge and bring the best researchers from different disciplines here and overseas to take a holistic approach rather than address health, wellbeing and learning issues in isolation.
News and events
New research into early learning success builds children’s resilience, cultural connectedness and wellbeing
The foundations of early literacy success and subsequent educational achievement and healthy wellbeing are developed in the early childhood period. New research funded by A Better Start National Start Challenge advances science at international levels and addresses an...read more
A new strategic research project with the aim of improving sleep for pepi and their whanau has been awarded $1.7 million over three years by A Better Start National Science Challenge. As well as improving sleep, this project also aims to reduce excessive weight gain...read more
As a researcher of exercise science, a father of two teenagers and husband of a teacher, getting young people moving in an achievable way is paramount for Associate Professor Nigel Harris. The Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research at Auckland University of...read more
Parenting adolescents can be difficult at the best of times, but it is even more difficult when done alone. Often, parents are left searching for more effective and easily accessible ways to support their children. New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide...read more
E Tipu e Rea
Grow and Branch Forth
E Tipu e Rea is A Better Start’s Māori name.
In 1949, shortly before his death, Māori leader and scholar Sir Āpirana Turupa Ngata of Ngāti Porou wrote into the autograph book of schoolgirl Rangi Bennett a passage about his vision for Māori youth.
E tipu e rea mō ngā rā o tō ao
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau a te Pākehā
Hei ora mō te tinana
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori
Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna
Ko tō wairua ki tō atua
Nānā nei ngā mea katoa.
Grow and branch forth for the days destined to you
Your hands to the tools of the Pākehā
For the welfare of your body
Your heart to the treasures of your ancestors
adornments for your brow
Your spirit to god
Who made all things.