A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea

National Science Challenge

Better science together for a better start in life

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 they 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 achieve this by working with communities, drawing together indigenous and Western approaches to knowledge and bringing together the best researchers from different disciplines here and overseas to take a holistic approach rather than addressing health, wellbeing and learning issues in isolation.


Announcement coming in January!

A Better Start National Science Challenge is investing $1 million in Pasifika-led child health research working with Pasifika communities.
It is seeking to fund innovative research aimed at delivering practical, evidence-based solutions specifically in the areas of healthy weight, successful learning and mental health and resilience.
Full proposals have been reviewed by our expert panel and the successful project will be announced in January 2022.
For more information on the Pasifika Research Fund, go to our Grants & Funding page.

From the Director 

A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea has more than 160 researchers delivering excellent science to give our tamariki a better start in life. They come from many different disciplines and organisations, but are united in their commitment. Our researchers share a collaborative approach and through the He Awa Whiria (braided rivers) model weave together knowledge from differing sources that flow together to progress the wellbeing of tamariki.

Ngā mihi,

Professor Wayne Cutfield
Challenge Director


Improving the potential for all young New Zealanders to lead healthy and successful lives

The Science

Collaborative research and science excellence


Updates & events from A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea

News and events

Professor Simon Holdaway joins A Better Start

Professor Simon Holdaway joins A Better Start

Welcome to our new board member, Professor Simon Holdaway. Professor Holdaway is an archaeologist who studies New Zealand's ancient past, and is Associate Deputy VC Research at the University of Auckland. He is the University's representative on A Better Start's board...

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Welcome back

Welcome back

Kia ora, Welcome to 2022, we hope you had a wonderful, restful break and spent time with whānau and friends. The team at A Better Start is back on deck, and our researchers are full steam ahead working on our six major health research projects (focused on sleep...

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Meri Kirihimete from A Better Start

Meri Kirihimete from A Better Start

Kia ora, here we are at the tail-end of 2021, and I'm sure we're all looking forward to ringing in a new – and hopefully better – year! Covid-19 has again caused much disruption this year, with long lockdowns affecting whānau, schools and businesses throughout the...

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Read our November newsletter

Read our November newsletter

Say hello to our latest newsletter! Read it HERE Watch our latest webinars on the Impacts of Covid-19 and Increased Screen Time on Children's Learning, and Infant Growth; find out whether free school lunches are a good investment; and discover the latest research...

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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.