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
The Phase One Final Report for A Better Start's Successful Learning Theme has been published. The report provides a celebration of achievements from the first phase of funding across the theme's four keystone projects, one contestable funding project linked to their...read more
Born prematurely? Here’s another reason to look after your health: you may have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. A new study led by the Liggins Institute has found that 18-year-old women born preterm (before 37 weeks of gestation) are almost twice as...read more
Tight budgets, time pressures and other stressors leave takeaways the easier meal choice for low-income Māori parents
Stretched finances and time, stress, tiredness and the challenge of juggling family members’ differing tastes are among the many influences on Māori parents’ food choices for their children, new research shows. The study, led by Massey University's Professor Marewa...read more
Differences in socioeconomic conditions are a major driver of unequal obesity rates among Māori, Pacific and European children, a new study shows. The study – the first of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand – found that the difference in numbers of four-year-old...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.