A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea

National Science Challenge

Better science together for a better start in life

Every child should have the best possible start in life.

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 find practical, evidence-based solutions that make a measurable and impactful difference in the lives of our tamariki and rangatahi.

three children and women splashing in water

A Better Start article published: supporting the future wellbeing of our tamariki E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tō ao: grow tender shoot for the days destined for you

CLICK HERE to read more and see the authors of the article

The individual article has been formally published online, the Special Issue: The current and future state of child health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand: Part 2 is yet to be published.

ABSTRACT:  The majority of children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand experience good health and wellbeing, but there are key areas where they compare unfavourably to those in other rich countries. However, current measures of wellbeing are critically limited in their suitability to reflect the dynamic, culture-bound, and subjective nature of the concept of ‘wellbeing’. In particular, there is a lack of measurement in primary school-aged children and in ways that incorporate Māori perspectives on wellbeing. A Better Start National Science Challenge work in the areas of Big Data, Healthy Weight, Resilient Teens, and Successful learning demonstrates how research is increasing our understanding of, and our ability to enhance, wellbeing for NZ children.  As we look ahead to the future, opportunities to support the wellbeing of NZ young people will be shaped by how we embrace and mitigate against potential harms of new technologies, and our ability to respond to new challenges that arise due to climate change. In order to avoid increasing inequity in who experiences wellbeing in NZ, wellbeing must be monitored in ways that are culturally acceptable, universal, and recognise what makes children flourish.


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

The Science

Collaborative research and science excellence. Learn about our key research themes: Healthy Weight, Resilient Teens, Successful Learning, which is all underpined by Big Data.


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

News and Events


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

The meaning behind, E Tipu e Rea – Grow Tender Shoot

E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tō ao: grow tender shoot for the days destined for you

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.

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