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
As a result of the Māori Think Piece submitted to the Board in 2019, a Research Theme Leader Māori has been approved. Associate Professor Dr Matire Harwood (PhD, MBChB) has been appointed to this new leadership role. Matire (Ngāpuhi) lives in Auckland, and her...read more
A recent article in www.stuff.co.nz features A Better Start Resilient Teens team's work that is researching and developing e-therapy options for young people in New Zealand. The research is led by Professor Sally Merry from the University of Auckland, who is on the...read more
A Better Start National Science Challenge team have been researching effective ways to accelerate early reading and writing success for children who enter school with lower levels of oral language. “Early literacy success is critical to children’s wellbeing from many...read more
“The Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, which was released yesterday, is an extremely positive step towards improving the lives of tamariki in New Zealand,” says Professor Wayne Cutfield, A Better Start National Science Challenge Director. “We welcome...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.