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
A new series of stories for young New Zealanders has been released by the University of Canterbury's Child Wellbeing Research Institute. Challenge Deputy Director, Professor Gail Gillon, Director of the University of Canterbury (UC) Child Wellbeing Research Institute,...
Congratulations to A Better Start's Challenge Director, Professor Wayne Cutfield, who has been awarded this year's Gluckman Medal for his outstanding contributions to research. The Gluckman Medal is an extremely prestigious award and is awarded each year by the...
A Better Start congratulates the recipients of this year's Queen's Birthday Honours awards. Distinguished Professor Jane Harding was made a dame for world-leading research into newborn babies. A well-deserved honour and a great recognition of Dame Harding's many...
A Better Start's Resilient Teens team describe the system architecture for their youth mental health chatbot systems, including the new Aroha chatbot, which supports youth with Covid-19 related issues. See the published pre-print paper.
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.