Children and Families research fund grants announced in NZ
The Sector > Policy > Children and Families research fund grants announced in NZ

Children and Families research fund grants announced in NZ

by Freya Lucas

May 14, 2019

Five child and family focused research projects have received a funding boost in New Zealand thanks to the third round of the Children and Families Research Fund.


The Children and Families Research Fund aims to “strengthen evidence that supports the development of policies and initiatives that meet the needs of children and families in New Zealand today”.


The Fund, financed by the New Zealand Federal Government, awards $750,000 to research projects which explore and analyse data gathered in the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUINZ) longitudinal study.


Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni outlined the value of the funding, saying it supports further investigation of the data gathered through the GUINZ study.


“Each research project enables us to learn more from the study children and families and about living in New Zealand today, which is of huge value to decision makers designing policies and initiatives to make New Zealand a great place to grow up,” Ms Sepuloni said.


Five projects will receive $150,000 each from the 2018-19 funding round, with projects due for completion in May 2020. The successful projects are as follows:


  • The effect of household food-related hardship on preschool nutrition and health – led by Dr Sarah Gerritsen, University of Auckland.


  • Ethnic differences in the uptake of healthcare services; what gaps contribute to ethnic gaps in GP registration, immunisation and dental checks – led by Professor Gail Pacheco, Auckland University of Technology.


  • Identifying predictors of child injury in preschool years – led by Associate Professor Bridget Kool, University of Auckland.


  • What are the housing-related experiences of families with young children in New Zealand today, and how does this experience differ for families living in rental or social housing and/or on low incomes? – led by Dr Emma Marks, University of Auckland.


  • Mutable factors mediating the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on children’s readiness for school – led by Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, Auckland University of Technology.


Ms Sepuloni welcomed the announcement of the successful recipients, saying the diversity of researchers using the GUINZ data was an asset to the pool of broader understanding.


The next round of funding will open on Tuesday 4 June 2019.


GUINZ is New Zealand’s largest contemporary longitudinal study of child development. Led by the University of Auckland, the study follows more than 6,800 children born in 2009 and 2010, and their families, since pregnancy. Growing Up in New Zealand reports, policy briefs, scientific manuscripts and other information about the study and how to access and use its data is available at

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