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Pacific families taking part in Growing Up in NZ study

16 May 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

More than 6,800 kids who are a part of the Growing up in New Zealand study since 2008, will for the first time get to talk about their experiences growing up in the 21st century.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced that the government will restore more than $1.9 million of funding to the study which is used to shape government policies.

It's the country's largest longitudinal study of child development and one in five children participating come from Pacific families.

The government has announced a restoration of funding towards New Zealand's largest longitudinal study of what it's like growing up in New Zealand in the 21st century. Photo/ Supplied.

Ms Sepuloni says with the restoration of funds, children will be sharing their experiences for the first time rather than parents.

"During this wave, children get to tell their story. So rather than hear from the parents, we're going to be hearing directly from the children."

"The insights that we've gained through the families, through the parents to date, have been incredibly valuable. But now it's going to that next level and that'll really help inform our understanding of what it's like to be a child in the 21st century."

"The government wants New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child," she says.

Meanwhile, University of Auckland academic Dr Susan Morton says the study offers valuable insights into how vulnerable families overcome adversity.

"So many of the children who we often put in a vulnerable category are actually inspirational, they're doing well despite adversity and that's the sort of story that can be used to inform new strategies."