Grants for Children and Families Research

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Social Development

Five children and families research projects will each receive funding in round 3 of the Children and Families Research Fund. The 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.

“Each year, through the Children and Families Research Fund, the Government awards $750,000 to research projects that explore and analyse data gathered from the Growing Up in New Zealand  (GUINZ) longitudinal study that is providing contemporary information about growing up in New Zealand,” says Social Development Minister, Carmel Sepuloni. 

“This annual funding 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.” 

The five funded research projects will each receive $150,000 from the 2018/2019 funding round and will be completed by May 2020. The five research projects will look at: 

  1. The effect of household food-related hardship on preschool nutrition and health – led by Dr Sarah Gerritsen, University of Auckland.
  2. 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.
  3. Identifying predictors of child injury in preschool years – led by Associate Professor Bridget Kool, University of Auckland.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

“The Children and Families Research Fund supports policy-relevant research and increases the diversity of researchers using Growing Up in New Zealand data. The next round of funding will open on Tuesday 4 June 2019,” Carmel Sepuloni said. 


  • Growing Up in New Zealand 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
  • Growing Up in New Zealand data used in these research projects is anonymised so that individual participants cannot be identified and access is protected by a data access protocol.
  • The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) funds Growing Up in New Zealand, and administers and funds the Children and Families Research Fund. Reports of completed research are available via MSD’s website so the findings can be used across the social sector. Access published reports and read about the research fund here.