“We are pleased to endorse the Prime Minister’s first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, which will be released later
today,” says A Better Start Challenge Director, Professor Wayne Cutfield.
“A Better Start National Science Challenge’s mission is to elevate the importance of children as vital members of our
New Zealand community and to use science to ensure that our tamariki have a better start in life,” he says.
The future of our country depends on investing in our children’s health, education and wellbeing, to ensure that we have
a successful New Zealand. A Better Start’s three key themes – Healthy Weight, Resilient Teens and Successful Learning –
support the wellbeing budget’s focus of improving child wellbeing and supporting mental health.
“Our team of researchers are creating the tools and methods to predict, prevent and intervene early, so that children
have a healthy weight, are successful learners, and teenagers can access the tools they need to look after their mental
health. These themes closely mirror the Wellbeing Strategy’s key priorities that will make real improvements to the
lives of New Zealanders.”
“It is important that all policies and practices developed from the Wellbeing Strategy are evidence based and that we
measure whether the policies are working. A Better Start can play an important role in ensuring research helps here,”
Professor Cutfield said.
“For the Wellbeing Strategy to be effective, communities and key stakeholders will need to be actively involved in the
co-design and delivery of initiatives created from the Wellbeing Strategy.”
“I am looking forward to hearing more detail from the Wellbeing Strategy, and finding practical evidence-based solutions
that will make a measurable difference for our tamariki going forward,” says Professor Cutfield.
“The work that the Challenge does for our children was reinforced at our annual symposium last week – He waka eke now
Better Together 2019 – where a number of our international presenters highlighted the fact that children are our future,
and we need to keep top of mind that we have a responsibility to focus on improving the opportunities for our tamariki
to lead healthy and successful lives by working with communities and stakeholders.
For more information about A Better Start National Science Challenge please go to the website https://abetterstart.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/