Young people signing up for innovative new wellbeing research app

Young people signing up for innovative new wellbeing research app
September 12, 2023

Almost 500 young people have signed up so far for an innovative new app, released by the University of Auckland, which is providing a new way for young people to share their stories and experiences of wellbeing.

“It’s positive to see so many signing up to the app, and we are encouraging more young people to sign up and ensure their voices are heard,” said Dr Kane Meissel, Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology at the University of Auckland | Waipapa Taumata Rau.

The app, called Tō Mātou Rerenga - Our Journey, was designed by twenty-five young people working alongside researchers. Its purpose is to increase the understanding of young people’s lives in order to influence policy and the future of Aotearoa.

“It really made a difference having young people involved in the design. The resulting app gives young people a way to safely share their stories and experiences of wellbeing in a way that aligns with their digital lives. They have the option of submitting their answers in different formats such as text, audio, video or photos. It’s a new way of collecting data which will be used to inform policy and ways to improve young people’s wellbeing,” said Dr Meissel.

The young people involved are in the longitudinal study Growing Up in New Zealand. They worked alongside University of Auckland researchers, tech designers and developers, and co-design experts to design what researchers believe is a world-leading platform.

“The result is a beautifully illustrated app that allows users to navigate islands, play mini-games and earn e-gifts, all while providing a safe, confidential and secure place to share their stories through thought-provoking questions related to their wellbeing,” said Dr Meissel.

According to the project’s founding director Professor Susan Morton, “Working with participants to develop the app helped us understand wellbeing through a youth lens rather than a researcher lens. The participants have helped to design a digital tool they felt comfortable using.”

The app is currently exclusively available to participants in the Growing Up in New Zealand study until December 2023.

“For any young people from Growing Up in New Zealand you can still take part. To sign up please email for more information,” said Dr Meissel.


For more information, please contact:

Julia Crosfield
Digital Marketing and Communications, Growing Up in New Zealand

027 282 4896

Note for editors:
About the development of the app:

• To find out more information about the app and its development see
• The development and co-design of the Tō Mātou Rerenga - Our Journey app has been led by the Our Voices team.
• Our Voices is an innovative project funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment through a five-year Endeavour Fund grant, working with Growing Up in New Zealand to develop ground-breaking ways of collecting longitudinal information as well as new ways of analysing information from young people so we can get a fuller picture about what shapes their wellbeing.  
• Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and leading world-ranked university, committed to creating transformative impact through world-leading research.