Research Projects Using Growing Up Data

Exploring differential access, retention and experience for Māori mothers and their children in the Well-Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) Programme

Publication Date:
Lead Organisation:
University of Auckland
Lead Researcher:
Sarah Gerritsen, Gabriella Sweetman, Sarah-Jane Paine, Susan Morton
Access Type:
Primary Classification:
Health and Wellbeing
Secondary Classification:
Family and Whanau

The Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) programme is a universal health service to protect and improve the health of children to 5 years of age, through developmental screening, whānau support and health education. The 2020 WCTO review found long-standing inequities in services for Māori; these have the potential to contribute to and compound other inequities in longitudinal health outcomes.

This project uses GUINZ data and linked WCTO data to interrogate reasons for inequities between non-Māori and Māori in the receipt of WCTO services. A specific focus will be handover from Lead Maternity Care (LMC) to WCTO, subsequent retention and the experiences of Māori mothers.

Research Questions:

1. What factors contribute to inequities of access to the WCTO programme for children of Māori mothers compared with non-Māori/non-Pacific mothers?

2. For Māori mothers who attend the 4-6 week visit, does provider type affect successful completion of all core checks at one year and 18 months?

3. What does the Growing up In New Zealand data tell us about Māori mothers use of plunket line, the well-child book, and experience of helpfulness of providers postnatally, compared with non- Māori mothers?

Descriptive statistics will be produced by maternal and child ethnicity. Multivariate models will be used to investigate the independent association between maternal ethnicity and access/retention outcomes, after adjustment for variables including age, socioeconomic position and other factors (e.g. access to LMC, household mobility, experiences of racism). Use of the Well Child book, Plunket line, and postnatal experiences of WCTO professionals will also be examined.

The outputs from this study will be a 60pt Masters of Public Health dissertation, academic publication and presentations to key stakeholders.