The Strengths of the Growing Up in New Zealand Data

Growing Up in New Zealand leads the way in international longitudinal studies and is unique in a number of ways.

Here are some of the things that make the Growing Up in New Zealand study particularly valuable:

  • It is the largest longitudinal study ever conducted in New Zealand.
  • It measures aspects of the contemporary New Zealand environment (physical, social, cultural, policy etc) that are important in shaping the developmental trajectories of New Zealand children.
  • The cohort reflects the ethnic diversity and the social-economic make-up of children born in New Zealand.
  • Information has been collected from before the children's birth providing unique insights into the potential long-term impact of the perinatal period.  
  • Fathers (or the mother's partner) are included in the study and information has been collected since before birth and beyond.
  • A wealth of data was collected in the first two years in order to provide as much detailed information about the crucial first 1,000 days as possible.  
  • The study has adequate explanatory power to consider most outcomes for children who identify as Māori, Pacific and Asian as well as for New Zealand European children.
  • Linkage to routine data has been undertaken to add value to the longitudinal self-reported data, with appropriate participant informed consent.
  • A long-term partnership with policy-makers means consultation has occurred at every stage of the project to ensure the collection of evidence will have policy relevance.
  • Throughout the duration of the study, we have worked in partnership with Government policy-makers to turn research into real change.