19 Feb 2009

Study focuses on Maori, Pacific, Asian population

7:32 am on 19 February 2009

A new long-term study is hoping to shed light on the issues facing children growing up in New Zealand, especially Maori, Pacific Islanders and Asians.

The 'Growing Up in New Zealand' survey starts in Auckland and Waikato this month and hopes to follow 7,800 children from the womb to adulthood.

Those involved in the University of Auckland longitudinal study will be screened every year for at least the first two decades of their life.

It will document many aspects of their lives including their health and cultural and educational behaviour.

Research director Dr Susan Morton says the data is expected to help Government agencies formulate policies.

A similar project, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, began 37 years ago however the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' survey will for the first time follow large populations of Maori, Pacific people and Asians.