“The support and governance of Te Papa Hauora has been absolutely crucial for the development of the Research for Children Aotearoa collaborative. With the encouragement they provide we hope to continue to make an impact by developing quality research programmes that are responsive to our community.”

  • Professor Tony Walls, Co-Leader of Research for Children Aotearoa (RfCA) and Head of the University of Otago, Christchurch’s Paediatric Department.

Professor Walls, who co-leads Research for Children Aotearoa (RfCA) with the University of Canterbury’s Professor Gail Gillon, says the collaboration is an innovative research platform, co-designed with local iwi and launched in 2022.

“Its focus is on developing collaborations across disciplines and institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand to promote good health and wellbeing for all children.  Research for Children Aotearoa is supported and governed by Te Papa Hauora.”

One of principle aims is to target research that advances Pacific and Māori kaupapa, health outcomes and knowledge, he says.

“Through our community collaborations we are developing pathways for new researchers. Taliah Su’a is a talented Samoan student who has taken time out of medical school to complete a PhD investigating the impact of rheumatic fever on Māori and Pacific families in Canterbury. She started this working at Etu Pasifika and recently presented some of her early findings at the Pacific Medical Association national conference. Every year we support students like Taliah to come through our summer student programme and hopefully develop an interest in a research career.”

University of Canterbury Professor and Director of its Child-Wellbeing Research Institute Gail Gillon says RfCA is combining expertise to tackle some of the most difficult, but crucial issues for the next generation of New Zealanders.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a strategy that aspires to make it the best place in the world for children to live. That’s a challenging task involving complex issues, so we need a trans-disciplinary response. Canterbury already has collaborations in health research and education through Te Papa Hauora. Research for Children Aotearoa further extends this important mahi with a strategic focus on research that will have a positive impact on supporting our tamariki and their whānau.”

Read more about Te Papa Hauora’s collective impact. https://www.healthprecinct.org.nz/news/te-papa-hauora-celebrates-its-10-year-anniversary/