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Published 20 July 2022

Special issue on child health and wellbeing released

Part one of a special issue on the current and future state of child health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

TNZR I 52 4 COVER P Large

On 17 July 2015, Tawatihitihi o te Rāwhitiroa Carlson Kingi was birthed at home, in Owhairaka. This was a whānau event alongside whaiāipo, kuia, tamariki and a kurī. Pictured with his whānau Maggie Kingi (left), Wiremu Kingi (middle), Okaire Lewis (right). Photographer: Claire Humphries, North Shore, Tāmaki Makaurau.

As stated in the editorial:

"Childhood and young adulthood are important stages of growing, learning and development. Yet, there are increasing pressures and challenges that children and young people face. These factors may adversely impact upon their health and wellbeing, and thereupon have long-lasting effects on our society as a whole.

"In order to highlight the pressures and challenges experienced by children and young people growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand, this special issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand is the first of two volumes bringing together manuscripts focusing on aspects of health and welfare/wellbeing relevant to children and young people.

"The manuscripts in this issue focus on the critical importance of the first 1000 days, oral health and food security, mokopuna Māori perspectives of well-being, and adolescent health and well-being. Together they highlight critical issues, including inequities, and provide a clear challenge to us all to enact transformative changes for current and future generations of children and young people. For transformational change to occur, we must honour the voices and experiences of children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand and uphold their individual and collective rights.

"In pursuit of wellbeing for all children and young people, and equity within health, welfare and beyond, it is vital to make space for children and young people to have their voices heard. As part of this, we have ensured that there is rangatahi Māori representation on the guest editorial team for this special issue, as well as inclusion of rangatahi Māori and other young people as authors of its constituent manuscripts. The voices and expertise of children and young people must not be underestimated, particularly if we adults are professing to act in their best interests."


Tahirah Materoa Moton (Auckland), Paula Toko King (Otago/WLG), Stuart R. Dalziel (Auckland), Sally Merry (Starship), Stephen P. Robertson (Auckland) & Andrew S. Day (Otago/CHCH)

Link to the issue: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tnzr20/52/4?nav=tocList

Editorial: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03036758.2022.2093434


Table of contents

First author



Edmonds, Liza

University of Otago

Hapū ora (pregnancy wellness): Māori research responses from conception, through pregnancy and ‘The first 1000 days’ - a call to action for us all

Boyd, Dorothy

University of Otago

Oral health of children in Aotearoa New Zealand - time for change

McKelvie-Sebileau, Pippa

University of Auckland

Nourishing Hawke’s Bay: He wairua tō te kai – food security and wellbeing in children in regional New Zealand

King, Paula Toko


“It feels special when you’re Māori”– Voices of mokopuna Māori aged six to 13 years

Moton, Tahirah

University of Auckland

Honouring care-experienced mokopuna Māori: Creating conditions for wellbeing

Carlson, Teah

Massey University

“You can’t really define it can you?” Rangatahi perspectives on hauora and wellbeing

Fleming, Theresa


Mixed progress in adolescent health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand 2001–2019: a population overview from the Youth2000 survey series

Ball, Jude


Long-term trends in adolescent alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use and emerging substance use issues in Aotearoa New Zealand

Fraser, Gloria


Mental health support experiences of rainbow rangatahi youth in Aotearoa New Zealand: Results from a co-designed online survey

All articles will remain freely accessible until 31 August 2022.

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi