Community and culture

Families and whānau do best when they live in safe, well connected and supportive communities.

New Zealand’s communities are changing, with increasing ethnic, cultural and faith-based diversity. There is mounting evidence of an association between family or whānau connection to strong and cohesive communities and desirable outcomes for children:

better physical and mental health
improved social and emotional development
reduced parental stress and enhanced positive parenting
higher school retention and increased educational achievement
higher levels of employment and income
less social exclusion and isolation.
reduced crime
Family and whānau should be at the heart of thinking and planning for local neighbourhood development and the way in which support and services are provided within communities.

Reports and resources in this section explore issues around family-centred, community-led development and the changing nature of communities, the importance of a whole-of-community response, and ways of working together to grow strong, thriving communities, and settlement experiences in New Zealand.

Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children
Submission to the Education and Science Select Committee

The relationship and interactions between schools, families and communities can have a significant bearing on educational outcomes.
SUBMISSIONS
Thu 7 Nov, 2013
Download Submission to the Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children (381.41 KB)
Families and Whānau Status Report 2013
Towards measuring the wellbeing of families and whānau

The Families and Whānau Status Report is the first in a series that aims to enrich our understanding of family and whānau wellbeing.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Mon 5 Aug, 2013
Download Families and Whānau Status Report 2013 (3.43 MB)
Proposed gambling venue policies
Submission to Auckland Council

The Families Commission supports Auckland Council’s proposals for a cap on the number of standalone TAB venues, and a sinking lid on gaming machine venues and numbers.
SUBMISSIONS
Mon 25 Feb, 2013
Download Submission to Auckland Council on proposed gambling venue policies (254.02 KB)
At the Heart
Families at the centre, communities leading

Video based resources to help you think about your work with families and communities.
FORUM REPORTS
Mon 25 Feb, 2013
Download At The Heart User Guide (686.7 KB)
Disabled parents
Diversity, experiences, and support needs

This resource shares knowledge about the needs and experiences of disabled parents, and can be used by government and service providers, as well as by parents.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Tue 27 Nov, 2012
Download Disabled parents – Diversity, experiences and support needs (913.1 KB)
Pacific families and problem debt

This research looks at how Pacific families manage their finances. The information can be used by government and providers as they design future initiatives with Pacific families.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Sat 24 Nov, 2012
Download Pacific families and problem debt (1.3 MB)
Tūpuna – Ngā Kaitiaki Mokopuna
A resource for Māori grandparents

This resource explores the experiences of Māori grandparents in New Zealand. It describes the pleasures and pressures of grandparenting and the significant role grandparents play in the lives of whānau. This includes providing support, sharing resources, nurturing mokopuna, and teaching te reo, whakapapa, history and tikanga.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Thu 1 Nov, 2012
Download Tūpuna – Ngā Kaitiaki Mokopuna (986.75 KB)
Family-centred communities
The role of local government

In 2009 the Families Commission and Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) recognised the key role local government has in influencing and enhancing outcomes for families’ wellbeing in their com
RESEARCH REPORTS
Tue 30 Oct, 2012
Download Family-centred communities: the role of local government (3.39 MB)
Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill
Submission to the Local Government and Environment Committee

The Families Commission supported the general principle in this Amendment Bill that local authorities should be fiscally responsible, but opposed the proposal to delete references to community well
SUBMISSIONS
Thu 26 Jul, 2012
Download Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (275.46 KB)
Work Experiences of Asian Immigrants
Impact on family wellbeing

This research study explores the work experiences of immigrants of Asian origin living in the greater Auckland region, New Zealand.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Mon 19 Dec, 2011
Download Work experiences of Asian immigrants (433.89 KB)

Knowledge Centre themes

Children and youth

Children and young people are our future. We all have a role to play in keeping them safe and strong.

Ensuring New Zealand children and young people have positive wellbeing experiences, will determine what sort of adults they become, how they parent and how they participate in society. The reports and resources in this theme explore a wide range of issues affecting children, young people and their family and whānau; focusing on the early years, education, child discipline, and young people’s relationships.

National Drug Policy
Submission to the Ministry of Health

In this submission, the Families Commission provides evidence from three of its research studies which show that there needs to be more support for families living with addiction.
SUBMISSIONS
Fri 28 Feb, 2014
Download Submission on the National Drug Policy (265.85 KB)
Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children
Submission to the Education and Science Select Committee

The relationship and interactions between schools, families and communities can have a significant bearing on educational outcomes.
SUBMISSIONS
Thu 7 Nov, 2013
Download Submission to the Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children (381.41 KB)
Vulnerable Children’s Bill 2013
Submission to the Social Services Select Committee

This Bill introduces a range of measures aimed at providing greater protection for vulnerable children. In the submission, the Families Commission examines research evidence in relation to th
SUBMISSIONS
Wed 30 Oct, 2013
Download Submission on the Vulnerable Children’s Bill 2013 (280.47 KB)
Families and Whānau Status Report 2013
Towards measuring the wellbeing of families and whānau

The Families and Whānau Status Report is the first in a series that aims to enrich our understanding of family and whānau wellbeing.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Mon 5 Aug, 2013
Download Families and Whānau Status Report 2013 (3.43 MB)
Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill
Submission to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee

The Commission’s submission supports proposals to provide dispute resolution processes outside the court that promote early resolution for families.
SUBMISSIONS
Wed 13 Feb, 2013
Download Submission on the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill (306.09 KB)
Evidence Brief 01 – Teen Births
Regional and national trends

This report looks at teenage birth rates over time, across regions and by age of mother, and includes data about a second or subsequent birth to a teenage mother.
BRIEFS AND STATISTICS
Thu 15 Nov, 2012
Download Teen Births evidence brief (464.96 KB)
Fact Sheet 02 – Teen Births
Regional and national trends

This Fact Sheet provides summary information from our research report on national and regional trends in teenage birth rates –
BRIEFS AND STATISTICS
Thu 15 Nov, 2012
Download Teen Births fact sheet (1.53 MB)
Tūpuna – Ngā Kaitiaki Mokopuna
A resource for Māori grandparents

This resource explores the experiences of Māori grandparents in New Zealand. It describes the pleasures and pressures of grandparenting and the significant role grandparents play in the lives of whānau. This includes providing support, sharing resources, nurturing mokopuna, and teaching te reo, whakapapa, history and tikanga.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Thu 1 Nov, 2012
Download Tūpuna – Ngā Kaitiaki Mokopuna (986.75 KB)
Snapshot 14-12: The Early Years
Children aged 0-5 years

Greater investment is needed in supporting families and whānau with young children, in particular those experiencing hardship and vulnerability, to ensure they have access to the support they need
SNAPSHOTS
Mon 8 Oct, 2012
Download Snapshot 14-12: Early Years (256.71 KB)
Proposed amendments to guidelines on surrogacy and donations of eggs or sperm

This submission comments on proposed changes to the Guidelines on Assisted Reproductive Technology. These changes would allow single men or male couples, in certain circumstances, to use these technologies to produce children.
SUBMISSIONS
Wed 12 Sep, 2012
Download Submission on surrogacy and donations (222.59 KB)

Publications

All publications arising from our research topics past and present.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … › »
Results 1 to 10 of 253
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Theme

GUiNZ Vulnerability report
Growing Up in New Zealand

Vulnerability Report 1: Exploring the Definition of Vulnerability for Children in their First 1000 Days
Mon 21 Jul, 2014
Download GUiNZ Vulnerability Report 1 (2.54 MB)
NZFVC Data Summaries

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse has released an update of its Data Summaries.
Tue 8 Jul, 2014
Families and Whānau Status Report 2014
Towards measuring the wellbeing of families and whānau

The Families and Whānau Status Report is the second in a series that aims to enrich our understanding of family and whānau wellbeing.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Mon 30 Jun, 2014
Download Families and Whanau Status Report 2014 (4.03 MB)
Now We Are Two: Describing our first 1000 days

This report is the third report from the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) Study, which is contract managed by the Families Commission.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Wed 18 Jun, 2014
Assessment of the Design and Implementation of the Children’s Teams
to January 2014

The Children’s Teams model is an integrated services response to address the complex issue of protecting and supporting vulnerable children.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Fri 6 Jun, 2014
Download Assessment-of-the-design-and-implementation-of-childrens-teams (1.72 MB)
Kaupapa Māori Wellbeing Framework
The basis for whānau violence prevention and intervention

This sixth Issues Paper from the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse provides an overview of current frameworks and literature around preventing and intervening in whānau violence.
BRIEFS AND STATISTICS
Thu 1 May, 2014
Addressing the Challenges of Stepfamily Life

This exploratory study sought to identify the major challenges of stepfamily life and the strategies that families use to address these challenges.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Wed 30 Apr, 2014
Download Addressing Challenges of Stepfamily Life (1.33 MB)
Effective Parenting Programmes
A review of the effectiveness of parenting programmes for parents of vulnerable children

This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of parenting programmes, as a way of reducing the risk of maltreatment of vulnerable children aged 0-6 years.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Mon 14 Apr, 2014
Download Effective Parenting Programmes Summary Report (1.06 MB)
Family Violence Indicators
Can national administrative data sets be used to measure trends in family violence in New Zealand?

Good quality, reliable outcome indicators can be used to monitor trends, identify emerging problems, create awareness, guide legislative and policy reforms, and ensure adequate provision of services.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Wed 5 Mar, 2014
Download Family Violence Indicators (1.25 MB)
National Drug Policy
Submission to the Ministry of Health

In this submission, the Families Commission provides evidence from three of its research studies which show that there needs to be more support for families living with addiction.
SUBMISSIONS
Fri 28 Feb, 2014
Download Submission on the National Drug Policy (265.85 KB)

Media Releases

Knowledge Exchange Forums
Superu periodically holds Knowledge Exchange Forums (KEFs) on priority social issues.

Fri 28 Nov, 2014
Intimate partner violence and the workplace
This Issues Paper, by the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, aims to raise awareness of intimate partner violence (IPV) as a matter that has serious implications for the workplace.
Tue 25 Nov, 2014
Services and support for families and whānau in Christchurch
This report seeks to understand what services, support and information Christchurch families and whānau need to build resilience and aid in their psychosocial recovery from the earthquakes.

Mon 17 Nov, 2014
We’re now called Superu
From 1 December 2014, the Families Commission started operating as the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit, or Superu for short.

Mon 10 Nov, 2014
Briefing to the Incoming Minister
The Families Commission has released its briefing to the Incoming Minister.

Mon 10 Nov, 2014
Multiple factors at play in family violence
The Families Commission welcomes the release of the report ‘Measuring the Economic Costs of Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence in New Zealand’ as another opportunity to highlight

Tue 28 Oct, 2014
Interim Families Commissioner appointed
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley today announced that Jo-anne Wilkinson has been appointed as interim Families Commissioner and Chair of the Families Commission Board.

Mon 21 Jul, 2014
GUiNZ Vulnerability Report
Early identification of vulnerable children: Growing Up in New Zealand Report exploring vulnerability
Mon 30 Jun, 2014
Building a better understanding of how families and whānau are faring in New Zealand
The Families Commission/SuPERU is consulting on draft frameworks to measure and monitor family and whānau wellbeing to see how they are faring over time.

Media releases
Tue 17 Jun, 2014
Growing Up in New Zealand Report provides unique insights into contemporary NZ families
The Families Commission welcomes the latest Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) report released today which provides a unique insight into the critical first 1000 days of approximately 7,000 c

Growing Up in New Zealand Report provides unique insights into contemporary NZ families
The Families Commission welcomes the latest Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) report released today which provides a unique insight into the critical first 1000 days of approximately 7,000 c

Media releases
Mon 16 Jun, 2014
Meaningful action needed on child abuse and domestic violence
Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes says the People’s Report released today confirms what we already know about the impacts of domestic violence.

Media releases
Fri 6 Jun, 2014
Appointment to the Families Commission
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today announced the appointment of Mr Haami Piripi to the board of the Families Commission.

Media releases
Thu 5 Jun, 2014
Focus on evidence in social decision-making – Symposium
Some of the world’s leading international experts on using evidence in social decision-making will be discussing the latest innovations to help policymakers, practitioners and funders make mo

Media releases
Fri 16 May, 2014
Families Commissioner welcomes Budget support for families and vulnerable children
The Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes is welcoming new spending of $500 million in today’s Budget to support the wellbeing of young families and vulnerable children.

Media releases
Thu 15 May, 2014
Valuing families, the heart of our communities, on International Day of Families
Families are the heart of our communities and our country and its important to acknowledge the important role they play especially on International Day of Families (Thursday 15 May).

Media releases
Tue 6 May, 2014
New home for White Ribbon
From today the Families Commission is transferring responsibility for the delivery and management of the annual White Ribbon Campaign to the White Ribbon Campaign Trust Board.

Media releases
Mon 14 Apr, 2014
Effective parenting programmes can reduce risk of child maltreatment
A comprehensive report released by the Families Commission finds effective parenting programmes are a key way to reduce the risk of maltreatment of vulnerable children.

Media releases
Wed 2 Apr, 2014
New family violence research welcomed
The Families Commission welcomes new research that estimates the cost of domestic violence to New Zealand employers at $368 million this year.

Media releases
Wed 26 Mar, 2014
Minister of Social Development: Families Commission Board Appointments
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced today the appointment of two new members to the Board of the Families Commission.

Events

Superu holds events, forums and speeches throughout New Zealand to communicate research findings and launch publications and resources.

Where available, we provide audio, transcript and video links to speeches and presentations given by Superu staff and the Families Commissioner.

Previous events
Growing Up in New Zealand – Moving House in the First 1000 Days of Life
When:
Tue 9 Dec, 2014
Where:
Public Trust Building, Level 6
117 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Organiser:
Cathi Butler
Contact:
[email protected]

9 December 2014
12pm – 2pm
Public Trust Building, Level 6
117 Lambton Quay,Wellington

Evidence2Action Symposium 2014: The secrets of success
When:
Wed 4 Jun, 2014
Organiser:
Families Commission
Contact:
[email protected]

A one day symposium hosted by the Families Commission

Stepfamilies: Here to stay
When:
Thu 28 Nov, 2013
Where:
Families Commission
Level 6
117-125 Lambton Quay
12.30pm – 1.30pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
[email protected]

Stepfamilies are increasing in both numbers and diversity, and the ways in which they are formed is also changing.

The Pacific Islands Families Study: Longitudinal investigations of health and wellbeing amongst Pacific families in NZ
When:
Tue 12 Nov, 2013
Where:
Families Commission
Level 6, 117-125 Lambton Quay, Wellington
12.00pm – 1.00pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
[email protected]

The Families Commission’s next lunchtime seminar will be presented by researcher Dr El Shadan Tautolo and data manager Leon Iusitini from the Pacific Families Longitudinal Study.

How findings from Growing Up in Australia have been successfully used in policy and academic contexts
When:
Fri 1 Nov, 2013
Where:
Families Commission
Level 6
117-125 Lambton Quay
Wellington

12.30pm – 1.30pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
04 917 7055

The Families Commission’s next lunch-time seminar will be presented by Dr Ann Sanson.

Long term sex ratios: who partners with whom, and why this matters
When:
Tue 27 Aug, 2013
Where:
Families Commission
Level 6
117-125 Lambton Quay
Wellington
12.30pm – 1.30pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
04 917 7055
[email protected]

In recent years, the identification of an Antipodean ‘Man Drought’ has attracted considerable media attention.

Impact of the technological world on adolescent health and behaviour – Auckland
When:
Fri 26 Jul, 2013
Where:
Auckland Town Hall
Reception Lounge 2
301-303 Queen Street
Auckland
11.30am – 12.30pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
04 917 7055
[email protected]

A presentation by Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

Impact of the technological world on adolescent health and behaviour – Christchurch
When:
Tue 25 Jun, 2013
Where:
The Atrium
Fern Room
455 Hagley Avenue
Christchurch

12.30pm – 1.30pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
[email protected]

A presentation by Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

Growing up in New Zealand – The next steps
When:
Mon 24 Jun, 2013
Where:
Families Commission
Public Trust Building
Level 6, 117 Lambton Quay, Wellington
12pm – 1pm

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
[email protected]

A discussion of the contributions to enduring policy issues that longitudinal studies can provide.

Children, child maltreatment and intimate partner violence: Research, policy and practice
When:
Wed 5 Jun, 2013
Where:
Oceania Room, Te Papa, Wellington

Organiser:
Penny Dring-Aust
Contact:
[email protected]

A one-day conference co-hosted by the Families Commission and the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse.

About Us

Complex social issues deserve quality evidence to enable better informed decisions. Decision-makers need to know what works and what doesn’t.
Our purpose is to increase the use of evidence by people across the social sector so that they make better decisions – about funding, policies or services – to improve the lives of New Zealanders, New Zealand’s communities, families and whanau.

What we do
We work across the wider social sector to:

promote informed debate on the key social issues for New Zealand, its families and whanau, and increase awareness about what works
grow the quality, relevance and quantity of the evidence base in priority areas
facilitate the use of evidence by sharing it and supporting its use in decision-making.
Who we work with
We work with those who fund, create or use social science evidence including policymakers, programme developers and funders, researchers, evaluators and practitioners.

We work across the wider social sector with people who are based in central and local government, academic, community and iwi-based organisations, and are tackling complex issues across key social policy areas like social development, housing, health, education and justice.

Our priorities
To influence providers and funders to do and fund research and evaluation that is useful to policymakers and programme developers.

To influence the development of sustainable research and assets and infrustructure that will support good social science research and it’s availability.

To commission and do good social science research and evaluation where there are critical gaps in the evidence base that are not being filled elsewhere.

To make social science research and evidence easier to access and understand.

To stimulate awareness of evidence, its importance and the big social issues for New Zealand.

To actively support the use of evidence by decision makers in the social sector.

Knowledge Exchange Forums

Superu periodically holds Knowledge Exchange Forums (KEFs) on priority social issues.

The aim of these forums is to bring together experts from policy, research and/or practitioners to identify knowledge gaps around the selected topic. These forums provide an opportunity for interaction, exchange and mutual learning among the participants.

The intention of these forums is to encourage the use of evidence to address social issues important to New Zealand families and whanau.

Family Violence Knowledge Exchange Forum
On 16 September 2014 Superu brought together 28 participants from universities and government to explore new ways of addressing family violence. Learn more in the KEF report and the annotated bibliography of the reading pack provided to participants.

Intimate partner violence and the workplace

This Issues Paper, by the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, aims to raise awareness of intimate partner violence (IPV) as a matter that has serious implications for the workplace.

The paper highlights the need for employers to see the perpetrator’s behaviour as the problem rather than penalising or holding the victim accountable. It also highlights emerging approaches that can be used by employers and the government to fulfil their responsibilities to employees and to wider society.

Read the full report here: https://nzfvc.org.nz/issues-papers-7

Superu funds the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse. It delivers quality evidence to inform cross-sector family violence prevention strategies.

Growing Up in New Zealand

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study that collects information about children’s development in the context of their families, their communities and the wider physical, social and cultural factors they are exposed to during their lives.

The study follows the lives of approximately 7,000 Kiwi children. Click here for more information.

Policy briefs
Policy briefs provide relevant and accessible information on specific issues. The first two policy briefs are now available.

Keeping our children injury-free (September 2014)

Nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy (September 2014)

Topic reports
The reports use the study’s data to focus on important policy topics and undertake an in-depth analysis of a particular issue.

Residential Mobility Report 1: Moving house in the first 1000 days (December 2014)
This report describes how often and how far New Zealand children are moving at the start of their lives.

Vulnerability Report 1: Exploring the Definition of Vulnerability for Children in their First 1000 Days (July 2014)

This report evaluates how commonly New Zealand children experience 12 family and environmental risk factors that have previously been shown to increase the chances that children will have poor developmental outcomes.

Comprehensive reports
These reports provide comprehensive information on the cohort (the group of children being studied) and are produced at key milestones in the cohort’s development.

Growing Up in New Zealand: Now we are two (June 2014)
Now We Are Two provides insight into the physical health and development, emotional and behavioural well-being, and cognitive development of New Zealand two-year-olds.

Growing Up in New Zealand: Now we are born (March 2012)
This report details the beginning of the children’s journeys in the context of their families and their wider environments.

Growing Up in New Zealand: Before we are born (November 2010)
Before we are born paints a complex picture of a changing New Zealand and shows not only the hopes, dreams and realities faced by soon-to-be-parents, but also the increasing diversity of our families and their children.

Are you a researcher interested in using the data?
Data collected as part of the study is available to researchers. We want the data to be used as widely as possible, informing policy and research decisions. A great deal of useful information has been collected about the children, and in some cases their mothers and the mothers’ partners. By accessing the data you will be able to gain a better understanding of what has led to particular outcomes.

The data is anonymised so study participants can’t be identified. The data is linked, where applicable, to public health records such as perinatal information.

What’s available:

Antenatal data set

9 month data set

For more information about accessing study data, click here to access the Growing Up in New Zealand data access guide.

More about the study
The Growing Up in New Zealand study tracks approximately 7,000 New Zealand children from before birth. The study describes what it is like to grow up in contemporary New Zealand in the 21st century.

The Study has several unique features:

It started before the children were born so useful information has been collected about the mother’s behaviour and her intentions for the future.

The mother’s partners have been involved in the study, which provides a useful and sometimes different perspective on the child.

The cohort has representation from European, Maori, Pacific, Asian and other ethnic groups to ensure that New Zealand’s cultural diversity is captured.

There are six ‘domains’ of the study: education, culture and identity, psychological and cognitive development, health and wellbeing, social context, and family and wellbeing. This multi-disciplinary approach means the information collected can be used by a wide range of agencies, governmental and non-governmental, to address cross sector issues.

About us

New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse is the national centre for collating and disseminating information about domestic and family violence.
Superu funds the University of Auckland to operate the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Superu’s vision is to be the centre of excellence for knowledge about New Zealand families and whānau. Working with the NZFVCH is part of that vision to ensure we can advocate for the interests of families from a strong evidential base.

Having access to quality information is critical to ensuring family violence prevention strategies and initiatives have the greatest impact possible and can assist cross-sector consistency in approaches to family violence prevention.

Campaigns such as our White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women and the It’s not OK Campaign will benefit from fast and efficient access to the best evidence from around the world.

The Clearinghouse draws on the expert leadership and academic excellence exemplified by Dr Janet Fanslow, whose work has contributed greatly to understanding family violence in New Zealand, and Associate Professor Robyn Dixon, who has extensive experience in leading multidisciplinary teams in research and evaluation projects.