College decries government decision to cut study funding

Proposed funding cuts to the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand study will drastically affect the study’s potential to improve the health of New Zealanders and reduce health and social inequities, says The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCHPM). nzcphm “We know how valuable these longitudinal studies are,” says NZPCHM President Dr Caroline McElnay.  “So why now, when we have some major and escalating issues facing our communities, would government forego further investment in the Growing up in New Zealand study?”   “It doesn’t make sense, given how much valuable data we have already gained, and how much more we can get form this initiative; data that will highly likely enhance the lives of our children and their children.”   Unlike similar studies of this kind, the full cohort of subjects in the study had important representation of Māori, Pacific and Asian communities, says Dr McElnay.   “We need to know how to improve health and health equity for groups that do not experience the same benefit from the services we currently provide.  We need our decisions to be based on robust, independent evidence.”   Taken from a 19 October 2016 NZPCHM press release   26 October 2016