Monday October 23, 2017   Last updated 04:39AM
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Growing up study cut down by third
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Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the government to restore critical funding to the Growing Up in New Zealand study, which in its first seven years has already given valuable insights into the health and development of Maori and Pasifika children.

The study tracks more than 6000 children born in 2009 and 2010, and is designed to continue until they are 21.

It's the first study designed to look at outcomes for Maori, Pasifika, and Asian children.

The funding cut mean only 2000 children will be tracked from now on.

The cut comes just ahead of the study's eight-year data collection wave, when children will answer the questionnaires for themselves.

Auckland paediatrician Katie Tuck, who organised the petition, believes the government's new social investment approach means such child health studies aren’t seen to be as important.

The social investment approach uses administrative datasets which don’t include rich data such as people's voices, children's voices, or the biological samples that allow for genetic studies.

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson has committed to restoring full funding, if a Labour government is elected.

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