Current projects

Our aim is to increase the use of evidence in the social sector so that better decisions can be made – about funding, policies or services – to improve the lives of families, whānau and communities in New Zealand.

The use of evidence can change people’s lives.  We are working on the following projects because they will provide useful evidence for people working in the social sector to change the lives of New Zealanders.

Date published: 16 Dec 2016

Applications are closing for the Superu Children and Families Research Fund on 28 February.

The Fund is dedicated to funding policy-relevant research using external data from the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) study. It provides researchers with an opportunity to explore and shape social policy that supports children and their families, whānau and communities. Applications close on 3 March 2017. Funding totaling $750,000 a year, every year is available until 2025/26 with $1,050,000 available in the first funding round.

Date published: 30 Jun 2015

The well-being of families and whānau is an essential cornerstone for maintaining healthy, happy and productive individuals who are the backbone of a flourishing country.

Superu’s Families and Whānau Status Report is published annually and measures how New Zealand families and whānau are faring across a range of wellbeing indicators.

The Families and Whānau Status Report is published in accordance with the Families Commission Amendment Act 2014. 

Date published: 16 Dec 2016

In 2012, the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project (YMHP) was established to address concerns about mental health vulnerability in young people.

The YMHP promoted the mental health and wellbeing of young people with or at risk of developing mild to moderate mental health issues. It consisted of 26 initiatives across the Ministries of Health, Education, Social Development and Te Puni Kokiri.

Superu led the strategic evaluation of the YMHP as a whole. The evaluation is part of a wider move by government to assess how effectively government policies and practices are being applied.

Date published: Feb 2015

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study. It collects information about children’s development in the context of their families, whānau and communities, and about the physical, social and cultural factors they are exposed to as they grow up.

The purpose of the study is to provide evidence about what shapes children’s early development so every New Zealand child can have the best start in life.

The study started in 2008 and is funded by the government. It is based at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Longitudinal Research – He Ara ki Mua and the contract for the study has been managed by Superu since 2013.

Date published: 2015
Social Sector Research Directions

Superu has a legislative mandate to ‘identify evidence and research that will assist in determining or achieving the Government’s policies and priorities in the social sector’. With this in mind, we have developed a set of research directions for the social sector¹.

Date published: 2015

Superu is leading an initiative called the Community Investment NGO Evaluation Fund (previously called the ISO fund). The purpose of the Fund is to help social sector providers demonstrate the value of their programmes and share information about what works.

The Fund focuses on:

Date published: 2015

Family violence has been a key priority area for Superu since 2005.  We are working to increase the quality, relevance and quantity of evidence on family violence and how families can become more resilient. We disseminate our evidence to people working across the social sector so that they can make better and more informed decisions which can improve the wellbeing of New Zealand’s communities, families and whānau.


Date published: 14 Dec 2014

From time to time, Superu holds Knowledge Exchange Forums to help decision-makers to better understand how to tackle social problems.

We bring policy, research and practice experts together to identify knowledge gaps about a specific topic. These experts often work in fields that don’t overlap so we give them the opportunity to interact, exchange information and learn what each other is doing.

Date published: 2015

Hīkoi Ngātahi is our responsiveness with Māori strategy for 2015-2020.

We aim to improve whānau wellbeing by increasing the use of evidence and research across the social sector to improve outcomes for whānau.

Superu’s Hīkoi Ngātahi strategy outlines how Superu will work to build more meaningful relationships with iwi and Māori organisations who:

Date published: 4 Dec 2015

Government invests a substantial amount in social science research and evaluation. The Publishing Protocol is for all government agencies that carry out, commission or communicate social science research and evaluation.

It will ensure everyone benefits from the Government's investment in research and evaluation.

This increased consistency and availability will help continue to lift the standard and impact of government social science research and evaluation.

Last update: 28 Apr 2017