Information for children about the 12 Year Kōrero / Interviews




You are part of a very special study called Growing Up in New Zealand which aims to find out more about what helps Kiwi kids have a good life.  

You might remember us coming to visit you when you were eight-years-old and asking you a lot of questions!   

We’re planning on connecting with you and more than 6,000 Growing Up in New Zealand children and their families again to get an update on your life now when you are around 12-years-old.  

If New Zealand is in Covid-19 Alert Level 1, then we'll visit you in your home, but if we're in an Alert Level with greater restrictions, then we'll do a video call with you.

We haven’t seen you for a while, so we’re keen to find out more about you and your life now that you’re older.  We have a bunch of questions for you to answer and some activities for you to do. It should be interesting and fun! 

Below are some questions we're often asked about the study when they are doing our surveys. Have a read and ask your parents or the Growing Up in New Zealand team if you don’t understand something or want to talk about something more. 

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to take part? 

You get to decide whether or not you take part in Growing Up in New Zealand. If you don’t want to join in this time, you don’t have to.  You don’t have tell us why, and you can still be part of the study. 

What does Growing Up in New Zealand want to know? 

In the 12-year interview, we’re going to ask you some questions about: 

  • People in your life - how you get on with your parents and friends. 
  • Your health - how you are growing, and how you feel about your life. 
  • What you think about school and your teacher. 
  • How you like to spend your time outside of school and where you like to go. 
  • Who you are and what you think about living in New Zealand.  

What will you be doing?

There are several parts to our 12 year Kōrero/ 12 Year Interviews.  As with any part of Growing Up in New Zealand, these are all optional. 

Your mum, dad or primary caregiver will need to give consent for us to carry out these activities and you will need to give "assent" which means you can choose whether to do these activities or not.

The 12 year Kōrero/ 12 Year Interviews will include: 

  • An online survey for you to complete
  • Body measurements, including height and weight
  • Taking samples:
    • Skin, nose and throat swabs to gather information about microbes (bacteria etc)
  • An audio recording of a conversation with your mum, dad or primary caregiver
  • Some interactive activities. 

If New Zealand is in Covid Alert Level 1, then we'll visit you in your home and carry out all of the activities listed below.  But if we're in an Alert Level with greater restrictions, then we'll just do a video call with you and we won't carry out any of the in-person activities.

We will also send your mum or primary caregiver an online survey to complete.  If your mum's partner lives with you (this may be your Dad or your mum's partner), then we'll send them an online survey to do too. 

We will also be in touch with your school and will send your teacher an online survey to complete about your time and experiences at school.  We will only do this with your permission and like all parts of Growing Up in New Zealand, you get to choose what parts of the 12 year Kōrero/ 12 Year Interviews you want to do. 

Do I need to worry about anything? 

The questions we ask are not a test. There are no right or wrong answers for any of the questions or the activities. You don’t have to worry about how well you do. We just want to know more about what you think and feel.  

Some of the questions are quite personal and will ask you about your changing body or your life at home.  No one can see your answers and no one will know that the answers come from you. 

Researchers are interested in this information from all the Growing Up in New Zealand children and families because it helps them to figure out what helps all children. 

Who will see the answers I give? 

The information you share with us is very special and we make sure we keep it completely private and safe.  

The answers you give in the survey do not have your name attached to them and no one will be able to see what you’ve said.  Your answers will be grouped with information from lots of other children in reports which we write as part of the study.  

Sometimes we might share a quote of something you have written in the survey, but it will never include your name, and no one will know that you wrote it.  

What if I don’t understand a question or a word in the survey? 

Throughout the survey, there will be a chat function where you can ask questions if you don't understand a word or question.  If we are doing a home visit with you, then our Growing Up interviewer will be there to answer any questions.  If you're doing a video call, then our interviewer will remain on the line and can help you with any questions.     

What if I don’t know the answer or don’t want to give an answer? 

That’s OK!  If you don’t know the answer to some of the questions, just choose the ‘I don’t know’ button. Some questions, will have an "I prefer not to say’ button and you can choose this if it best describes the reason you don't want to answer the question. 

What if I have a question for someone in the study? 

We'd love to hear from you! If you have a question you can contact the Growing Up in New Zealand team by calling us on 0508 476 949 (0508 GROWINGUP) or emailing us   

You might also find more information on our website 

What if I’m upset by a question? 

If any of the questions in the survey make you feel upset or worried, you could talk to an adult you trust, or phone What’s Up or Kidsline which are both free phone lines for kids to talk through any problems or worries they might have.  

  • What’s Up is a free counseling helpline and webchat service for children and teenagers, run by Barnardos.  
    Phone: 0800 942 8787 or 0800 What’s Up 
    Monday to Friday: 12pm to 11pm and Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 11pm 
    Chat online: Monday to Friday 1pm to 1pm and Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 10pm 
  • Kidsline is a 24/7 helpline for children and young people run by specially-trained youth volunteers.  
    You can call Kidsline FREE anytime, but between 4pm and 9pm your call will be answered by a Kidsline Buddy.  These are specially-trained Year 12 or 13 students who know what it’s like and can better understand what you’re going through because they are kids too. 
    Phone: 0800 54 37 54 or 0800 KIDSLINE