News and events

We bring you the latest in news and information in the field of early years research, in particular studies which look at the influence of nutrition and physical activity on life-long health.  

You can also find out about the latest events run by Healthy Start Professional Development and our partner organisations.  

To keep up-to-date with early years research and events, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.  



News and events

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  • Early Life Nutrition Symposium Event as iCalendar
    04 September 2018, 8:45am - 4:30pm
    A one-day symposium for all involved in the care of mothers and babies. This is an ideal professional development opportunity for midwives, Plunket nurses, GPs, nutritionists, dietitians, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers. Your chance to get up to date with the latest research in nutrition during pregnancy, lactation and early childhood, along with some practical, take-home learning that you can apply to your practice.
  • A healthy start for a healthy life: Liggins Institute public lecture Event as iCalendar
    28 March 2018, 6 - 8:30pm
    A public lecture to celebrate teh 17th birthday of the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland and its focus on the healthcare of mothers and babies. This seminar will feature: - Renowned Professor Sir Peter Gluckman looking at the breakthroughs the Institute has made - Liggins Institute director Frank Bloomfield examining how to translate research into clinical practice - Associate Professor Katie Groom demonstrating how a clinical trial works.
  • Period pain to pregnancy weight gain: What’s going on in the female body? Event as iCalendar
    21 November 2017, 6 - 7:30pm
    In this session presented by the Royal Society of New Zealand, hear four fascinating talks by women researchers who will unpick the science from the scaremongering to explain what we know about the biology of being female. From period pain, to what to eat during pregnancy, to the discovery that breastfeeding may not be easy - you'll gain a better understanding of the issues that affect the great majority of women and the interventions that could make a difference.
  • 2017 Otago Spotlight Series: Child Health Research Event as iCalendar
    12 September 2017, 9am - 3:30pm
    Hear from more than a dozen University of Otago researchers who will provide short, easy-to-understand outlines of their work in child health. Fellow researchers will join invited guests including funders, policymakers, clinicians, research institutions, and community and government agencies for a day exploring: - Genetics and health - Healthy pregnancies - Healthy childhoods - Childhood conditions and treatments - Inequalities in child health
  • The power and potential of the gut microbiome Event as iCalendar
    24 August 2017, 5:30 - 7:30pm
    A ground-breaking study is underway at the Liggins Institute that might just be the simplest way to treat the obesity crisis yet. Gut bacteria taken from healthy donors - cleaned, encapsulated, and swallowed with a glass of water - could be the key to weight loss.
  • Obesity and Fertility in Women: Can we and should we treat obesity prior to conception? Event as iCalendar
    01 August 2017, 5pm - 6:30am
    This public seminar given by international academic Professor Rick Legro explores obesity and fertility in Women and whether we should treat obesity prior to conception. Professor Legro is the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Services at Penn State College of Medicine (U.S.A). He is an internationally recognised expert in fertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Professor Legro, whose topic of interests include fertility, obesity and genomics, has had many important national and international roles, but perhaps the most important is his leadership of several large randomised controlled trials for the Cooperative Multicentre Reproductive Medicine Network of the NIH.
  • Managing childhood obesity Event as iCalendar
    27 July 2017, 9 - 11:30am
    A public lecture from Professor David Haslam. Dr Haslam is a GP with a special interest in obesity and cardiometabolic disease. He's a physian in obesity management at Luton and Dunstable Hospital in the UK. He has written a dozen books and over 200 articles on obesity and related diseases. His books include 'Fat Gluttony and Sloth, Obesity in Art, Literature and Medicine', and 'The Obesity Epidemic, and its Management', both 2010, and 'Controversies in Obesity' and 'Fast Facts; obesity' both 2014.
  • FIZZ Symposium: Taxing Sugary Drinks - an election issue Event as iCalendar
    26 June 2017
    The annual FIZZ symposium exploring: - Why sugary drinks are harmful - Efforts to reduce the harm caused by sugary drinks - Examples of taxes on sugary drinks - A political panel discussion on a sugary drinks tax in New Zealand.
  • Your Microbiota and their part in your good health Event as iCalendar
    27 May 2017, 9:30am - 1pm
    A brief overview of the human microbiome and its varieties of microbiota (bacteria, fungi and yeasts, protozoa, and parasites) – their impact on health conditions from birth to older age; why they live within us and on us; and the battle between the good guys and the bad guys. We will also address the impact of western lifestyle and health treatments on your microbiome and learn to foster and grow our own internal garden of good health bugs.
  • Brainwave Trust: Professionals working with Vulnerable Children Event as iCalendar
    09 May 2017
    A one-day knowledge symposium designed to provide information on current understanding on brain development in the early years specific to vulnerable children. This symposium will provide delegates with a deeper knowledge and understanding of child brain development from multiple areas of research.
  • Lifestyle Choices for Early Life Learning Symposia Event as iCalendar
    11 April 2017, 8:45am - 4pm
    A one day symposia looking at how environmental factors can influence a baby's learning: • How much sleep do babies and children need? • Do screens damage babies’ brains? • Does our environment affect learning to eat? • Fishy misconceptions: Are all salmon created equal?
  • An evening of mini lectures from Liggins Institute Researchers Event as iCalendar
    22 March 2017, 5:30 - 7:30pm
    Hear from those leading the research in early life science in New Zealand. This fascinating evening will talks that will walk you across the spectrum of new research from how we can detect heart defects in newborn babies to the possibility of developing individualised health plans for life.
  • The Diabesity Crisis: how can we make a difference? Event as iCalendar
    17 March 2017, 9am - 5pm
    A day-long workshop with researchers from two National Science Challenges and international experts who are working to address the diabetes and obesity crisis.
  • The 'cost' of sugar forum Event as iCalendar
    16 March 2017, 7 - 9pm
    Chaired by renowned broadcaster Kim Hill, this panel discussion will explore the cost of sugar from a variety of different angles, including both the positive and negative impacts of sugar on our society.
  • Exercise and nutrition for life-long improved cognition Event as iCalendar
    11 March 2017, 2:15 - 3:15pm
    This lecture presented by Dr Liana Machado of the University of Otago's Brain Health Research Centre looks at exercise and nutrition to support a long and healthy life for your brain.
  • Otago University Summer School: Participation and collaboration with children, young people and whānau Event as iCalendar
    22 February 2017, 9am - 5pm
    This one-day symposium is for everyone working with, or researching with children, young people and their whānau in order to improve health and wellbeing. The course will use a child’s rights to health and equity lens to outline the importance of participation and collaboration with children, young people and their whānau. We will explore ethical concerns and challenges, as well as case studies and other examples of effective public health practices. The day will also involve presentations by young people on the work they are doing to support children and young people to have their voices and views heard by decision-makers.
  • Otago University Summer School: Confronting children's obesity promoting environments Event as iCalendar
    20 February 2017, 9am - 5pm
    Are you concerned with overweight and obesity in children? Would you like the latest evidence about the obesity-promoting environment children live in from their perspective? This one-day symposium gives you the opportunity to plan action with leading experts from the community and academia
  • Confronting children's obesity-promoting environments Event as iCalendar
    20 February 2017, 9am - 5pm
    Are you concerned with overweight and obesity in children? Would you like the latest evidence about the obesity-promoting environment children live in from their perspective? This one-day course gives you the opportunity to plan action with leading experts from the community and academia?
  • ECE services as priority settings for child health Event as iCalendar
    13 February 2017, 9am - 5pm
    This course presents current and international research into ECE related health issues, and provides a forum to discuss national ECE health policy. The course will provide an insight into the health issues in the ECE sector as well as practical strategies for engagement with ECE services and organisations.
  • A series of mini-lectures on the latest research in early life science. Event as iCalendar
    30 November 2016, 5:30 - 7:30pm
    An evening of mini lectures from Liggins Institute researchers discussing: the risk factors of adult disease, the safety of your supplements, the power of the gut microbiome, and how to improve life for children with cerebral palsy.
  • Early Life Nutrition Symposium Event as iCalendar
    27 October 2016, 8:45am - 4:30pm
    A one-day symposia that continues to address nutrition's key messages in the first 1000 days.
  • Toward a sugary drink free Aotearoa Event as iCalendar
    11 October 2016
    This symposium will look at the science as to why high sugar and sugary drink intake is detrimental to health. It will also showcase a number of initiatives that have been developed to restrict sugar and promote health.
  • Webinar on Ministry of Health Food and Activity Guidelines Event as iCalendar
    28 September 2016, 10 - 11am
    Toi Tangata hosts this webinar with senior Ministry of Health advisor, Martin Dutton, who presents information on the MOH Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand adults. This webinar will also include information on the next step for the guidelines: physical activity guidelines for under-fives. Martin will be challenging the way one uses standard messages and how they relate to their audiences.
  • International Asian and Ethnic Minority Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016 Event as iCalendar
    06 September 2016 - 07 September 2016
    This year’s theme is “Working together to achieve better health outcomes”. There will be a mixture of invited international and local speakers, featured sessions, workshops, and oral and poster presentaions.
  • Liggins Institute 15th Anniversary Lecture and Cocktail Reception Event as iCalendar
    10 August 2016, 6 - 8:30pm
    A celebration of 15 years of the Liggins Institute and its research into how early life events influence our likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease in adulthood.
  • New Zealand Interprofessional Health Conference Event as iCalendar
    04 July 2016 - 05 July 2016, 8am - 4pm
    The conference will bring practitioners, educators, researchers, students, executives, policymakers and industry leaders together to advance interprofessional education and collaborative practice in New Zealand. The conference recognises the importance of interprofessional education and collaborative practice and its contribution to improving health outcomes for New Zealanders.
  • ANA Whangarei Regional Forum Event as iCalendar
    17 June 2016, 9am - 4pm
    A one-day professional development and networking event for people who are working or volunteering with communities to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Presentation on the healthy and unhealthy aspects of diet quality in US preschool-aged children Event as iCalendar
    20 April 2016, 5:30 - 7:30pm
    The Auckland Nutrition Network presents a seminar from Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Ohio State University, Sarah E. Anderson looking at healthy and unhealthy aspects of diet quality in US preschool-aged children.
  • Early Life Nutrition: The First 1000 Days Symposium Event as iCalendar
    31 March 2016, 8:45am - 5pm
    The 19th in Massey University's nutrition symposia series explores the new evidence on the journey through the first "1000 Days". This one-day symposium is aimed at health practitioners and researchers interested in maternal and child health. Loaded with research and practical recommendations, experts from New Zealand and Australia will focus on: - Latest evidence on benefits of breastfeeding - The pollutants of breastmilk - The child's relationship with food and feeding: Beyond 500 Days - Weight control and nutritional considerations through pregnancy - Asthma in early life - Dealing with extremely fussy eaters - Prevention of obesity in early life
  • Childhood obesity: the challenge of policy development in areas of post-normal science Event as iCalendar
    11 March 2016, 10 - 11:30am
    Sir Peter Gluckman will will discuss both the NZ Childhood Obesity Plan and the WHO report in the light of the complexities arising from different interests and perspectives. He will explore the public policy implications including the problems of normative versus evidential argument, the complexities of separating advocacy from knowledge brokerage in such situations, the science-policy and science-values interfaces and the implications of the NZ initiative for implementation and evaluation.
  • Childhood obesity: The challenge of policy development in areas of post-normal science Event as iCalendar
    18 November 2015, 10 - 11:30am
    A presentation by Sir Peter Gluckman, the chief science advisor to the Prime Minister and co-chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, who will discuss policy developments in the area of childhood obesity.
  • ToiRoa Certificate in Physical Activity and Nutrition Event as iCalendar
    18 August 2015
    Toi Tangata offers an accredited Certificate of Indigenous Health, Physical Activity and Nutrition Leadership (Level 4).
  • Workshop on nurtion and physical activity in Pasifika communities Event as iCalendar
    14 August 2015, 8:30am - 3:30pm
    The Agencies for Nutrition Action (ANA) is hosting a one-day professional development symposium for health professionals working to promote good lifestyle choices with Pasifika peoples. Find out more here.
  • HCS roadshow for WCTO providers Event as iCalendar
    01 July 2015 - 31 October 2015
    Between July - October 2015, Gravida is offering all Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) providers around New Zealand the opportunity to attend a free Healthy Conversation Skills (HCS) Training workshop in your region.
  • Maternal and infant nutrition at ANA Conference 2015 Event as iCalendar
    06 May 2015 - 07 May 2015
    The latest evidence about the importance of maternal and infant nutrition for life-long health will be highlighted at the annual Agencies for Nutrition Action (ANA) Conference in Auckland on 6-7 May 2015.