Our ever popular Research Seminar Series is returning in 2021. This series will present you with research findings on relevant youth focussed topics, which can be used in both policy and practice. We welcome anyone with an interest in young people to attend these free lunchtime sessions! BYO Lunch.

New Zealand Red Cross National Youth Engagement Strategy – the voices of young people
Presented by Fi Sawers, Youth Activator - Kaikōkiri Rangatahi, New Zealand Red Cross

9 July 2021

New Zealand Red Cross underwent 18 months of a discovery phase, listening to young people, and key stakeholders to understand where the gaps were and what are some of the current needs for young people (within the scope of work – humanitarian work).  From this, the youth engagement strategy was written for New Zealand Red Cross for the next ten years.

Fiona Sawers will share with you why this was done, how they went about it, and the youth engagement strategy which will bring to light some of these findings.  A separate research paper is available for all as a koha to the sector that contains all the findings, which New Zealand Red Cross hopes will be useful. Click here to register.


Making the most of now: Young women’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic
Presented by Dr Louise Tapper and Adjunct Assoc. Prof Rosemary Du Plessis

21 May 2021

Young women are a group whose lives have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have worked as essential workers, cared for children and relatives, and attended school and tertiary institutions online during periods of lockdown.  Some have lost jobs while others have struggled to find employment. Some have grieved for loved ones or faced personal challenge.

This seminar reported on a small scale oral history research project in which we listened to a group of diverse young women from Otautahi talking about their experiences through the lockdown in March and April of 2020 and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. How has life changed for them, and how has the pandemic altered their hopes and aspirations for the future? We shared some of the strategies these young women used to promote their personal wellbeing in stressful, uncertain and difficult times. Ideas from the interviewees about how our communities can support young women were also shared. Click here to see the presentation, The collection of interviews can be found here.


Youth and Porn : Hearing from NZ Rangatahi
Presented by : Henry Talbot, Classification Office, Ria Schroder and Sarah Wylie, The Collaborative Trust

9 April 2021

In 2018, the Classification Office began a three part research programme with Colmar Brunton and The Collaborative Trust to truly understand pornography from a youth perspective, and to find out what might make a real difference to our rangatahi. Of upmost importance in this research programme are the voices of young people.

This work has resulted in three key reports and a number of instructive and interactive resources to create further conversation about youth and porn in Aotearoa.  This presentation provided an overview of this programme of research, highlighting key findings from all three studies and discusses how these findings can be used to ensure we are all better informed and better placed to support rangatahi. Click here to see the presentation. Please refer to the research directly if you want to use any of the stats/findings, as the presentation slides don’t provide the necessary context.


The role of puberty blockers in transgender youth
Presented by : Kaden Russell, Summer and medical Student, University of Otago, Christchurch

26 February 2021

Puberty blockers are used by some transgender adolescents (approximately 1.2% of adolescents in NZ) to delay the onset of puberty and prevent the development of undesired secondary sex characteristics. The use of puberty blockers in adolescent gender dysphoria is controversial and presents ethical difficulties. Concerns have been raised about their long-term physical effects such as reduced bone density. However, there is some evidence to suggest that gender dysphoric adolescents who use puberty blockers experience less psychological distress. This is important because a recent New Zealand survey found nearly three quarters of transgender individuals had high or very high psychological stress symptoms and two thirds had a diagnosis of depression.

Kaden presented the results of his literature review of the research on the use of puberty blockers in transgender adolescents. He also discussed the development of a questionnaire to audit the medical notes of transgender youth who have used puberty blockers and are registered at a Christchurch youth health clinic.