The Roy McKenzie Centre is working to deepen research into families and children. Find out how this research can be used to inform policy.


The Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families and Children, Awhi Rito conducts rigorous, independent research that informs and translates into evidence-based policy solutions that support families and children in Aotearoa New Zealand.

With an interdisciplinary and methodologically rigorous approach, the Centre’s research focuses on pressing issues facing whānau, families, and children. The Centre is located within the Wellington School of Business and Government at Victoria University of Wellington. This means it is well positioned to translate and disseminate its research to policy makers and other key stakeholders, such as community groups and the public.

Our innovative approach to family science is being used to train emerging scholars, enhancing family science research capacity.


The Roy McKenzie Centre’s aims fall within three key areas: research, development, and outreach.


  • Relevant and timely: Conduct relevant research that informs pressing and future issues facing New Zealand families and children.
  • Interdisciplinary and data driven: Take a multidisciplinary approach with methodologically rigorous, data-driven analysis to construct and inform solutions to challenges facing families.
  • Recognising diversity in all its forms: Collect and use New Zealand data to understand families in context in ways that incorporate New Zealand’s diverse people.


  • Research capacity building: Increase the capacity of family science by training emerging and existing scholars.
  • Diversity in family science: Develop scholars who understand and tackle issues related to diversity in families and their contexts, particularly Māori whānau and Pacific families.
  • Reaching the next generation of policy makers and citizens: Teach papers on family policy within the University and run research workshops aimed at family scholars to promote and cement interest and knowledge in family science.

Outreach and engagement

  • Sharing research: Release research in accessible and translatable formats for policy makers, officials, practitioners, and the public.
  • Community partnerships: Research with and for key government stakeholders, community non-profits, family practitioners, academics, and the private sector.
  • International reach: Connect with the international family research community to boost the global reach of our research and foster innovation in New Zealand research.