Study with us

Personal wellbeing is influenced by a number of factors, including external factors such as our genes, experiences, and environments – our work, our financial situation, and where we live. More importantly, in spite of these external factors, our personal wellbeing is largely influenced by the actions we take and the way we think – our attitudes, our sense of purpose, our personal values, and our own health behaviours.

We are interested in how all of these come together to influence our vitality and resilience.  We do this through both a public health and positive psychology framework.  Our current work brings together diverse expertise in nutrition physical activity, stress, and positive psychology.

  • Stream Leader: Professor Grant Schofield

Current research project

Sovereign Wellbeing Index16939

We need to understand better what helps bring out the best in New Zealanders lives and how a constantly changing society can adjust to keep striving towards the goal of wellbeing for everyone. The first step to obtaining this is to better assess wellbeing at a national level and how it is changing over time.

The Sovereign Wellbeing Index will be able to show:

  • The people and places in New Zealand who are getting the most out of life.
  • Insight in the components that build New Zealanders wellbeing.
  • Who in New Zealand is best prepared to deal with the highs and lows (e.g., economic catastrophe, environmental catastrophe).
  • It will give insights into what can be changed at both an individual and societal level to make New Zealand a better place to live.

To find out more and to get involved, log onto

Free2Move Events and Technology

Free2Move events are designed to provide opportunities for people to get into a simple, regular exercise habit with their friends and families.  Ongoing participation is the aim – not winning with fast times!  Entry is free, with courses suitable for walking or running between 2.5 km and 5 km located in local parks that are easy to access.  Community volunteers organise the events – same day, same time every week – and simple technology is used to log participation and track who’s really establishing a good healthy exercise habit!  During 2013, long-term participants will be rewarded with a surprise or 2 from us; but more importantly they will feel the benefits of improving their wellbeing by simple, regular exercise.

Our first event series is about to launch at Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura in November 2012, with more venues planned around the Auckland region to open in 2013.
Free2Move technology is also used to support one-off events that encourage physical activity, such as the Active Post “Post Run” at the AUT Millennium Open Day on 4th November – where 1,000 kids are expected to run alongside their sporting idols.