HIPPY mums often become HIPPY tutors

After nearly 30 years of research and evaluation of our work, we have the numbers to prove the value of what we do...




Research Supports and Informs Our Work

Research and Evaluation is an integral part of Great Potentials Foundation. we have a dedicated Research & Evaluation Manager who is focused on collecting data from relevant sources in order to assess the impact of the three Foundation programmes; HIPPY, MATES and the Family Service Centres on their key programme outcomes.

The main goal associated with research and evaluation is “to intentionally improve our capability and competence”.

Evaluation reports are produced for the HIPPY and MATES programmes and copies are made available to interested schools and via our website.

Wider research also supports the work we do.

In 2014 the Brookings Institute published their report: How Much Could We Improve Children’s Life Chances by Intervening Early and Often?

The Brookings study found that “on average, low-income children trail their more affluent peers on almost every cognitive, behavioural, emotional and health measure. These gaps start early and persist throughout childhood and into adulthood.”

However the study also discovered that: “Well-evaluated targeted interventions can close over 70 per cent of the gap between more and less advantaged children in the proportion who end up middle class by middle age”.

These findings support the long-term benefit and effectiveness of the work we do through our programmes, helping thousands of disadvantaged New Zealanders each year.

The Brookings Institute study recommends interventions at three key stages in a young person's life. These three interventions have been found to have the most profound effect on outcomes for people who would otherwise feature highly in negative social statistics.

The three interventions Brookings recommends line up with our three intervention programmes:

Early Intervention makes the biggest differenceFirst Intervention

To truly have a chance to change futures, Brookings recommends that the first intervention must take place in early childhood, helping children gain pre-reading, maths and social skills so they can smoothly transition to school and be set up for educational success.

Brookings names just one programme as the model for this critical intervention - HIPPY.

HIPPY was introduced to New Zealand by Great Potentials in 1992 and is currently established in 40 communities throughout New Zealand.

The study also recommends high-quality early childhood education to complement HIPPY, such as the Early Learning Centre we run at our Family Centre in Papakura.

Second Intervention

The second intervention should take place in middle childhood assisting children to develop their reading and maths skills and socio-emotional skills to a level which prepares them for the next stage of education - high school.

MATES Junior programme provides disadvantaged children with a university student mentor/tutor in their last year of primary school (Year 8) to develop the skills and competence needed to transition to secondary education.

University research proves the effectiveness of the programme as a successful intervention with long-reaching benefits.

Third Intervention

The third intervention Brookings recommends takes place at secondary school age, enabling students to leave school with a useful qualification and helping avoid negative pathways.

MATES Senior programme provides low decile students with a university mentor/tutor in their last year of school (Year 13) to help them acquire Level 3 NCEA qualifications and University Entrance, giving them increased options for their future and developing an achievable plan for tertiary education, training or employment.

There is an untapped power that rumbles under New Zealand, like a geothermal power that drives turbines. It is the intellectual power of Maori and Pacific people, that needs to be released to help propel this country back up the league tables... — Dame Lesley Max, Co-Founder, Great Potentials Foundation