Screen task force

What do we do? We collate and communicate the research evidence on the impact of digital technologies on tamariki and rangatahi (children and adolescents) and make it accessible to communities. We are partnering on projects to develop educational resources, contributing to scholarly literature and liaising with leaders in health, child wellbeing and education to weave together findings from different fields. Our ultimate goal is to support whānau (families), educators, kura and schools in Aotearoa New Zealand to ensure our ākonga (students) gain the best that digital platforms can offer to learning while minimising harm.

"Poipoia te kakano kia puawai"

"Nuture the seed and it will blossom"

Julie Cullen

Julie is a paediatric physiotherapist and has worked for 20 years in New Zealand hospitals. She became interested in the health impacts of screen use in children and adolescents both from her clinical work, and after hearing similar concerns from other health professionals. Julie is currently completing post-graduate study through Auckland University of Technology. 

Dr Samantha Marsh

Samantha is a senior research fellow in the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland. Her PhD thesis investigated the impact of different screen devices on energy intake in pre-teens. Samantha became interested in developmental science after becoming a parent, and through this developmental science lens she explores the impact of screens on child health, behaviour, emotional wellbeing and relationships. Over the past ten years, Samantha has had the privilege of discussing screen use with parents and caregivers of pre-schoolers and adolescents. She has researched how teens feel about screen use and using these devices in the educational setting, and explored ways to harness the benefits of screens while avoiding their negative impacts.

Andy Bowie

Andy is a tech entrepreneur, and after spending time working at Facebook, Uber and UberEats, he recently founded a new kiwi concept, My Auto Shop. Andy is passionate about tech, with an interest in how young people develop the skills needed to work in the tech industry, but believes that many of these skills don't require kids using devices to learn from young ages. 

Lorna Simmonds

Lorna is a primary school teacher (GradDipTchg) and also has a degree in Sport and Recreation, and a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Currently, Lorna is completing further post-graduate study through Massey University, and she is passionate about health, wellbeing and social justice in education.

Dr Alex Müntz

Alex is a research fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland, with training in optometry and vision science. As a clinical scientist, his research focus is on dry eye disease and the relationship between screen use, blinking and ocular health in adults and youth. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the international workshop of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society looking at the effects of our 'Digital Lifestyle'.