Child health research funding organisation Cure Kids says a major private donation will enable it to establish a dedicated mental health research position at Auckland University.
The money - the amount of which has not been disclosed - has come from Briscoe Group general manager Rod Duke.
Cure Kids chief executive Vicki Lee said there was a significant lack of research into the mental health of children and adolescents.
She said the researcher will investigate causes, develop treatments and create prevention strategies.
Ms Lee said a similar role had proved to be effective in bringing down the rate of cot death.