College of Health staff

Dr Rebecca Gray staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63388

Dr Rebecca Gray PhD, MA (Applied)

Senior Research Officer

School of Health Sciences

Rebecca is an applied social researcher with experience in government work and health promotion research and evaluation. She recently completed a mixed-methods PhD in public health at the University of Otago, looking at the concept of informed choice as it applies to young adults taking up smoking. Rebecca is currently working on the evaluation of the Healthy Families NZ initiative. 



  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Otago (2016)
  • Applied Master of Arts in Social Science Research - Victoria University of Wellington (2005)
  • Bachelor of Arts - University of Otago (2003)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Public health, health promotion, disease prevention, health communication and messaging, social science, community interventions, social determinants of health, equity, complex systems, health literacy, cultural models of health and wellbeing, political discourse about health and responsibility, migration and settlement, evaluation of health-promoting initiatives.


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Anthropology (160100): Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801):
Health Promotion (111712): Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Preventive Medicine (111716): Public Health and Health Services (111700): Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799):
Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104): Sociological Methodology and Research Methods (160807): Sociology (160800): Studies In Human Society (160000)

Research Outputs


Matheson, AG., Walton, M., Gray, R., Lindberg, K., Shanthakumar, M., Fyfe, C., . . . Borman, B. (2017). Evaluating a community-based public health intervention using a complex systems approach. Journal of Public Health. In press, 1-8
[Journal article]Authored by: Borman, B., Gray, R., Matheson, A., Shanthakumar, M., Walton, M.
Hoek, JA., Ball, J., Gray, RJ., & Tautolo, E-S. (2016). Smoking as an ‘informed choice’: implications for endgame strategies. Tobacco Control.
[Journal article]Authored by: Gray, R.Contributed to by: Gray, R.
Gifford, H., Tautolo, E-S., Erick, S., Hoek, JA., Gray, RJ., & Edwards, R. (2016). A qualitative analysis of Māori and Pacific smokers' views on informed choice and smoking. BMJ Open. 25(1), 46-51 Retrieved from
[Journal article]Authored by: Gray, R.Contributed to by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ., Hoek, JA., & Edwards, R. (2016). A qualitative analysis of 'informed choice' among young adult smokers. Tobacco Control. 25(1), 46-51
[Journal article]Authored by: Gray, R.
Tu, D., Gray, RJ., & Walton, DK. (2014). Household experience of gambling-related harm by socio-economic deprivation in New Zealand: Increases in inequality between 2008 and 2012. International Gambling Studies. 14(2), 330-334 Retrieved from
[Journal article]Authored by: Gray, R.Contributed to by: Gray, R.
Walker, SE., Abbott, MW., & Gray, RJ. (2012). Knowledge, views and experiences of gambling and gambling-related harms in different ethnic and socio-economic groups in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 36(2), 153-159
[Journal article]Authored by: Gray, R.


Gray, RJ.(2008). The First Door that Opened: Experiences of Migrants in Wellington’s Volunteer Sector. Wellington: Steele Roberts
[Authored Book]Authored by: Gray, R.


Gray, RJ. (2016). Do young adults make informed choices about smoking?. (Doctoral Thesis, University of Otago)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Gray, R.


Matheson, AG., walton, ., & Gray, R.(2017). Interim Evaluation Report, Evaluation of Healthy Families NZ.
[Technical Report]Authored by: Gray, R., Matheson, A., Walton, M.


Rajiv, B., & Gray, RJ.Sun Protection Alert-a simple tool for a complex issue. . Auckland, New Zealand
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.Contributed to by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ., Hoek, J., Edwards, R., Thomson, G., Gifford, H., & Erick, S.Exploring an oxymoron: Do young adults make an "informed choice" about smoking?. . Seattle, United States of America
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ.“But It’s Not Me on the Packet”: Making Risk Communication Relevant for Young Adult Smokers. . Auckland
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ.Exploring an Oxymoron “Informed Adult Choice” at the Time of Smoking Uptake. . Auckland
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ.Talking about choices: discourse and the question of smokers’ “informed choice”. . Wellington, New Zealand
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ.Tanning, sun protection and skin cancer knowledge among 13-17 years olds: Preparing for a youth-targeted sun safety intervention. . Lincoln
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ., & Beckman, W.Communicating UVR information to the public.. . Queenstown
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.
Gray, RJ.Shaping and evaluating a problem gambling public health campaign: the research behind Kiwi Lives. . Auckland
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gray, R.

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