Contact details +6449793107

Dr Riz Firestone

Senior Research Officer/Associate Dean - Pasifika

Centre for Public Health Research

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 5 13
Team Member 0 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Co-designing a community-based intervention programme for pre-diabetes - Veisinia

Date Range: 2018 - 2021

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Project Title: The Pasifika Prediabetes Youth Empowerment Programme (PPYEP)

Date Range: 2017 - 2020

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: NSC - Supporting Healthy Lifestyles: A Maori and Pasifika Approach (WellText)

Date Range: 2016 - 2018

Funding Body: University of Auckland

Project Team:

Project Title: Chewing the facts on fat! What does that say about me?

Obesity is very common in Pacific peoples in NZ, and the prevalence is projected to increase over time. This proposal comprises of two parts, and aims to investigate the broader issues across the life-course, that includes biological, social and historical factors amongst 300 young Pacific peoples aged 16-24 years from Auckland and Wellington (Part 1). Through in-depth interviews, the study will also attain comprehensive knowledge about food practices and perceptions based on social-cultural values in young (n=30) and older Pacific peoples from the same family (n=60) (Part 2), in order to understand the historical cultural contexts of food and understandings about socialisation patterns relating to food and body size. Thus, the study will identify modifiable factors that influence obesity risk, and identify culturally acceptable intervention and preventative strategies to protect the young and future Pacific peoples in developing obesity and long-term related health conditions.
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Date Range: 2013 - 2014

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Project Title: Lung Function in Pacific children

Lung function tests are important for assessment of respiratory health and particularly for diagnosing and managing respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD. In order to understand the impact of these diseases, comparison with normal lung function values is required. Reference lung function equations based on data obtained from healthy Polynesian children (combined Maori and Pacific) were developed in 1987. These equations were not specifically developed for young Pacific children and are now over 20 years old. It is well-established that there are differences in lung function between ethnic groups. Therefore European population lung function reference values are not likely to be applicable to Pacific children. The aim of this project is to establish up-to-date lung function reference values for Pacific children residing in New Zealand. This study will have significant implications for improving the respiratory health of young Pacific children by developing lung function reference equations that are specific to this population.
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Date Range: 2009 - 2010

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Project Title: Early Life Factors Study of childhood diseases: A Pilot

This study aims to develop and pilot the methods for a longitudinal study investigating the relationship between a wide range of pre-natal and early life exposures, events, lifestyle factors and a broad range of diseases in early childhood. The study involves developing an internet-based birth cohort study using online questionnaires. This approach is potentially very efficient, enabling large numbers of women/infants to be recruited and followed, with a large amount of information collected at minimal cost. Although this approach has been successfully used overseas, it is relatively new in New Zealand.
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Date Range: 2008 - 2009

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 4 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Gavin Faeamani - Doctor of Philosophy
    Lifestyle Program for Pacific peoples
  • Veisinia Pulu - Doctor of Philosophy
    Co-designing a community-based intervention programme for prediabetes
  • Danielle Prapavessis - Doctor of Philosophy
    Synergising youth empowerment and co-design to transform Pasifika youth into agents of social change: a novel approach to advance healthy lifestyles i
  • Hana Tuisano - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding and Addressing the impacts of obesity on Pasifika people in Aotearoa New Zealand

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