Population health and policy research

Research expertise

Epidemiology

Massey University staff are working on world-leading collaborative research covering a range of areas related to infectious diseases and their transfer between the environment, animals and humans.

We have a broad range of specialists in animal, human and environmental health who are researching trends and solutions to emerging national and international public health issues caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses.

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Health and international development

We are researching challenges to health in the Pacific associated with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence. We are interested in health-systems strengthening that might involve roles for development actors, such as the NZ or Cuban aid programmes.

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Health economics

At Massey we have research expertise in the functioning of healthcare systems and health-affecting behaviours. We evaluate multiple types of financial information such as costs, charges and expenditures.

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Health literacy, communication and social justice

We research the influence of the health reforms on practice, the provision of services and the multicultural nature of workplaces in the health sector. Research focuses on the communication practice of health professionals within public health organisations and on those the system is designed to serve. We also have expertise in culturally-based participatory strategies of radical democracy, specifically to address unequal health policies and health communication amongst the disadvantaged.

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Healthy ageing

Our research is related to understanding the status and determinants of health and wellbeing for older New Zealand adults. It explores critical factors influencing inequalities in healthy ageing worldwide, including socioeconomic status, early life events, disability and health behaviours. We also look at how social and health care services support older people and their families undergoing major life transitions.

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Māori health

The health and well-being of diverse Māori populations is fundamental to understanding inequalities in health and pathways for improving the lives of all New Zealanders. Our research explores historical trends in the health of Māori populations, the factors shaping health outcomes, and identifying critical interventions for enhancing community health and well-being.

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Predictive analytics in health and social sciences

We have researchers investigating potential solutions to complex health and social issues through innovative applications of machine learning and data mining and the integration of health, economic, social, demographic, and geographic data.

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Public health and health promotion

Public health and health promotion provide a unique perspective on how we see, and act on, individual, community and population health outcomes.  Our research uses innovative research, evaluation and intervention approaches to explore the fundamental determinants of health inequality at the population level, including housing and homelessness, social connectedness, the nature of health systems, policy institutions, and maternal health.

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Public health nutrition

Promoting and maintaining the nutritional health of populations is fundamental for the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of communities. We seek to understand the complex relationship between diet, the food environment and determinants of health to plan, implement and evaluate nutrition promotion strategies that reduce inequity in health outcomes, and improve population health status. Our researchers apply skills in dietary assessment and surveillance, food systems analysis and development to support improved population health and wellbeing.

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Research projects

Student research

Awards and recognition

Resources

Health profiles

The Health Profiles spreadsheets show the state of health in an area, such as a District Health Board. The state of health in each area is compared over time and to the general state in New Zealand.

Health profiles

Healthspace mapping tool

Explore geographic health and population data for New Zealand in the form of interactive maps, graphs and tables. New Zealand data is presented at a range of sub-national levels including: Regional Council, District Health Board, Territorial Authority, Local Area Ward and Census Area Unit levels.

Healthspace mapping tool

New Zealand Birth Defects Registry

The New Zealand Birth Defects Registry monitors birth defects in New Zealand. This work is an important part of our monitoring of environmental health in New Zealand.

New Zealand Birth Defects Registry

Thought for Food: Why What We Eat Matters

Fad diets and advice about health dominate the headlines. Our society has never been more saturated by information about healthy living, but our obesity rate continues to rise – in New Zealand today, more than half of the population is overweight or obese. Professor John D Potter's latest book examines the latest evidence on what causes cancer, other chronic diseases and obesity.

Thought for Food: Why What We Eat Matters

Facilities

Analytics lab

Massey University has a dedicated Analytics Lab in Wellington, the first and only Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) teaching lab in New Zealand. The lab gives students and staff access to the IDI database that contains over 166 billion factors of data from a broad range of government agencies for research and teaching purposes.

About the IDI database

Departments and staff

Find out more about the departments and staff involved in population health and policy research at Massey.

Research centres and groups

Centre for Public Health Research

The Centre for Public Health Research covers all aspects of public health, including non-communicable diseases (respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes), occupational health, environmental health, socio-economic determinants of health, Māori health and Pacific health research.

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EpiCentre

The EpiCentre is the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia. It is widely considered to be one of the leading groups in the world. We have expertise in the understanding and control of disease in animal populations, the transmission of disease from animals to humans, and hazards in food of animal origin.

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Health and Ageing Research Team

The Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) was established in 2006 to undertake a programme of research related to understanding the status and determinants of health and wellbeing for older New Zealand adults.

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Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC)

The Centre engages in applied research concerning multi-host pathogens and fundamental research regarding pathogen evolution and disease emergence. We cover the spectrum of population-based infectious disease research from microbiology, through population genetics, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, disease ecology, statistics, mathematical modelling, and public health.

Infectious Disease Research Centre

One Health Aotearoa

Massey University scientists are part of One Health Aotearoa. An alliance of New Zealand’s leading infectious diseases researchers, this group work together to address important health hazards in New Zealand.

One Health Aotearoa

Research Centre for Māori Health and Development | Te Pūmanawa Hauora

The Research Centre for Māori Health and Development focuses on public health research from a Māori development perspective.

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SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre

The SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre is funded through external research grants and contracts to undertake public-good research of relevance to the health and social sectors. The centre consists of two multidisciplinary research groups working in a Treaty of Waitangi partnership model to produce excellent research with the aim of improving health and wellbeing in Aotearoa, New Zealand and globally.

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Sleep/Wake Research Centre

The Sleep/Wake Research Centre is New Zealand’s first laboratory dedicated to research and education in circadian physiology, sleep science, and their applications. We are motivated to find science-based solutions to the challenges created by the restricted sleep and circadian disruption that are endemic in our 24/7 society.

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mEpiLab

The mEpiLab's works to improve the health of New Zealanders by developing and applying new techniques to inform decision making and guide the prevention and control of infectious disease.

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