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Contact Details

Research Professor
Department of Public Health (Wellington)
BSc (Maths and Stats), MSc (Statistics), PhD
Research summary
Biostatistics in public health; health and housing


Professor Nevil Pierse is co-leader of He Kāinga Oranga – Housing and Health Research Programme.

Originally a statistician by training, his current work is done in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including government and community organisations and is focused on the design and implementation of natural experiments to improve the home and community environments. Nevil and the research team was awarded a Prime Minister's Science Prize in 2014 for this work.

He is currently working on the Healthy Housing Initiative, which looks at home interventions to prevent re-hospitalisation of children with housing-related disease. This programme has accessed and remediated over 30,000 homes in New Zealand and resulted in a decrease of nearly 10,000 hospital admissions. The Healthy Housing Initiative was awarded the Prime Minister's Spirit of Service Award in 2019.

Nevil also leads a programme looking at optimising the housing system, especially for those without housing. He works closely with a leading exemplar of this approach, The People's Project in Hamilton. Nevil has a keen interest in big data and leads five housing and health projects on the integrated data infrastructure. In 2021 this research group was awarded the Rutherford Medal for the quality and impact of their work.

More information on The People's Project


Cook, L., Burrows, L., Milne, B., Prickett, K., Howden-Chapman, P., Pierse, N., Kukutai, T., … Atatoa-Carr, P., & Crampton, P. (2024). Counting what matters: Rethinking Aotearoa's population statistics without a census. The Briefing, (2 May). Retrieved from Journal - Research Other

Ombler, J., Jiang, T., Fraser, B., Nelson, J., McMinn, C., Hawkes, K., … Pehi, T., Aspinall, C., Bierre, S., … Howden-Chapman, P., & Pierse, N. (2024). Five-year post-housing outcomes for a Housing First cohort in Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal on Homelessness, 4(1), 1-17. doi: 10.5206/ijoh.2023.3.16747 Journal - Research Article

Keall, M. D., Pierse, N., Cunningham, C. W., Baker, M. G., Bierre, S., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2024). Factors associated with uptake of no-cost safety modifications to home access steps: Implications for equity and policy. Safety, 10, 7. doi: 10.3390/safety10010007 Journal - Research Article

Howden-Chapman, P., Crane, J., Keall, M., Pierse, N., Baker, M. G., Cunningham, C., … Aspinall, C., Bennett, J., Bierre, S., … Chisholm, E., Davies, C., Fougere, G., Fraser, B., Fyfe, C., Grant, L., … Halley, C., Logan-Riley, A., … Olin, C., Ombler, J., O'Sullivan, K., Pehi, T., Penny, G., … Randal, E., … Robson, B., Ruru, J., Shaw, C., … Teariki, M. A., Telfar Barnard, L., Tiatia, R., Toy-Cronin, B., … Viggers, H., … Zhang, W. (2024). He Kāinga Oranga: Reflections on 25 years of measuring the improved health, wellbeing and sustainability of healthier housing. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 54(3), 290-315. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2023.2170427 Journal - Research Other

Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Keall, M., Bierre, S., Grimes, A., & Pierse, N. (2023). Research-informed public policy: A case study of housing. Policy Quarterly, 19(4), 3-9. Journal - Research Article

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