Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Recent media releases from The Department of Public Health

Pānui pāpāho

Kiwi kids consume five unhealthy snacks a day

Thursday, 11 February 2021 10:36am

On average, 12-year-old children snack on unhealthy food and beverages five times a day, according to new research from the University of Otago.

^ Top of Page

COVID-19 lockdown has mixed effects on smokers

Thursday, 4 February 2021 9:13am

New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown had mixed effects on smoking behaviours, a University of Otago study reveals.

^ Top of Page

Targeted health messaging needed in era of vaping, researchers say

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 12:01pm

Health authorities should develop targeted health messages for vaping product and e-liquid packaging to encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and to prevent non-smokers from taking up vaping, a researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington says.

^ Top of Page

COVID-19 focus for 25th annual Public Health Summer School

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 12:14pm

One year on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Otago Wellington has assembled a world-leading line-up of expert speakers for its annual Public Health Summer School in February.

^ Top of Page

Elimination strategy optimal pandemic response – new research

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 12:17pm

A goal of eliminating community transmission of the pandemic virus causing COVID-19 is achievable and sustainable as a response strategy for COVID-19 and other emerging pandemic diseases, new research suggests.

^ Top of Page

Marsden Grants for Wellington research

Monday, 14 December 2020 2:59pm

Three researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have received grants from the Marsden Fund to conduct research into topics ranging from tissue grafting to youth substance use to energy use in a warming world.

^ Top of Page

COVID-19 unemployment may bring increased risk of heart disease

Friday, 4 December 2020 11:14am

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession and rising unemployment may increase the occurrence of heart disease in New Zealand, particularly in middle-aged men.

^ Top of Page

Bars facilitating smoking in young adults, study shows

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 11:21am

Designated outdoor smoking areas in bars are facilitating experimentation and tobacco use among young adults, a new study has found.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers secure $17.5m in Marsden funding

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 10:41am

University of Otago researchers have secured $17.5 million in Marsden funding for 30 world-class research projects.

^ Top of Page

Eliminating COVID-19: what the world can learn from NZ and Taiwan

Thursday, 22 October 2020 9:34am

Both Taiwan and New Zealand have successfully eliminated COVID-19 with world-leading pandemic responses. By taking a particularly proactive approach, Taiwan’s response was probably the most effective and least disruptive of any country’s, researchers say.

^ Top of Page

School zoning could increase adolescent exercise rates, Otago researcher

Monday, 12 October 2020 12:39pm

If effective school zoning policies were widely applied, more adolescents would get valuable exercise walking or cycling to their nearest school, an Otago researcher says.

^ Top of Page

Public health experts urge a ‘yes’ vote in cannabis referendum

Friday, 9 October 2020 1:21pm

Leading specialists in addiction treatment, public health, health promotion and epidemiology are calling on New Zealanders to vote for cannabis law reform in the current referendum.

^ Top of Page

Smokers increasingly using e-cigarettes to quit, survey shows

Friday, 18 September 2020 9:03am

People who smoke are increasingly using e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking, a study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, has found.

^ Top of Page

Otago research rewarded with NZ$27.4 million in Endeavour Fund grants

Friday, 11 September 2020 4:12pm

Two University of Otago proposals have been awarded over NZ$27 million in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Endeavour Fund 2020 grants.

^ Top of Page

6 months after New Zealand’s first COVID-19 case, it’s time for a more strategic approach.

Thursday, 27 August 2020 12:32pm

This week marks six months since New Zealand’s first COVID-19 case was identified on February 26.

^ Top of Page

Otago experts deemed ‘critic and conscience’ of society

Monday, 3 August 2020 11:53am

For the first time, the Gama Foundation has recognised two people at once for their efforts in being the ‘Critic and Conscience of Society’ – both University of Otago academic staff members.

^ Top of Page

Smokers support Smokefree 2025 goal and measures to help achieve it

Wednesday, 8 July 2020 10:30am

Most people who smoke or have recently quit smoking support New Zealand’s goal of becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

^ Top of Page

Food taxes and subsidies would bring major health gains, study shows

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 1:27pm

A consumer tax on the saturated fat, salt and sugar content of food, accompanied by a 20 per cent subsidy on fruit and vegetables, would bring major benefits for the health sector, researchers from Otago, Auckland and Melbourne Universities say.

^ Top of Page

Otago scientists secure more than $26m for health research

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 2:21pm

University of Otago, Wellington infectious diseases expert Professor Michael Baker has received almost $5 million from the Health Research Council for a programme investigating the connection between infectious diseases and long-term conditions, something he was planning well prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.

^ Top of Page

NZ’s long history of decapitations and paint attacks on public statues: new study

Tuesday, 16 June 2020 2:33pm

Controversy over public statues is nothing new, with protestors taking to New Zealand’s statues with a range of weapons including an axe, a concrete cutter and a hammer over recent decades, a study by researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found.

^ Top of Page

Fuel walking and cycling with low carbon diets, researchers say

Friday, 12 June 2020 11:18am

Walking and cycling have many benefits and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but researchers say we need to think about what people eat to fuel their walking and cycling.

^ Top of Page

Women generate lower travel-related greenhouse gas emissions, study finds

Wednesday, 10 June 2020 10:39am

Women use more diverse modes of travel and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than men, despite men being more than twice as likely to travel by bike, a New Zealand study has found.

^ Top of Page

New Zealand hits zero active coronavirus cases. Here are 5 measures to keep it that way

Monday, 8 June 2020 3:44pm

Today, for the first time since February 28, New Zealand has no active cases of COVID-19.

^ Top of Page

Protecting young people from smoking uptake as the tobacco industry targets a new generation

Friday, 29 May 2020 11:28am

The tobacco industry is targeting a new generation of smokers with sophisticated marketing designed to associate smoking with rebellion, social prestige and attractiveness, researchers from the tobacco control research centre ASPIRE 2025, at the University of Otago, say.

^ Top of Page

New insights into vaping uptake among Māori and Pacific peoples

Monday, 25 May 2020 11:08am

Māori and Pasifika who have not been able to quit smoking may need more support to move from smoking to vaping, researchers from the University of Otago and Māori public health collective Hāpai Te Hauora have found.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers making major contribution to Covid-19 response

Friday, 17 April 2020 12:35pm

A University of Otago molecular biologist has received new Government funding of $235,746 for Covid-19 related research to develop an effective point-of-care test for the infectious disease.

^ Top of Page

Smokers turned off by plain packs, survey shows

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 12:47pm

Plain packaging is making tobacco products less appealing and warning labels more noticeable, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

^ Top of Page

Tougher rules needed to prevent lead poisoning of shooters: researcher

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 8:37am

The Government must impose tougher regulations on indoor firing ranges to keep shooters and their families safe from lead poisoning, says a public health researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington.

^ Top of Page

Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus

Friday, 20 March 2020 11:39am

With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

^ Top of Page

Evidence clearly favours taxing sugary drinks – new study

Friday, 13 March 2020 3:42pm

New Zealand should follow the UK and more than 30 other countries in introducing a tax on sugary drinks to tackle obesity and reduce deaths from chronic diseases, leading researchers say.

^ Top of Page

New Zealand must learn lessons from China’s success in managing Covid-19

Monday, 9 March 2020 10:42am

While the world has been focused on Covid-19’s spread to new countries many might not have noticed that the outbreak in China is slowly being brought under control.

^ Top of Page

COVID-19 has now reached New Zealand. How prepared is it to deal with a pandemic?

Wednesday, 4 March 2020 12:29pm

New Zealand joined 48 other countries affected by the novel coronavirus last week when health authorities confirmed the first COVID-19 case.