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He kōrero mō mātou

Our vision

Our vision is reducing inequalities in health, particularly for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, through excellent research and collaboration with others in research, policy, health services and the community.


The research objectives of the Health Inequalities Research Programme (HIRP) all relate to the central theme of capitalising on New Zealand's health data to provide information to influence and support policies and programmes that will reduce inequalities in health. HIRP takes a collaborative approach working closely with others in research, policy, health services and the community.

The objectives are:

  1. To contribute to the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) by supporting researchers – academic, Ministry, and other publically funded researchers – to initiate, implement and complete health-related research projects using data from the SNZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).
  2. To carry out high quality research projects using IDI data that support the aims of Healthier Lives and other health-related National Science Challenges such as reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases and their inequalities.
  3. To monitor trends over time in the association of socio-economic position and ethnicity with health, and determine which intermediary factors are important contributors to health inequalities and where interventions might be best focused.
  4. To develop new approaches in the IDI, for example to monitor inequalities and measure deprivation and test their validity compared to existing census and health data approaches.
  5. To strengthen dissemination of findings and health impact by sharing study results through social media such as the Public Health Expert Blog and interactive online tools for visualising findings.


hrc_logo The Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand has provided funding for the New Zealand Census Mortality Study (NZCMS) and Social Indicators in their development years.
moh_logo The Ministry of Health is both a collaborating and funding institution. They have provided funding for the New Zealand Cancer Mortality Study / CancerTrends and provide ongoing funding for the Socioeconomic (NZDep) project. We have also worked directly with staff of the Public Health Intelligence group of the Ministry of Health on joint outputs for both policy and research/analyst audiences eg. the Decades of Disparity reports.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) of New Zealand has provided funding for the National Science Challenge, Healthier Lives: Capitalising on Health Data project and core infrastructure funding.


stats-logo Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) is an absolutely critical collaborating institution. Many of our projects could not proceed without access to either census or the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) that is provided by SNZ.

Contact us

Health Inequalities Research Programme (HIRP)
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel +64 4 918 5072

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